While this is not a new topic for me to discuss, I felt the urge to "unleash [my] word hoard" and address the topic once more. Many of my dear friends, even though I have expressed my disillusion with dating, still ask me wether or not I date. This seems to be on account of time spent with certain parties, and it has led even myself to question the integrity of my reslove.
What is dating? Dating is derived from the concept of courtship, in which a man expresses his feelings for a young woman and gains permission to pursue her with the intent of perhaps marrying her. It was a serious thing, and set up as such. Courtship has, over the years, dissolved into the much less formal form of "dating", in which a young man asks a young woman (rather than her father) if he might spend time with that girl. From my perspective, the majority of the intentions for dating are based upon pure emotional spazms. People date because they have some sort of physical attraction to eachother. They date because they think that the either party is "hot" or "sexy".
Now I'm being rather blunt and scientific about things, but this is just the way things seem to be. Dating doesn't seem to be about commitment like courtship was. In courtship, there was a covenant formed between the two families. In dating, relationships can last as long as a few days, just as long as the two parties are enchanted with eachother. There's no sense of permanence.
Introduction aside, I'd like to address the main point. What makes dating any different from just spending time with a certain person? What if two people run in the same circles (to use a very Jane Austen-ish term) and end up spending most of their time together?
Dating is based upon the two parties consent to date eachother. For that matter, so does courtship (and anything else besides arranged marriage I suppose). Without consent, those two parties are not dating.
Being a teenager (though never in the public school system), I can say that the teen culture thrives upon dating. It is like it is a necessity for life. When I tell people that I don't date, I get either the response that "oh thats cool" or some exclamation of disbelief. There are a few of us, it seems that are fed up with the dating scene, but that is not so much the point of this duscussion.
How can one let people know that one is not dating such and such a person? Mere repition will get the point across to some degree, but that does not ultimatley solve the problem. People still look at the two people and think that even though they deny the idea that they are dating, they still are.
Oh the glorious position of being "just friends". Mere friendship rids one of any of the complications of courtship. If one is just friends with someone of the opposite sex, that does not mean that, someday, further relationship might result, but at the time being that is not the goal of the relationship. This is the relationship that has been forgotten in the teen world. The assumption is that, in order to have any feeling about a person of the opposite sex, you have to have some sort of relationship resulting in dating. I would challenge this assumption.
I don't want to date. It is, honestly, the last thing I need right now. I don't care for the drama wrapped up with dating either. I'd much rather just be friends with a girl than date her at this point.
Now a question that comes to mind which challenges my view is "what will I do once I have to court and marry?" The way I plan it, everyone will be more mature by the time I'm ready to marry. Courtship cuts out much of the drama which dating carries along with it. I will court when I am ready to marry, and I am certainly not ready to marry yet.
The fact is, I don't see why everyone has to assume that teenagers date. Perhaps thats just because of our culture which supports teen dating. I don't think there is anything beneficial about it. I am and will remain single till I am ready to marry, and I'm darn proud of it.