Dating among Teenagers: Its Effects on the Society and the Church

This is an excerpt originally written on December 10, 2006, exactly five years ago, from a research paper for the Composition subject way back in high school.

When we define what dating is, we must take into consideration that dating may mean different to the members of the opposite sex. Some of the boys may think of it as a game to play or something that is not so serious. While for others, dating may lead to a crucial commitment. Most of the girls, on the other hand, believe that dating is a serious matter wherein a partner is involved for a commitment. Other girls believe that dating is not that serious, though. Just like one woman who describes dating as “serial courtships that include kissing everyone you go out with.” According to some researches and discussions, girls’ view on dating is more purposeful, more meaningful, and more matured compared to boys’ view. The girl’s concern is more on establishing a good and a happy relationship, a gleeful home and family in the future, and a stable affair. While the boys are more concerned or they give more priority to the sex relationships.

Generally, dating, according to a survey, means going out with someone of the opposite sex, whether by group or by pair. For teenagers, dating is a more serious thing than the ‘crushes’ that they have during their high school years. It is said that the youth are now more conscious about this boy-girl relationship compared to the olden times. Very young people are now having ‘crushes’, having admirers, and having a boyfriend or a girlfriend at such an early age than their counterparts did years ago.

We have encountered terms like crush and infatuation. What do these words exactly mean? Crush… if you will look in the dictionary, the first meaning that you will encounter is “to press so as to break, injure, or wrinkle.” As long as the boy-girl relationship is concerned, crush has a different meaning. Crush means a strong attraction that we feel towards somebody. It is said that crush is usually a one-sided feeling. We can feel this strong attraction to somebody we know and really like or even to somebody we barely know. We can have a crush on the basketball team captain or the squad’s best cheer dancer. We can have a crush on Pinoy Big Brother’s Sam Milby or High School Musical’s Zac Efron.

Today, most adolescents mistake crush as infatuation. However, these two terms have different concepts. Crushes may or may not last long and it is something very common especially for teenagers. We may even have as many crushes as we want to. On the other hand, infatuation is a “feeling filled with intense affection.” If we are going to rate them by level, infatuation is much higher than crush. “During the infatuation phase, adolescents first discover an interest in socializing with potential romantic and sexual partners. The focus of activity during the phase primarily on learning about oneself, as adolescents broaden their self-conceptions to include seeing themselves as a potential romantic partner for someone else. Actual romantic relationships tend to be short-lived and frequently based on superficial infatuations.”

During this contemporary period, many people, especially teenagers, believe that the concept of infatuation is just the same with the concept of love. However, these two words totally differ in concept and in meaning. Infatuation is just a feeling of intense affection while love is not just any ordinary feeling, it also involves action. Defining what love really means may take time. Of one has many experiences with friendships and relationships, he can have and identify love easily. Many people feel that love is a “two-way street of give and take.” It really involves trusting, sharing, and respecting. One important thing in love is that we are more concerned in wanting what is best for the other person. It is said that this crazy world of love begins within us. We must first learn to love and respect ourselves. Only then are we capable of loving and respecting other people.

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