Letter Jackets & Going Steady – Forget Chivalry, is Commitment Dead?

I wasn’t born during the time of the sock hop, malt shakes and the Sadie Hawkin’s dance. Despite Johnny Rocket’s efforts to time warp us back to that era, I can only get a sense of the era through movies and TV and campfire stories from people. From what I gather, it was real cool to be in a relationship back then because things mattered. 

Displays of affection were apparent. Guys used to drape their females in their letter jacket so you could see from a mile away that not only was she taken, but by who. Not even engagement rings do that. “That’s Tommy Dinkle’s girl” because that’s his jacket, on his girl. Cool. Granted some feminist might take that as being looked at as “property”, while that point could be debated on, at least we can agree it’s to show she was in a committed relationship and going steady was the foundation to build from and maybe develop into something more.

Of course in the modern era we still have the engagement rings and the like, but with more and more people opting the “Netflix and chill” approach and hooking up killing the first date, things are certainly different.

Certain gestures & milestones on the road to a relationship (or marriage) used to be a thing of importance. Now from what I’ve seen, nothing means anything anymore.

Well, I shouldn’t say “any” thing, but what I mean is, things used to have so much merit, or when the gesture was done it “meant” something. Now things no longer hold no more weight like they used to.

For someone who’s so used to the 3 act structure of courting, dating, engagement, I’m not sure it’ll be easy for me to adjust. I don’t know if it’s because I’m old fashioned, but it’s probably because I’m a late bloomer.

For example, let’s go small. The good morning text. It used to mean that you thought about the person the very second you opened your eyes and you wanted to let them know. Cause you were attracted to them. Now they are just routine.

Bringing someone to your friend’s party or house for dinner used to be mean you were showing your closest friends a possible spark or budding romance between the two of you. Now that “date” is just a person who you possibly spark bud with.

Small – good morning text, getting the run down of the day, being the last person you speak to

Medium – going to the movies, going to a friend’s house for dinner, putting up the Christmas tree

Large – meeting the parents, sleeping over, having sex

My  seemingly “old fashioned” ways have not prepared me for this new life, post recovery & rejuvenation. With my head being all over the place, I find so is the dating scene.

I feel nothing holds weight anymore. You could hold hands with someone and kiss them, and that meant that you were exclusive or at least heading there but at the same time, they could be setting up another date with someone completely different right after they see you. I don’t think people are afraid of commitment either, they just like to live in the moment with no attachment. So yes, in that moment, they were all yours in the throws of passion but when they leave your sight, they’re no longer yours.

I’m so used to feeling how “one” way of finding love should go, I forget that there are many interpretations out there that people follow (all with their own set of rules and regulations) that will most certainly clash with my own. I feel if something is a amiss, doesn’t go “my (traditional) way”, or having to conform to something that I’m not used to, I freak out because things are “out of order” – relatively speaking.

Like people have sex before they even hold hands. So like, are we dating now or no?

Everything out there is a free-for-all:

I swipe, we meet, we fuck. Peace out.

OR

We’re dating, we’re just not exclusive. I gotta go I have a date at 8, ttyl *muah*

OR

Friends with benefits. And nothing more.

OR

::2am::

“U Up?”

“Hell yeah. You know what else is up? This DICK.”

“Haha, come thru then.”

There are people that don’t mind having sex on the first date. There are women who think going on vacation with a guy as just a friend is completely normal. Not to say these things aren’t normal but when you’ve been taught one way is the only way that things “should” be, you get a skewed view on life when it’s presented differently. People move in with each other before they get married. People move in with each other even without an intent TO marry. People have kids with each other before (or without even ever) getting engaged. Partners who’ve been married for 15 years invite a new person in to spice things up. Couples stay with each other for 20 years and go down every movie aisle, kitchen aisle, the grocery aisle yet never go down THE aisle and everything’s fine.

Not that this is new to me, I’m not as sheltered as I might be coming across. I’m just telling you the different scenarios I’ve personally seen.

I’m too used to the 3 act structure of the relationship [courting, dating, engaged] that I don’t know if I’m built for this free form way of establishing love. I think of it more like a house. It’s like trying to set the windows in place but there’s no frame to the house built up yet. Where’s the foundation?

To be fair though, what I am seeing though is that things may start out different then what I’m used to but can still end up at the goal like everyone that does things traditionally has. I’ve seen people flourish in their unconventional ways and it’s totally possible that you can still make “traditional” love work amongst the “chaos”.

So while I may think that it’s “wrong” or “off” because of my ignorance and naiveté, it could be just a matter of it just being “different”. Sure, there may be justified gripes and room for revisions (depending on the situation) but I need to get used to knowing that there is just more than one way to doing things, relationship wise.

My only thing is it’s hard for me to let things just “be” and take a natural course.

I’m used to not letting things be so free form. To me, being free from not having rules and regulations leaves people void of accountability and responsibility in an almost “oh well, that happened whatev’s” fashion and I can’t seem to shake it off. But not everybody rolls my way (or is even that irresponsible) so even though those ideologies clash there has to be room for compromise or I can forget about trying to find love in this brave new world.

I could always try the conventional side again but as it went last time I didn’t fare well there either. I’m finding it difficult to trust any path I take from here on out.

I dunno, it could be just me being overly dramatic. Or not.

Pray for me, lol.

Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place – SummerSaldana.com”

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