If you have read any of my past articles or columns you know I write about the importance of good relationships for a person’s mental health and overall well-being. Dating is the first step in finding a long-term spouse or significant other.
It was not until the late 1800s that dating as we know it started to become a normal way of life. Before then meeting a potential spouse was called courtship and had strict rules such as a chaperone had to be in attendance.
The label courtship came from the fact that a man interested in pursuing a young lady would go to the royal court she was affiliated with in order to talk with her.
Our modern practice of dating began to develop around the time of the Industrial Revolution as more single women moved to the cities for work.
The first known use of the word date in terms of relationships was in an 1896 Chicago newspaper column where a young man lamented that his girlfriend was seeing others and filling in her dates — on her calendar.
Even though dating today is relaxed and casual it can be challenging to find quality people to meet. This is especially true for those who find themselves divorced after decades of marriage and for those whose spouse has passed on after years of being a couple.
Here are some suggestions for finding quality people to date, be it for casual relationships or for seeking a good spouse:
In our high-tech society this is the most common way to meet new people. I am told it is a safe, simple, and an easy method. There are countless sites available, and many focus on senior citizens. The costs varies from free to upwards of $100 a month. Like any major investment, do your own research before making a final decision.
Join a group
What are you interested in? Do you enjoy music, dancing, golf, or hiking and swimming? Participating in activities you enjoy is a good way to meet a potential partner with similar interests. Volunteering, joining a church, and attending charity events are other good ways to meet quality people.
Word of mouth
One of my success gurus, whom I totally respect, shared how it is common in the Jewish community to find a spouse via word of mouth. When an individual is looking for a relationship that person tells his or her friends, who in turn tell their friends who tell their friends, until a match is found. Apparently this method is most successful.
And finally …
Here is a final suggestion to consider: Think about interviewing a person before going out with him or her, or do an interview early in the relationship. Dating coaches for senior citizens suggest interviewing potential spouses. A cousin, when in her 20s, interviewed any interested guy before she would go out with them. Twenty years later she still has a successful marriage.
Email us with your thoughts on dating and marriage. I personally answer every email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crystal Linn is a multi-published author and an award-winning poet. See crystallinn.com.