Style Observer

#TheSituationship

Sunday, July 09, 2017

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Courtship that now dated word that once conjured up billet doux tied with ribbons and spritzed with perfume seem all but passe. Whatever happened to a man sitting on the porch sipping lemonade with an adult acting as chaperone to ensure that respectable distance? And what of that memorable Jane Austen quote... it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a good wife?
SO is here to share that the dating game Rock side ain't all Bombay mangoes with dulce de leche  

     

Name: Chelsea Taylor
Age: 27
Relationship Status: Single

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?
To be very honest, I have NO idea - I think Jamaica's dating scene can be whatever it is that you're looking for. But they DEF lean more towards “talking” which I think is a middle ground between dating and hooking up.

What's dating  like in Jamaica? TALKING!  Talking can last anywhere from a few weeks to years.

What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
Honestly, I have NO idea how to answer this because I've never really dated. But in any situation, finding out that the guy has another girl is always the worst dating experience!

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica?
This honestly dates all the way back to slavery, but to keep a long story short - I think it's common but I don't think it's “accepted” but I do think it's tolerated one too many times.  

What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
I think for the average Jamaican woman - things, money, support (financial and emotional) and for the Jamaican man, sex


Name: Jeneque Pinnock
Age: 23
Relationship Status: Single; not sure I want to mingle

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?
Dating becomes the norm when you hit early adulthood. It's not a cultural norm instilled in us through socialisation; however, with age, more importance is placed on dating as a way of finding a suitable partner. I don't believe in hooking up, so perhaps I'm blind to the prevalence of that culture. I also think hooking up is more common in men's approach to dating.

Describe what you think dating is like in Jamaica. What are the norms?
*Male expresses interest in female*
*The two of them talk for a few weeks/months*
All of a sudden, they're together.

I think 'dating' in Jamaica is sometimes rushed. It's not common for persons to actually court the way our parents did. The 'getting to know you' process is hurried. When you think about it, are people really dating or just rushing into partnerships after a few lukewarm conversations?

What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
A good date is any date that involves good conversation. You can tell when you click with someone. And of course, I appreciate when effort is put into planning the date. Some of my best dates? A nice dinner, a spontaneous trip.. going the extra mile is always good.

Worst date: If you're late without updating me, I'm already turned off. Bad conversation (or barely any at all), no chemistry, if the man is just interested in yapping about himself, being arrogant, pretentious.. I can go on and on. For the record, this is me describing one specific date. #ReasonsImSingle

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica? If so, why?
I've been told that every man cheats. We have a culture of male promiscuity being seen as a sign of masculinity that should be praised and respected. This mindset encourages cheating. It's sad to say (and type).

What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
I expect to be treated with respect and not be cheated on! But apparently that's too much to ask for. I don't know what males expect/want, and apparently, neither do they.

Name: Rushane Campbell

Age: 23

Relationship Status: Single  

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?

I think it's a little of both. Dating is still embraced by many in Jamaica, especially older people, and at face value, we don't think they do but the younger generation dates as well. They try to make it less formal by saying they're “hanging out”. So, in 2017 you rarely hear millennials saying “I'm going on a date.” Instead it's “I'm going out to eat with. . . .”
However, dating is not as popular as it used to be because of the rise of the hook-up culture in 2017. People are much more upfront about not wanting more than just sex. Women have also begun to embrace their sexuality and are not ashamed to say “I don't want more” and people are more selfish, so nobody wants anything serious but would still like to fulfil their needs, and both parties understand that.

How does one date?
Dating in Jamaica, especially in Kingston, fills the stereotype of what people think of Jamaica: it's chill. People don't go all-out for dates with dressing all the way up and doing the Notebook/Titanic love movie-style dates (well, not my age group at least). Dating is also diverse in Jamaica, so people go to the beach, they go to parties, they go to movies, very informal and casual; they hang out at home.

The norms are general gender norms: Guy pays for it, picks up the girl, makes her laugh, woos her, puts on his best. . . she shows up and looks nice.

What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
I haven't had an awful dating experience because I usually have good skills of picking up energy when I meet someone and I'm also very into experiences. So once I have food, something to do, music, a good vibe, I'm good. I also might be able to say this because I haven't been on that many dates.

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica? If so, why?
It is VERY common in Jamaica and highly accepted. I say this because from as long as I've been able to remember, there's always been the culture of 'wife and mate' and 'bun him/bun for bun', especially in the dancehall. When I think about songs like Jim Screechie by Spice, Bun Him by Macka Diamond and the infamous lines by Beenie Man of having 'girls in a bungle,' it is evident that it is accepted.

Also, recently there's a sort of 'empowerment' women feel in our culture about 'taking a gyal man', which means to me that infidelity is now not only about a man or woman stepping out in their relationship but another person stepping IN. It is very common and accepted culturally . . .until it happens to you.


What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
Women expect to be wined and dined and taken care of. When I see these discussions on Twitter, the narrative hasn't changed when it comes to dating. They expect to be asked out, picked up, spent on, taken home, etc. Women also expect to be swept off their feet, so sometimes, you can't do 'simple' with them in the dating game. They want a man to be creative and thoughtful and most importantly, a gentleman and not a beep.
Men expect women to show up and show off. We really expect women to dress up and put some effort into how they look. I mean, that's the least you could do, right? He's paying for everything. Also, men expect a lady, not somebody who wants to embarrass him or be a diva about the date. Men also expect a 'memory'.

How do you transition from casually dating someone to being in a relationship?
One word, a MESS. You're going well and everybody's happy and then you start transitioning and people show their true colours and the true colours show because of the higher expectations. People let their guard down and bring their expectations up. So, things that wouldn't annoy me before annoy me now, because I have a right to say something about it, but we're accustomed to being single and just dating and having fun, so I get the question “Why you acting like that?”.

Complications I've experienced? A runaway train of unreasonable expectations, uncomfortable communication and deep regret.

In 2017, do men still ask women “Will you be in a relationship with me?”
People don't really do that anymore. It happens incrementally. First, you agree to be exclusive, we're not talking to, linking, dating, seeing anyone else but each other. But guess what? We're not together yet! Second, you start going out more together in public or doing things together and enjoying each other's company. But guess what? We're not together yet! Third, you just wait around until somebody asks when you're gonna make it legitimate OR when somebody refers to the other person as girlfriend/boyfriend and the other consents. I mean, if you're with somebody who is really serious he might suggest that you take it to the next level or casually ask you to be 'serious' (as if all this time you were joking).

What has been your worst relationship/break up?
My worst relationship was actually the one I invested my most time and energy in, to the detriment of self. The one I basically lost myself in. The relationship/break up wasn't the worst because of the person and we had a big curse-out, etc; it was the worst because when I look back I realise I wasn't really invested in myself and so I failed myself.

What have you learnt from that relationship?
Know your worth + Property Tax + GCT + EVERY TAX.
Don't ignore the red flags.
Don't major in the minor.
Don't settle.
Let it go!


Name : Christopher Barrett

Age: 44

Relationship Status : Single

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?

Good question. I think it's a little bit of both. Everyone nowadays needs immediate satisfaction (I have to have it now). This is unfortunately true in courtship also. So due to this 'gimme now' culture I think more that dating in our culture is one for hooking up, though most of us may not even realise it.

How does one date?
That's easy! Step 1. Whatsapp flirting (In some cases women will take offence if you call them before whatsapping them; a guy can come off looking anxious if he makes this mistake. Though this phenomenon is mainly noticed in under-25 females. Go figure).  Step 2. After about tree to four whatsapp messages, ask her out for a casual-link up, like coffee or something. Oh, and always after 6:00pm as daylight meetings are just that: meetings. Nights are more intimate. Step 3.  After dates two and three the norm is to get to third base; most women will oblige. After dates four and up, if the guy has not sealed the deal then he is entering into the never to return “friend zone”.  Dating in Ja can be a bit challenging as it is very possible that each of you will know someone who the other used to date which can make things a bit awkward.

What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
Best: On our fourth date I rented a small plane and my girlfriend and I flew from Miami to Key West. We were wheels up very early in the morning. As we were cruising at around 5,000 ft we ate our McDonald's breakfast and had a few laughs. I let her fly the aircraft for a bit and the smile on her face was priceless. As the sun rose we made love in the cockpit. It was both our first experience being one at 5,000 ft over the Everglades. We had a great time in Key West. That weekend I will never forget.

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica? If so, why?
Most definitely common. In fact, I think it is rampant. I would even venture to say that 90% of couples cheat at some point in their relationship. However, I don't believe that infidelity is accepted by any party, male or female. Accepted for the sake of getting along for some, yes. However, it is never truly accepted when it comes to the soul and heart. Some women are more “accepting” of infidelity than men. Perhaps more for economic reasons and also for the fact that culturally Jamaican men have always had a matey and Jamaican women kinda grow up knowing this.

What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
It depends on what stage of life the male or female is in. For a male, say 20 to 25 years of age. He would be looking to just have some fun and explore his sexuality nothing too serious. For the Jamaican female it is not much different as she is also exploring her own sexuality but perhaps she is also seeking security, and by that I mean “Dollar dollar bill, y'all.” On the other hand, men in their 30s to 40s are also seeking to explore their sexuality. But seriously, men in this period of their lives are seeking a deep, loving and passionate relationship where there is stimulation of the heart, mind and soul. This is hard to find, however.  Women, I believe, in their 30s to 40s, hopefully, have found their soul mate by now and they are seeking the same thing as men in this age category.

How do you transition from casually dating someone to being into a relationship?
For me it is all about time. One needs time to get to know someone. How long or short the time depends on chemistry, compatibility and character. It is not a conscience decision to “transition”; it kinda just happens naturally as true feelings should. How do the rules and expectations change?  They change naturally. You feel that you are not interested in seeing any other person today but her. You feel that there is a need to let her know how your day went and vice versa. You now have to bend and/ or adjust your single behaviour to one of  couple's behaviour and you should be okay with that. I experienced enough to know what is to be expected in starting a romantic exclusive relationship.

In 2017 do men still ask women “Will you be in a relationship with me?”

If they do they certainly decrease their chances of getting into a relationship with that girl. Note: women like to chase; they don't want a man to be caught easily. They won't admit this, but it is true. Like the song goes, “You must never let a woman know how much you love her or she will do things to hurt you.” Relationships rarely equal love between two people; one of them is chasing the other. Try your darndest to not be the chaser. How do relationship normally start?  They normally start when she is the last thing you think of when you go to bed and the first you think of when you awake. Just hope she is thinking the same.

What has been your worst relationship/break-up?
This one is easy since it is relatively recent.  Definitely my last. But maybe that's because for the first time I was the one being dumped. But, all in all, I don't regret the six years. I learned a lot and I wish her happiness and true love.

What have you learnt from that relationship?
I learned that everyone won't always see your point of view, no matter how logical it may be. I also learned that love is not possession, but rather a choreographed dance where both parties have to be in step with each other and learn not to get too mad when feet are stepped on occasionally. I also learned that just because you give value to your partner, does not always mean that you will receive value from them in return.


Name: Andre Lewis

Age: 26

Relationship status: In a relationship

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?
Yes, people still date in Jamaica in 2017, but it is not as frequent. People in Jamaica more go for casual sex with an individual that will probably not last. Males tend to actually go on dates after they have entered into a committed relationship rather than beforehand. Well at least for me, because this is how it has always worked for me. I have never needed to date a girl to end up getting a girl.

Describe what you think dating is like in Jamaica. What are the norms?
Norms for dating in Jamaica? It is normal to have sex very early in the relationship. As a matter of fact, people engage in sexual activities before entering a relationship and completely ignore the 'ourting' stage. I believe this happens because ladies make it happen. If women were to put their feet down and enforce sex after marriage or sex after a relationship, then that would be the norm, but they don't.

What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
Best: I once went out with a young lady, very sexy young lady. We went to the Pub where we spoke, laughed and flirted the entire night and had sex after the dinner. But I usually have these flings with multiple women so I guess I'm always having good dating experiences.
Worst: Was having to pay for the entire bill, got no sex and the girl was a complete moron.

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica? If so, why?
Infidelity is very common in Jamaica and I think it has a lot to do with just the culture, overall. Infidelity is a popular topic in dancehall music; when artistes emphasise “gi yu man bun” this brings additional attention to the act and causes it to become less of taboo and more of a norm.

What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
Women expect money and to be taken care of while men expect sexual favours and to have the girl as a 'trophy girl' until she is promoted.

How do you transition from casually dating someone to being in a relationship?
A transition from loosely dating somebody  to being in a relationship with them can happen because the sex is really good; catching feelings could facilitate the transition.

In 2017 do men still ask women “Will you be in a relationship with me?”
I will still do that.

What has been your worst relationship/ break up?
Worst break-up was me leaving a girl for another girl, but the first girl was not playing her part and had to be replaced by one who would.

What have you learnt from that relationship?
From that relationship I've learnt it is all about the THREE C's: compromise, commitment and communication.




Name: Craig Carter

Age: 26

Relationship Status: In a relationship

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?
I believe people still date in Jamaica. However, it tends to be a more mature phenomenon. It is looked at with disdain by the general public if a woman dates multiple people and so while dating does occur it seems to be somewhat anomalous in form, often perceived as a hook-up situation because a lady dates one person for an extended period until they decide whether it is going to lead to a relationship. If it doesn't, then on to the next extended date.

What's dating is like in Jamaica. What are the norms?
Dating in Jamaica seems to be on average going out for drinks, dinner, ice cream, figuring out whether or not you like the other's company. However, it does require some amount of familiarity before dating begins, unlike in other countries. So typically you speak to each other over the phone for at least a week or two before the first date, and so on.

What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
Worst: I would say was when a young lady misinterpreted something I said as me admitting I had multiple lady friends and leaving in tears.
Best: Was sitting on top of a hill with an amazing view with a bottle of wine just talking and drinking.

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica? If so, why?
Well, I have heard many women say that they wouldn't leave their men because of cheating, as long as their partner does it discreetly and keeps it out of the public eye. So,  yes, I believe infidelity is common in jamaica and accepted conditionally, as long as it brings no embarrassment to the other party. To me, this is because women have accepted that infidelity is inevitable.

What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
Well, I think everyone just expects to meet someone they can really get along with while enjoying themselves.

How do you transition from casually dating someone to being in a relationship?
The most significant change that occurs from the transition of casually dating to a relationship, I would have to say, is expectation. It is as though once the relationship has ensued you are expected to be different with not much discussion on what those expectations are until one party has failed to live up to their expectations. The interaction between you and people of the opposite sex is far more scrutinised; sometimes, jealousy becomes an issue and largely due to the possessory notion had for one's partner.



In 2017 do men still ask women “Will you be in a relationship with me?”
I don't believe men still ask this question after a particular age; it just happens when the commitment is apparent and the expectations start to present themselves and one grand day there is an expression by one party that the other is their partner, the acquiescence of the other leading to the definite start of the relationship.

What has been your worst relationship/break up? What did it teach you?
My worst relationship, I would have to say, was one where communication was lacking. It taught me the importance of that aspect of a relationship.




Name: Shanice-Jade Chow-Tai

Age:25

Relationship status: In a relationship

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?
Honestly, it is extremely hard to find a partner who is into the dating culture. In the initial stage of courting I think men make an effort to carry a girl on a date but after one or two dates it's mainly just hooking up and hanging out.

Describe what you think dating is like in Jamaica. What are the norms?
Dating in Jamaica is pretty casual. I find that men who are more mature try to court their lady of interest by going to dinner/lunch, watching a movie or getting a drink together. But men my age typically just hang out, nothing formal.

What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
Best: It didn't happen in Jamaica; it was in London at Hyde Park. We walked and skated through the park, talked and got to know more about each other, watched the ducks and then went to dinner and watched a movie.
Worst: Was going to dinner and my date didn't even take out his wallet to pay.

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica? If so, why?
Infidelity is common. I personally don't find it acceptable but it has become almost a part of our culture, to the point where if we hear of a faithful relationship they get praised and we are shocked because infidelity has become such a norm that faithful relationships are almost a myth.

What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
I would expect the point of dating is to get more familiar with each other, to learn about their likes and dislikes, beliefs and values, etc.

How do you transition from casually dating someone to being in a relationship?
By having a discussion about how both individuals feel about each other, to see if feeling is mutual and seeing if there is a future for building a relationship. If there is a future for a relationship both individuals should set boundaries to build trust and loyalty. My current relationship started off as a casual one where neither of us was interested in committing because we both came out of relationships that failed and it wasn't until after two years of being friends that we decided to be exclusive.

In 2017 do men still ask women “Will you be in a relationship with me?”
Actually, I don't think people ask each other to be together; it's usually assumed. But for me I honestly prefer to be asked because it presents clarity. No one wants to “own up” a person who behind closed doors isn't being “claimed” by the other person.

What has been your worst relationship/break-up?
Oh, my gosh! My worst relationship was me in my car leaving my boyfriend's house and he started to throw stones at my car because I wouldn't give him his own way.  That had to end instantly!


What have you learnt from that relationship?  
That I have to always put myself first and to always love me first; anyone else should come after.


Name: Anna-Sharé Blake

Age: 25

Relationship Status: In a committed relationship

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?
The hook-up culture is very real and I've had first-hand experience. However, there are still folks who want to actually get to know a potential partner through dating.

How does one date in Jamaica. What are the norms?
An interest is sparked via social media, the workplace, party, or any gathering. Then the number exchange happens. Following that is the “Let's go somewhere” and after that it might blossom into a full-fledged relationship or a 'situationship' or two people just having sex every now and then (booty call).

What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
Well, I dated a man for two years who ended up cheating with a woman he always called his “bredrin”.

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica? If so, why?
I think that it might have to do with the people not wanting to dirty their own impressions they have of themselves, so they figure if they are dishonest with the other party, - it allows them to maintain the image they've sold to the other person.  People are selfish. We all are.

What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
I can't speak for everyone but I expect a willingness to have the difficult conversations, sincerity and the ambition to improve all aspects of self and life.

How do you transition from casually dating someone to being in a relationship?
You definitely have to turn up your consideration knob to a solid 8; always communicate what's on your mind and what are your fears, discrepancies, hopes, etc; you have to try celebrating each other in whatever way is meaningful to you; and you have to listen, be fully present, pay attention. All of which are difficult transitions, especially if they hadn't been practised before. These things dictate the rules and expectations.

In 2017 do men still ask women “Will you be in a relationship with me?”
It really depends on the people in the relationship. It starts via dating and then the title is added after communicating what you want from the other person.

What have you learnt from that relationship?
To forgive myself and the other person because that's essential for moving forward and that there's nothing wrong with completely removing someone who once meant something to you from your life if it helps your peace of mind.



Name: Kristia Franklin

Age: 23

Relationship Status: Single

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?
This, to me, is crazy. So the order is: hook up...repeatedly. If you both start to develop feelings that is when the dating occurs. I met a guy who wanted us to have sex before we even stepped foot into a restaurant because, in his opinion, it made no sense to 'date' before finding out if we had chemistry and the only way to do so is by having sex….good bye! My love life has always proven to be way different from the norm, so I will answer this question based on observing my friends' lives. My female friends who are single tend to go on 'dates' like going for drinks, or hanging out with the gentleman and his friends. To me, this isn't a date; this is a hook-up. The friends who actually go for dinner and on trips etc, these fun things happen after the 'relationship title' has been added.

Describe what you think dating is like in Jamaica. What are the norms?
'Dating' prior to the relationship is going to TGI on a Friday or going to PUB for a drink. I believe 80% of dates are at bars. I believe this is to shy away from paying for a pricey meal. Also we all know what liquor does to the mind. I think dating is strategic on the male's end.

What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
I am yet to experience a GREAT date, my past dates CANNOT be the best the universe has to offer. But if I had to choose...
Best: Once after a work-related meeting, I was driven away to Eden Gardens and treated to a three course meal, yipee (*says sarcastically*).
Worst: The date didn't even get a chance to begin because he entered into the room with the girl he communicated to me was his 'best friend' who had hickies all over her neck which were gifts from my boyfriend at the time.

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica? If so, why?
Yes, it is. Unfortunately, it is accepted because it is a part of our music and our culture. It can be said that infidelity is even promoted in Jamaica. Dancehall songs influence the behaviour; the music factors to infidelity being looked at as 'cool'.

What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
Girls expect what they see on TV; they want a romantic adventurous date that they will remember forever. Do they actually get this is another question. Men, on the other hand, no matter how they pretend to be sweet, at the end of the night there is one thing on their mind: sex. Even though a lot of them may try to not move in that direction on the first date, if the opportunity presents itself I will bet my money that they will take it.


How do you transition from casually dating someone to being in a relationship?
This transition is sometimes very awkward because each party shies away from bringing up touchy yet important topics because he or she doesn't want to be labelled as the 'pushy' one or the one 'pressuring' the relationship. I believe after a lengthy 'going with the flow' period both persons start to develop expectations. When these expectations aren't met there is that game-changing conversation that takes place.
The male/female does something that the other person believes is 'wrong'.
Silence.
“What's wrong?” says one.
“Nothing…” says the other.
“Are you sure??”
“Yes, I am fine.”
“So why are you acting different or distant?”
“I am fine, but I just didn't like that you did________ I thought it was a little inappropriate.”
And that, my friend, is where the transition takes place; it either transforms into a relationship or into a big mass of nothing!

In 2017 do men still ask women “Will you be in a relationship with me?”
No, but I wish they would; if it is even just for clarity. I found out, three years after the fact, that I was in a relationship for three years, When did we get together? I have no clue. Another time my aunt asked the guy I was dating and myself, “Are you guys together?” He answered, “Yes.” I later asked him, “At what point did we get together?” He answered “two months ago.” If my aunt hadn't asked I would not have known my relationship had even begun, much less going two months strong!

What has been your worst relationship/break-up?
I believe all of my part-relationships are competing for this title. One relationship ended because I found out I was a part of a cheaper by the dozen package.
My ex had 12 girlfriends all at once. He then tried to comfort me by telling me I was ranked second.

Another time, my boyfriend told me a girl abroad was his 'best friend.' Little did I know that that was the same thing he defined me as to her. Long story short, it was his birthday. He went to collect his gift that she told him she had sent down. The gift turned out to be her. I ended up 'bucking' him up at a mutual friend's house and there this girl was, greeting me with arms wide open longing to meet her boyfriend's best friend named Kristia. Oh she went on to tell me how intense her evening was with her boyfriend after being apart for so long and showed me the hickies to prove it.

Finally, the man I swore I would meet at the end of the aisle broke up with me because one day he woke up and told me he no longer wanted a 'forever' with me. The night before I received a message saying “Goodnight, I love you…..forever.”`

What have you learnt from that relationship?
I have learnt that everyone needs an 'I don't understand it' file in our minds because certain things in life will never make sense, or at least not until years pass. So we need to have such a file to cast away situations that just don't make any sense in order to maintain our sanity and to move on with life.


Name: Racheal Callaghan

Age: 26

Relationship Status: Single

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?
Mostly hook-up

What's dating like in Jamaica. What are the norms?
People don't really date. You meet, talk and possibly 'deh', which is an undefined state of being with someone.
 
What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
I dated a guy who seemed nice and open for almost a year to find out he was still seeing his “ex.”

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica? If so, why?
 Yes! It seems to be the norm. Expecting to be in a monogamous relationship is viewed as being unrealistic.

What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
Men: everything but the kitchen sink without expectation of commitment, only a need for loyalty.
Women: financial support, with some amount of romance. A genuine commitment is a desire but one that we can only hope for.

How do you transition from casually dating someone to being in a relationship?
A discussion about the status of the relationship and the expectations. Complications may arise because of boundaries that were not clear before. There is greater expectation when it comes to making an effort to grow and sustain the relationship. The complications tend to come when things are taken for granted, like communication and consideration for the needs of the other party.

In 2017, do men still ask women “Will you be in a relationship with me?” If not, how does the relationship normally start?
No, they don't. Most times it is the woman who asks for a definition of the status of the relationship. They may begin to act more possessively or call you their girlfriend in public to friends or family.

What has been your worst relationship/ break up?
He got someone pregnant but didn't know how to tell me. So he dumped me. Via text. The night before an exam.

What have you learnt from that relationship?
I've learnt from all my past relationships that no matter how nice, supportive, attractive, open or anything you are, if a man wants to cheat he will. This doesn't mean you should think less of yourself or what you could have or should have been or done. Take the good from the bad and move on.





Name : Shanese Murdock

Age: 29

Relationship Status: In a Relationship

Do people still date in Jamaica in 2017 or is it now just a hook-up culture?
I think predominantly Jamaica has always had a hook up culture. We have an oversexualised culture that glorifies instant and multifarious gratification and though dating has its place, no doubt; as far as satisfying the natural desire for deeper connections every now and again, whether it be for convenience, the thrill or just a plain desire for variety, hooking up dominates. Even those who are either dating or in relationships are still hooking up on the side.

Describe what you think dating is like in Jamaica. What are the norms?
I suppose it depends on what part of the watering hole you're standing in; for some it's an exercise of going to the latest events, which essentially have become a buffet of attractive prospects. Upon making your selection and the pursuit ensues what follows is the daunting exercise of skimming through social media profiles for skeletons or spouses as well as to assess the reputation and desirability of one's prospect. For some they skip the social exercises all together and head straight to social media as their main picking field. Once basic casual interactions have taken place, and both parties have found each other favorable, you then move through an exercise of throwing your prospect into various environments relevant to your lifestyle, an obstacle course of occasions testing your compatibility, before heading to the bedroom where the most important level of compatibility is tested even further.
If they survive this ordeal then, voila! You have found your person, someone to kick it with for the season or as long as your interests and tolerance permit. I think technology is at the epicentre of dating today and has led to the lessening of intimate or one-on-one interaction. For some people, social media has even become the third person in their relationship.  Facebook especially is at the epicentre of the millennial's dating experience, as status updates charged with romantic sentiments and timeline photos of you and your significant other have become the true declaration of a person's level of commitment to the union.

What has been your best and/or worst dating experience?
My worst dating experience happened when I was a teen and just starting to test the waters. I was asked out by a longtime friend of mine to go for drinks and a game of pool. I brought a girlfriend with me to ease some of my discomfort, it being my first experience and all. We sat down chatting and having drinks and everything was going well until his ex-girlfriend (as I was told at the time) showed up and made a scene, spewing insults and threats at my friend and me. We made a hasty retreat. Not more than a couple months later, said guy and said crazy ex-girlfriend were good and coupled up, their pictures plastered all over his Hi5 account.

Would you say infidelity is common and accepted in Jamaica? If so, why?
Common? Undoubtedly, but by no means accepted. Frankly, why leave if your needs are being met to restart the daunting task of finding another suitor who may provide less with the same problems. For the Jamaican man there is no compromise or tolerance; his ego and reputation are his highest priority. However, on that rare occasion, love can be a major game- changer. He may forgive an isolated incident but would never tolerate a habitual cheater as a woman perhaps would.

What does each gender expect from the dating game in Jamaica?
I think what people look for from the dating pool is highly dependent on a wide range of variables, mostly related to age and socioeconomic status, and as these variables change so do their expectations. The typical young person, male or female, starting out in the dating world, in, say, their early 20s, is more curious and more concerned with exploring. The unions are short-lived and expectations are lower and less serious.

How do you transition from casually dating someone to being into a relationship? How do the rules and expectations change?
Typically for me, it has always been a case of things just happening naturally, so much so that in the past it has been hard to chart anniversaries or pinpoint a timeline as to the official onset of the relationship. You essentially find your whole routine changing to accommodate this new person in your life; they become the first and sometimes only call when going to an event or other engagements; you start finding yourself assessing the appropriateness of your relationships with other members of the opposite sex in consideration of this person, and not only that, you actually start consulting them and considering their opinions regarding even basic life decisions as an indication of their value to you.

In 2017 do men still ask women “Will you be in a relationship with me?”  
I think to some degree that has been phased out; it has become more the norm to simply let things happen naturally. At some point, perhaps when things have progressed over a period of time, you establish some level of monogamy, until suddenly one day you're meeting his colleagues and being introduced with the title “my girlfriend”.

What has been your worst relationship/ break up?
The worst break-up I have ever experienced was definitely my first; I was 17 and had no clue what I was doing. I was so open and so excited at the prospect of falling in love, I didn't know to guard my heart like many women and romanticised everything about him.
 Eventually, one day the phone call came that started with the words “I'm sorry, it just happened” and my whole world came crashing down. It was all the more distressing because this was someone I had known since I was 12 yrs old, and trusted. The fairy-tale idealisation of relationships ended for me that day.

What have you learnt from that relationship?
More important than what a person tells you is what they show you. Take your time and guard your heart. Never ignore your intuition because of attraction or attachment.  




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