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 Dating Puts You Out of Circulation

 By Barrington H. Brennen, May 11, 2015, 2021

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Be careful not to date too early in life.  Why?  Here is the answer: Dating puts you out of circulation.  What in the world am I talking about?  Dating too early in life can rob you of youthful enjoyment, healthy emotional and intellectual development. 


Before I move on, it’s imperative that I define dating.  Here is my own definition of dating.   Dating is relationship with an end in mind.  Or it is a relationship with a focus.  Note I am not talking about someone “going in a date,” or “a night out.”   I am talking about a romantic relationship.  If you cannot have an end in mind and an end that makes sense, then you are not dating.  You are messing around.  If you are too young to have an end in mind, then you should not date.  What is this end that one should have in mind?  Well, it is usually marriage.   If you do not plan to get married soon do not act as though you are getting married and then shed great crocodile tears when the pain hits.  If you cannot have an end in mind—an end that will be within eighteen months to thirty months (climax of the relationship in marriage), then the end that you will come to will not be the one you had in mind.  Here I am not necessarily talking about pregnancy.  I am dealing with the emotional pain, disappointment, frustration, that comes on when one has unrealistic expectations.  “If you deny there is no end in mind and say we are “only dating,” then there is a great risk that you will reach a painful end before it’s on your mind.”


Here is Wikipedia’s definition of dating:  “Dating is any social activity performed as a pair or even a group with the aim of each assessing the other's suitability as their partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse.”  Notice where dating ends up.    For some “Dating is the activity of looking for a suitable partner for an intimate, sexual relationship.”  For others “Dating is the activity of looking for a suitable life-long intimate partner to marry.”  Yes, when dating there is an end in mind.  It is either sex or marriage or sex and marriage.   You must be mature enough emotionally and chronologically to be able to decide if you can make any of these decisions. 


What about the point of being “out of circulation?   Romantic dating is a serious relationship that causes many to forget or ignore their friends.  If you are still a teenager and start seriously dating, you will not realize until later in life that you missed out on a lot of emotional development, fun, and growth if you did not date.  The adolescence time of life (between ages 13 and 21 or 25) is a time for fun, adventure, intellectual growth, emotional development, and experiencing life-changing decisions.  If one starts dating before he or she can make independent life-changing decisions and have the time to look back on these decisions and intelligently evaluate the results he or she will be making the mistake of a lifetime. 


Several years ago I was doing a seminar on abuse.  In the audience was a woman almost eighty years old. Her husband had died about two years earlier.   She heard me talk about kinds of abuse and how sometimes when teenage girls get married to older men who control them.  They realize too late in life that they were out of circulation.  They realize that the missed out on a lot of thing.   After the seminar she came to me in tears and said that looking back on her relationship she was certainly put out of circulation.  She got married as a teen.  She could not have her friends.  She could not bring her friends neither some of her relatives over to the house for fun times.  She was out of circulation.


Not also that both of you can be teenagers and be put out of circulation.   There is a culture in Japan where people do not date until they can make the decision to marry.   My appeal to teens is do not be so enthralled about love or sex that it boggles the mind.  The sex or love feels really good. But what’s the end in mind.   Usually it is the female that loses her virginity and thinks she will not give it to anyone else.  So she stays with her man, even though the relationship is failing and painful.   The male moves onto other females “enjoying” himself and she is left confused, feeling used, troubled and bewildered. 


Teenagers, what are you goals in life?    If you start dating too early, your sex drive might determine your goals.   You want to be in a position where you can determine the direction of your sex drive and not let your sex drive determine your direction.   Ask yourself a few questions.  Do you want to go to finish high school and go to college?   Do you want to have children now?  Do you want to have children before you get married?   Do you want to have a job before you get married?  Do you want to be able to make your own choices without needing anyone else to consult?   Well, you can see where I am going.   You can see if you start dating before you make these decisions you will most likely be put out of circulation.  Dating puts you out of circulation and sex makes objectivity very difficult to attain.



What then should teenagers do?  I am saying they should not date.  Even if you are a single adult and you cannot decide when the end will be in your dating, then don’t date.   Teens, during the maturing years it is a time for socialization.  That is having lots of “girlfriends” and “boyfriends” without strings attached.  No commitment. No sex.  No kissing.  No late nights or sleepless nights.   Dating at a young age when you cannot make serious decisions that dating requires is like sitting in front of a hot baker with the door open and not expecting to feel the heat.   Soon you will feel the heat.  Humor me with my allegory.  When you go inside the hot baker you will be properly cooked—that’s marriage.   Staying outside the baker too long will cause you to spoil and spoil very fast.  Well I hope that makes sense. 


How do you handle your sex drive?  That’s another article in the future.  Just remember that sex goes by supply and demand.  The more you have it the more you want it.  It is easier to control the desire while you are a virgin than to start and want to stop.  Another point is some may not have sex but they fall seriously in love up too early in life and become emotionally crippled and intellectually dwarfed.  Be patient.  Enjoy you developing years.  Have fun.


Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist. Send your questions or comments to question@soencouragement.org or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org    or call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002.




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