Saturday, March 3, 2012

are you obsessed with finding a partner?

Just as "more of us are on diets than ever before but obesity rates are rising, something about dating is making us single.” (Times)

The rate of people choosing singledom has risen and doubled over the past 20 years or so. This, not so surprizingly, has been coupled by the increasingly popular use of speed dating, online dating and dating communities.

The primary goal of dating is to find and meet a suitable partner, however, as much as we know this, there are several pitfalls that make up "the problem of dating ettiquette" are you too focused on the "idea" of finding your perfect mate?

1) Dating

Dating is often seen as high pressured. We are constantly sizing up the physical, personality flaws, compatibility, habits, responses, over what really is important, like friendship and getting to know them. We think, because we do it, other daters will be making their judgements too about us. We cant relax enough, always feeling we have to be competitive, losing touch if we stop.

2) Problems with focusing on finding a partner

Finding a suitable partner is something we shouldnt be seeking to find, rather, to be open to and allow it to occur. It is something we shouldnt be desiring to acquire. Alasdair Macintyre calls it “networks of giving and receiving”. Relationships must be two way. If we go into a relationship systematically focused on what we’re going to get out of it, we’re setting ourselves up to fail from the start, we allow ourselves to equate the act of finding a partner as a matter of acquisition, a selfish calculation of costs and assets and what we can strive to benefit out of analysis. Theres no sense of sharing with the other person. Its as if being with someone, anyone really, is priority rather than cherishing the qualities of the relationship alone. Ask yourself honestly, where is the love there? We are more preoccupied with finding a partner than with nurturing the time of giving onself to the ideal investment of creating a warm, foundation-strong love and friendship.

3) So what is the solution?

Really, as obvious as it may sound, we should be affording our time with other people, getting to know them instead of looking. Our focus should primarily be on understanding, creating and nurturing friendships. We should be aiming to profoundly deepen and enhance those friendships, to evolve beyond the superficial shallowness phase. When time is spent developing this area, it is highly likely that, more often than not, positive relationships may result from this, therefore, we should view this as an additional positive benefit and not the primary focus.