Thoughts on dating (a surprise post!).

I announced recently that I will return to blogging on Dec. 30. Surprise! I miss blogging, so I’m taking advantage of a lunch break to jot some thoughts I want to share while they are fresh (incomplete though they may be):

While I work lately on a chapter that covers what life is like when you’re single, I have observed in myself and others, past and present, how content we are to start or end relationships based on sensual experiences. I have always written about this, but there is more to it than I thought. When we understand that relationships aren’t supposed to start (or end!) based solely on a sensual reactions to interactions with a person, we need not solely say “there has to be more” but we need to know what more there could be. First we have to like a person for more reasons than “I enjoy how I feel when I have his or her attention.” Then we have to have bad days with people we like and we have to be able to decide on bad days that this pursuit is good.

The magnitude of this is kind of intense. In the guest post on the blog today, John Janaro wrote we ought to marry people who are willing to suffer with us and with whom we’d be willing to suffer. This is brilliant and horrifying because I’m pretty sure people in our culture are far more likely to marry somebody because getting to know him or her involved less suffering than getting to know other people did.

I think most of us have half of this down: we are willing to suffer in long-term relationships with people whose red flags we continue to deny, or we start relationships for good reasons but quit when days are bad or boring.

Having a handle on both starting and staying because we should is probably the hardest part of dating in our culture.