Modern Dating: A "New-Fangled" Idea
According to the dictionary, a date is “An engagement to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest.” We here in America, citizens of the late 20th and early 21st century, are so used to thinking of dating as the way to find a romantic partner, that it never occurs to us that it was not always this way.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the purpose of romantic relationships and marriage has become that of providing satisfaction and fulfillment for the individual. Before that, marriage and relationships were looked at as something that could bring about privileges and advantages for your “tribe”, whether your tribe was your family, your social or religious community, or your country. Under that world view, the needs and desires of the individual were not considered to be as important as benefits like allying yourself with a wealthy family, gaining an important political advantage, or ensuring the passing down and survival of important cultural and religious traditions.
In order to take into account all of the various factors that would be involved in some kind of an arranged relationship, the parties involved would need to take advantage of the skills of some type of matchmaker. Whether it was a political advisor, who could suggest favorable matches for an eligible son or daughter based on the political trends taking place in the country at that time, or the local wise woman charged with the health and well-being of her community, a matchmaker was charged with evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each potential partner, in an effort to find the best match for everyone involved.
Interestingly enough, the concept of an outside person or force working as a matchmaker seems to be coming back into play in our culture, but with a modern twist. Although mean and women today still want the freedom to choose their romantic partners for themselves, many are turning to online or in-person dating services, the modern day matchmakers, for help in meeting potential partners to choose from. So the modern day dating experience has now become a blend of the best of the old traditions with the individual’s new freedom to choose.
About the Author: Ron Zvagelsky has a degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2006. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of PlanJam – where you can find unique date ideas and romantic date ideas.