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The Demise of Dating OR Teach Your Teen How to Date

We teach our kids that they were created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. That they are unique, worthy, valued.

We teach our kids that their bodies are a gift from God, on loan from the Holy One. That they must take care of their bodies as their most prized possession.

We teach our kids that when two people find each other, share love, bond for life, it is kedushin, holiness. And that relationships that precede “the one” should strive for that holiness.

But I wonder, in this age of the internet, where we can spill out our guts (and our whole lives) on the blog, Facebook or MySpace, where do we learn the give and take of creating a wholesome, mutual, “real” relationship?

Then comes the New York Times announcing The Demise of Dating, saying:

The paradigm has shifted. Dating is dated. Hooking up is here to stay.
(For those over 30 years old: hooking up is a casual sexual encounter with no expectation of future emotional commitment. Think of it as a one-night stand with someone you know.)According to a report released this spring by Child Trends, a Washington research group, there are now more high school seniors saying that they never date than seniors who say that they date frequently. Apparently, it’s all about the hookup.

Kind of sad (though my memories of dating are not all positive). Kind of scary.

It turns out that everything is the opposite … Under the old model, you dated a few times and, if you really liked the person, you might consider having sex. Under the new model, you hook up a few times and, if you really like the person, you might consider going on a date.

Where do we learn to date?

It used to be that “you were trained your whole life to date,” said Ms. Bogle. “Now we’ve lost that ability — the ability to just ask someone out and get to know them.”

Funny. We worry so much about teaching our kids how to study, how to stay away from drugs, how to help friends who are suicidal. Intense stuff. And now we learn that we may need to go back to basics… to teach them how to date…

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