The Rise of Delayed Marriage and Female Friendship – article from The Atlantic

The Rise of Delayed Marriage and Female Friendship – article from The Atlantic

Speaking of friendship: there is an account on Twitter whose owner sticks up for friendship and sometimes blogs against the Christian obsession with marriage or the stupid Billy Graham Rule. That account is (Link): Forbidden Friendships (@MenWomenFriends)

The Atlantic has a very long article about societal shifts concerning the delay or demise of marriage and the rise of female friendships, as they discuss it in the context of some television show called “Broads” that is about two lady friends. I’ve never seen the show.

(Link):  Broad City and the Triumph of the Platonic Rom-Com by Megan Garber

Excerpts:

  • The show’s new season asks what its heroines, Abbi and Ilana, are to each other: friends? Partners? More?
  • ….Abbi and Ilana share, basically, what a lot of young women—and young men—share in this age of delayed marriage and emergent adulthood and platonic roommates and geographic peripateticism and economic prosperity and economic uncertainty: a friendship that occupies the psychic space that used to be devoted to spouses and children.
  • While the (Link): marriage plot may still, dissolved and distended, drive many of Hollywood’s cultural products, Broad City reflects friendship’s age-old, but also new, reality: The show is suggesting that its heroines are already, effectively, married. To each other.
  • …The women’s partnership [which is platonic; they don’t have sex with each other], crucially, is not merely a matter of social circumstance; they aren’t simply keeping each other company until their respective dudes carry them along to their Happily Ever After. They are each other’s Happily Ever After. The pair, as Ann Friedman (Link): put it, are “more obsessed with each other than they are with men.” They are very probably the loves of each other’s lives.
  • Which makes Broad City, on the one hand, yet more evidence that we are living, as The Washington Post’s Alyssa Rosenberg (Link): put it, in “a golden age of female friendship.”

Continue reading “The Rise of Delayed Marriage and Female Friendship – article from The Atlantic”

Why Some People Take Breakups Harder Than Others by L. Howe

Why Some People Take Breakups Harder Than Others by L. Howe

This is one very long article. I am not going to paste all of it here, so you will have to use the link if you want to see the whole thing. It’s on The Atlantic’s site.

(Link): Why Some People Take Breakups Harder Than Others by L. Howe

  • Part of it depends on whether they believe personality is fixed or constantly changing.
  • It’s a question that often plagues people after a painful break-up:

  • What went wrong? As they work to figure out the answer, people typically create new relationship stories, analyzing the events leading up to the breakup and using them to build a cohesive narrative.

  • In some cases, this type of storytelling can be positive, helping people to make sense of—and come to terms with—painful things that happen to them. Other times, though, the storytelling process can be a negative one, compounding pain rather than easing it.

  • My colleague Carol Dweck and I research why some people are haunted by the ghosts of their romantic past, while others seem to move on from failed relationships with minimal difficulty. Over the course of our research, I’ve read hundreds of personal stories about the end of relationships, and these stories offer some clues as to what pushes a person into one group or the other.

Continue reading “Why Some People Take Breakups Harder Than Others by L. Howe”

A social psychologist reveals why so many marriages are falling apart and how to fix it (and a history of American marriage)

A social psychologist reveals why so many marriages are falling apart and how to fix it (and a history of American marriage)

Link to the article is farther below.

The article I am linking to below details how modern Americans put way too many expectations on marriage to meet their emotional needs, and when marriage inevitably fails at this, they often divorce.

Evangelicals, Baptists, and other types of Christians also put way too much emphasis on marriage to meet their needs. Not that I am against people getting their needs met, but it seems to me too many people expect marriage to be their end-all, be-all fount of happiness in life, which is setting them up for disappointment.

The emphasis on marriage by Christians is damaging not only for married people, but also to adult singles and the church at large.

Christians who are married with kids tend to focus all their time and energy on their nuclear family, and they sometimes use their family as an excuse to blow off tasks at church.  I have blogged about that before, like in this post: (Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article).

You cannot get all your emotional needs met in a marriage, but a lot of people act like marriage should be able to perform this function.

Married women will blow off and ignore their single lady friends once they are married (or even in the dating stage of a relationship – I have blogged about that before (Link): here). Not only is this terribly unfair to adult singles, but it can leave the married person very alone if or when their spouse comes down with dementia or dies from a heart attack, old age, or an auto accident.

I’ve seen letters from widowed men who write to advice columnists who say they are incredibly lonely since their wife died – they have no social network to lean on, and their married friends no longer invite them over to dinners.

Continue reading “A social psychologist reveals why so many marriages are falling apart and how to fix it (and a history of American marriage)”

Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup

Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by W. Alsup

I am fairly certain that the woman who wrote this is a gender complementarian.

I myself am a former (note: FORMER) gender complementarian. I believe that Ms. Alsup might be a “soft” complementarian. If I am mistaken about that, I am sorry.

I’m only somewhat familiar with Ms. Alsup’s writings and views, and if I am remembering correctly, she is not terribly extreme in her gender role views and sometimes writes blog posts criticizing aspects of gender comp, such as the one that follows, though I believe she may support beliefs that women are not to be preachers in churches and so on.

As I’ve noted on my own blog time and again, Christians, especially gender complementarian ones, tend to sexualize any and all persons and relationships.

Of course, secular culture and left wing Christians can also be very bad about sexualizing anything and everything, though, hypocritically, the progressives profess to feeling “icked out” by Christian sponsored “Daddy Daughter” balls and date.

The progressives who find “Daddy Daughter” dates to be patriarchal and incestuous in undertone are often the same ones who sexualize hetero male-female relationships, or male-male relationships.

Progressive Christians or ex Christians tend to operate in the school of “it’s impossible for men and women to be platonic friends.” You can view an example of that here, in left leaning SCCL’s facebook thread about (link): Daddy Daughter dates.

To a degree, I share some of their (their =  SCCL or liberal) reservations or concerns about “Daddy Daughter” dates, but then, I’m also not running around acting as though men and women are incapable of being buddies.  I am not insisting that any and all male-female relationships are sexual, or have sexual undertones, or the potential to be sexual.

One very unfortunate result of conservative Christians, especially the gender complementarians, sexualizing everyone and anything, is that unmarried, adult women are treated like suspected harlots and are consequently shunned or excluded from social events, church functions, or friendships with married persons.

Married persons are coached in Christian sermons, marriage blogs, and TV programs, to steer clear of single women. This practice of shunning single women is sometimes referred to as the “Billy Graham Rule.” (Please see the bottom of this post, under the “Related Posts” section, for links to more information about that.)

(Link): Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup

Excerpts:

  • … What was God’s purpose in creating two genders to work together to image Him out into His kingdom? For a time, conservative evangelicals simplistically set up marriage as the ultimate purpose for the creation of two genders, particularly around Genesis 2:18.

The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

  • However, if you embrace Jesus as the key to understanding all of Scripture, then Jesus’ words on marriage in eternity give us necessary clarification on the purpose of the creation of two genders in Genesis 1 and 2.
  • God’s purposes for interactions between the two genders in this first sinless perfection in Eden is informed by glimpses of the second.
  • In Luke 20, the Sadducees ask Jesus a question about whose wife in heaven a woman would be if she had multiple husbands on earth. In His answer, Jesus is clear that in heaven we do not marry. (Actually, we do marry, but Jesus is the groom.) Jesus teaches us that the ultimate goal in perfection for men and women is not human marriage to each other.
  • But then, what is left for perfect male/female relationships if not human marriage? Well, a TON is left. But we are warped as a society away from valuing the vast wealth of human male/female relationships that don’t involve sex. 

Continue reading “Discipling Healthy Male/Female Relationships in the Church Part 1 by Wendy Alsup”

Things Married People Should Not Say to Singles (via Hax)

This was published in an advice Hax column, December 2015.

Advice from a single adult to married people (this was not written by me; it was written by a guest writer at the Hax column):

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On being single in a familial sea of marrieds:

I highly recommend that those who are married consider the following do’s and don’ts before they spend time with only one single person (or very few).

●Do not monopolize the conversation with discussions of your kids.

Being interested in keeping up with nieces, nephews and other relatives doesn’t mean wanting to hear a scene-by-scene description of little Sally’s role in the kindergarten play.

Besides being mind-numbingly boring, it can be disheartening to hear someone else go on about their joy in raising a child when you may never experience it for yourself.

●Do engage single people in conversations about their own lives such as job/career, hobbies or travel.

Continue reading “Things Married People Should Not Say to Singles (via Hax)”

Why Can’t Men Be Friends? (editorial from CT)

Why Can’t Men Be Friends?

Link to editorial below from Christianity Today about male friendship.

Why can’t men be friends? Because our culture, both secularists and Christians, sexualize everything and everybody.

The politically correct bent today by some to push homosexuality as being a valid lifestyle  or form of sexuality is also at play. You can’t just have two guys who are pals, oh no, they have to have romantic feelings for each other, or groins on fire for each other.

Then you have people who assume men and women cannot be friends, because male-female interaction will always end in sex – not true.

And I am tired, oh so incredibly tired, of men over my life – men who I quite frankly found to be terribly unattractive – mistake my overtures of platonic chit chat as being flirtation, and it goes back to this stereotype that men and women cannot be platonic friends.

(Link): Why Can’t Men Be Friends?

  • Men and women alike increasingly say they are lonely. It doesn’t have to be this way.
  • by Wesley Hill
  • …. Years later, Eberhard addressed an audience member who had come to hear him speak about his friendship with Bonhoeffer (one explored in depth by Charles Marsh in the acclaimed biography Strange Glory). Surely, the questioner said, theirs “must [have been] a homosexual partnership.” What else could Bonhoeffer’s impassioned letters to Eberhard have signaled?
  • Bonhoeffer was aware that his friendship with Eberhard was breakable—that no public ceremony or vow kept them tied. That awareness that friendship is fragile has grown more pronounced since Bonhoeffer wrote his letters from prison. Words like suspicion, unsettledness, and doubt best describe our instincts about friendship. We are uncertain about it—perhaps especially between people of the same sex.
  • And, like Bonhoeffer, we wonder how much we can expect from it, how solid and durable it is, when we compare it to other bonds. Is friendship a weaker tie than marriage or family? Further, many of us doubt that we can attain intimacy without there being deep down some sexual element to the friendship.
  • An Eclipse of Friendship?

    In Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection, social scientist Niobe Way recounts her study of (mostly nonwhite) subjects in the northeastern United States over two decades.

  • Before adolescence, the boys talked in shockingly intimate terms about their male friends. Their “closest friendships share the plot of Love Story more than the plot of Lord of the Flies,” Way notes, puncturing our stereotype that while girls want deep conversation, boys communicate in grunts and prefer to shoot each other with toy guns.

  • But Way also found that as they grew older, the boys lost the intimacy they once enjoyed. Afraid of being perceived as gay or feminine, they withdrew. Many of them told Way “that they don’t have time for their male friends, even though their desire for these relationships remains.”

    The boys Way studied aren’t the only ones facing the loss of deep friendship. Afraid of crossing boundaries of propriety, many Christians, both single and married, never develop meaningful friendships with people of the opposite sex. Not unlike Bonhoeffer and Bethge, they face suspicion from fellow Christians about whether those kinds of relationships are attainable at all.

click here to read the rest

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Related posts:

(Link):  The Church Needs Men And Women To Be Friends – from The Beginning of Wisdom Blog

(Link): Asking Too Much of Marriage (Marrieds Just as Lonely as Singles)- Editorial at Christianity Today

(Link): When You’re Married and Lonely by J. Slattery

(Link):  Relationships Of Welcome, Not Fear (Re: How Sexist Christian Views Marginalize and Isolate Adult, Single Women and Maintain Other Stereotypes About Adult Singles)

(Link): You Will Be Ignored After Your Spouse Dies (advice columnist)

(Link): Married People Who Find Themselves Single Again – Spouses With Dementia / Married People Who Are Lonely

(Link):  Christian Stereotypes About Female Sexuality : All Unmarried Women Are Supposedly Hyper Sexed Harlots – But All Married Ones are Supposedly Frigid or Totally Uninterested in Sex

(Link):  Patriarchy (and Christian gender complementarian views) tends to sexualize all male/female relationships

(Link): Hey Ed Stetzer: Opposite Gender Friendships Are Not Sinful – Ed Stetzer’s Advice: “Avoid Any Hint” – More Like: Re Enforce UnBiblical Stereotypes About Men, Women, Sex, and Singles

(Link): Jesus Christ was not afraid to meet alone with known Prostitutes / Steven Furtick and Elevation Church Perpetuating Anti Singles Bias – ie, Single Women are Supposedly Sexual Temptresses, All Males Can’t Control Their Sex Drives – (but this view conflicts with evangelical propaganda that married sex is great and frequent)

(Link): How the Sexual Revolution Ruined Friendship – Also: If Christians Truly Believed in Celibacy and Virginity, they would stop adhering to certain sexual and gender stereotypes that work against both

(Link):  Brotherly Love: Christians and Male-Female Friendships

(Link):  Apparent Inconsistency at SCCL Group – They’re Repulsed by Sexualization of Some Relationships But Not All

(Link): Why So Much Fornication – Because Christians Have No Expectation of Sexual Purity