Is anyone dating anymore?
When I was young, we dated and the people before that dated and the people before them dated. It was how we got to know each other and decide if there was a connection. If there was a connection, we dated more until a decision was made to make it more permanent or to move on and date someone else. At times it was a bit uncomfortable and made us nervous but most of the time it was exciting and fun.
There was also an innocence to dating. Great stories came out of dating and it helped you narrow down what you wanted and what you didn't want in a partner.
No one was perfect and dating helped you figure out what imperfections you would tolerate. It allowed you to manage a priority list of what you could put up with and what you couldn't.
For example: If a person didn't call when they said they were going to, you should proceed with caution. If a person showed up late, didn't speak to your parents when they picked you up or had bad table manners, you figured it out quickly. If a guy was nice, made you laugh, held the door and paid the bill without hesitation, he was a gentleman. Even if you didn't immediately connect with him, you gave him another chance because he was seemed trustworthy and kind and deserved a second date.
Dating was a game and it was fun to play.
Today, there is less dating and more hanging out. Hanging out is good but shouldn't be replacing dating. Dating teaches us many lessons that are necessary in life. It teaches us how to figure out what we want and what we don't want. It teaches us how to handle situations when we don't get what we want and that life goes on. Dating teaches you that regardless of how bad the situation may seem, the sun still rises the next day and each day gets a little better. Then you meet someone new and completely forget about the other guy and it all starts over again until you meet The One!
There is less risk of a broken heart in "hanging out and hooking up" but you miss out on the benefits and excitement of dating. Holding hands for the first time, getting dressed up for a special event with this person, a first good kiss and the butterflies that come when you know you're going to see this person. It's not the same.
Dating requires risk, develops integrity and discipline because you have to think about someone else when making decisions. These are great lessons and should be experienced. Lessons and experiences that come from dating are invaluable.
I run the Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol. I am a member St Raphael Women's Guild, Friends of the Westside Catholic Center and The Avon Oaks Women's Golf Association.
I live in Bay Village with my husband and 3 children.