Puts You Out of Circulation
By Barrington H. Brennen, May 11, 2015, 2021
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
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.”
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
WHAT TO DO?
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
write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org
call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002.