What’s Your Idea of Dating?

Our youth forum returned with a loud voice on February 21st, as we sat down to talk about dating and romance in Project B.  However, the focus of the conversation stayed on the many aspects of dating, not giving us a chance to get on to romance.

It was a lively and diverse discussion, which went in a number of different directions that took me by surprise.  That is why I love holding these forums though, because the conversation can start one place and end up right on the other end of the spectrum.

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We started by responding to the question, what is dating?  Andrae said that it was getting to know a person, which most of us agreed with, but he also added the element of “having that chemistry and connection” – “I wouldn’t date someone I haven’t spoken to.”

Rianna thinks that it is “when both of you get to spend time together”, while Alana believes that it is a filtering process.  I got into the mix and revealed that I think dating is a courting process, to which Alana’s response was, “I love that”.  Rianna also agreed, saying that “it’s a bit quick now”.

This then moved on to the subject of whether we would date someone again if they didn’t pay for the first date.  Alana said no – “If he says no, I’m gonna say bye, see you later.”  On the other hand, Rhi, Sh’kira and Rianna said yes – “I don’t watch people and their money,” Rianna added.  Randy added a male perspective, saying, “If a girl really wants to pay, I’m not gonna stop her… [but]… on the first date, I’d say no.”

Later, Rianna asked a great question: Do you think it’s okay to date more than one person at the same time?  This led to some interesting responses on the complexity of feelings and physicality while dating.

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Alana and Princess gave a definite yes – “The more people you date, the more value you have,” says Alana – while Rebecca said, “Yeah, as long as there’s a limit.”  Andrae’s yes was a little unsure, as his response was, “Yes, to a degree; to find out what a person’s like.”

“Me personally, I would feel bad,” Rhi expressed, but she also added that if the person simply asked her out and she didn’t really know them or the other person, then she wouldn’t feel bad.  Princess responded by saying, “You don’t owe that person anything.  You haven’t made a commitment to each other,” as she believes that getting to know someone takes a long time, and that you’re exploring your options through dating.

In response to her own question, Rianna said she thought it was fine, “but if you get close and physical, you’re taking it to another level.”  Princess added, “If you’re newly dating someone, that don’t mean nothing.  But if you’ve been dating for months, that’s different.”  Rhi also made the point of dating getting complicated when there’s no clarity.

My next question was, do you think the concept of dating has changed?  We agreed that it had changed vastly over the years from when our parents or grandparents used to date, but Princess made the interesting point that the concept of dating has always been the same for our generation, so we haven’t seen it change.

When Rhi expressed that some people think sex is part of the package when it comes to dating, Princess’ response was that it has always been the case for our generation.  “I think that’s why I’m so strict on the sexual part,” said Alana.

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The conversation took a different turn, as we spoke about the oldest and youngest age we consider dating, and whether we would date outside of our race.  Most of us would date individuals younger than us, with the strong exception of Rhi, as we understood that age does not always mean maturity.

I added that there are a lot of guys out there not acting their age – some guys in their early twenties have the wisdom and maturity of someone older, while there are guys in their thirties acting and talking like they are in their late teens.

All of us had different preferences when it came to dating, with some of us happy to date individuals outside our race, and others having a preference for those of the same race.  However, we agreed that preferences are not set in stone – “You love who you love,” said Princess.”

Finally, I asked: What advice would you give to anyone dating?  The responses were:

  • Ask the right questions.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. – Princess
  • Be straight up.  Know what you want. – Rebecca
  • Don’t sell dreams. – Randy
  • Choose a guy that has a firm financial foundation. – Alana

Dating is a complicated concept with our generation, but it is necessary for you to get to know someone you want to get into a relationship with.  I’ll leave you with two gems from Princess:

  • “The important thing to remember is that we all want love.”
  • “You have you, I have me, and we have we.”

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Our next forum will be on March 21st from 6.30-8.30pm in Project B, when we’ll be talking Freedom of Speech.  It’s going to be another great discussion, so don’t forget to tell a friend to tell a friend.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, and liking Young People Insight on Facebook .

The Importance of Love in Young People Insight

As you my already know, it’s all about love this month at Young People Insight, with love being at the centre of the topics for our forum and poetry night.

Despite love being the focus of our topics for February, love is at the core of Young People Insight all throughout the year.  It is my love for young people and love for my borough of Croydon that pushed me to start the platform in the first place.  It is my love for writing that led to me starting this blog.  It is my love for people that makes me want to care for them, encourage them and watch them be the best we can be.

Image by cherylholt and used under Creative Commons License.
Image by cherylholt and used under Creative Commons License.

I want love to run through the veins of YP Insight, spreading other positive elements and characteristics that will make our communities happier, safer and more civil places to live in.

Out of love for one another should come respect, especially when an individual shares views that are different to ours.  Respect, especially respect for life, is something that has been lost in our society and we need to work hard to get it back.

Love should lead to positive and effective communication, as we take time to listen to each other and respond accordingly, in a calm and civilised manner.  Poor communication has led to a myriad of problems within society, our relationships and other aspects of life – we need to do all we can to fix that.

I want YP Insight to be empathetic and caring, providing a genuine listening ear and support to all young individuals.  I want it to be patient and understanding, tolerant and kind.  It should create an environment where every individual feels comfortable, accepted and part of something.

Although this is a month where love is the focus, I want love to continue to be of the highest importance all year round, as there always needs to be more love in the world.  Don’t you think?

Info for Feb’s YP Insight Forum & Poetic Insight

It’s Valentine’s month, and it’s all about love here at Young People Insight.  This is the first time this year that we’re gonna be having both a forum and poetry night taking place in the same month, and we’re excited.

As requested by Jason, we’re going to be talking Dating & Romance at the forum on February 21st.  The concept of dating has changed a whole lot over the years; decades and centuries even.  What do you think dating means now?  Do you even date for that matter?

Then there is the subject of romance.  Do you think that dating and romance go hand in hand?  Are men romantic?  Personally, I cannot wait to hear the responses to that question.  These are just some of the aspects of dating and romance we’ll be looking at, but of course, we encourage you to come ready with your own questions too.

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On February 28th, Love & Hate will be the theme for the next Poetic Insight.  It’s gonna be a beautiful, inspiring night with young people making their voices heard through poetry and spoken word.  If you want to perform, there’s still time to get involved – just send an email to shaniquab29@yahoo.co.uk or message me 07910092565.

So for those of you who are 16-25, don’t miss the Young People Insight forum on Tuesday 21st February from 6.30-8.30pm in Project B (1 Bell Hill, Croydon CR0 1FB).

If poetry’s more your thing, come along to Poetic Insight on Tuesday 28th February, also in Project B.  Doors open at 7pm, with performances starting at 7.15pm and the event concluding at about 9pm.  Let us know you’re coming by getting your free tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/poetic-insight-love-hate-tickets-31849955073

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Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, and liking Young People Insight on Facebook .

Show Support to The Complete Freedom of Truth

Following the news, it’s become commonplace for us to hear about Brexit, fractured relationships in Europe, Trump wanting to ban immigrants from the USA and many other examples of conflicts throughout the world.

We live in a world and a society overrun with conflict and struggles to live together peacefully – harmony seems like an impossibility.  This makes it all the more important for initiatives and exchanges to take place, which will bring individuals from different aspects of life and different parts of the world together.

This is exactly what The Complete Freedom of Truth (TCFT) does.  You will have seen me write posts about TCFT before on this blog, as I have been blessed enough to take part in the project over the past few years.

TCFT is a five-year project which aims to “develop global youth citizenship through culture and the arts”.  Time spent embracing creativity, as well as learning about policies and democracies, through various workshops, presentations, activities and sharing evenings is a rewarding experience.  It enables all participants to develop skills, build friendships and grow into change-makers that will have an impact on their communities, Europe and hopefully the world as a whole.

The Complete Freedom of Truth, Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, August 2015 from robert golden on Vimeo.

It is an environment where experiences and views are shared without judgement, prejudices are eradicated and everyone is seen as equal.  Age, race, nationality, sexuality, religion and level of ability does not matter – each of us is human and that is all that matters.  Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we all thought like that?

The project can also be a life-changing and thought-provoking process.  A young person from Bosnia, who was self-admittedly lazy, is working on developing on organisation in their country.  A young Romanian, who said that she was previously a little racist, has changed the way she thinks and is apologetic about it.  And I know that I probably would not have taken Young People Insight further without TCFT – I was able to develop my confidence, shake off some of my fears and it was there that I performed my first piece of spoken word.

TCFT is a truly special project that more people should be aware of, because we are slowly trying to repair some of the cracks in Europe through unity and creativity.  Instead of constantly reporting on Brexit, why doesn’t the media report that?

However, projects like this cost money and TCFT is in need of some funds for this year’s residency in Italy.  We are going to continue our creative practices and have further discussions on EU policy, which we as young people need a greater understanding of.

There is currently a crowdfunding campaign running throughout the month of February, which needs your support.  Please donate as little as £5 (more would be great) and then share it with others.  Raising money is not only important, but raising awareness is a vital aspect of the campaign.

You can donate to The Complete Freedom of Truth’s campaign on the Crowdfunder site: http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-complete-freedom-of-truth/

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