Saturday, September 20, 2014

Courtship, Dating, Going Steady...

You may have seen this article, Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed, going around in social media. I wanted to share some of what was written that I thought you might be able to chew on. Always remember, that other then the Bible, there is no article or book that is perfect. It's written by flawed humans, thus sinners, and so you have to eat the meat and spit out the bones. 

I like Thomas' idea on "Traditional Dating".  He used the example of his Christian grandmother and how she dated. 

When my grandmother dated in middle school (yes, middle school) her parents had only one rule for her.The One Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row.So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday.That sounded crazy to me. So, I asked her the rationale behind it. She explained that the lack of exclusivity helped them guard their hearts and kept things from getting too serious too quickly. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. “The guys wouldn’t even want to kiss you!” She said.The lack of exclusivity helped the girls guard their hearts and kept the boys from feeling entitled to the girl. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?She went on to explain that by the time she graduated from high school, she had gone out on dates with over 20 different guys. This meant that by the time she was 17 years old she knew which Bob she wanted to marry. They got married and stayed married till my grandfather passed away half a century later.
The Difference Between “Dating” and “Going Steady”
She went on to explain that there used to be a linguistic differentiation between “dating” and “going steady”. “Going steady” meant you were going out with the same person multiple times in a row. It often had symbols like the girl wearing the guy’s letter jacket. This telegraphed to everyone at school that she was “off the market” and that she had a “steady beau”.It seems that my great grandparents’ rule forbidding my grandmother from going out with the same guy twice in a row was a common rule in those days.The Greatest Generation was encouraged to date and discouraged from going steady while in middle school  (I would personally change that to HIGH School)With Traditional Dating, asking a girl out on a date is no big deal. All the guy is asking to do is to get to know the girl better. Maybe this leads to a deeper relationship, maybe it doesn’t. Either way, the interaction is easier and more fun when it is not so intense.

I remember when my sister was dating in college and a young man called my dad about her. This guy wanted "rights" to her.  So he asked my dad if he could date her.  My dad said "Yes, and she can also date whoever else she wants to at the same time". The guy was not too happy to hear that statement but my dad was making the point that my sister didn't have to be tied down. She could and should go on dates with different men so that she could meet "her right one". 

I like the idea of "going on dates with different people." It helps you build friendships and doesn't make things serious too fast. I personally think that parents make the mistake when they forbid their children to "go on dates" until they're out of school. 

I attended a Christian college and met some girls who had never been allowed to date.  They went "nuts" and were the ones who usually got themselves into trouble.I am also a BIG believer in chaperons, yes EVEN FOR ADULTS!   *GASP*  

 Let's all be real here.  I think you have to know your kids and yourself (if you're single). HOWEVER, for the physical safety of yourself I really do believe in them. Isn't it funny when we hear about someone on the news that we grew up with and we are like "OH MY, I just never saw that coming." *Nodding*  That happens in dating, as well. 

I had a friend I worked with in VA who went on a date with a guy she had met and got double raped by him and his friend. I know this doesn't happen to everyone that goes on dates, BUT it does happen and thus I think we need to protect ourselves. 

Chaperones help to calm the heat down. When you have others around, there is less opportunity for things to get too serious. Ok, so maybe you need to have a serious conversation, then have them sit at a different table or go to a very popular, public place to eat. It's better to be safe then sorry. 

I just don't think ANYONE needs to be at an apartment or house or private location by themselves. If you like each other, which usually is the case, :-) it puts unneeded temptations there. No one is above it.

More from Thomas...Now Let’s Talk Some SpecificsSuggestions For Single Women
  • If a Christian guy asks you out for dinner, say “yes”. You don’t need to love him to say yes to a first date.
  • Be friendly. Give the guy hope that he has a chance with you. Coyness is not as attractive as the media makes it out to be.
  • Don’t make him run a gauntlet before he can get to know you. Realize he is not asking to marry you when he asks if he can buy you dinner.
  • Some guys are hidden gems and are more than meets the eye. Give him a chance to win your attention and to earn that second date
  • Let the guy pay for dinner
Suggestions For Single men

  • Start asking girls out. Most girls would love to be asked out and will say “yes” if you would just ask them.
  • Realize that asking a girl out for dinner is not the same as proposing marriage.
  • Get a job. Pay for dinner.
Suggestions for Both Single Men and Single Women
  • Do what your grandparents did and go out on dates with lots of different people before going steady with any of them.
  • Don’t marry the first person you have feelings for.
  • Keep an eye out for public places where you can have private conversations.
  • Find a church with lots of single people. There are still churches out there with a healthy culture of traditional dating. If no one in your church got married last year, don’t expect to break that trend. You can always move back to your parent’s church after you find your sweetheart.
  • Fear God.
Suggestions For Parents
  • Try to make marriage attractive to your children by loving and respecting your spouse the best you can. One reason that your children may not be getting married is because they don’t want what you have in your marriage.
  • Start dating your spouse again. Do whatever you can to make your marriage a happy one.
  • Encourage your sons to ask girls out on dates.
  • As your children become adults, give advice instead of commands. 
  • Pray earnestly and persistently for your child. Pray and trust God to guide your child directly.
  • Encourage your children to find their way to places where they can meet other single people. 
  • Remember that gentleness and kindness are fruits of the Spirit.
  • Treat the person interested in your child as a fellow brother or sister in Christ.

All in all, it was an interesting read. There is so much good meat there. I hope you can get something out of it. Don't forget you may have to spit out some bones.  If you have more questions about his article, there is a follow-up -> Q&A Follow-up. - Rejoicing in the Present

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