Following the Usual Advice Won’t Get You Dates or Married – Even Celebrities Have A Hard Time

I’ve noticed that in a lot of dating advice for Christian singles, we basically get blamed a lot for our singleness.

There are so many negative, insulting assumptions made about unmarried Christians in the process.

If you’re an unmarried Christian woman who desires marriage (assuming you don’t get the condescending, idiotic commentary that desiring marriage is tantamount to “idolizing” marriage which we sometimes do get from some Christian quarters), you will get all sorts of  other derogatory remarks.

Being Attractive, Thin, or Wealthy Does Not Mean You Are Guaranteed To Get Dates or a Spouse 

Many Christian blogs and books for singles (even for ones as young as 15, but even for adults past 30), whether written by males or females, assume if you’re a single woman who’s not married yet, it’s because you’re ugly or a “fatty” – or both.

You will be told you need to lose weight, wear make-up, and grow your hair out long if you want to get dates, and later, a spouse.

The “Just Grow Your Hair Long!” Cliche’

Supposedly, all men every where love, love, love and adore long hair, as in super long, past- the- shoulders- hair, a la Cher from the 1970s.

Such hair is impractical and a pain in the ass to care for.

(I’ve also seen Non-Christian single women complain about the “grow your hair long if you want to catch a man” advice from secular advice givers, so it’s not just Christian women who get this one.)

The world’s greatest sex symbol, who still tops lists and polls for “most sexy,” or “most beautiful,” even more than 40 years after her death, frequently wore her hair very short, even boyish at times – I am referring to American movie actress Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn usually wore her hair short, or super short, and only wore it long for one movie role (in “River of No Return”), and maybe three, if you count two of her earliest films where she had bit parts.

Marilyn was married three times, twice when her hair was very short.

So obviously, men are not put off  by short hair, and advice-givers can drop that supposed requirement from the list of traits a woman must have if she wants marriage.

Christian Authors, Bloggers Rudely Assume: ‘If You Are Still Single, You Must Be Fat or Ugly or Weird’

One of the things I find offensive is that these blog writers and book writers, even the Christian ones, are assuming you are ugly or fat, even though they have no clue what you look like.

They seem to miss the point that you can be a completely attractive and thin person and still have a hard time meeting a mate.

This brings me to my next point… or two. (Please click the “read more” link below to read the rest of the post)

Continue reading “Following the Usual Advice Won’t Get You Dates or Married – Even Celebrities Have A Hard Time”

America’s Exodus from Marriage (copy)

America’s Exodus from Marriage

source:
commentarymagazine.com/2013/01/17/americas-exodus-from-marriage/

Some excerpts (with a few observations by me below this; click “read more” to read the entire post):

by Peter Wehner
Jan 17, 2013

…This study [“The President’s Marriage Agenda for the Forgotten Sixty Percent,” which is the centerpiece of the latest State of Our Unions report”] focused on the nearly 60 percent of Americans who have completed high school but do not have a four-year college degree.

What we’re seeing is a rapid hollowing out of marriage in Middle America–with 44 percent of the children of moderately-educated mothers born outside of marriage. “We’re at a tipping point with Middle America,” W. Bradford Wilcox, a leading scholar on marriage, told National Review Online’s Kathryn Jean Lopez, “insofar as Middle Americans are on the verge of losing their connection to marriage.”

We are “witnessing a striking exodus from marriage,” according to the study.
Continue reading “America’s Exodus from Marriage (copy)”

The Church Needs A Different View of Sex and Singleness (copy)

THE CHURCH NEEDS A DIFFERENT VIEW OF SEX & SINGLENESS

Originally posted to:

goodwomenproject.com/sex/the-church-needs-a-different-view-of-sex-singleness#idc-cover

Excerpts (by Leigh Kramer, from 2010):

….You see, I am a rare breed. Some might even say an endangered species. I’m a 31-year-old virgin. Rest easy. I’m not dating anyone right now, nor am I going to bed with the next guy I encounter. I’m committed to seeing my virginity through to marriage or death. Whichever comes first.

…I’m not ashamed of my virgin status, but I don’t broadcast either. Most people assume that I have had sex because that is true of most women in their 30′s. Abstinence, chastity, whatever you want to call it, is no longer the norm.

I honestly never thought I’d still be single at this point in my life. I can’t help but wonder if I would have made the same choices had I known what lay ahead.

Does that shock you? It shocks me a little. We live in an age where premarital sex is accepted and often expected. It’s difficult to be countercultural when it comes to sex. There are even churches that don’t take a hard line on the matter.

Grace and forgiveness are extended to those who had premarital sex – and rightly so. Secondary virginity is an option. On the other hand, I’ve had friends that purposely had sex knowing they’d ask for forgiveness later.

Then there’s me. I love finding other ‘older’ virgins. Solidarity and all that. But also because I want to know why they waited and continue to wait. What do they do on the hard days?

Because hard days, or weeks, happen. Sex is best reserved for marriage but it’s hard being the odd woman out. I fervently hope I’ll be able to experience sex in the context of marriage someday. Now is the time to do the work of being faithful so that when I am in a relationship, regardless of my boyfriend’s sexual history, I will not falter.

I’m not alone in this. The church must start having a different conversation about sex and singleness. Here are a few suggestions of what I’d like to see.

1. Explore the framework of chastity.

Telling people to save sex for marriage is not enough when marriage isn’t a guarantee. Chastity is a way of life, looking at our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. It’s not solely focused on the physical act of sex. We need to get away from “how far is too far” and move toward respecting ourselves (and our partners) as men and women made in the image of Christ.

3. Don’t teach that sex is a reward.

First, it’s not the best way to motivate someone toward obedience. This might also explain why many Christians marry young, only to divorce later. Marriage is about more than sex. Second, what message does that send to those who are obedient but don’t receive the ‘reward’? Have I somehow been a bad virgin? I don’t worship a God who would punish people in this way.

4. Don’t elevate marriage over singleness (or vice-versa).

The amount of people who are single, divorced, or widowed is roughly equal to those who are married in most congregations. Yet sermons tend to be directed toward those who are married and parenting. This leaves a good portion of the congregation feeling left out – and these are the unattached who continue to go to church. Many simply choose not to go anymore. We all have much to learn from each other, no matter what our stage of life.

[5. Include the unmarried]

Married folks, please support the single people in your life. Let them be a part of your family gatherings but also schedule one-on-one time as well. Single folks, identify the people in the trenches with you and continue to build those relationships. Having support in place now means you’re more likely to be ready when temptation hits.

American Churches Need to Address Growing Numbers of Unmarried / Single People

Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles?

Source:
(WWW.)christianpost.com/news/pew-for-one-how-is-the-church-responding-to-growing-number-of-singles-70586/

Before I paste in excerpts from most of the article, I wanted to comment on this part of it first:

“Some churches are certainly aware of this demographic, but other churches are almost impervious to it,” says Danylak. “The church focuses on marriage and family, with the expectation that by focusing on family, you’re encouraging singles to get married.”

I addressed that very point in a previous post (-HERE-). Focusing on marriage constantly does NOT encourage singles to want marriage more.

The problem is most unmarried American Christian adults already want to be married, but they cannot find suitable people to date! And while they remain unmarried, they are having struggles and issues that married people do not always face, such as a more intense struggle with loneliness, along with other issues.

For a pastor to keep harping on marriage week in and week out, as most do in their services or literature and blogs, only alienates unmarried adults further, and it’s also painful for some, for it’s like eating a bag of potato chips and chocolate cake in front of a friend who you know likes junk food but who is on a diet.

It’s very cruel to constantly throw something in someone’s face that they want but cannot have, obtain, or achieve – yet most Southern Baptists, conservative churches, and evangelicals continue to do this very thing in regards to marriage vs. singlehood to the long term unmarried and celibate.

Here’s more from the article:

Pew for One: How Is the Church Responding to Growing Number of Singles?

By Sarah Hamaker , Christian Post Contributor
February 29, 2012

One can be the loneliest number, especially in the church. Today, there are more singles in the United States than at any other time in history – 43.6 percent of the U.S. adult population are unmarried, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

“The number of single adults in the United States has been rapidly approaching the number of married adults, and this is an unprecedented culture shift that is dramatic,” says Barry Danylak, author of Redeeming Singleness. “This is not an American phenomena – it is seen in nearly all of the modernized and industrialized nations.”

The church, long welcoming to married with children congregants, has been slower to adjust to this demographic shift. “At least 80 percent of every denomination do not have a targeted ministry to single adults,” says Dennis Franck, national director for Single Adult/Young Adult Ministries for the Assemblies of God denomination, headquartered in Springfield, Mo. “However, the majority of churches are not trying to exclude singles, but they are more marriage and family focused, which means singles are not acknowledged very often.

The Rev. Alan Fretto, a single senior in Danbury, Conn., points out, “The church is geared toward children, women and couples. There is very little in most churches for singles, and yet singles dominate the church population. Singles need to be encouraged and included in the process of the church, and should be considered a valuable asset to the church.”

Readjusting Focus

Many churches have yet to formally acknowledge singles in their midst, either with targeted ministries or inclusion in preaching or teaching illustrations and examples. “Some churches are certainly aware of this demographic, but other churches are almost impervious to it,” says Danylak. “The church focuses on marriage and family, with the expectation that by focusing on family, you’re encouraging singles to get married.”
Continue reading “American Churches Need to Address Growing Numbers of Unmarried / Single People”

People Who Marry for the Wrong Reasons

There are times when I hate being single and wish I had been married, but there are times I’m glad that I’ve remained unmarried into my forties. One reason is that I see people who marry all the time – for the wrong reasons, and they are miserable.

There is a lot of societal pressure to marry, and to marry by the age of 35 at that, which is why so many women (and maybe some men) marry someone they are not truly happy with or in love with, and they get divorced years later.

Here’s another example, a letter sent to advice columnist Carolyn Hax with this heading:
“Quest for public approval pushed her into marriage and is keeping her there”

Here is what the letter writer said:

I don’t know why I got married. Probably a swirling mix of low self-esteem, anxiety and the desire to prove my mother wrong about my boyfriend caused me to pressure him to propose. What I’m left with is a husband who doesn’t really love me and the sinking feeling that I made a terrible mistake.

I don’t know how much effort to put into making this work vs. cutting my losses. He isn’t a bad person, but we don’t make each other particularly happy and this isn’t a relationship where I feel treasured. I would get a divorce without thinking about it, but I’m embarrassed about the possible “I told you so’s.” I keep hoping the minister made a mistake and we’re not really married and I can just walk away.

On a similar note, here’s an article that says that married women are cheating just as much as married men these days:

(Link): The New Face of Infidelity: Research shows women may be cheating now almost as much as men; the toll of new temptations

Here are excerpts from “The New Face of Infidelity,” by Peggy Drexler, October 19, 2012

…Lately, however, researchers have been raising doubts about this view: They believe that the incidence of unfaithfulness among wives may be approaching that of husbands. The lasting costs of these betrayals will be familiar to the many Americans who have experienced divorce as spouses or children.

Among the most reliable studies on this issue is the General Social Survey, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, which has been asking Americans the same questions since 1972. In the 2010 survey, 19% of men said that they had been unfaithful at some point during their marriages, down from 21% in 1991. Women who reported having an affair increased from 11% in 1991 to 14% in 2010.

A 2011 study conducted by Indiana University, the Kinsey Institute and the University of Guelph found much less of a divide: 23% for men and 19% for women. Such numbers suggest the disappearance of the infidelity gender gap, but some caution is in order.

…And if you believe the General Social Survey’s finding that 14% of women are cheating, keep in mind that 86% aren’t.

Still, even though survey accuracy is difficult to achieve and experts are by no means unanimous, it would appear that women are, indeed, catching up. In my own work as a psychologist and in my social circle, I see more women not only having affairs but actively seeking them out. Their reasons are familiar: validation of their attractiveness, emotional connection, appreciation, ego—not to mention the thrill of a shiny new relationship, unburdened by the long slog through the realities of coupledom.
Continue reading “People Who Marry for the Wrong Reasons”

Those Times When You’re Glad to be a Celibate, Single Christian – 1 Corinthians 7:28

1 Corinthians 7:28:

But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.

Skimming over a list of recent secular advice columnist Carolyn Hax columns recently, I feel happy with never having been married, and that I am a life long celibate.

Sometimes, I feel upset at having arrived in my 40s without ever married, but then I see things online or on the TV that makes me feel glad I am still single and not having sex.

Here’s a selection of just a few of Hax’s recent column headlines:

  • Carolyn Hax: History of bad partners; adulterer in their midst – OCT 17
  • Carolyn Hax: When to disclose you have herpes – OCT 16
  • Carolyn Hax: Boyfriend has anger issues, but he won’t go to therapy on his own – OCT 15

“When to disclose you have herpes.” –When to disclose your herpes?! Good grief. I have never been in that situation and likely never will be.

It’s hard being a celibate Christian over the age of 40.

We’re mostly invisible to the American Christian church at large, and get no encouragement or support to remain celibate.

I’m constantly inundated with pro-sex (and pro-marriage) messages and images every time I turn on the television, go to a movie, look at a magazine – and that’s just from “Christian culture,” not counting the mountain of sex messages and imagery I get from secular culture, not just in regards to sex, but the secular culture keeps up this facade that a person cannot be validated unless one is in a romantic relationship.

Regarding my point that the current American Christian culture is just as obsessed with sex as is the secular culture, here are a few examples: everything from pastor Mark Driscoll’s frequent kinky, perverted, sex-filled sermons (he even sexualizes non-sexual content, such as the book of Esther), and pastor Ed Young’s stupid, immature, weird, tacky “Sexperiment.”

You can read more about those topics here (I am not necessarily in full agreement with all views on all topics on blogs and sites I link to):

Ed Young’s Sexperiment, from Church Marketing Sucks

The Trouble with Ed Young’s Rooftop Sexperiment

Esther, Mark Driscoll, and using rape to control women

Profane Preachers Contribute to Killing the Conscience

This discusses how Driscoll and other pastors are obsessed with sex:

The Church of Sex

Older celibates get treated like weirdos or failures in and out of the church, by Christians and by secular people.

The hypocrisy from Christians is amazing on this point. They frequently lecture teen aged Christians, and the 20-something Christians, to refrain from sex outside of marriage, but when these Christians actually succeed in doing this, and remain unmarried and virgins into their 40s and beyond (such as yours truly), we get treated like second class citizens and freaks by the church. (click “more” to read the rest of the post)
Continue reading “Those Times When You’re Glad to be a Celibate, Single Christian – 1 Corinthians 7:28”