I don’t know how to date. I mean it. I am apparently unable to “date.”

According to Wikipedia “Dating is a form of courtship, and may include any social activity undertaken by, typically, two persons with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. The word refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity. Traditional dating activities include entertainment or a meal.”

Yes, apparently, dating is about assessing someone’s suitability for an intimate relationship. And what is an intimate relationship?

More Wikipedia: “Intimate relationships play a central role in the overall human experience.[1] Humans have a universal need to belong and to love which is satisfied when an intimate relationship is formed.[2] Intimate relationships consist of the people that we are attracted to, whom we like and loveromantic and sexual relationships, and those whom we marry and provide and receive emotional and personal support from.[1] Intimate relationships provide people with a social network of people that provide strong emotional attachments and fulfill our universal needs of belongingness and the need to be cared for.[1]

So, you go out with a person and spend some time assessing them (and the way you are together) to see if it would be a good match. That make sense to me. So while you are in the dating stage, you are still assessing them and you are not expecting strong emotional attachment and emotional support and all of that. I think further it makes sense that you do that with more than one person…at the same time?

While preparing my lit review for my dissertation, I came across information about poly relationships, people who are in non-monogamous relationships. I met some people who are poly and I was intrigued by this idea. As soon as I began to “date,” however, I was no longer interested in non-monogamy. Well trained by my family, maybe? I went, more or less, from the first date to monogamy.  Apparently I only know how to get into relationships. And yet, I don’t spend much time assessing at all. When I think about it that way, what I am doing seems crazy.

I seem to have a habit of going from date to monogamy in one giant leap. I have never thought much about this before…maybe it’s time to start?


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