Twists and turns of dating
Everyone needs a partner to gain the attention and intimacy that our mothers have provided us through our childhood. If we didn’t have enough of this there are two possibilities: we either put great energy into search or inhibit our desires, emphasize autonomy and try to live without deep emotions. The statement above might seem brave, since in today’s world we have very different values, although most of us do agree that we want an intimate relationship from the heart.
Nowadays we meet many people day by day with whom we must connect on a superficial level. In this case, communication with others only serves to keep the good flow, but it doesn’t show true interest. So it is not a surprise that sometimes we also wish to be alone. Maintaining personal contacts that are not intimate and supportive enough is called social loneliness. We have to be able to decide with whom we can maintain a deeper relationship and whom we want to keep chatting occasionly.
As a child we had the important task to separate emotionally from our mother (or nurse). As an adult it is just as important to find a partner (in general from the opposite sex) to get close to, and share our lives and troubles with. There are many partnerships where bonding is only secondary and the couples are connected because of financial reasons, social pressure or something similar. Falling in love in this situation, as a part of being human, is still a possibility, but is means tearing apart an other relationship.
It is a long way from a passionate flare to an intimate relationship. In an intimate relationship there is a complete trust bettween the partners, it includes mutual giving and recieving as well as emotional support. Before our times parents chose the partner for their child and a suitable marriage lasted for a long time. Spouses learned how to cooperate reasonably in front of others, but true emotions were often missing. Children of these couples were aware of this and carried on these emotionally shallow relationships.
In today’s sophisticated world sexual acts (and the number of orgasms experienced) have more emphasis, than dating. Preliminary steps of getting close to each other and flirting are thrown into the shade. In the past this was the opposite: chaperons guarded a young girl’s most precious treasure, her virginity, which nowadays is considered a shame among teenagers and not a vitrue. In our word for most of young people wirginity means that a person is incapable of having sexual intercourse and is not liked to the ability of a mature relationship. Sexual life before marriage became conventional, and it has numerous advantages as well, but cutting down the flirting time will not strenghten the attachment between partners. It does not support real intimacy. This is important, not only because of the shared experiences and mutual support but also because the commitment. Many people are embrassed to talk about their wishes and desires to their partner, which should be a natural part of their life together. It is an essential aspect of an especially satisfying relationship.
Melinda Habis, clinical psychologist, person-centered therapist, family and couple therapist candidate