Monday, March 9, 2015

My Personal Observations on Dating Between Socio-Political Groups

Who brought little kids to Bourbon St.?
And what did they do to get all those beads?!
This blog entry if filled with a lot of my personal observations, which may be tainted...

So while we were in New Orleans (sorry I was not able to post while we were there - having way too much fun) I had some time to think about dating and relationships. My son was enamored with several of the female performers who were at the conference we attended and performed at. And, of course, why shouldn't he be? It totally falls into my previous post about the trap of being hot ( that is a serious thing that I'm trying to teach him about.

Another issue that came up for me personally, in my observations, was the continued thinking about dating across the lines of very different cultures. Now I realize this may seem sort of weird, but I'm always reminded of my own experience as someone from the very North, dating and eventually marrying someone who was from the deep South. There were some very different cultural expectations of what was going on (note: the marriage barely lasted a year, despite we dated nearly 5 years prior). In my personal observations, I noticed that many women from the South are sort of trained to run just fast enough for him to catch her. I also noticed with many of the women that I met - it was almost like they were trained to look for a man's potential, and then it is their job as a woman to bring that potential out in him.

At the same time, it appeared the men are trained to be boys.  To have fun and do guy things until such time as a woman marries them, and then it is their job to let her train them to attain the potential that in them that she sees. Now, of course, this is not the way I have observed men and women are raised in the north... but more about that another time.

Now, this is not to say that one way is better than the other, but it is true that you get conflict because of these differences when you try to cross those (Mason Dixon) lines. Like I always said, if Jessica & Nick could not make it... what chance did any of the rest of us have?

I had a similar experience coming from the Midwest, and heading into Southern California and trying to date. There were really a lot of differences in the expectation of what a man does, versus what a woman does in the dating arena. And it is an arena, folks! Dating there is like gladiatorial combat - and, in the end, no one really wins.

Hey! It is not just me!! I had a sociology professor in college in SoCal that a big part of his class was telling us how different cultures have problems trying to date, marry and have children. His big example was that Italian women and Irish men should not marry because of this amazing cultural difference. Effectively saying that the way each is raised effectively develops how they will deal with things when they are older... and that, once ingrained, there is no overcoming nature OR nurture. I was trying to date an Italian girl at the time, so mayhaps I paid a bit too much attention.

I'm still not sure what he was getting that... and, to be fair, there really always seemed to be an undercurrent of racism in his class -  an undercurrent below everything he said. Also, he thought that the repealing of prohibition was the worst thing that ever happened to America, so maybe that's also why I never completely trusted him. 

But, certainly, some of what he said about the social standards and differences does have some truth to it. It's not to say that such things are impossible, but it is to say you have to be aware of it.

A subtle, but noticeable difference.
In my experience, there are just a lot of differences between men and women, period. I do not even think any of us really get a hand on it until we are older, with some life experience under our belts (or kilts, or whatever). Some of these differences & feelings are stemming from hundreds of thousands years of evolution - the primitive brain that keeps us doing these "social" things that really need no longer be the norm. The primitive brain we continually fight against to maintain our current (yet, ever changing) social order. Then, add on top of that, our social conditioning based upon region, social class, political beliefs, historical/tribal tradition... it's a wonder anyone ever gets born outside of their strict socio-political boundaries.

"So Reverend Tommy Gunn," you say, "what are we supposed to do?!"

Here's my advice to you, kids: Do not give up! Respect is the key word. Communication is a close second. Realize there are differences - many of which you will not even realize until you are in it - and just work with it when you get there. I definitely do not think you should limit yourself in any way! If you meet someone you are interested in, see that mysterious stranger that you are drawn to, you definitely need to take the chance! If you only stick within your own socio-political group, you will eventually contribute to the "dumbing down" of our culture, our people, our species. Crossing the blood-lines is the only way to keep the human race moving forward... so get out there and date! You have my blessing.

Just don't be dumb about it. I will know...

Something tells me this relationship is just
NOT going to work... not even in Tijuana.

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I'm a pagan raised in Germany by a (Christian) military family, hubby is a Christian raised in Texas by civilians. As long as people are willing to acknowledge, respect and learn from their differences, then you can end up with the best of both worlds.

    As far as the "nurturing potential" thing... I always kinda saw that as naggy and manipulative. Love the person, not what you think they should be.