We define dating as the quest for serious partnership or ongoing companionship. Today’s dating world is radically different from that of even a generation ago, and is light years away from previous generations. Dating apps and social media expedite and expand the range the search for a suitable other – and often turns dating into an exercise in personal marketing. Dating also now spans an age range from teens to older – even elderly – divorced or widowed adults. If today’s dating culture provides individuals with autonomy and choice, it also denies them the safeguards provided by family, religious, and cultural norms. The online persona may be very different from the actual person, from age and appearance to character misrepresentation. Lacking social context and mutually understood social norms, individuals are required to be more aware of what they seek in another. They also need to be more aware of the projections and relational complexes to which they are susceptible.
“I was in a big Catholic cathedral; maybe in Spain or Italy. A mass was about to start. A usually generous friend of mine pushed passed me and took the last seat with a good view, one-in from the end of a row. Then I was standing near what seemed to be the tower of an Anglican church, which stood inside the Catholic cathedral. The doors of the tower flew open and a 2 metre tall black plinth on wheels was pushed out. On the plinth was a devilish/trickster character in a black Renaissance costume, making a scary face like Hannibal Lecter. I felt some fear but also the thrill of the theatrical spectacle.”