by Tracye Brewer
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. -Genesis 2:21-23, KJV Bible
With the advent of online dating, our culture has shifted and so has our concept of relationships, particularly intimate relationshipsi. By definition, relationship refers to how we are connected. About 75 years ago, the most common teen and young adult dating relationships involved a male asking a female out. The guy would arrive at the girl’s home, meet her parents, and promise to bring her back home by curfew. The dating youngsters would go to a local hangout spot and sometimes meet up with other dating youngsters. If they had fun and enjoyed each other’s company, they usually planned to do it all again the next week. Phone calls in between dates were few since there were no cell phones and young people usually preferred to get out of the house and away from their parents when meeting with that special someone. By the third date, the guy and girl were officially a couple with regular plans to spend time together at school, sporting events, and parties.
Today, the landscape is much different. Individuals don’t typically walk up to someone they have never met and ask the person out on a date. Engaging in such overt behavior is considered very risky and it simply does not fit in with the tech culture of today. If people want to date, they join dating websites. Multiple online platforms are available to choose from, each with its own smorgasbord of photoshopped images of candidates and snazzy taglines. With image enhancements, a brief description, carefully selected hashtags, and an active imagination, one can create the image he/she wants for himself/herself. Once the profile is posted, it has the potential to reach hundreds of profilers that one ordinarily wouldn’t have a chance to meet and greet. Just search through the webpages, click “Like” or “Super Like” and you are on your way to a match! In the best case scenarios, online dating connects people who want to connect. It allows them to chat online, talk on the phone, and ultimately meet in person. I know of many people who have met their spouses this way. The couples I know who meet online that have fostered lifelong relationships seem to have something in common: although they initially met online, they did not neglect their face to face relationships.
If you are pursuing a lifelong, intimate relationship, at some point, a healthy desire for intimacy causes you to crave a face to face relationship with the other person. When you engage with someone face to face, one can communicate using body language and other nonverbal cues that can easily be misinterpreted or overlooked during a phone conversation or online chat. While face to face, one can observe distinctive details such as the dimple that appears on the other person’s cheek when his/her lips form a smile. While face to face, one can discern distinctions such as happy or sad, good or bad, high or low. Imagine creating a relationship where people CHOOSE to be physically present with each other. Each one has a choice to go another way but they choose to create space and time for face to face encounters. That powerful choice can birth something new. We all have a choice to create in our relationships. When we are beautifully flawed and unashamed to exercise our free will to engage in purposeful, intimate, face to face relationships, that is true POWER.
Tracye Brewer is a licensed clinical social worker. She facilitates workshops on “The Abuse of Power” teaching strategies for prevention and healing of abuse. She helps to raise awareness of clergy sexual abuse, working directly with clergy and church leadership. She has over 10 years of experience working with individuals, families, and children as a social worker. As a Medical Social Worker at Kaiser Permanente, she currently works with patients who have chronic illness and end stage disease. She is also an actress. She recently performed in the stage production “I Want My Vagina Back” playing the role of Claire, a woman struggling to heal from abuse, misfortune, and poor choices. Please join me in welcoming Tracye Brewer to the Jubilee News Team in this her debut article
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