Internet Nostalgia & Dating

11797756_1Once upon a time, I was a young teenager and had a different blog on Xanga. Since then, the contents of that website have been archived as the host site goes through a major overhaul. While I can’t say I’m sorry the posts are no longer publicly accessible (word of advice: don’t publish your teen angst), I did decide to track down a post that had been featured on Xanga’s sister site, Datingish.

Not only did I find my original article, but I found that someone else had quoted it on their personal blog in such a way that I believe they may have been impacted by it. Go figure. Nonetheless, on the off chance that someone else would find it meaningful and in the interest of nostalgia as I prepare for the impending wedding, I now re-post it here.

Original Post: June 4th, 2009 (age 17)

I’ve started to notice a trend in popular titles around this community…

-5 things girls should know about guys
-roughly 106 of the basics guys ought to know about girls
-some things a girl should never do to her guy
-20 things a guy ought never to say
-8 things a guy wants to hear
-650 things a girl looks for in a man
-83.574 things that should never come out of his/her mouth
-1,233 things I believe I’m entitled to in a relationship

To be entirely honest, the neat and tidy lists claiming to hold secrets to a healthy relationship seem simple and fun. Everyone clicks, everyone reads, everyone comments taking one side or another. A woman considers herself generous if she finds a few things to knock off her list, and a guy equally so if he can condescend to agreeing with a gal’s verdict. Frankly, it disgusts me.

I’ve always thought, perhaps in the blissful idealism that accompanies teenhood, that relationships at least ought to be based on love. I’m sure many would hasten to tell me that my assumption is correct, and in fact most rapport is cemented on just such a foundation. I beg to differ. I just don’t see it. When I use the word love, I mean mature, lasting love. Grownup love. By definition, “love” should be…

love [luhv] Show IPA noun, verb, loved, lov⋅ing.

–noun
1. a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
2. a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
blahblahblah… now to what I’m getting at…
9. affectionate concern for the wellbeing of others: the love of one’s neighbor.
(the above courtesy of my favourite writer’s tool)
Actually, my favourite definition happens to be from another source…
love[luhv]
–noun
1. is patient, is kind, doesn’t envy, doesn’t boast, isn’t proud, isn’t rude, isn’t self seeking, isn’t easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, rejoices in truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, never fails
(courtesy of a book about love)
It seems to me this mature, grownup love has been lost in a toddler-filled world in which everyone follows the Toddler’s Rules of Ownership. Our culture, far from atheistic, makes self god. Our form of holy worship, therefore, is to gratify self at all costs. Unhappy still with our graven images observed in mirrors, we cut and sew pasted grins on our idols. Naturally, dating follows the same pattern. It is selfish, designed to wring from another person the utmost pleasure and discard him or her the moment said pleasure abates. Too harsh? Think about it.
Although I can’t speak of relationships beyond my observation, I think a better “x number of things that helps a relationship” would take after the second definition displayed. It might read
3 real PDAs for guys and girls
1. be him/her-seeking rather than self-seeking
     in action: honestly looking out for his/her needs or desires rather than your own– and not JUST when you’re in a particularly generous mood
2. take responsibility for your mistakes rather than shifting the blame
     in action: when there is a screw up, own up to your part in the matter and then let it go
3. forgive his/her mistakes before he/she asks for forgiveness (or even realizes he/she is at fault!)
     in action: forfeit your right to anything he/she might owe you– an apology, flowers, chocolate, dinner, a phone call, an explanation, a new car– as a result of him/her being wrong and FORGET IT EVER HAPPENED
or maybe
5 questions that’d do well to come out of a person’s mouth with changes following
1. what do YOU want to do?
2. how can I encourage you?
3. how can I better support you?
4. is there anything I do that makes you uncomfortable?
5. how can I treat you better?
Grownup love isn’t just a selfish emotion. It is a constant, minute by minute sacrifice. Ask any parent.
Are you tough enough to grow up and love?
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