- The dating process involves five stages.
- Today’s dating is a shaky ground needing attention and safety measures.
- Dating someone does not guarantee spending a future with them.
Long gone are the days we cherished dating; it was fun, an honorable day coveted by many.
One choosing to have you out on a date was an indicator that you are still the hot cake and the apple of their eye, or better still, you matter and are a significant factor in their life.
Dating has no age limit; it’s a spice till we die, in or out of marriage.
While dating is not really associated with two people who are interested in each other romantically, dates can be between friends, business people, relatives and so on.
This article focuses on dating between two people interested in each other romantically.
Off the emotions that come with dates and dating, just what is dating? It is a term that signifies a stage in a romantic relationship in which two individuals start organizing activities together to start knowing each other.
This intends to evaluate the other person’s suitability as a future partner in a more advanced stage of the relationship, the intimate stage of marriage.
Dating in stages
There are five stages of dating, but then who cares to follow them?
The attraction stage
Still new to one another, everything seems exciting and, ooh boy! Everything is perfect.
It lasts only a few months full of communication to and fro, online or physically.
Here, it is very easy to go on numerous dates because you cannot seem to get each other’s eyes off yourselves.
Decisions as to whether to further the growing relationship are made here and that’s how we get to the next stage.
The reality stage
Here, hormones have cooled and now you are seeing your partner and studying who they are.
This is where you start noticing things you do not like, but you still like the person. If you make it past this, it signifies a good future together.
Here you have the desire to go exclusive, meaning you have accepted the things you do not like about each other. This means accepting each other and supporting all aspects, plans and goals.
The intimacy stage is fourth. This is the time to grow the true love cultivated over the past year or so.
Remember, all the stages above take about three months each.
Here, it’s not a must for intimacy to be involved, it’s connecting more maturely. You learn about intimate things involving all partners and confide in each other, creating a stronger bond.
Finally, the engagement stage: here, you have already committed to building the future and working as one to enable it. You learn to have mercy on each other, forgive, apologize, overcome challenges and move on.
However, relationships need not strictly follow these stages because they are different given how lovers meet and their priorities.
The bonds grow as relationships grow under dynamics of all forms.
Though dating is natural, times have changed; it is no longer an exciting affair.
Initially, dates would be either indoors in a restaurant, resort, hotel, or food eatery, depending on what both parties like.
It would be left for a public place. Today, unfortunately, dating has evolved and different definitions have practically been added to it; the stages have been mixed with whichever pleases both parties.
The worst is that now it has become a killer.
Dynamics of dating
There are no restrictions on who should go on dates, but there are common untold laws involving people who have come of age.
In Kenya, going on a romantic date with an underage (below 18) is illegal, although this subject attracts criticism from different family backgrounds.
Dating someone, too, does not mean that is the person you will end up marrying.
While dating has been stretched to various limits throughout the world, Kenya is not an exception.
It has proven to be an otherwise way of getting back at someone, dating one with the sole intent to harm, steal or even take advantage of.
In Kenya, dating has become a scary word. A few women have fallen prey to dates, losing their lives.
A recent case is that of a university student who was found dead after going out on a date with a mysterious lover.
In her case, she had informed her friends of her plans to go on a date with a mysterious lover. She never made it back.
Her calls were not going through, and her colleagues at work noted that it was unusual for her to miss work and not answer her calls.
Later, her lifeless body was discovered cold and dumped, and investigations commenced.
Early this year, police discovered another university student’s body in a man’s house in Nakuru after an earlier similar case in Kiambu County.
While the public opinion court would blame the girls for rushing into people without knowing them, it is clearly love gone sour or an incident of a love triangle, or other insecurities and criminality involved that the dead will never tell.
At what stage did the victims fall in love in these inhumane ways? You are left to wonder. How careful can one be while getting themselves into the dating scene? How would you protect yourself?
To some, love has become a scam, some woe older women for money while some woe younger boys.
Others use young ladies and fall out when they discover they are pregnant or infected with STDs or someone else is in the picture.
Some have ended fatally, while some have lived to tell.
More dating spaces
In the 21st century, social media opened a bigger platform for people worldwide to meet and relate.
While a percentage has succeeded, many have failed.
For example, on various social media platforms, online dating has been painted as successful, while some sites ost scammers.
Some have traveled overseas to meet the purported lover, but no, it was catfishing.
The trend goes on and on, unpredictable, dangerous and not worth it.
Unfortunately, it is hard to tell the truth from wrong in such cases. Fortunately, there are ways families can save loved ones from such misery by opening up.
In African families, parents rarely share life experiences, such as dating, with their children.
Though times are changing, few people share dating information with their parents, relatives or close friends.
In colleges and universities, friends tend to play the role of knowing each other’s moves, and only a few get fatal.
In the past, ladies would take friends on dates, making men fringe.
Maybe we need to have a culture of moving to dates as a group.
The advantage of it to the ladies was that apart from enjoying the free goodies and getting to go out, the lady’s friend would size up the dude and come up with different opinions to gossip about him later.
A few would actually make it to marriage, but it was a safe trend. Gone are the days.
While it is a call for concern, one would wish to guide their loved ones on how to go about conversations about dating with their attractive friends. The do’s and the don’ts come to play.
While public places are the best for first dates, there are things to pay attention to.
The food and drinks served should be consumed while the consumer is around. Leave no food or open beverages unattended while on a date.
You are not at a stage of trusting your newly founded partner fully.
People have different interests with you; some weird. Staying positive, though, be careful not to order something you cannot afford, as this might be a setup for an ugly scene ahead.
To be safe, always eat well before. This will help you order a snack or something you can afford comfortably.
Also, do not agree to date at expensive public places you are uncomfortable with. Keep your luxury options open for later dates when you will be safe enough.
Your safety first
Public places to have dates can include: public restaurants, animal orphanages, snake parks, museums, ostrich parks, church events associated with relatable activities, expos, and concerts, among others.
In such choices, you are free to learn about each other in a safe environment, with people around, and you can change the subject or plans and leave anytime you feel uncomfortable.
Be careful what you drink on the first date.
You might not want to try alcoholic drinks; stay sober and focused, lest you waste yourself on a stranger’s arm.
Alert friends, we all have those girl or boy friends we open up to.
Let them know that you are going out on a date with so and so; this will keep them aware of anything you need as long as your safety is concerned.
While some will want to share with their family, some will prefer friends.
On what to wear, as far as you are descent and feel so, go on.
You might also want to be careful not to send some deceitful physique that might endanger you.
Of more importance is the time. What time is your first date? Among other details, please head back home to those you love safely.
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Though the world has changed, and technology has helped expose and solve murders from dates that ended dangerously, not all corners or dates have technology-based solutions.