Don’t Date Dopes
Single Adult Edition (3D-A)
is also known as “How To Avoid Falling For A Jerk.” It is a fun and powerful conference for single adults, giving a practical approach to building healthy relationships, while getting to know the most important areas of the person you are dating. A relationship begins with knowing someone. Your knowledge of someone grows with mutual self-disclosure and diverse experiences shared together over time. As you grow to know a person, you determine what you can and cannot trust. You also rely on him/her to meet your needs. As time goes by, you develop some level of commitment. And finally, in a romantic relationship, there is a sexual chemistry which prompts touch at appropriate levels across the relationship.
Unfortunately, most people do not understand what attaching forces or dynamics operate in their relationships. And yet, there are five adhesive dynamics which create the feelings of attachment in every relationship.
3D-A No Jerks intro letter
When these dynamics are out of balance, then you overlook signs of future difficulties in order to maintain your emotional closeness. Without knowing what these forces are and how they are inter-related, most people will form over-attachments of the heart which will override the judgments of the mind. And yet, these bonding forces fully explain the mysterious glue which creates the thing we call “love.”
The first bonding dynamic is “what you know about the person you are dating” (KNOW). When you spend time talking and doing things together, a deeper understanding of the person occurs. This understanding, or “knowledge,” creates a growing feeling of closeness. As you gather these pieces of understanding about this person, you arrange them to create a portrait of what you believe this person is like. This portrait is your “internal image of this person” (TRUST). It is this mental picture which prompts your expectations and feelings of trust. The more positive your picture… the stronger your trust and attachment. Based on your level of trust, you form a “dependency upon this person to meet more and more of your needs” (RELIANCE). If the person lives up to your expectations, you alter your picture in positive ways… and become even closer. Your growing trust and reliance produce a “deeper definition of your relationship” (COMMITMENT). This commitment gives you a greater feeling of security and attachment.
Your closeness is expressed in the “extent of your physical involvement” (TOUCH). As with the other bonding forces, the farther you go… the closer you become. Each of these five dynamic forces has a range of bonding influence in a relationship. The level of each one, however, must be kept in a balance with the others in order to insure that your attachment does not override your awareness of the signs of future problems. When an imbalance does occur, then unhealthy attachments result and you move into an “unsafe zone” in the relationship. The rule of thumb for staying in a safe zone is THE DEGREE OR LEVEL OF EACH BONDING DYNAMIC SHOULD NEVER EXCEED THE LEVEL OF THE PREVIOUS. In other words, imbalances in these bonding dynamics will lead to an unsafe over-attachment, vulnerabilities and distorted judgment. To accurately predict what a person you are dating will be like in marriage, five areas must be thoroughly investigated. These are the areas to “get to know” in the first bonding dynamic:
“F” Family Dynamics and Childhood Experiences “A” Attitudes and Actions of the Conscience “C” Compatibility Potential “E” Examples from Other Relationships “S” Skills for Relationships
The 3D-A program comprehensively and humorously describes both the five dynamics that create attachment, and the five crucial areas to explore in a premarital relationship. It is a seven and a half hour workshop that can be presented in a one or two day format. A fifty-one page Discussion Workbook is available to assist participants with the workshop. In addition, there are numerous reflective questions which personalize the material. At the end of the workbook is a list of questions to answer in the premarital relationship.
If you are interested in helping people avoid falling for a jerk, hosting this workshop is for you!
Contact The Center for Mighty Marriages & Families for more details or to schedule at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.mightymarriages.org
Download workshops overview here.
The training can be tailored to your needs from 4-10 hours, in one or more sessions. Contact us if you’d like to bring this powerful conference to your church singles group or combine with other churches to bring it to your community.