The journey of a thousand miles must begin with that first step.
Not only is this a great metaphor for life, it’s also a great metaphor for relationships. Unfortunately, we’re not applying this in the dating game anymore. We want the whole thousand miles guaranteed before we even back out of the driveway to pick you up (and you have to question the destination as well). We’re not willing to try anyone out anymore these days. At least we’re not in the non-physical sense.
I imagine I was always someone a woman could count on for good conversation on a date because writing was in my future. Or maybe I’m just an interesting dude. Either way, no woman finds any of that out if I’m not willing to sit down with her on a date for 2, 3 or even 4 hours and just get to know her. This is what was considered dating. This used to be part of the process. Now, it’s so frowned upon by this new world that we’re living in, some may even consider it a waste of time.
There’s a necessary Q & A that should happen when two people are coming together, but it’s just not happening anymore. We have a lost generation out here that doesn’t understand the process of finding a quality mate as well as they understand the process of “hookin’ up”. This is why a lot of our young people are in relationships that just don’t make any sense. Connections are made with the wrong people, and those connections are hard to break. Subsequently, children are born to two people that wouldn’t make good friends, let alone good parents.
So many of the “relationships” that our young people have found themselves involved in are started under such unconventional circumstances, that they have no idea what a real courtship is all about. I don’t know if the older generations have failed to express the importance of a courtship and dating or if the younger people feel that it’s so “corny” they don’t have to listen.
The fact that real conversation isn’t at a premium anymore makes it hard for people to have dinner with the opposite sex. Social media has affected communication skills and attention spans to the point that we have no idea how to have a normal conversation anymore. The thought seems to be that we can text whatever we want to say to one another. And if it can’t be said in 140 characters, we’d rather not talk at all. Picture mail takes all of the mystery out of a first intimate moment because we’ve already seen what one another has to offer before we even reach that point.
When we don’t get to know one another, we fall back on other things that may factor into a relationship, but don’t serve as a foundation. How much money a person has or their physical attributes becomes all we’re focused on because we haven’t talked about anything. We haven’t established a foundation fit for a friendship, let alone anything else. Before you know it, we’re in a position of procreation before we realize that we have nothing in common, we view child rearing differently and we don’t know if we’ll click with each other’s families. Things that will always matter when we’re doing things that may tie us together for 18 years or more.
It’s understood that people still go out with one another, but dating is much more than that. We just need to rediscover the art of it. If you search the web, you’ll find that all of the sites that claim to have dating advice are actually filled with sex advice instead. We’re not looking to feel each other out anymore as much as we’re looking to feel each other up. The struggle for men these days is the women are just as aggressive as we were always thought to be. At times, men feel as if they have to go for the sexual jugular on the date out of fear of being considered soft.
However, I’ve often said that life is as much about what you’re willing to let go of as it is about what you’re willing to hold onto. So if you’re looking for Mrs. Right and you’re across the table from a woman that only wants to be Mrs. Right Now, it may be time to erase that number from the cell.
I still remember going to dinner several times with my wife before we were an official couple. I believe that’s one of the reasons we still do it today. We knew each other so well that by the time we became a couple, there was no struggle. It didn’t feel like a leap of faith. We knew we belonged together. It was just what I was taught. If you wanna get to know a woman, talk to her. Take her on a date.
When we look at relationships that fall apart, it can be any number of things that cause it, but at its core is usually a lack of communication. A skill that can be honed through dating. So many relationships can be solidified through the dating process. Conversely, so many mistakes can be avoided as well. Just by sitting and talking with that woman or man, you can find out that you have little to nothing in common and this should probably be your only date. At the same time, you can find that you’re conversing with the person of your dreams.