Relationships, Dating and the Theory of Systems

Relationships, Dating and the Theory of Systems

Taking a Systemic Approach to Dating Is in the Best Interest of Society

Everywhere we look in the world we see systems – they are used in just about every sphere of life. They order our universe; run our country; supply our electricity; produce our public transport system; manage our airports; supply our supermarkets; run our schools etc. We might not think these systems work well but without them, life would be chaos. So why don’t we use a systematic approach to dating, relationships and marriage? It is one of the most important areas of our lives and the decision on who to marry is probably the most important decision we could make. And yet, for most of us it still remains a hit-and-miss affair. We do the dating thing and hope for the best without finding a system that serves the best interest of all the parties involved.

In my work as a therapist I see many males and females who have wandered through the mine field of dating and relationships with no idea at all of what or who they want. They might want commitment but they are not sure. They might want marriage and children but they are not sure. Most of them definitely want sex and for many, that is as far as their dating lives go. And for those who definitely want commitment, marriage and children, the relationships and/or marriages they have previously had have turned out to be disastrous. But they don’t know how else to conduct their love lives. These people seem to be polarised – they are both very selfish and narcissistic or allow themselves to be constantly walked over as they make their significant other the main focus of their lives.

In a systematic approach to dating and relationships, taking a look at your values, beliefs, wants, desires and behaviors is the first step to determining what your future may look like. Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384 – 322 BC), said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” While that sounds harsh, what he is saying is if we do not know ourselves we are not really living at all, just wandering around in an unconscious haze.

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