On Dating

So, some time ago, my friend, Ore and I had this discussion on relationships from which we decided to share some excerpts. Now, this is not relationship advice or anything of the sort. Just us sharing our views on the subject. Enjoy…

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Ore: I was talking to my friend a while back about dating. She said she wasn’t dating now because she thought dating for longer than 6 months would inevitably lead to couples getting carried away or giving into temptation so unless she’s ready to marry, she’s chilling on her own for now. Just wanted to know what you thought of that.

Toxic: She’s right and she’s wrong.

She’s right on the issue of ‘dating’. The way I see it, a relationship with no long term goal of marriage is dating. One with a plan to marry is courting. I don’t believe in dating. Only courting. Once a couple is only dating and not courting, they’re more susceptible to temptation. Note that courting doesn’t mean they’re then free from temptation, just that the aim of the relationship is so different from dating that it’s harder to focus so much on sex and sexuality.

Where she’s wrong is that it’s got nothing to do with a time limit. Whether the it’s the 1st night or in 6 months, or even before the relationship starts at all; if it’s not a serious altar-bound relationship, it’s already bound to end up being about sex. Especially if it’s consensual. That whole “it’s for companionship” story is for preteens to use to fool themselves. Not honest adults. On the other hand, a couple can court for as long as 4yrs and keep themselves as long as they BOTH have the bigger picture in mind and are together agreed.

It’s really all about both their states of mind.

So even if she’s not ready to marry right away, if she meets a dude who will be ready in say 3yrs and she’s fine with that time frame and he also shares her values and beliefs, then going into a relationship with such a dude now should not be an issue.

In my opinion, she just thinks the busy preparation for a wedding will help her hold him off till after the wedding. But won’t they court (don’t want to use the word ‘date’) first before he is sure he wants to marry her and then proposes?

¯\..(•͡.̮ •͡ )../¯

Ore: Thanks, that all makes sense. I guess you’re right, it’s all about the difference between courting and dating. But don’t you kind of have to “date” before you begin your courtship? I mean, you don’t just meet a woman and think “yup, I could marry her” and then start courting, do you? If the aim of a courtship is ultimately to get married. Do you get what I mean?

Toxic: The answer (for me) is all yes. When I’m beginning to have feelings for a girl, I think “Could I marry her?” If the answer is then “Oh, I could marry her” then I might proceed with… If the answer however is “No”, I’m not going to even try to date, no matter how strong the feelings become.

Courting is generally seen as beginning from the engagement. I’m just saying that my personal PoV is when both parties have that mindset of “The intention here is for this to end in marriage”, even though a formal proposal hasn’t been made yet and they would say “We’re dating” (usually just for communication sake), then they’re really courting.

Dating, by general practice, is just so much less binding and trivializes the real intentions God had for romantic relationships.

Courting is a mindset, as is dating. Engagement is a status. Typically, people with a dating mindset go into relationships with a “This may not work out, so I must safeguard my own interests; just in case” whereas a courting mindset says “I plan for this to work out, so I’ll make whatever sacrifices I have to NOW so it does”. Basically courting entails foresight and planning ahead. Dating doesn’t.

My belief therefore is in…

Courting —> Engagement —> Marriage

As against…

Dating —> Engagement —> Marriage

Admittedly, a lucky few get to do…

Dating —> Courting —> Engagement —> Marriage

But why anyone would place the stakes of their heart on something with an obviously slimmer chance of success is beyond me.

Now, I’m not saying beginning with courtship is a guarantee for a relationship ending in marriage. Of course, it’s not as binding as marriage, so if either party decides they don’t think it’ll work, they have every right to skip. A good example is the genotype/sickle cell issue. Just saying that courting is a much better foundation for what would hopefully end up in marriage. The current divorce rates just show that, sadly, too many people go into marriage with a dating mentality and so when the going gets tough, the not-so-tough-afterall pack their bags and get going.

Sad really.

I choose to be different.

Ore: Well that makes sense. It still feels like a gamble. I mean, you can court and there’s still the risk that the other person may change their mind/have their feelings change and bail, but I guess that’s always a risk… One advantage I DO see to this your theory is that without sex, if things don’t work out, you’re not gonna feel like you lost out on too much; you’re less likely to feel used, which is a plus. But do you then DISCUSS marriage with someone when you first meet them?? Like isn’t that likely to freak them out and scare them off?? I’ve always thought you should ‘date’ (literally go out on formal dates e.g. Dinner, theatre, cinema, ice cream, whatever) someone for maybe a month, and then have a discussion, see if you enjoy each other’s company,and can see marriage (or some sort of future) as a possibility, and decide to “court”.

Toxic: Courting is definitely still a gamble. Just a safer, saner, more guaranteed ‘risk’ than dating.

As per beginnings though, I believe firmly in friendship first. It certainly isn’t easy but even up to when the feelings begin to stir, I try to keep things platonic. It’s how you truly get to know about the person and whether or not you want to progress to the next level of ‘risk taking’ ie hanging out, dates, dinners, etc. That way, you know what you’re really getting yourself into if/when you get to the point of asking or accepting to become mutually exclusive to each other.

At that platonic stage, I try to be honest and open on everything except my feelings (though more often than not, the darned feelings go and betray me before I even open my mouth *sigh*). Hopefully, she’s open and honest too. If we’re still interested in each other after this(assuming the interest was mutual in the first place) and haven’t learnt anything that puts a full stop to it all, it’s no longer as big a risk as when all we’re attracted to are the superficial things. It goes deeper.

PLUS, it saves everyone so much heart break!!

Again, there really is no generally acceptable time frame. All this can happen in 2wks or in 2yrs. All depends on the individuals involved.

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So there you have it. Sorry if it sounded all matter-of-factish to you. We, err, had to remove all the juicy, more personal gist before posting. :p

So, what are your thoughts on all of this?

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Good Ol’ Ego

So I wrote this as a contribution to the DateDays2 series which ran on @bule_jr’s blog not long ago. I wrote on theme of money in relationships and how it affects ego. Just thought to share with those who might have missed it while I work on other stuff to post here. Enjoy (if you haven’t yet)…

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I’ve had the privilege of studying a great number of couples out on dates and it is undeniable the powerful effects money can have, positive and negative, on relationships.

Without doubt, one of the ways best favoured by people to bond with others is over a good meal and this, on a daily, brings a lot of clientele through the doors of the rather distinguished establishment in which I offer my services. I receive far more couples on dates than individuals and groups of people, day or night, and this has given me the opportunity to observe, to a great extent, couples out participating in the dating game.

Don’t get me wrong now, I’m not claiming to be an expert on such matters. Far from it, I’m just an observer who’s trying to learn from the experiences and mistakes of others before taking the plunge myself. Is this not wisdom? *wink*

Doing what I do requires me to know a few of my costumers really well. A few of them have me really intrigued to the point that in relating with them during the course of business, we begin to relate on a bit more of a personal level. Let me introduce one family I have come to respect and love to you.

The Owolabis come in regularly. They are accustomed to living affluently and coming to a classy restaurant is pretty normal to them. Practically the whole family comes in, individually or collectively, at different intervals during any given week.

Chief and Dr Mrs come in to dinner as a couple at least once a month. Things weren’t always this way though. They started small and humble and worked hard to build the empire they presently control. Dr Mrs once regaled me with the tale, to chief’s embarrasment, of how in their youth, before they were married, he would take her on only cheap dates. She recounted how the park not far from the London apartment she shared with coursemates was his favourite spot for dates because, as a foreign student on scholarship, he couldn’t afford to take her anywhere remotely fancy; and how he would slave over home-made sandwiches and freshly squeezed orange juice or the likes for their refreshment as they picnicked; and how she would make them walk to and from the park because she knew he really couldn’t afford the cab-fare he kept trying to insist they took, all in the name of chivalry. She stuck with him through the early days and now (she would gesture to the grandness around her), just look at the grand way they live.

Now, this would ordinarily be quite an inspiration to me, to work hard, make something of my life and the good things would then come. But all I felt was a strange mixture of respect and pity for her.

Respect, because the come-uppance Chief and Dr Mrs had experienced would solidify the love the wife had for her husband, but pity, because it had only turned the man into the weaker vessel, eroding the initial connection felt towards wife by him.

Coming into wealth he had never been exposed to previously only opened Kashimawo Owolabi’s eyes to the finer things he could have now that he could never have had back then. Things he is determined to now enjoy despite being advanced in years. He rolls around in heavy socialite circles, not for business, but just for the fun of it. Rides in fast and exotic cars that his son should be ridding himself of now. And beds some of the hottest women I have ever… or will ever lay my eyes upon. I can picture that in his mind, his wealth has given him access to the women he would have even been too ashamed to say a simple “hello” to in the days of his youth. He would sometimes bring these women to Greene’s to wine and dine them before heading on to the Five Corner’s down the street, obviously to get his money’s worth in kind.

Further contribution to the pity I have for Dr Mrs are her offspring. They had been born into their parents’ rise into the upper echelon and the wealth would come to greatly affect their outlook on life in general and dating and relationships in particular.

Kudirat, the first child, much like her siblings, had always gotten everything she wanted growing up. Problem here is, she wants everything else! Having acquired a ravenous sexual appetite far exceeding her father’s, she has brought every class of men imaginable to the restaurant. I have seen Kudi, in the stoking of imminent passion, dine government officials, captains of industries and even royalty and at other times, seductively wine homeless men, her own driver and much to my pleasure then and shame now, even the young manager of Greene’s, my humble self. (*-_-)

Kashimawo Jr (Kash Jr to his friends), the only son, in getting everything he wanted, had discovered his own peculiar tastes and then stuck to them. Or better put, stuck to him. I do not believe I have ever seen Kash at dinner here alone with another individual besides Karimu Owolafe. Kash and Kari, to Dr Mrs Owolabi, are just the best of friends, despite Kari’s very humble backgrounds. However, thanks solely to Kash’s influences and access to wealth, they have gone everywhere and done everything together. Emphasis on ‘did‘, ‘every‘ and ‘thing‘ and may I add ‘each other‘? I shall now leave the rest to your perverted imagination. (-_-)

Monie, the baby of the house, seems to be the only one who aspires to live a responsible social life. Oh, I’m sorry, scratch the ‘social’ there. Moni, after all, lacks any semblance of a social life. Always the wise, introspective and perceptive one, seeing the paths her siblings had chosen to take in their dating lives and recognizing the attendant pitfalls, she made her mind up early that she would not fall prey to any gold-digger types, temporarily or permanently, and as such, set her standards high. This one has high tastes. Very exquisite tastes. So exquisite, that I doubt any living person can satisfy them. I have never seen her on a date, here in her favourite restaurant, with another actual person. I’ll admit though, I Have seen her on several dates here, I just haven’t ever been able to see her date. The waiters always remain weirded out when they have to serve two places at her table and she is talking to and laughing with someone in the opposite chair they can’t hear or see. I’ve actually heard them in the back room arguing over whose turn it was to suffer the ordeal of attending her table.

So sad. *smh*

Whenever, I remember the Owolabis in general, I feel a little sadness for the Dr Mrs. Especially after all the sacrifices she made for her family.

Oh, did I forget to mention those sacrifices earlier? Well, my apologies.

Ms Ego Oputachi, while on an advanced medical program at Oxford University sometime in the 70s, would meet and fall in love with an engineering student with a rugged demeanor and a bright outlook on life. Recognising this moslem yoruba boy’s prospects and his immense love for her, she would ignore her very tribalistic father’s threats of denouncing her as his daughter, thereby severing all ties with the wealthy background rife with highly placed connections from which she comes to marry him. Only through much toiling and fighting together against all the odds would Mr and Mrs Owolabi of back then become the influential figures they are now.

In other words, it would appear it is as possible for money not to positively affect the ego of a couple trying their hand at the dating game as it is to negatively affect either or both individuals.

*sigh*

Personally, I don’t need whoever I eventually end up with to be rich or highly connected. I just need her to truly believe in me and I’ll bring whatever she believes to life. I just want to find me my own Ego to boost my deflating ego.

How big is your ego?

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You may see the original post and the feedback it received here