December 16, 2013

Being a Teen - Dating

     Lately the term 'dating' has been on my mind... rather a lot.  See, for us Latter Day Saints (Mormons) dating is something you wait until 16 to do.  Rather, that's what's supposed to happen.  However, the whole thing seems a little confusing.  I mean the whole "Don't date until your 16" thing is kind of straight forward.  However, lots of teens in my religion seem confused about what kind of dating your allowed to do at that age.  *Sigh*  I could go on and on about that... saying how wrong I think some people are... but what I really want to discuss is simply my thoughts and view on the matter.  Not: my view on how others should go about it.

     I think that different people definitely have various things that work for them, whether they be LDS (a Latter Day Saint) or if they are from another denomination.  Some teens are very mature, and some just... aren't.  So, I think that people really should just focus on what their dating ideas are.  What I believe in, as far as dating goes, is based a lot on what my religion and parents advise.

     So basically my view of 'dating' is that its okay to go on group dates starting at 16, and that going on single dates are appropriate when you get older and are more interested in finding a person to marry.  I also think that you shouldn't be exclusive (exclusive = having a boyfriend or girlfriend) until you've gone on several single dates and until you are actually interested in marrying the person you want to be exclusive with.

     There you go.  In one complete paragraph I have stated how I think utopia 'dating' should work.  Sadly 'dating' seems to be a lot more complicated then that.

     For some reason society seems to want people to be exclusive.  They think it makes sense for teens to pair off.  They encourage it!  For me this just seems ridiculous because... well... a teenage relationship will lead either to things that I consider to be sinful when not limited to marriage, or to breaking up.  The fact is that I believe feelings leading to romantic love should be between a man and a woman who can actually take things somewhere without it leading to sin.

     Society's encouragement of teens pairing off troubles me for the above reasons, and because it seems like you can't escape the fact that everyone (including myself sometimes) puts others into 'couples' and pairs.  This makes it hard for me because I know that when I turn 16, and were to go on a group date, then many of my friends (if not all) would think that I liked my date.  Through no real fault of their own, but through conditioning, they would think that we were together.  Then if I were to go out with another young man (lets say the next week) many would see me as a sort of player.  They'd see me as cheating on the young man that I went out with first.  Even though I never had any sort of relationship with either of them and they are both simply my friends.

     I turn 16 in only a little bit.  I have my idea of how dating should work, and the world has their view.  Unfortunately the carrying out of my idea's will probably be viewed unfavorably by those who look at me from a more normal and non-Mormon, non-Naomi point of view.

     So, maybe I'll end up going through with my ideas and pretend not to care about any labels people may give me.  Or, I could just not do any kind of dating for awhile.  I could just wait until I get out of this weird teenage limbo.  I could just hangout with people.  Who knows what I'll do though?  I most certainly don't.

     16... I am coming.  I just don't know what to do with you.

3 comments:

  1. Naomi, I think you are handling this in just the right way. It is something to ponder, figure out and hope for the best. I want you to have a ton of fun!! I also want you to live the standards that we, and the Lord have given you. Thus far you have been a pretty amazing teen, I think we can trust you to make the best choices.

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  2. getting older really is scary at times, but i don't think you have anything to worry about. you've got such a good head on your shoulders, naomi!

    the first person i really dated is the cute red-headed guy you see sitting with me at church (not the little one :). i went out with groups of people in high school (not always evenly matched boy to girl ratios, either). we were just hanging out; we were just having fun. if anyone in the group liked anyone else... well, i didn't know or care! in college it became more about the group 'date' - a largish group of matched-up boy-girl pairs. again, it wasn't always about 'liking' the person you were with. it was mostly about hanging out and having fun. my husband was a part of many of those group dates i went on - though never as my date! however, it was though social situations like those that i first noticed him, that i first compared him to the other boys in our group, that i first thought 'i like him.' so by the time we started dating - just he and i, mutually exclusive - we were both pretty sure it was headed somewhere. and we were right :)

    will other people think you're weird because of your actions and beliefs? the short answer, yes. a longer one might include phrases like not always, just those that aren't worth your time, or only until they get to know you better. but in the end, no matter who thinks you're weird and why, only one thing truly matters... that you know why - why you believe what you do and why you act the way you do. that's what will matter to your parents. and that's what will matter to your real friends. most importantly, that's what matters to the lord.

    keep doing what you're doing and thinking how you're thinking. you'll be okay. and when 16 comes, you'll know just what to do... be yourself!

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  3. I was actually having a conversation about this the other day, and it got me thinking. What are my views on dating? Society today seems to have an almost opposite view to mine on the subject. TV shows, Movies, Music, etc... all of these portray dating as something that you should just 'do', if only for the social aspects of it. Many times it's seen as weird to have friends of the opposite gender and not 'date'.

    I myself, have friends of the fairer gender, and hope to keep them. The LDS churches standpoint on the matter is that at the age of 16 you can start group 'dating', and around the age of 18 you can start single 'dating'. Being at the cusp of the 'magical' age 16, I thinking more and more as to what I'm going to do.

    The more I think about it, the more I begin to question the point of it all. We're 16, why date? What's the point? The likely hood that a relationship started at such and emotionally charged age will last is slim to none. Also, why even classify activities as such? I've had quite a bit of fun on previous excursions with those of the fairer gender. By classifying it as a date, all you'd be doing is making it potentiality more awkward.

    Looking back at the LDS standpoint on things, there's something else to consider. LDS youth have the option (and are strongly suggested to do such) to spend two years serving a mission. This would most likely cause incredible strain on any budding relationship that could have been formed, making for a bad experience all around.

    I think that the likely hood of my even attempting to date while so young is slim at best. I intend to try and enjoy the time I have with my friends, and after serving a mission, branch out into the wonders that are a new type of companionship.

    Your Faithful Reader,
    Lord Dimladris

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