Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Running the Bases: Sliding Head-First Into Third!
Are you dating?
Does your dating behavior matter?
Are you, like so many other "players," hitting those high, infield-fly balls, racing around first, and (because of a fielder's error--"thank-you very much!) catching the corner at second to slide safely into third base?!
Let me ask some really basic questions: "What's dating about anyway?" Why do you date and who? How frequently...once a month, twice...once a week or two, three times a week...what? How do you choose? What are your expectations; what do you do; where do you like to go; and who decides? Who approaches who...n'...are there "rules of invitation," who pays for what...why...and..perhaps, what's dating in the big mix of life's "bigger games?"
Last year in an August 20th blog entry I compared dating behavior to a snapshot. I said it's an "in the moment" still picture--of you. Who are you; what do you look like--I mean this from the perspective of people you've dated? I quizzically mused about "tall" people of integrity--or maybe some other kind of person or people of comparatively more questionable integrity than...well...you?
And that kind of inquiry, if you are dating or think you are going to be dating, leads me to make some related observations. For example, we live in this societal age of casual and "comfortable fit," of various forms in "lift" and up-sizing, of gigabytes and werewolf bites; where emphasis is often on stimulating and spontaneity, and on "more" and "longer," and "bigger is better, " and "sick" is exciting and cool! I'm talkin' about hamburgers 'n fries, n' seeing curious couples in tubs, n' jeans, n' flops, n' crocks, about styled undies n' thinner "laps," n' hips, n' wide-screen TV's. Lest we forget, too, how active games are eclipsed by passive gaming--consoles, game boards and joy sticks replace rackets, balls, and neighborhood outside adventures...and as the story goes, we "Wii, wii, wii, wii all the way home." And...if you're a next generation type or a "Y-Gen" ("Millennial"), the newest and fastest work themes you find are, like, "work from home," and driven by "quality of life, " n' by "equal pay for equal work" concerns, and a variety of societal demigods tutored by gymnastical themes of political correctness.
So, that curiously and briefly observed, I think, more now than ever before a dating person needs to ask him or herself, "Who do I want to be?...What's important to me...n' Why? Generational contrasts are to be anticipated. However, there is little question that changes of the past several decades are eroding important gut elements about who we are--or were--as a society and, consequently, about who we really want to be, personally and individually.
Of course I'm referring to slow cultural movements observed in characteristic societal markers, like poverty rates, number of single-parent households, crime statistics, divorce rates, high school graduation rates comparing men and women, etc. Upon close inspection these reveal some fundamental deterioration in who we've been and where we're going now as a society. These statistical markers reflect changes in some important elements of our cultural soul that, by general agreement, have historically contributed to make us--as a society-- a tall, handsome, muscular, athletic, and respected member of the global community. Frightfully, now, we're becoming the shadow of our former "self;" we are served anxiously and temporarily by our historical reputation. All of us, parts of the contemporary societal whole, are both influenced by and potentially influencing this continued deterioration--this cultural slide.
So, I ask, who are you? If you're a teen, a young adult, or a seasoned vet now returning to the dating game again, when it comes to something as supposedly innocent and insignificant as your dating behavior (yes, you're just one person among so many millions), are you a "Giver, Taker, or some Other Kind of..." romancer? Are you lucky and s-l-i-d-i-n-g? Believe me, it matters--and a lot more than you may want to know or believe!
Revisiting those original questions I asked, above, "What's dating about anyway?" Why date and who does it? How frequently...once a month, twice...once a week or two, three times a week...what? Who do you date and how do you choose? What are your expectations; what do you do; where do you like to go,and who decides? Who approaches who...or...are there "rules of invitation," and who pays for what...why? I challenge you to make all those questions fit into a package and a purpose for you that's about your personal character development and future success--"muscle building" and personal growth of the HIGHEST ORDER. Believe me, it is contagious--a good infection that our entire Western society needs to be re-exposed to--and catch! Ker-chew! You'll be glad you did; you'll accrue handsome and tall benefits for the rest of your life.
That's Smarter Romance for now. Be good. Be safe. Be smart!