By Kenneth Stepp
Are you single? Chances are that if you are reading this, you are single, odds are, you are single and dating, or at least trying to date. I write about relationships, dating, love, and the singles journey. And just because I call it a journey doesn’t mean we are all going anywhere.
I recently had a conversation with a fellow traveler and they asked me why dating was so different now than it was when we were much younger. The easy answer was, the internet. But 20 years from now when the next generation of singles struggle with the very same question, they won’t be able to say that.
Cars have changed, the way we live has changed, and many of us live in a state we were not raised in. But what one thing has changed that could alter being single so much? Society has changed. As a whole, society has drifted in ways that shock me. We no longer feel connected to others the way we felt, or for myself, I felt when I was a much younger man. We are all, “one person teams”.
So what does that mean? From what I can see, it has made many of us uncaring, manipulative, and mean. I run into it often myself. I can’t imagine being a girl out here. I’m a big strong man and I get hit with some ugliness from time to time myself. I hear stories that make me want to apologize for my entire gender.
So in the end, my conversation rested on one main thing. What we are missing today is civility. One simple word but a word with layers. We live in a world where an act of kindness is scrutinized to death. You can simply offer to help or show you care and the first thought is, what are their motives? What do they want out of it? Or what do they expect in return?
I run a singles support group on Facebook. It has about 900 members and is very active. I had a member who asked me if I thought there might be a man in the group with a truck that could help her pick something up. When I told her I had a truck and would be happy to, she was shocked.
I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary, I was just being human. One human to another. It hit me that day that kindness was seen as contrary to the norm. This is what was spoken of in the conversation with my friend.
Words that matter in life today were never meant to be cheap catchphrases. Love, kindness, and caring are more than anything, action words. They are in motion. They are not just spoken, they are movement, activities, and will have deeper meanings to those of us who understand them.
So how can we save the world? Ok, a smiley face emoji should have been at the end of that question. We cannot save the world, but we can help a tired soul every time we encounter one. We’re all tired, most of us are confused, everyone we meet has been hurt by someone who lied, cheated, stole, or abused. Be kind…
It really is as simple as that. My parents taught my brothers and me to leave others better than we found them. It isn’t hard at all. In a world where a man will literally groom a woman, make her think things about him that tickle her fancy and then sleep with her only to block her afterwards, be kind. Kindness has healing power. Our hearts are fragile. You might believe you are cold as ice, but yours is fragile too.
We are not suppose to be one person teams. We are all in this together, bringing civility back into the dating process is so important. I have so many friends that are just beat down from trying to find love. I write that there are no rules of dating all the time. I decided to make some. Ten of them.
- Be yourself
- Tell the truth about everything
- Omitting, deceiving, and hiding things, are all lying
- Leave before cheating
- If you only want a lover, be honest about that
- If you are suspicious of everyone, heal before dating again
- Whatever your intentions are, be upfront about them
- Be open about your feelings or stay alone with them
- If you want to date but nothing serious, say that going in
- Be kind to everyone you meet along the way
There, at least in my world I have rules…