The Psychological Affects of Dating and Courtship in the 90’s By Eric Swanson
Dating in the 90’s for America is one of the most important aspects of social life. Everywhere you look on the TV, radio, or in the newspapers dating, relationships, or the effects of it are exploited in America. The driving emotion of dating is love. Love with its varying degrees, definitions, and end results makes the attractions of two people of the opposite sex a rollercoaster of emotions. Most everyone finds this ride exciting while it goes, but once the ride comes to an end, deep negative emotions can set in and destroy a person. These rollercoaster emotions and the negative results question the validity and soundness of this popular dating craze. Why would someone knowingly give the control of their emotions to someone else, then have it abused at the end, and then to have it done to them again, by dating over and over? Is this dating craze the best for a person or a relationship? Or is there a better way? Courtship is a growing trend in some social circles to be the answer to attaining love without the negative psychological emotions. This paper will explore the need for love and the different ways in which we as humans can attain it without the negative emotions.
Dating or courtship the end result is to give and receive love. The best expression of this relationship is to enter into a marriage. However, in America now, the break up of a legally and morally binding contract of marriage is rising. This fact can be understood by the statistics found by the U.S. Census Bureau. In 1996, there was 193.2 million adults surveyed in America (7). Of those, 116.4 million adults were married, and 18.2 million were divorced at the time of the survey (7). This fact shows the popularity of consummating a relationship to marriage. However, the study also considered the percentages of those numbers for the past 15 years, and it was found that the percentage of married adults were falling and the percentage of divorced adults were rising twice as much (7). The Census also considered the percentage of female family households in America over the same 15 years. It was found that the percentage of female family households had risen dramatically for the never married and divorced categories, while it stayed the same for the widow category (7). This shows that a greater number of females are leading households without the natural male figure there due to divorce or just plain not getting married. One last fact from the Census is that 16.4 percent of married men were in the 35-44 age group (7). However, the amount of men in the same age group saying that this was their first marriage drops down to 7.1 percent of the population (7). Continuing on in the same age group the Census finds that it jumps to 33.8 percent of the married men population say that the marriage they are in is a remarriage (7). This fact shows the large percentage of men remarrying and accounting for the large amount of married couples. These facts show that even though marriage is the final step of dating and courtship, the same marriage does not last for a great amount of couples in America. To understand why couples decide to even take that final step, the understanding of child development is needed.
Children come into this world needing and wanting certain things and emotions that usually can not be found anywhere besides marriage. When a child is born it learns three basic emotions which are fear, rage, and love (2). Love right from the beginning is something that they receive from their parents which is warm and sustains them. Without love and companionship a baby could actually die. Once the baby grows into a child and tries to explore its new world on its own, it still recognizes the need for love and companionship from it s parents. Soon this child understand the four basic drives of man which are preservation, recognition, procreation,...
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