Dating and Courtship; Creating Community with Your Other Half
Dating and courtship are very complex processes, which often create a rollercoaster of emotions. You are looking for a life partner, someone with whom you want to create a life and perhaps a family, or at least someone who will mesh with the family you already have.
More popular songs are written about this process than any other subject. High school dances, sorority-fraternity mixers, nightclubs, dating services etc. are all entirely about finding “your other half.” Although there is probably more than just one person out there for you, finding that person who really fits with your personality, your values, and your life goals, is a complex and emotionally intense experience.
Over the years we have received many more questions about marriage than dating and courtship. In the extensive Real Life Collection – Marriage The Most Intimate Community, we discuss our observation that good matches seem to be a complex combination of someone who in some ways is very much like you and in other ways is the exact opposite. Sometimes this combination factors works very well, if you like the ways your partner is like you and respect and appreciate the ways they are different. Often however, people find themselves in the same kind of dysfunctional relationships over and over again. If this is you, then you should consider pursuing psychotherapy to really understand and resolve your self-sabotaging patterns.However, the columns we have written on dating and courtship do reflect a few important cautions for consideration:1) We suggest caution related to romanticism of teens and young adults (especially females). In theater and music, which tend to be reflections of real life, drama and tragedy and the idea of saving another person is a popular concept. If you want a happy life, find a person who is emotionally healthy and functional. Rescuing someone is a naïve concept which is likely to bring you a great deal of pain.2) As you move toward marriage clarify every kind of expectation you can think of to include: expectations regarding income generation and money management, children and parenting practices, relationships with in-laws etc. Do not be afraid to make waves, this is the critical time to get expectations clarified.3) For later life dating, there can be a tendency, especially for women, to be the opposite of the young women we mentioned in #1. They look for security above all else. Especially in later life security is extremely important, but stay open to other possibilities too.We hope you enjoy this Real Life Collection- Dating and Courtship: Creating Community with Your Other Half.