When you think of the word ‘DATING’, what comes to mind? Friendship, love, shared memories, happiness, partnership, courtship, marriage, forever…?? The thoughts are endless and the expectations are mostly positive. For something with such great promises of joy and happiness, it is a wonder the decline of dating culture in our world today. THE DATING PROJECT directed by Jonathan Cipiti, discusses this at length. Here are some key points from the video;
- Good old dating with the typical procedure of attraction, a first date, a couple other dates, relationship, marriage (assuming each stage successful) is now considered old-fashioned and stressful.
- The hook-up fever has taken over from traditional dating; it could involve hanging out, making out or even sex (most times).
- People claim hooking up is a lot more casual than dating. But is all that physical contact and exchange of body fluids with anyone really just casual?
- Modern culture has people more immersed in their jobs or social media; no one is truly present and available. Dating requires a more intentional presence and availability.
- Online dating can be likened to a buffet with a plethora of choices. If one plate doesn’t suit the taste buds, another can easily be sort.
- The fear of commitment is common.
- Culture dictates that we are either too young to date or too old to be single. There’s a great disconnect in expectations.
- The decision to wait till marriage is often a deal breaker.
- After all said, it was concluded by all 5 major participants in the documentary that finding a partner to love, protect and care for was absolutely worth it. Human beings are social beings built for companionship. We drop our selfishness and pride and grow in love, patience, faithfulness, cheerfulness, kindness, gentleness, and goodness. We could draw closer to God through our relationship in company of a loved one.
Now here’s how people reacted to the video under the following questions based on our Nigerian culture;
- What is considered dating in Nigeria?
Dating in Nigeria is generally considered as being in a relationship. Also, the age bracket of the couple influences nomenclature. For university couples, dating is simply being in a “relationship” which has been made public to only close friends. However, in Nigeria marriage often comes after graduation; once you’re in a relationship after graduating, it’s referred to as “courtship” (families get involved).
- What do we really want from dating?
Age can be a determining factor: older youths seek life partners in relationships they get into while younger ones are either just passing time with someone they care for or are on a long-term journey to forever. Whatever the case may be, it was agreed that intentions should be clear early enough to avoid “stories that touch”.
- What are the difficulties with modern day dating?
Guys said they struggled with fear of commitments and heart break/rejection. They also highlighted the demanding and materialistic nature of women these days, hence an unending pressure to be successful (financially).
The ladies expressed their grievances over men’s dishonesty or lack of clarity and the seemingly abominable “What are we now?” question. Subsequently, guys were seen to be time-wasters. They also struggle to find the right man with matching values.
- How do you navigate through the dating process?
Best answer: Spend a decent amount of time getting to know each other and figuring if a relationship will be right (pray for the Spirit of discernment). Move on into the relationship (only when sure). Be honest and open, evoke God’s wisdom. Don’t be shy to propose or break up.
- Do you think the church ought to play a role in dating?
Yes, proper mentorship is key to becoming the best version of ourselves. What better place to understand the ways of love than under the wings of God who is love.
Food for Thought!
Are you in a relationship? Invite God to be the ultimate third party of your relationship, guiding your decisions and leading your relationship right.
Are you single? And searching? Invite God to lead you to your right partner. While waiting, prepare yourself for the journey. Determine your interests and desires.
Not searching? Invite God to keep you from temptation and provide the companionship you seek.
In all, keep the virtue of holy purity at heart. Make use of the sacraments available as food for the spirit.
Don’t end your learning at just speaking to people, there are a lot of resources out there to help in our dating journey!
- Men, Women and the Mystery of Love
- How Far Can We Go? A Catholic Guide to Sex and Dating
- If You Really Loved Me: 100 Questions on Dating, Relationships, and Sexual Purity
- 5 love languages by Gary Chapman
- How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul:
- Emotional Virtue: A Guide to Drama-Free Relationships
- Three to Get Married
Audio talks on Formed.org
- How to Save Your Marriage Before Meeting Your Spouse:
- Men women and the mystery of love
- Dating and Courtship by Kimberly hahn
- Love or Lust?
- Emotional virtue, a Guide to Drama-Free Relationships:
- Women Made New by Crystalina Evert
- For Love and Marriage by Johnnette Benkovic
- Green Sex
Let’s think: When what is desirable is not available, do you settle for what’s available?
Will you join us at our next session?