Do We Need Dating Schools?

There’s a new schools program in the United States that is trying to address the harm that can be caused by bad dating habits. Aimed at teenagers, the program encourages them to  define their relationships with other people into categories such as “just texting”, “casually hooking up”, “friends with benefits” or “monogamous”.

The program not only gets them to think about the type of relationships that they’re having, but also gives lessons on more subtle elements of managing relationships – like why ending things face to face is a better approach that the passive-aggressive technique of simply changing your Facebook status to ‘single’. They also get practical advice on how to spot and interpret the signs that a relationship has the potential to become abusive.

This sounds like a great idea – and perhaps it is something that we could do with over here too. I’m not just talking about our teenagers either.

If there’s two areas that we could do with a bit of a boost – it’s in handling breakups and in starting up relationships. In both instances it could be argued that the root of these problems lies in our still not really having a mature dating culture in this country.

Sure, we’ve plenty of clubs and places to get drunk, but our generally laid back attitude to life can make things a little confusing, blurring the line between hanging out for a couple of beers and getting to know someone you’d like to know a lot better.

Perhaps what we need to push ourselves towards is a wider culture of romance than we currently do. Let’s get better relationship and sex education programs in our own schools, unafraid of the prudes who think that talking about condoms or homosexuality will corrupt our nation’s morals.

What do you think?