Raving isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think about going out on a date. In fact, my ideal first date actually entails going out for milkshakes at my favorite diner by the beach followed by taking a stroll on the sand while watching the sun set.
As a heterosexual male in his early 20’s living in the 21st Century, my idea of dating looks something like this:
- Find a VERY pretty girl.
- Get VERY pretty girl’s number.
- Ask her out on a date.
- Repeat steps 1-3 with another VERY pretty girl if rejected.
- Ask VERY pretty girl on a second date.
- TIME TO PURSUE THAT if there is chemistry.
- Ask VERY pretty girl to be my girlfriend when we are comfortable enough with each other.
- Yay relationship* (*relationships come along with arguments and spending a lot of money).
- Things don’t work out? Repeat steps 1-8 with a different VERY pretty girl.
- Things work out. Pop the question and tie the knot.
As you can see, this is a pretty linear model as to what I thought dating was about, which pretty much boils down to getting the girl of my dreams, falling in love with her, and living happily ever after with our new family. But my whole perspective on dating changed after attending this year’s Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas.
The Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in Las Vegas is considered to be the largest rave out on the West Coast…and by God did it live up to expectation.
I saw some of my favorite artists such as Calvin Harris and Chromeo, made kandi bracelets and traded them with other people, making friends in the process; and I even got the chance to see one of my childhood friends. Not only that, but the entire Las Vegas Speedway was covered in lights, giant ferris wheels and other colorful carnival rides lit up the night sky, and fellow ravers were giving each other light shows with their customized LED gloves (and did I mention that there were a ton of lights around?)
The thing that stuck out the most to me, however, was this notion of “PLUR” that was floating around the festival grounds. A new acquaintance, who was part of my rave group, explained to me that this acronym is the reason why everyone at an electronic dance music (EDM) concert or festival is super friendly. Now I am fairly new to the rave scence, having only gone to two other performances prior to EDC, and didn’t have a clue as to what PLUR was.
SO WHAT IS PLUR?
For those of you who don’t know, PLUR stands for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect. This is the creed that ravers live by and can be seen through their smiles, hugs, and even a special handshake.
The phrase got it’s start from DJ Frankie Bones who broke up a fight at a rave in 1991 in New York saying, ““You better start showing some Peace, Love and Unity, or I will break your $%^ing faces” (via JoJo Electro). The “respect” portion was added in not too long after.
While the words that come together to form PLUR are pretty self explanatory, there is actually a lot more to it. Let’s break it down to get a better understanding(via Peace & Loveism):
- Peace – Letting go of fear and living at peace with oneself, one another, and the planet for a greater good
- Love – As one learns to love oneself, one is able to love everyone else unconditionally
- Unity – A mutual, corporate bond is formed resulting from the love and peace experienced with one another
- Respect – Because of peace love and unity, one can accept others regardless of their beliefs or background
Taking a step back you can see this is a great motto to practice at concerts and festivals. And I’ve personally seen it in action. My first EDC was filled with countless high fives, warm hugs, and people even checking up on me when I wasn’t feeling too well and lying on the ground
But what if I told you that PLUR isn’t just for EDM fans, that it can exist without all of electronic music and the kandi kids in the rave scene?
RAVING & DATING?
Going back to my original line of thinking when it comes to dating… it’s not always about pursuing the “happily ever after” life. Every relationship needs some form of peace, love, unity, and respect.
“But, Bronson, I’m already in a loving relationship already filled with peace, love, unity, and respect! Should I change my entire lifestyle to accommodate PLUR?”
ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I’m not saying that you should change your lifestyle to accommodate this movement. You don’t need to go to the next EDM festival nearest you and give out as many hugs as you can, and you don’t need to trade beaded bracelets to signify your respect with another person. My point is that PLUR isn’t just for the ravers, it’s for everyone.
Every relationship needs peace, or else both persons would just be either way too pissed off or getting into shouting arguments about who’s the better cook. Relationships need love or else there would be no romance that would spice things up a bit. This also includes tough love that isn’t always happy, but still shows that you care for each other. Couples need unity in order to make big decisions together such as tying the knot or moving in together. And most importantly, every relationship requires respect. That means respecting each other’s boundaries, and being sure not to step over them.
PLUR is a universal concept that everyone can pick up on. You might even be putting it to practice in your relationship and not even know it, and that’s okay. PLUR is similar to the notion of “give and take”. When it comes dating, a single person can’t have everything his/her way, it’s more of a two way street where trade happens. The two people must find a balance so that their relationship needs are met, while still meeting their personal wants/needs.
Before I finish I would like to note that there is talk amongst some older and more experienced ravers about how the PLUR movement, more specifically the main concept of PLUR, is dying within the rave scene. Personally, I don’t see how it is dying seeing as how my experience at EDC showed me that it was alive and well. But at the same time, I see a chance for this movement to stay alive through the people and couples who choose to practice it in their lives.
About Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB is a free dating service that helps members make meaningful connections. It’s designed for busy singles who want to find something real with little or no effort.