Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Warning: This is a RANT! (Marnie)

Dating -
Yeah, who made that up?? I realize it was "courting" for centuries, but when did it change? And when it DID change, who made up all the rules and regulations for current art of "dating?"

And WHY - in the name of my unborn children - didn't anybody teach me how to date???? I suppose it was supposed to be done by my older siblings. But my older brothers were ABSOLUTELY no help. They were more afraid of the opposite sex then I was of boys! Should I have asked my mom? Who does that when they are a kid?

I guess my girlfriends should have tuned me in - but I only had one best friend and she didn't date either. And when I got to college, I felt too embarrassed to ask my new friends.

And how come the Young Women's program didn't talk about it? Sure - there was the instruction on chastity. But they never said, "when a boy calls you up and you don't want to go out with him, say this. Or when you DO like a boy and he DOESN'T ask you out, do this. And whatever you do in this situation, DON'T do this!" That would have been helpful!

Most of my dating examples came from the Love Boat and the Brady Bunch. THAT wasn't good. Although I did know that the boy was always to meet the parents when they came to the door to pick you up. Marcia was good about that. Oh, and that coming over to someone's cabin for a "night cap" meant having sex. No really - I thought "night cap" was code for sleeping with someone. See how this wasn't good?

I also got some insight from movies I watched as a teenager, like: Some Kind of Wonderful, Say Anything, Pretty In Pink, Breakfast. All unrealistic and completely useless in the real world of dating. And actually those movies scared me to death! Really, it's no wonder I haven't had any success in relationships until now. I guess I should be blaming John Hughes.

When I was about 29, I got the book, "Dating for Dummies" in a white elephant exchange. Everybody laughed when I got it, but I was secretly pleased and anxious to read it. It made sense and it did help to a point. But then I didn't date anyone for at least a year...I probably forgot it all. I started reading other dating books several years ago after breaking up with The One. It seemed like I was doing something completely wrong because it ended poorly and I really hoped that those books would be the answer to improving my skills. And I'll admit, I have learned quite a bit that was so foreign to me before.

I have also learned some things on my own from practical experience. Nobody is better at a blind date than me! I've had more than my share of practice. But when it comes to going out with a guy I've just met or an acquaintance, I seem to get all confused as to how that works and things get messed up. And when it's trying to take a casual dating relationship into something more - watch out: I crash and burn at that! You can see the flames from miles away. It's really tragic.

I realize I'm blaming the past for my current troubles, which is a complete waste of time. Only I can change the future. But honestly, I wish I had some kind of heads up on how to understand, how to relate and how to respond to the male gender when I was much younger. I'm positive if I had, I would have been more successful, found out my issues faster and would be currently happily married with 4.5 kids.

Well, I HOPE happily married...

Stupid dating. I hate it.


Kleinhenz Family said...

I am a young women's president and I would LOVE to have some real things we could teach our YW. I am in charge of the Laurels, who are all dating age and some of them do date, but they seem to have the same issues you do. How should I approach this? Seriously, I think you make a good point. We talk about chastity and when they can date, but not much else. I personally never struggled with dating, and married at 19 and I belive the confidence of youth was on my side. I am sure there is nothing wrong with you and I doubt there are skills you lack, you just haven't found someone who loves you even with your "current troubles". Hang in there, a happy marriage is worth the wait!

Anne Elliot said...

I feel the same way! About 9 months ago our ward had a "date coach" come and speak to us, I have been meeting with her ever since, and I am amazed at what I am learning that I wish I had known way back when! If you are interested - here's her website.


Lorelai said...

I'm with you Marnie when did the rules change and who changed them and how exactly were the innocent bystanders in the dating pool supposed to know? I blame technology. Simply because it is easy to blame. But we can't give up and you are doing amazingly well. I know cause I know you.