So I was listening to a Dan Savage podcast this morning, whereby the caller said that he had forgotten how to date. This is a very common statement that I have heard time and time again and if I have used the same line in the past, let me apologize right here and now. I am very sorry for ever saying that I have forgotten how to date. Let me tell you why.
Last night I was having a conversation with a dear friend and we were discussing past relationships. Dating of course came up and I mentioned that I really didn’t start dating until university. On a side note, my parents both asked me if I was a lesbian all throughout junior high and high school because I never brought guys home or dated, thanks mom and dad! I had one major relationship that ran its course through many dating scenarios (which I will save for a later date) over an 8 year period. But that really I was not super informed when it came to dating and made many many mistakes along the way. The guy I was talking to looked shocked and asked such a simple question, which to paraphrase was, “well how can you be blamed, did anyone ever teach you how to date or be in a relationship?” Crap! I know for a fact that was never sat down by my parents and told how they dated, what worked or didn’t work. I of course had the birds and the bees talk when I was 6 or 7 and that was a very funny story in itself. I recall the horrible time my mom first asked me if I was sexually active, also a hilarious story that I can just finally laugh about now. But nothing on dating.
How can we possibly be successful in finding a mate if we are never taught how to date? Doesn’t it seem strange that the only tried and true method is trial and error? I am positive that within my family alone there so much wisdom and knowledge about how to date. But the only stories I grew up hearing were about how the current spouse was met. And this is why I must apologize for not knowing how to date. I was not taught, it was through trial and error that I found any male in my life. Realizing this, its almost laughable that we are able to find anyone compatible on any level. Thank goodness for the aid of dating websites. At least those sites allow you to ask and answer question about the people out there, but when it comes to meeting them, sink or swim!
The typical relationship out there is a failing vessel. Not only do many relationships fight true happiness (whatever that may be for each individual), but we do not have the tools to meet the best possible mate in the shortest amount of time. There is so much knowledge that our parents learned, or even our grandparents that just seems to be a taboo topic. Or maybe its just a detail they would rather leave out. The perpetual cycle that they weren’t very adept at it, so they were great full to leave the dating scene as soon as possible. A very common sentiment, that rush to leave the dating scene as it is too big and scary. The safety of a relationship, which I might mention was not on my how to list either.
So please, if you have a family, try and break this cycle. Teach your children that dating isn’t so scary, it can be a lot of fun and an amazing way to truly learn who you are before you say your I do’s. Keep the next generation as informed as we can so we pass on knowledge and not just our baggage, even if it is embarrassing.