Several months ago I was invited by the Sichuan University of Finance and Economics and the Sichuan University of Nationalities to conduct a seminar on “Setting Boundaries in Dating.” The purpose of the seminar was to provide an opportunity for dialog and reflection with the participants, who are expected to get married within the next decade, and to help ensure that when that time comes they would use their utmost wisdom in making the most important decision of their lives.
In France however, there's no such thing as a dating columnist. I've been a semi-fluent French speaker since my youth, yet trying to share what I did perplexed most French, Belgian and Swiss folks I encountered. "On sort ensemble" is something you'd say in Quebec (loosely translated: "we go out together"), but no one said anything of the sort in France. "I give advice to people who go out together," kind of worked, but most people didn't understand how or why I had a job. This in turn confused me—I get thousands of emails every week with questions, wanting to know how to get a guy to call them back, whether or not a woman is interested, or if they should break up. I can rarely keep up.
When you date from a right point of view, you know a date in a parked car is not where you should be. But, this is only if you have been prepared, and prepared your own mind beforehand, to understand that your way of life will determine whether you are successful in dating or not. When you date from a right point of view, you know a date is bad when bad things start to happen, but it is too late then. We should be able to read the predator type of individual and the non-predator. There are predators, both male and female. When you know the purpose of dating—you will know what kind of person to avoid. You will not succumb to the smooth-talker who wants to get something from you. There are more of those smooth-talkers out there than not.
If that's not enough, check out the books. Gossip Girls is one of the most popular romance series for girls ages 12-16. Published by Simon and Schuster, recurring themes are incest and graphic sex among children. What about some of the books our kids are reading for school assigned reports? When I was researching Home Invasion, I decided to thumb through a few books from a list of those recommended by the American Library Association for ages 12-14. Well, I pulled a few novels off the [library's] shelves and what I found disgusted me. One described a sexual encounter between fourth graders. Another was written from the perspective of a 14 year-old boy who describes, in detail, watching his first homosexual encounter. In one book, you only need to get to page four for the first of many uses of the term "motherf—-in". Of course, you should also check out the Sex Ed class materials that may include contests where kids race to put condoms on dildos and cucumbers.
Wrong dating techniques destroy personalities and character, but proper dating encourages the constructive developing of these two elements. The type of dating that does develop personality is the kind where people can get together, play together, and talk together with no adverse effects. Only destructive things happen in the back seat of a car, parked on a dark roadside.
Having clarity about which type of dating you are doing is helpful not just for me, but for yourself (and your date), so you can figure out what the heck is going on. Many relationship problems I’ve seen stem from couples not being on the same page about what type of dating they are doing (i.e. one person is more serious and wants the relationship to go somewhere, while the other just wants to have fun).
Tired of Internet porn? Turn on the television and flip to MTV. Why? It's what your teenagers are watching. As a matter of fact, MTV is the number one viewing choice for teen girls. And if you haven't seen MTV in a while, well, let me just say that our kids are not just watching artsy music videos anymore. Today's MTV programming is filled with reality-based shows that feature kids dressed in teeny-weeny bikinis licking whipped cream off each other. Or "pooh diving" a "sport" in which teen boys swim in open sewers filled with human waste. Or the infamous "pooh cams" where kids watch other kids go to the bathroom. Think the problem is just on cable? Why not switch to Desperate Housewives, the third most popular television show among today's teens. ...
Dating as an institution is a relatively recent phenomenon which has mainly emerged in the last few centuries. From the standpoint of anthropology and sociology, dating is linked with other institutions such as marriage and the family which have also been changing rapidly and which have been subject to many forces, including advances in technology and medicine. As humans societies have evolved from hunter-gatherers into civilized societies, there have been substantial changes in relations between people, with perhaps one of a few remaining biological constants being that both adult women and men must have sexual intercourse for human procreation to happen.