Bride and Groom spark engagement rings, engagement parties and bridal showers. The celebration of this event is a milestone in the life of a couple.
Bride and groom, every girl and boy somehow aspire to be a bride and groom and eventually a husband and wife. This appears to be something built into the human psyche. Have you ever wondered why? And why is it so universal?
(Audit of Humankind, chapter 3.4)
We’re discussing the structure of human society, the relationship between human beings, locally and internationally. We’ve discussed the equality of human beings and that humanity is composed of two compatible genders. The fundamental underlying axiom I’m working with is this: To procreate and increase the population a male and a female must come together. Two individuals each representing one of these genders need to have intercourse, this is the only way to procreate.
Following, individuals, two genders the next step is the formation of couples. It’s always a twosome. Girlfriend and boyfriend. Bride and groom. Husband and wife.
People of all types of the same and opposite genders are in social contact with one another all the time, be it in school, at work or at play in the largest sense of the word. This is the meaning of social relationships. Interaction between people is the spice of the human species. Friendships grow out of shared activities, likes and dislikes, their common ground of abilities and skills, The more two people have in common the closer they get.People of the same and opposite genders are in social contact with one another all the time, be it in school, at work or at play This is social relationships. Interaction between people is the spice of the human species. Click To Tweet
Some are only acquaintances or job colleagues, others move to a higher level of teammates or business partners. This can be between people of the same or opposite genders. Friendships formed in school, university, a club, the military become lifetime bonds.
Dating – Part of Social Relationships
Then there’s the dating period, getting to know, getting to be comfortable around the other gender, especially if you haven’t grown up with a brother or sister with whom you have discussed girl-boy issues. And even more so if you haven’t had the father-mother example as a model. We’ll broach this in a future post.
This whole issue of our outlook of the opposite sex has become a major worldwide problematic topic with feminist movements and more drastically with male sexist attitudes and acts towards women. This is the behavioral aspect of the functioning of males and females, the result of their human nature and choices. A lot of this has to do with how males and females are nurtured by their environment in this 21st Century. What is the state of those affairs?This whole issue of our outlook of the opposite sex has become a major worldwide problematic topic with feminist movements and more drastically with male sexist attitudes and acts towards women. Click To Tweet
Some of these dating couples go further. Beyond the friendly feelings, deeper emotions of attachment begin to creep … or gallop in. A man and a woman are constantly thinking about one another. Couples–a male and a female– (we’re talking about procreation) are formed because there’s some sort of magnetic attraction that draws one to the other or both of them together. Oftentimes it starts off with physical attractiveness and then grows stronger as they realize their commonalities through their backgrounds, education, and life goals. It can be any number of subjects that begin to make the two individuals feel closer to each other.
When they share experiences they feel like they’re receiving something in return. This positive exchange creates an emotional bond that leads to each opening up more and more to one another. They increasingly enjoy each other’s company. By this time there could be cuddling, kissing and much more. The ties are to the point that each considers the other not just as a friend but as a potential life-mate.
Engagement and courtship
This can be officialized by an engagement and the offering of an engagement ring. Ushering in a new relationship sometimes referred to as courtship. Depending on the culture males and females have courtships arranged by their families or professional matchmakers where the concerned couples have no say in whom their life-partner will be. Arranged marriages where girls barely at puberty are handed to their future partner with no personal consent.
Other men and women follow the meeting and dating process. Today, for many, transitioned into the speed and internet dating mode. The various approaches of dating and courtship have evolved over time but the goal is the same, establish a couple that leads to a bride and groom. I could go into big audience TV shows devoted to this subject like The Farmer Wants a Wife, a reality TV show launched in 1983 in Switzerland is still going strong in France (L’Amour est dans le Pre) and reproduced in some 30 other countries including the USA.
The dating and courtship process depends on country, culture, religious orientation… but the goal is the formation of couples that eventually lead to some form of union, generally, a marriage during which the bride and groom become husband and wife. For clarification I’m using a more Western approach: Dating leads to an engagement. This is followed by a period of courtship that ends with a marriage.
This engagement period also called the betrothal period is a time during which a mutual promise has been made but will not be consummated until the actual wedding when the final vows are taken. The purpose of an engagement is to ultimately prepare the wedding. But, it goes further than that. If the couple has dated properly they are already beginning to know one another. Each one has wooed the other, they’ve put their best foot forward. Dating is a passionate period, the boy and girl can be starry-eyed with hormones running high.
The first point I’d like you to think about is this process of socialization. This attraction humans have one for another. It is present from the start to the end of life. We’re discussing physical and romantic attraction during puberty, adolescence, and young adulthood. Dating, engagement, and courtship, whatever forms they take, are stepping-stones to the union of a couple. Why is there such a process? Where and when did it originate? Why is it universal? Men and women worldwide follow this schema. It is so simple and yet so hyper-complex at the same time. Is there a reason behind this socialization and what, if anything, is it supposed to reveal to us?
Secondly, in the context of Audit of the Universe, since this is a universal base of human relationships where’s the appropriate instruction for our youth, the future generation of leaders, pillars of society, coming from? Who’s teaching about preparation for marriage? What content are we feeding our youth regarding the choice and nurturing of such important decisions and the relationship that will mark a milestone in their lives and their futures, for life? What’s the basis of this preparation for marriage and who should be disseminating such knowledge and know-how?
Thirdly, I realize that the process of socialization and its foundational knowledge as well as its teachers, as expounded above, are questions. There are no answers in this book. Here, we’re turning over the puzzle pieces, revealing the stages of socialization. However, you will begin to find solid solutions, assemble the puzzle pieces, in Origin of Humankind. This fifth book in The Explanation series is being written in parallel and you can begin to read some of the answers here.
During the engagement period, quite a number of practical considerations are added to the emotional glow. Starting with the wedding itself, choice of a place, decoration, cake, and catering. Who will officiate? 1,001 details.
The bride and groom will definitively leave the homes they grew up in. They will especially be leaving the security of their father and mother. This in itself is a major change, along with getting to know and appreciate their in-laws and greater families, how are they reacting? Is s/he mature and responsible enough?
Together they have the load of setting up a new home, not just a house. Sure, they have help, but ultimately, it’s up to the couple’s collaboration. Where will they live? Will it be closer to his or her parents? Maybe quite a distance from both? Will they build or rent? House or apartment? Then there’s all the furniture and equipment they have to decide on and pick out. Will it affect his and her employment? And the list goes on.
Discussions between our two future spouses are no longer only starry-eyed. It is down-to-earth and revolves around everyday living in which individually and collectively they must create a new mode of happy life.During courtship, the couple is no longer only starry-eyed. It is down-to-earth and revolves around everyday living in which individually and collectively they must create a new mode of happy life. Click To Tweet
The reality of the engagement sets in and each sees the other in real-life situations. Their combined activities throw them into virgin situations. Is there still listening, sharing, right compromising, the proper assumption of rights and responsibilities?
Can the bride be herself? can the groom be himself? Do they still laugh and forgive? Can they openly discuss employment, maybe further education and training, finances and budgets, short and longterm plans, children, and family? Can they see and talk about their character weaknesses and strengths? Are they on the same wavelength?
Being a bride and groom is romantic, it’s a new step in social relations but it brings with it additional challenges. Are they happy with the way their partner rises to and accomplishes these challenges?
I don’t like ending this post negatively but during the engagement period, it’s not too late to envision a change of heart, be it that of the bride or groom. They may no longer feel comfortable in this new configuration. Ending a relationship is a serious move but it’s better to face the facts then than later.
The betrothal period is a preparatory period that brings the bride and groom back to their real senses. It is an essential stage not only in preparation for marriage but for the development of both partners for the final contract which is binding.
This blog post is an excerpt from chapter 3.4 of the book Audit of Humankind.
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