Social Life (Unit 1)

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Unit I Dating

Psychologists more and more often refer to L. Friend’s work on psycho analysis. It is much spoken about sociological surveys among young people. This unit starts considering sociological analysis of the major social behaviour as dating. First, it focuses on its importance as a cultural universal. And finally the increasing influence of dating within contemporary human life on the other hand.


Text 1.

Dating in the '90s

Cilia Black's Blind Date TV programme topped the ratings again last year— people are interested in dating as a social pastime. On the rise among London's party set are blind date parties at which hosts invite an equal number of each sex for drinks, then pair them off for a date. Each couple goes for a meal, then everyone meets up later at a club to compare notes.

Admittedly this sounds a bit extreme, not to mention too public. But going out with a half-decent man can be a great way to spend an evening. So what if you know he's not your forever type? The point is to get out and enjoy yourself.

Caroline, 26, says, 'A few years ago, I'd have cringed at the word "date". You just sort of drifted into a relationship. Now you actually arrange a date and it can be the beginning of something, perhaps a relationship, perhaps a friendship.'

But make no mistake about it; dating now is very different compared to the coy arrangements our mothers and elder sisters knew. Until our generation, male deaths caused by wars meant women outnumbered men. Now the statistical tables have turned and there are 254,000 more men than women in their twenties in the UK. Men are realising now that they have to make the running to get noticed.

Says 23-year-old Judy, 'Men try harder now. They realise they have to open up a bit more to interest a woman. And they've realised a woman's idea of a good night out isn't always going to the pub with him and the lads. Women appreciate the romance of a date, but it doesn't make them soppy little girls. Men respect our intelligence now.'

Modern dating isn't about being so desperate for male attention you'll go out with someone you don't like at all. But it is about daring to explore the possibilities of the Mr Not-Quite-Rights of this world. For a start, isn't there something admirable, even gutsy, about the man who has the courage to ask you out? So even if your heart doesn't flop like a landed fish every time he walks into the room, live a little and take a chance.

If there's one thing you like about his character—he's funny, bright, warm, or you've noticed his hands, hair, eyes—then why not go? These are the faint beginnings of attraction, and should never, never be ignored. How many times have you heard people in relationships say, 'I didn't fancy him/her much at first, but we just got on really well!' Lisa, 23, agrees. 'Dating is so exciting! It gives me a real buzz. You have something to look forward to, you can plan what to wear, what you'll do. It's not always about romance either. Sometimes you might just like a man and want to get to know him better. Then if, after a few dates, you decide you feel more deeply about him, you can reveal that on a date, too—and that's deliriously exciting.'


Vocabulary Practice


I. Read and translate the text using a dictionary if necessary.


II. Find in the text the English equivalents to the following:

Свидание вслепую, времяпровождение, хозяйка, приглашать равное число гостей противоположного пола, выйти, насладиться, отношения, хмуриться при слове, дружба, поколение, вызванное, делать усилия, быть замеченными, ценить, уважать, исследовать возможности, мужество, характер, меня это заводит, выяснить.


III. Supply the missing words or word combination according to the text.

1)      People are interested in dating as…

2)      So, what if you know he’s not…

3)      A few years ago, I’d…

4)      Dating now is very different compared to…

5)      Men are realizing now that they have to…

6)      Women appreciate the… but it doesn’t make them…

7)      So even if your heart doesn’t… every time he walks into the room.

8)      These are the faint beginnings of attraction and should never…

9)      I didn’t… him/her much at first, but we just got on really well.

10)  Dating is so exciting! It gives me…

11)  Sometimes you might just like a man and want to…

12)  Then if, after a few dates, you decide you feel more deeply about him, you can…, too.


IV. Study the following words and word combinations and use them in your questions to the text:

A social pastime, a blind date, a half-decent man, to get out, not your forever type, to enjoy yourself, to arrange a date, a friendship, to cause, to realize, a lad, the romance of a date, intelligence, for male, attention, gutsy, courage, a chance, to fancy, to reveal.


Comprehension Exercises


I. Reread the text and answer the following questions:

1)      What TV programme topped the rating again last year?

2)      Whom does a host invite for drinks at the party?

3)      What is the point if you go out with a half-decent man?

4)      Compared to what is dating now very different?

5)      How did the statistic tables turn?

6)      What are men realizing now if they want to be noticed?

7)      Do men respect women’s intelligent now?

8)      You have something to look forward, haven’t you?

9)      Why does Lisa agree dating is exciting?

10)  Do you think dates are useful, helpful? Why?

11)  What can you reveal on a date?

12)  Are you for or against blind dates?


II. Define the following key terms and memorize the definitions:

A date, a blind date, friendship, character, appreciate, fancy


III. Speak on dating, its aspects, functions in brief and illustrate your report with examples and situations of your own if possible.


IV. Comment on the table of the text “Dating in the 90’s”


V. Speak about your classmates viewing them from the sociological perspective.


VI. Have you got a programme similar to Cilla Black’s Blind Date in our country? If so, can you describe it?


VII. Over to you.

Discuss these questions with a partner:

1.      What attracts you at first sight?

2.      What is important for you in a long-term relationship?

3.      Where would you go on the first date?

4.      Is it OK for a girl to ask a boy out?

5.      To woo or not to woo – that is the question.


VIII. Speak bout how to woo: by dancing, singing, or sending your loved one a poem? From the beginning of time people have declared their love, often in the form of poems. Here are some lines that people have written over the centuries which one do you like best?


To me you are

the gate of paradise

For you I will renounce

fame, creativity, everything

F. Chopien (1810 – 1849)

If I could write the beauty

And in fresh numbers of your eyes

number all your graces,

The ages to come would say, “This poet lies;

So such heavenly touches never

touch’d earth by faces”

W. Shakespeare (1564 – 1616)


I wrote a poem to ask you to dance.

I know it’s bad, but give me a chance.

Unknown (20th century)


If you are in the mood, try to write your own love poem.


Idiomatic Interval



Study the sentences below; then match the idioms with their meanings.

1.  When the family was reunited, Mom said, "Love conquers all".

2.  She can't see his bad habits because love is blind.

3.  My family thinks Peter is too old for me, but I think love is where you find it.

4.  When Claude was touring Europe, he'd love'em and leave'em.

5.  When we docked at Rome, we met three lovelies and went dancing.

6.  "How's your love life?" "Great! I've met a wonderful lady".

7.  Let's drive up to Lovers' Leap and look at the stars.



1.  love conquers all

2.  love is blind

3.  love is where you find it

4.  love them and leave them

5.  lovelies

6.  love life

7. lovers' leap


a. the romantic part of your life, your intimate life

b. a cliff from where lovers jump into a canyon together

c. love them but not stay with them

d. love is strong enough to overcome all problems

e. people do not see the faults in their lovers

f. ladies, women, girls

g. love happens, love is not planned



1.d; 2.e; 3.g; 4.c; 5.f; 6.a; 7.b.


II. Do you know what these words mean?

Match them with the right explanation.


a heart of stone


a broken heart

a heart-throb

a heart of gold

a person (famous) who attracts strong feelings of love

deep unhappiness because of lost love

great sorrow

a pitiless, unfeeling nature

very good and kind nature





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Who will you meet?

Many tens of thousands of people join Dateline each year simply because they are not meeting someone special in their own social circle or at work, and want to meet more people with the same hopes, ambitions and interests as themselves. Among the many people you can meet through Dateline there is sure to be one who has that 'special something you've been looking for.

YOU CHOOSE: the type of person you wish to meet and the area they come from when you complete our comprehensive questionnaire. Dateline is the LARGEST dating agency in the world, ensuring that there are more people guarantees that you are mutually compatible.

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Over the years Dateline has been featured many times by press, radio and television and has been acclaimed by many thousands of clients who have found happiness through our services. If you are interested in learning how the UK's largest, longest established and most successful computer dating service can find love for you, complete this coupon and post it today to:

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In 21 years Dateline introductions have been the start of many, many thousands of Love Stories...


Lesley and Jon - It's amazing how many people join Dateline 'for a laugh", but behind that lighthearted attitude there is nearly always the hope that it might lead to a special relationship. Lesley, a divorcee, didn't really think Dateline would be able to help her. Her children made it difficult for her to get out, but when she met Jon. a farmer, it was apparent to both of them that they were at the start of something long term. They were married in the autumn and are overjoyed at the turn their lives have taken.


Lisa and Barry - 'If you are not meeting enough people, join Dateline. 'It certainly worked for me' says Lisa. Barry's friends are very impressed he met someone so attractive. They were engaged within a few months. Lisa's sister has now joined 'looking for another Barry".


Pauline and Colin - They had known each other for six weeks when Colin proposed, but they were certain Dateline had chosen well for them. "We were made for each other'.


Dateline is simply the best!


Now answer these questions.

1.         The picture:

a. What is being advertised?

b. Describe one of the couples.

c. What kind of people do you think would use this service?

2.         More general:

e. Would you consider using a company like Dateline? Why? Why not?

f. Do similar companies operate in your country?

g. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using such a system?

h. What other ways are there of meeting people of the opposite sex with a view to friendship and even marriage?



Descriptive paragraphs are often used to describe some event, picture or what a person looks and acts like. Read this descriptive paragraph, notice how descriptive paragraphs are arranged by putting together all the sentences about the same thing.

Valentine's Day

February 14 is Valentine's Day, a day when sweethearts show their love for each other. Men give gifts such as candy or flowers, and Fred Tompkins surprises his sweetheart with a heart-shaped box of candy. June, his sweetheart, was expecting flowers, but instead Fred gives her a three-pound box of chocolates. She is pleased because he remembered!

Tonight, they are going out to dinner and then to the theater afterwards. They are going to celebrate together a special day for sweethearts because they love each other. And Fred says: "'I've got the best and prettiest girl in the world - my wife!"


1. Answer these questions about Valentine's Day celebration in your country on a piece of paper.

1. What is Valentine's Day?

2. When does Valentine's Day take place?

3. Who invented Valentine's Day?

4. Does your country have Valentine's Day or a similar celebration?

5. Who usually gives gifts?

6. What are some customary gifts in your country that people give to their sweethearts?

7. What kind of gifts do you like to give? to receive?


2. Now that you have the information about Valentine's Day ready, write a descriptive paragraph about it.


V. How to write a love letter

Want to write a love letter to your incredible object of de-sire, but stuck on whereto start? Well, here are some amazing tips that can make your letter mean more than just any letter.

How should you start a letter, off? A simple "Hey Lora" would be nice. You don't want to go overboard and say, "Dear love-of-my-life Sarah", especially if you've never even talked to the person before. However, if you've been going out with this person for nearly a year, then you don't want to just say "Hey Suzannah", that may give her a "I could care less about you feeling".

In this case, a "Dear Sweef-cheeks",or a cheesy nick-name along those lines is fine.

Now, the beef (meat) of the letter! The best thing to do in a letter is sound vulnerable. If you are planning on asking them out in the letter, let the person know that you are open to rejection! Make them think that if they reject you it isn't the end of the world! Besides, you don't want to sound too desperate! There's a limit to how vulnerable you should be! Don't say anything like:- "I love you, I want you"; "now let's have sex?"-Or "I can't go on in this world without you!" That just screams desperate! Try something simple like, "I really like you and I want to get to know you". Not bad for starters, eh?

Now, what exactly should you say in your love letters? Express your feelings for him/her, but don't go too deeply into the details. For instance, avoid, "do you know that I stare at my brother while he takes a shower and secretly envision your face on his?" I don't know about you, but I'd be moving further from this person rather than closer!

Use humor. Once the person knows you can laugh and that you are a fun-loving person, it'll be hard for them not to want you!

Whatever you do, do not put yourself down. I want nothing like "you probably won't want to go out with me anyway" "cause I got big ears and a small mouth". Who likes people with major insecurities? Besides, confidence is sexy, remember that! However, too much confidence can be a major turn of. Good example: "I know you're dying to go out with me. So just put yourself out of your misery and ask me out!" Ha! Yeah right...

Now, finally, how to end a love letter. If you barely or don't know the person, avoid signing it with anything using the word love in it. Never sign it with "love forever and ever", "your boyfriend to be". That'll just scare them off right then and there, if the rest of the letter didn't already! (Kidding!) But honestly, try signing it off simply with your name. Now was that so hard? But, if the person that you're writing this love letter to happens to be one that you've been dating for a while, then whatever you sign it off with is up to you.

Now, above all, there is no RIGHT or WRONG way to write a love letter. Just remember to be yourself. If you get rejected the first time, don't be discouraged! At least you have the satisfaction of knowing that you tried your best to get them and if they rejected you for your "amazing self then that's their loss, right? Right! Remember, it's not you, it's them!


VI. A Perfect Match?

How daring are you?

1. Are you a weedy wimp or a daring dater?

First, a quick quiz to get you into the mood for this unit. Answer the questions and find out how daring you are!


1. You're all alone on Saturday night. What do you do?

a) Head down to the nearest disco and chat up the first person you see.

b) Turn on the box. There's an old film you've seen half a dozen times before.

c) Get on the phone and work through your address book.

2. You are offered the chance to go to New York for six months. What do you do?

a) List the pros and cons and ask your mother for advice.

b) Grab your ticket and a toothbrush and phone for a taxi.

c) Make yourself another cup of tea and settle down with a book.

3. Which of the following would you consider doing?

a) Asking a total stranger out on a date.

b) Placing an ad in the lonely hearts column of the local newspaper

c) Having a meal on your own in a restaurant.

4. What's your idea of real adventure?

a) Abseiling, para-sailing and bungee-jumping.

b) Trying some exotic foreign dish you've never heard of.

c) Going out without an umbrella when it looks like rain.

5. You see an attractive guy or girl standing alone at a party. What do you do?

a) Stare at him/her all night without making a move and then spend days regretting it.

b) Wander over, introduce yourself and then have a friendly chat.

c) Shoot across the room, say it's love at first sight and smack a kiss full on his/her lips.

6. What would you rather do next summer?

a) Spend every day on the beach eyeing up the talent.

b) Collect beetles in the Brazilian rainforest.

c) Work part-time at the supermarket to save up for your bottom drawer.

7. Your boyfriend/girlfriend packs you in without any reason. How do you get your revenge?

a) Tell all his/her friends that he/she still sleeps with a teddy bear.

b) Don't do anything. You knew it was coining.

c) Get all your friends to phone him/her while he's/she's out and leave embarrassing messages on his/her answering machine.


SCORES: So, how did you score?

1. a.8 b.2 c.4; 2. a.4 b.8 c.2; 3. a.8 b.6 c.2; 4. a.8 b.6 c.2; 5. a.2 b.6 c.8; 6. a.4 b.8 c.2; 7. a.8 b.2 c.6


0 – 26 What a weed. You wouldn't know what adventure was if it stared you in the face. If you carry on like this, you'll be a granny before you're twenty-five. Get out and do something about it before rigor mortis sets in.

27 – 42 You seem fairly well-balanced and might even live to a ripe old age. You've got lots of self-confidence and can stand up for yourself when you need to. You're probably great company. Go for it!

43 – 56 Wow! You've got some pretty hot blood racing through your veins. How come you found the time to do this quiz? You're probably real fun to be with, but calm down a little or you'll risk terminal burn-out before you've done half the things you want to.


Useful words and phrases

weedy: (informal) thin and weak-looking—a bit pathetic

wimp: (informal) a weak person without a mind of his/her own

to head down: (infernal) to go the box: (informal) slang for TV

lonely hearts column: section of the newspaper that contains personal advertisements

abseiling: climbing down a mountain held by ropes.

para-sailing: being pulled by a boat (as in waterskiing), but also lifted by a parachute

bungee-jumping: jumping off a bridge attached to an elastic cord

chick: slang for girl

to make a move: to do something

beetle: kind of insect

bottom drawer: collection of things you are saving for when you get married (sheets, towels, etc.)

answering machine: automatic telephone answerer

weed: an unwanted plant, or a boring person

rigor mortis: stiffening of muscles upon death

terminal burn-out: final exhaustion


Idiomatic interval



after-one's own heart - well-liked for agreeing with one's own feelings, interests and ideas

at heart - in spite of, in reality

break one's heart - make very sad or hopeless

change of heart - a change in the way one feels about, something

cross one's heart and hope to die - say that what one has said is surely true (often used by children)

eat one's heart out - grieve long and hopelessly for something, want something

from the bottom of one's heart - with great feeling, sincerely

from the heart - sincerely, honestly

get to the heart of (a/the matter) - understand the most important tiling about something

(someone's) heart goes out to (someone) - one feels very sorry for, one feels sympathy for

heart is in the right place - kindhearted, sympathetic or well-meaning

heart of gold - a kind, generous or forgiving nature

heart of stone - a nature without pity

heart skips a beat - be startled or excited from surprise, joy or fright

heart stands still - be very frightened or worried

heart-to-heart - speaking freely and seriously about something private

heavy heart - a feeling of being weighed down with sorrow, unhappiness

lose heart - feel discouraged because of failure, lose hope of success

open one's heart - talk about one's feelings honestly, confide in someone

search one's heart/soul - study one's reasons and acts, try to discover if one has been fair and honest

have one's heart set on - want very much

take heart - be encouraged, feel braver and want to try

wear one's heart on one's sleeve - show one's feelings openly

with all one's heart - with great feeling, sincerely


Heart Idioms Quiz

Choose an idiom to replace the expression in the brackets below:

1.         He is a man (who has the same feelings and hobbies as me).

a) wearing his heart on his sleeve

b) taking heart

c)  losing heart

d) after my own heart

2.         Last weekend I had (a serious) talk with my wife about our daughter.

a) a heart-to-heart

b) an at heart

c)  a heavy heart

d) a heart of gold

3.         He is beginning to (feel discouraged) because he can't find a job.

a) search his heart

b) open his heart

c) lose heart

d) wear his heart on his sleeve

4.         My sister (wants very much) a new walkman for her birthday.

a)  is breaking her, heart for

b) has her heart set on

c) crossed her heart and hoped to die for

d) lost heart for

5.         (He became very frightened) when he went to see the horror movie.

a) His heart stood still

b) His heart was in the right place

c) His heart was of stone

d) His heart was of gold

6.         My sister had a (feeling of unhappiness) when her boyfriend left her.

a) heart-to-heart

b) change of heart

c) heart of gold

d) heavy heart

7.         My friend always (talks openly about his feelings) to me.

a) breaks his heart

b) opens his heart

c) searches his heart

d) crosses his heart and hopes to die

8.         The politician seemed very cold but his recent speech was (very sincere and honest).

a) after my own heart

b) at heart

c) from the heart

d) a heavy heart

9.         I (was encouraged by) the fact that so many people volunteered to help with the charity auction

a) took heart from

b) broke my heart by

c) lost heart by

d) searched my heart from

10.       He is a person with a (hard, cold personality).

a) heart in the right place

b) change of heart

c) heart of gold

d) heart of stone



1.d; 2.a; 3.c; 4.b; 5.a; 6.d; 7.b; 8.c; 9.a; 10.d.


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