Dating- Proposals – Disposals | Sunday Observer

Dating- Proposals – Disposals

Many young people are on cloud nine these days, having vowed of unending romance on Valentine’s Day. Others are sharpening their arrows (after Cupid) with renewed zest to shoot next year. Still others sad after been turned down have and checked into Heartbreak Hotel. Reminds me of the old hit, Why do fools fall in love?

Having keenly enjoyed the story of Romeo and Juliet, and later Othello as an ardent student of English literature one thing I’ve learned is that all human love is condition based- often not recognised by those lovers until they file for divorce!. William Shakespeare enhances his dramas with fate- as in the story of Hamlet. I don’t believe in fate be it in literature or life.

Today with our rapidly evolving values and ritual based religion the essence and aura of true love is silhouetted. As my friends pointed out, falling in love is similar to the process of hunting. Like a cougar you first identify your prey- verify their social status, levels of actual spending power, known food allergies, ability to satisfy your romantic indulgences and the influence of their family (the latter is important). Primary on the hunters list is of course the visual appeal. Today even the tropically tanned islanders attempt to look westernised in an assortment of ways. Must admit it suits some but makes others look like polecats and orangutans.

Indeed we must fall in love - multiply and replenish the earth as ordained in the book of Genesis. Even our prudent forefather Adam was let down by his first love Eve (she was the only woman on earth!!). Their love was desercrated by one single fruit. So, we see the first recorded human relationship being subject to a difficult position- of course if there was another relationship recorded elsewhere I have not read about it!!

A majority of Sri Lankans now over 50 years of age would admit they were married via ‘proposals’. I’m sure there were many who fell in love and held hands under the umbrellas at the Galle Face Green. Even our glorious monarchs fell in love and gifted elephants to their ladies.

Since of late much conversation has been focused on dating- with the manifestation of dating apps.

Dating as in any other human ritual takes different manifestations in different cultures. A date in America will often offer you a succulent steak, glasses of chardonnay and a sound sleep on a double bed. A date in India is where you will get invoked with blessings at the famed Thirupathi Temple. These are just stereotype examples.

Sri Lanka has developed to a stage where dating has evolved from two people just holding hands and sharing cheap vanilla ice cream. It’s nice to see young people actually dining and dancing and taking selfies. Dating is a good thing - it is the best way to find the true strengths and weaknesses of a prospective soul mate.

Marriage proposals are not wrong or bad- they simply are not the best platforms to meet and make a lifetime commitment. I have seen friends who married via proposals later discover to their horror that their soul mate has one or more of the following- a habitual gambler, drinking excessive alcohol, (who marry to please their dying parents), cheating on social media, married in foreign countries with children, having previous debts (the ones who demand a dowry to settle this debt), girls who lost their virginity at the big matches, others engaging in adulterous flings which is adultery and the list goes on.

Proposals are often put upon youth by parents who themselves often have to endure their own unhappy marriages. Some young people are academically qualified but are not emotionally liberated to engage and sustain a romance. Still other young Sri Lankans are rejected in romance (by their prospective in-laws) because of condition of a selfish black sheep in the family- a sibling with a dangerous criminal record or a gay person manifesting themselves in excessive forms of BDD (body dysmorphia disorder)

It is time that we upgraded our thinking and encourage young couples to date- whilst upholding good values. Sex before marriage is not cool- it shows that you’re ridden with lust and not love. Remember if you have to abandon that girl for any reason you’ve committed the crime of taking away her dignity.

Parents should allow teenagers to experience love, don’t be so focused on achieving a Masters degree for your child at the cost of missing out on their natural age appropriate feelings. Their age will catch up - it will revert to you one day. Of course pursue a degree- knowledge has no compromise. Learn the art of enjoying simple things as a couple and saving your money. Face your situations together. Don’t get advice from too many people in any situation.The greatest gem in a relationship is the value of the other human.

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