Are We Dating Wrong? by J. Smith
A lot of the things this 20 something author writes can also apply to today’s 40-somethings and other age groups.
(Link): Are We Dating Wrong? by J. Smith
- The dating apocalypse is upon us! At least that’s what a recent Vanity Fair article, (Link): “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’,” claims. Is it true? Are we really in a “dating apocalypse”—or worse, a (Link): “marriage apocalypse”? Is that why, at 26-that-basically-rounds-up-to-30, I can be hopelessly alone on a Friday, despite being willing to split the check, carry the conversation, and even indulge an anecdote about your pet rat? Surely, there’s a better way.
- As (Link): Nancy Jo Sales bleakly describes the dating scene and the effects of hookup culture, I can’t help but see a correlation with a seemingly opposite phenomenon in the church: courtship. It seems that the impetus behind hookup culture and the desires that drive courtship may not be all that different.
- The Holier Version of Hooking Up
- In the world that Sales details, men and women sit side by side at a bar, and instead of exchanging wry glances and shy smiles, they’re sending emojis and propositions to ten different Tinder profiles, all without having to pay for a stranger’s drink. I’ve spent more time and money ordering a pizza than some of these people have arranging their dalliances for the week.
- But how does this kind of love-‘em-and-leave-‘em lifestyle compare to the church? It all comes back to a little book by Joshua Harris. At least, that’s what I like to think when I’m alone, again, on a Saturday night while some very single, wonderful, handsome men from my church are also alone on a Saturday night.
- In 1997, a 21-year-old Joshua Harris (Link): kissed dating goodbye, and many in the church followed suit. Conservative Christianity raced to embrace a courtship culture, one that places pretty (Link): strict limitations on time spent alone with the opposite sex and encourages parental involvement throughout the process. While some of the more stringent observations have faded away, the essence of courtship still permeates the church: The purpose of dating is to find someone to marry, so date with resolution and intentionality.
- Coffee dates have become interviews for the altar, and to say yes to a first date is to commit yourself for all of eternity—or so it feels.
- …Now it seems people are only as valuable as they are (Link): marriageable. Every interaction between singles is tinged with commodification: What can you do for me? How much can you provide? How well can you love and serve me? And truly, the only relationship with the opposite sex worth cultivating is one that leads straight to “I do’s.” Some days it feels like once a guy knows I’m not wife material, he decides I’m not worth knowing at all.
- …But this strategy hasn’t done much to increase our marrying odds. As hookup culture hurtles alongside the church’s courtship culture, the results aren’t very pretty. (Link): Marriage rates for the entire 20somethings group are the lowest they’ve been in six decades.
- …Courtship culture has also perpetuated this idea. According to one (Link): article, “Every suitor is a potential husband, and every woman is a possible wife . . . Who you choose to marry is the most important decision of your life. More than anything else, it will dictate your future happiness and success.”
That feels like a pretty heavy weight to carry on a first date, but we do it. Over and over again, I hear my friends (and, okay, myself) analyzing a dating or Facebook profile and discussing it in terms of “husband potential.”
- ….But pressure and denial manifest themselves in different ways. Some of us embrace the courtship mentality and think that through overanalyzing, praying, and marriage-centered dating we can actually take control of the situation. However, this method is self-defeating. In seeking the perfect relationship, we will eschew genuine, intimate relationships that develop as a result of grace, patience, and love being required and extended.
- …The Wandering Eye and Greener Pastures
Perhaps the advent of the Internet, and consequently dating sites and apps, has acted as a catalyst for one of our deepest fears: There’s always someone better out there.
For years we’ve joked about and openly owned our FOMO (“fear of missing out”), but maybe FOBO (“fear of better options”) is actually dictating our dating. Am I picking the right person? What if I’m settling and then “The One” shows up in a year?
- ((click here to read the rest))
(Link): What Two Religions Tell Us About the Modern Dating Crisis (from TIME) (ie, Why Are Conservative Religious Women Not Marrying Even Though They Want to Be Married. Hint: It’s a Demographics Issue)
(Link): Christian Single Women: Another Example of Why You Should Abandon the “Be Equally Yoked” Teaching: 21-Y-O Christianity Student, Children’s Minister Charged With Murdering Fiancée He Was to Wed in August; Made It Look Like Suicide