The method by which a man and a woman meet has changed, imperceptibly, over the centuries.
I guess it wasn’t difficult in pre-historic times, when a tribe/clan/family had only a few dozen members. When a male was born, it was pretty much predetermined with which female he would eventually be partnered. Occasionally, the small pack of sapient beings would wander across another group, and there would suddenly be double the choices.
But once villages became towns, and towns became nations, as humans spread across the face of the earth, then new protocols were set in place. The age-old “arranged marriage” system came into play at some point. (This isn’t a history lesson, just a thought pattern of mine.) It lasted so long that some nations/cultures still use it today. Hiking bands of warriors/raiders changed the way that men met women too, in a bad way (or good, depending on the backwardness of your viewpoint).
In the modern era of the Western World, these methods have slowly morphed. Men and women have met in school — the so-called “high school sweethearts” — or at the local religious enclave. Another class of men and women met in bars or nightclubs. Some met through friends and family (“You really need to meet my friend Dan; he’d be just right for you.”) And who knows when the first “personal ad” was placed in a newspaper, but it was apparently a big deal for the generation just before mine. And telephone/video dating services started becoming popular as I grew to adulthood.
So it just seems natural that each new communications medium would be utilized at some point for meeting people. The rules have changed too.
But is there anyone keeping track of the rules? Is anyone being taught the new protocol? No. Each new generation merely stumbles across whatever method is successful at the time, usually with quite a few failed attempts, until that special someone is hooked. And of course, each generation is staffed with the percentage who never meets the “right one.”
I still insist that there should be a class for this. A simple version would suffice for youngsters — “These are the kinds of things you can expect in the next few years.” By high school though, wouldn’t it make sense for humans to have some kind of instruction on the protocols? How many man-hours and how large a percent of the gross national product is spent in counseling, therapy and grieving by people who’ve made extremely common mistakes when meeting/joining with who they thought would be “the right one”? And such a large portion of daily conversations is spent recounting tales of lost loves or relationship horror stories.
Purely from a practical standpoint, wouldn’t the world as a whole be a much more efficient and enjoyable place if we were all a little better at this?
What do you think?
(Nothing in this post is intended to be prejudicial against same-sex relationships, in which there exist the same problems and concerns as in the more common heterosexual relationships. It just made it more simple to compose, by sticking to one or the other.)