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Perspectives on Dating, Relationships, Sex St. Mary Student Parish Monday May 17, 2005 Discussion Forum.

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Presentation on theme: "Perspectives on Dating, Relationships, Sex St. Mary Student Parish Monday May 17, 2005 Discussion Forum."— Presentation transcript:

1 Perspectives on Dating, Relationships, Sex St. Mary Student Parish Monday May 17, 2005 Discussion Forum

2 Framework Format: Primarily Large Group Style: Quotation and Discussion Scope: Heterosexual only Interaction: Respectful, Non-judgemental Context: Catholic Teaching, but all viewpoints welcomed and encouraged Snacks: Tasty Discussion Leader: I dont really know anything and I dont have all the answers! Section

3 Overview Topic 1 Defining Dating and Relationships Topic 2 What Do Women Want? What Do Men Want? > insert FOOD here! < Topic 3 What About Sex? Section

4 Topic 1 Defining Dating and Relationships

5 … the difference between dating and a relationship is a verbal declaration of commitment to exploring the future together Source: Random guy named Andy from Boise, Idaho, [] Q. What kind of distinction, if any, is there between dating and a relationship? What about casual dating and dating? Topic 1

6 Defining Dating and Relationships Are the following statements true or false? 1) Dating is the best approach to marriage. 2) Dating is the only available approach to marriage. 3) Dating is not meant to be an approach to marriage Source: Interview with Elisabeth Elliot by Lisa Barry in Back to the Bible: Gateway to Joy, [] Q. Is openness to marriage a requirement for dating and/or a relationship? Should it be? Q. How do each persons goals affect the interactions of people who are dating or in a relationship? Topic 1

7 Defining Dating and Relationships Just because most people are casually dating does not mean that everybody should, in the same way that just because most people courted some years ago meant that everybody should do that. … Some people tend to seek after intimacy first and foremost, and for these people casual dating may not be the best mechanism for them to find a good life partner… I think it [is] much more likely that they end up committing to another person only because they want to hold onto some really close level of intimacy. The problem is that when intimacy wanes (and it will, from time to time) and commitment is shaky, there is potential for conflict, separation, and divorce. Joey from the TV show Friends seems to be a good example of this type of person. … Some people tend to seek after commitment first and foremost, and for these people courtship may be a dangerous mechanism to use. They are perhaps more likely to over-commit, moving beyond what intimacy is there merely for the sake of having a stable, orderly relationship. The problem is when intimacy between two people of this type never really takes off after all, and they are left unhappily married, less likely to divorce because they value commitment so highly. A good example from Friends would be Ross, of course. Source: The Problem of Christian Dating [] Q. What does intimacy mean in this context? Is it physical? Emotional? Both? Q. Is there any merit to the idea of human interaction w.r.t sexuality as a continuum between intimacy and commitment, with Dating on one side and Marriage on the other? Q. Where on this continuum would we place other kinds of interactions? One Night stands? Friends with benefits? Open relationships? Casual Dating? Casual Sex? Divorced? Q. Is there an ideal balance for Catholics or Christians?? Topic 1

8 Topic 2 What Do Women Want? What Do Men Want?

9 What Do Women Want? What Do Men Want? Q. Do you agree/disagree with any of these views? Q. Do these two views contradict each other? Do men and women really want different things? Q. What is on your list of what you want as a man or woman? Where does faith fit in? Topic 2 What women think men want from them causes women to have resentment and anger toward men, and feel hopeless about ever developing a wonderful, warm, romantic partnership. What men think women want from them causes them much of the same feelings and frustration.... I asked a number of men and women who are actively involved in personal growth and development what they want from a partner in order to build a great relationship. 1. Men want honest, timely, loving communication. 2. Men want self-sufficient, secure, confident women. 3. Men want a manipulation-free relationship. 4. Men want growth, personal responsibility, and ownership. 5. Men want fidelity and a commitment to the relationship. 6. Men want women who know how men need to be treated. Source: Coach Rinatta Paries, in What Men Want in a Relationship from "Chinese Women Today [] One reason why understanding women isn't such an easy thing is because the ways women process thoughts and emotions are drastically different than their male counterparts' ways of processing.... The top 6 things women want FROM MEN, in order, are: 1. Confidence (or Power) 2. Sense of humor (Fun) 3. Money or the things money can buy (Security) 4. Looks (Protection and Attraction) 5. A little bit of "Bad boy" qualities (Mysterious and Independent/Strong) 6. All the other stuff they typically list (varies - sensitive, caring, etc.) Source: Scott Andrews, Founder of "Aspire Now" in Smooth Sailing []

10 What Do Women Want? What Do Men Want? If you do not stabilise your inner self and deal with your insecurities, you will not be attractive, or even beneficial in a relationship. People who are attracted to insecure people can fail to realise it may be their own insecurity which makes them desire to control another by using that persons insecurity to manipulate them. This can give them a sense of power. Q. Is it necessary and/or better for someone to be secure before they engage in dating or a relationship? Q. Does dating/relationship have the ability to help you with your insecurities? Or reinforce them? Both? Q. What things are men and women generally insecure about? Would you want to be with someone with those insecurities? Q. If you believe internally that you arent worthwhile, can you expect someone else to? Is this attitude common? How does it hinder single people? Couples? Q. Is insecurity related to faith? Does having insecurity mean that your faith is also insecure? How could this affect you in dating or relationships? Q. What kind of distinction, if any, is there between dating and a relationship? What about casual dating and dating? Topic 2

11 What Do Women Want? What Do Men Want? For men, a womans looks are more important than personality, at least at first. For women, a mans attitude is everything, all the time. Source: Anonymous Women aren't usually romantically attracted to "nice" guys. Women are attracted to men who are funny, confident, and mysterious. Good looks don't hurt, but if you're not 6'4" tall and model-handsome, then you have to learn how to attract women with your personality. Source: David DeAngelo, Why Nice Guys Fail With Women in Dating Newsletter Q. Do these comments make men seem more superficial? How much does it reflect reality? Do our societal roles affect how we approach one another? Q. What causes attraction? Is it possible for people to learn how to be attract someone? Is it important to know how? Q. If we want others to be receptive to us, isnt it our responsibility to be receptive to them? Do we have a responsibility to know what they want? Topic 2

12 Topic 3 What About Sex?

13 [From what we are told,] For those Catholics who are having premarital sex, there is no distinction [given] between making love in a committed relationship and having sex with the entire rugby team; they are both mortal sins. [But] This ignores the heart of the Church's teaching on sex, which, among other things, calls on us to integrate our "thoughts, feelings and actions in a way that values, esteems and respects the dignity of oneself and others. Source: Julia Tier, Sex and the Catholic Campus [] Q. Does this Catholic womans stance interpret Church teaching properly? Is she simply trying to justify pre-marital sex? Q. Why does she make the distinction between TYPES of pre-marital sex? What is she trying to say about Church teaching? (Notice that she uses the term make love and have sex differently) Q. Is there really no moral difference between making love in a long-term relationship and a one-night stand? What does church teaching say? Topic 3

14 What About Sex? Why do so many wives claim to have a headache when their husband wants to have sex? If a woman is being used then its totally understandable for her to recoil. The sexual embrace is meant to express divine love. Anything less is a counterfeit that not only fails to satisfy, but wounds us terribly Source: Christopher West, Theology of the Body for Beginners – A Basic introduction to Pope John Paul IIs Sexual Revolution Q. This quote can obviously applied to BOTH genders. How can physical closeness be used to manipulate someone? Q. How can this quote be interpreted for unmarried couples? Topic 3

15 What About Sex? Topic 3

16 What About Sex? Once one realises that the body is good, then one must realise that sex is also good: therefore a traditional Christian mistrust of the body and sexuality must be rejected as dangerous distortion. [Such a] revolutionary Christian re-evaluation must bring sexuality and spirituality back into the closest connection. [Then] Christians will be freed to view sex … as a proper part of the spiritual life [which] leads to the divine rather than away from it. Source: Linda Woodhead in Sex in a Wider Context from Sex These Days – Essays on Theology, Sexuality and Spirituality Q. Why is it that Catholics seem to think that sex and the body are dirty? Do we still think this way? How does this way of thinking harm us? Q. What would the harm be in premarital sex? Topic 3

17 What About Sex? … the Pope [reflects] on … the Sermon on the Mount: `You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart` (Mt 5:27-28). … When Christ speaks of looking with lust, he isnt saying that a mere glance or momentary thought makes us guilty of adultery. … When we indulge in it – that is, when we actively choose `in our hearts` to treat another person as merely an object for our own gratification – we … violate that persons dignity and our own. … For John Paul II, the opposite of love isnt hatred; [it] is to use someone as a means to our own selfish ends. Source: Christopher West, Theology of the Body for Beginners – A Basic introduction to Pope John Paul IIs Sexual Revolution Q. Why would Jesus say a woman instead of a woman who is not your wife? What is he saying about interaction between husband and wife? Q. If lust is a desire that erodes love in a marriage, would this be the same in dating or a relationship? Q. If dating and relationships were free of lust, would it then be permissible in a Catholic context to engage in making love?? Topic 3

18 Conclusion Lets go to the bar!

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