How many times have you heard a friend say, “Mi and her a talk” or “yea wi a link for some time now”? Well, welcome to the Jamaican world of dating.
Dating is a stage of the relationships where two people attracted to each other meet with the aim of getting to know each other which may lead to a relationship. It is a form of courtship, however, in Jamaica, the dating process is very different, the process is actually done within the relationship and not before.
The topic of dating in Jamaica can essentially be described as non-existent. Jamaica is more so known as a “hook up then date culture” or the “wi a talk then deh” culture. One of the reasons for this is that we are not encouraged to date.
Our parents tell us to focus on school, get a job and then after accomplishing all that, we are immediately required to find a partner, get married and produce grandchildren for them. Although being very accomplished academically and in your career is good, this causes Jamaican youth to be lacking in their social developmental skills – in this case, dating.
The process of getting to know each other may start with ‘sliding into the person’s DMs’, you guys talk for some time and if you’re interested the next step is exchange numbers to talk on WhatsApp. Then you guys plan to meet up for lunch or maybe at each other’s home “to get to know each other.”
I believe the dating process within Jamaica is rushed, always trying to get to the next step without really getting to know your partner. All the weight of getting to know the person is done within the relationship and most times this doesn’t work out, as is quite evident from all the failed relationships we have to endure every 3 months on Twitter.
I mean, isn’t it important to know the person’s likes or dislikes or the things you can tolerate before actually getting in a relationship with someone?
These are the things you explore when you’re dating; it saves you the heartbreak. The truth is, in our little island we seemingly don’t know how to date and there is room for improvement.
So, are you going to give dating a try and truly get someone before rushing into things?
— Written by Danea Dunkley