Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … July 23rd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Dear Woman: I caught myself just in the nick of time.

 

Dear Man: What do you mean?

 

Dear Woman: I was just about to speak some words from my lips that were going to sound like an old man.

 

Dear Man: What were the words?

 

Dear Woman: It always begins the same. “Don’t you think you should?…” Here’s the truth. Things evolve. I suppose we can levy a moral tax on folks if they don’t measure up to what people used to do, but when it comes to human relationships, we’re just trying to figure out how to make it work.

 

Dear Man: Give me an example.

 

Dear Woman: When I was a kid you were supposed to meet someone, date for a while, get engaged, get married, have kids and live happily ever after or at least, live.

 

Dear Man: Same for me. Except it was my understanding that I was supposed to be pretty pure–but the guy I married could have experience, though I was never sure where he got that experience, considering the fact that all the girls were supposed to be pure.

 

Dear Woman: So you see, we now have a generation of people who are fully grown, but have memories of being raised in households without two parents. They were the children of divorces.

 

Dear Man: So naturally, they are frightened to death of marriage–because even though we accept divorce as a possibility, or maybe even a probability, the stigma of failure still stings.

 

Dear Woman: So people are trying to figure out how to couple and keep the coupling civil.

 

Dear Man: I think the key is understanding that there’s a difference between attraction and relationship.

 

Dear Woman: And a huge difference between relationship and commitment.

 

Dear Man: God knows, we’re attracted to many people. It’s what gives us confidence. It provides a fantasy life where, for a split second, we imagine what a romantic link-up would be with somebody, only to slap our face, shake it off and move on.

 

Dear Woman: You can’t base much on attraction. Sometimes you’re just attracted. It doesn’t mean any more than that, and the true stupidity is thinking that every attraction is meant to lead to a hookup.

 

Dear Man: Relationship–to relate. Honestly, I don’t want to relate with everybody on an intimate level. I don’t want everybody to know my bathroom habits. A relationship is a decision to take an attraction and see if you can take it out of the physical into the emotional.

 

Dear Woman: I like that. Because when something stays in the physical and we try to force emotion into it, we generate the tension that causes hard feelings and can even degrade to abuse.

 

Dear Man: Likewise, every relationship is not meant to turn into a commitment. A commitment is where we commit. No matter what happens we will stay together because we’re convinced there’s nothing out there that will be better than what we’ve got.

 

Dear Woman: In the Victorian era, when people were either betrothed to each other or married at an early age, there was a chance that an attraction could be birthed which could lead to relationship to feed the commitment. But since we don’t do it that way anymore, the younger people in our country need a way to wade through the confusion of attraction, leading to relationship with the possibility of commitment.

 

Dear Man: Yes. I think we have to be careful not to criticize people for living together, for instance, just because they’re not married. Unless they introduce children into the equation.

 

Dear Woman: I agree. That’s a deal breaker. Children should not show up until there’s a commitment to see the relationship through. The trouble is, people are having offspring from just attractions.

 

Dear Man: So let me see if I can get this straight. Attractions mean we are attracted. We don’t have to follow up on it. It just makes us feel warm and fuzzy.

 

Dear Woman: Exactly. And relationships are where we decide if our attraction is strong enough that we might relate to one another, spending more time together.

 

Dear Man: And once we discover that we relate so well that we don’t need to look for someone else to relate to, then we can move to commitment, where we cement our feelings. In other words, we would choose therapy over divorce.

 

Dear Woman: It’s a great process, and each generation needs to figure out how to sort through all the details.

 

Dear Man: Attraction–to be attracted. Relationship–to find out if we can relate. And commitment–to commit ourselves to be one.

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