The experience of dating in your 20s is usually a mix of ecstasy and uncertainty. On one side, there is the excitement of trying out something new. Then there’s the euphoria of being asked out by the cutest guy in the world (when you’re in your teens). Fancy dreams linger. Thoughts of what he– she might be doing at each moment of the day evade your day unwittingly. But somewhere in all of this is the uncertainty of what he– she truly feels for you.
As one grows older, with a couple of experience down this path, it becomes more of uncertainty and self-protection than ecstasy. Still, there is a common ground that predicates dating at any age – the desire to find love and acceptance, where possible, for a lifetime. This outcome drives the numerous activities engaged in while dating, yet, it often seems elusive.
On a close look, it can be seen that the outcome of dating depends on where one starts out. Starting out with headlong desperation of finding a life partner often proves to be fatal. Gliding on the stream of dating activities with no real intentions does not guarantee a safe end. Starting out with a bit of understanding of the meaning and purpose of dating as well as ones intentions in dating is a better bet of having a smooth cruise with fewer bumps and bruises.
Meaning and Purpose of Dating.
The origin of dating gives a disclose into the meaning and purpose of dating.
From history, we learn that marriages were initially arranged by families and matchmaking organizations with little to no input from the intending couples.
So there was no room for the couples to know and assess themselves to decide if they wanted to end up with each other. But there have been changes to this system over time.
In more recent times, people meet themselves before the interference of families. As a result, there is that prelude for assessment by the partners which is termed “dating”. For the need of a definition, dating can be called an evaluation period between two persons looking at the possibility of entering a committed long-term relationship (marriage). Source: Wikipedia.
But does it end here – knowing what dating is about? My guess, you’d also want to consider your intentions.
Intentions in a Dating Relationship.
People date for a million reasons. What determines a dating adventure that achieves its purpose is intentions. Heading out without intentions in dating can be disastrous. On one hand, it can lead to many unintended consequences. But chances are you might be lucky. However, the chances are quite slim.
You need to define what you want out of a dating adventure. If you’re out to have fun… If you just want to meet new people or hang out… Whatever it is you want to achieve, defining it first gives you clarity. Then, following through on it guides your activitiesss. It eliminates a world of stress and delivers you to your destination. Other times it redefines your focus. So you want to clarify your intentions before stepping out.
Casual Dating Vs Exclusive Relationships.
Intentions in dating defines the focus for dating. Usually, when people start dating, they are just getting to know themselves. And the relationship can take many turns. The focus here can range from merely having fun in the dating world to creating connections with people from across the globe via numerous dating mediums but it rarely involves any serious commitment. Usually, it is advised to make the distinction here that you are not in a relationship. You are just hanging out. And according to inclination, it might be with many people at the same time or one person at a time.
However, the relationship may progress from just casual dating to an exclusive dating relationship. Here the focus is usually streamlined with the end goal of a long term commitment. But it is assumed that before you get to this stage, you’d have seen the person casually and really connected on a level that makes you want to take the relationship a step further. The benefit of this kind of progression is that you’re making decisions in a very relaxed state which is a higher prediction of making sound decisions. However, this is only the beginning of a deeper form of evaluation.
Evaluations in a Dating Relationship.
Whilst in a dating relationship, beneath all the activities of dating, you want to look out for the following amongst others.
In evaluating for a long term commitment, it is necessary to observe for the similarity of focus – the directions of mindset. You want to be sure you are both on the same page as regards your life visions and all. Commitment for the long haul is tasking. You definitely want to do it with someone who is headed in the same direction as you because relatively, you would need to work together for a lifetime. So it’s not something to be taken lightly.
However, this is not undermine the fact that people can be influenced. But usually, when the impulse to change is not from within, one will easily revert to his default bearing when exposed to pressure. You don’t want to deal with this for a lifetime. You’re better off alone than at variance with a life partner who just really has a different agenda for his– her life. It is a lot easier to walk through life with a partner who is on the same mission as you, shares the same core values as you: morality, beliefs, socialization, etc, and of course, one whom you admire and truly enjoy his– her company.
It is said that man was created to worship. Essentially, man worships whatever is the object of his wonder – a supreme deity, artifacts, whatever. You can tell what a man worships by what he devotes his time and affection to, the same from which he derives his identity. But every man worships something, and the object of ones worship wields a major influence on his life. Hence, this becomes an important factor to consider in the evaluation process of dating.
If you’re in for a long term commitment, then you want to consider walking with someone submitted to the same “deity” as you. One who shares the same allegiance as you and is devoted in the same intensity as you.
This might look small on the surface but in essence, the object of worship in a relationship is the glue that binds the couple together. It provides a foundation for every other thing to be beautiful and meaningful, including sex. If it’s this important, I guess you want to consider it.
In all, the outcome of evaluations in a dating relationship will determine whether or not it will progress into marriage. Although breaking up at this phase will be quite painful, it is still better than a divorce in marriage.
Dating can be instrumental to a person’s development, both in learning relationships and self-discovery, when done with the right orientation. Nonetheless, every experience can be an asset if we learn from them. As such, commitment to growth and learning is a great way to harness the beauty of this phase of life.
However, a healthy perspective of self and others will influence our ability to learn at this phase. This being that we will evaluate the information we receive from outside based on the information we have within.
So, if you ask me, I’d say the best place to begin dating is with self.