Let’s face it – dating can be amazing, exciting, and complicated. Where do we meet a potential partner? How do we let someone know we’re interested in them romantically? How do we figure out if they’re interested in us? When do we take a risk and when do we play it safe? How do we start dating? How do we keep a relationship going? How do we figure out if it’s working for us? How do we change a relationship if it isn’t working? How do we end a relationship if it’s not working and we can’t change it? How do we take care of ourselves if we want a partner and don’t have one? If we get dumped? Who are the right people to ask about these things?
Everything in life involves risk. Walking out the front door of our home can be risky. Not walking out the front door of our home can be risky. Going online can be risky. Not going online can be risky.
Relationships can also be risky. Friends might disappoint us. Boyfriends, girlfriends, romantic partners might break our heart. Sex might lead to unplanned pregnancy or STIs. Consent isn’t always respected. Some people might try to rip us off. But not having relationships can also be risky. Loneliness and isolation are hazardous to our health.
How much risk should we take? How can we figure out when a risk is worth it to us, and when it isn’t? How can we improve the odds of good things happening?
As well, what are the risks of never taking risks? What are the risks of not having enough information to make our own informed choices about risk? Who are the right people to ask about these things?
Many of us experience love. We may love our Mum or Dad. We may love our pet rabbit. We may also have a crush on a pop star or a movie star.
We hear a lot about love when it comes to dating and relationships. But how is loving a boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner different from loving our Mum or Dad? How is it the same? Is loving a partner the same as having sex with them? Is it different? Is a crush the same thing as love?
And what does intimacy mean? Does ‘being intimate’ with someone always mean having sex with them? Are there other ways people can show love to each other, or be intimate with each other? What’s scary about love and intimacy? What’s great about it?