Friday, February 17, 2012

Post 1970 Dating Dynamics...and Water Safety

There are all kinds of dynamics in the dating process. Of course its dynamic nature is what makes it so fun and exciting...and even scary! It can excite and challenge us at many levels... intellectually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually! Consequently, it's fun....a-n-d it's a lot of work.

I meet dating people on both ends of the age spectrum who enthusiastically report their dating adventures. In just about the same breath they also comment about how "heads-up" they work at dating to achieve what they really want from their experiences. Almost invariably those people generally aren't interested in any one-time or "flash-in-the-pan" dating experiences.

In recent years dating has become BIG BUSINESS in the United States. I'd suggest that has really happened since the late 1970's. That's not to say that dating wasn't important before, but something "took off!" in the mid- to late 1970's and into the 1980's. After that it didn't take long for the rest of the copy-cat Western mindset world to start catching up. Why? Because where there are physical, emotional, etc., dynamics like the one's we were discussing above, there's the potential to move beaucoup money around...the "moo la la"...."Dollars and cents, baby!" (PS: FYI, I've got nothing against big business.)

Why am I saying this? Well, just to remind us all that where there's BIG BUSINESS there's marketing. Where there's marketing there's the potential for sales. Where there's a sales potential, there's a potential for significant manipulation. Where there is manipulation there is innocence lost; the potential for disappointed people and "buyer's remorse."

"Buyer's remorse" can translate the real-life, end-product experiences of previously dating couples--couples who eventually realize disappointment, painful relationship failures, divorces, broken-up families, and step-parent households. Since the whole purpose of Smarter Romance is to avoid those heartaches--for all concerned--there's great merit in distinguishing the REAL vs IMAGINARY in the dating process; what's REALLY SUBSTANTIVE vs what's really just SMOKE and MIRRORS; and what's SAFE 'n SECURE vs what is RISKY 'n DANGEROUS!

When I was a small boy my mom was a Water Safety enthusiast and a Certified Water Safety Instructor. Early in my life she was concerned about my presence around water. She knew how a merely casual, one-time visit to the stream or lake could become sadly life-changing. She helped us kids realize how dangerous open water could be! But she "put her money where her mouth was" teaching us all how to swim--and I mean REALLY SWIM! She taught us some relatively simple principles and rules to govern our presence around water, and we learned to work at being good, safe swimmers. So, we all became excellent and smart swimmers and divers sharing a healthy life-long respect and appreciation for the water we loved so much.

There is an interesting analogy between water safety and the dynamics in dating. As a culture we're perilously inclined to place high priority on being around and enjoying the "open water" of dating--especially and including the casual stuff (--a quick trip to the stream's edge)--WITHOUT our culture ever TEACHING, or even suggesting to us, that there are important insights and skills we can and should learn, and prioritize, to insure our safety around dating's OPEN WATER.

Smarter Romance's skills are about loving life, it's experiences, and it's promises. Make them part of your life-skill set.