A wise man once told me that there were only two outcomes for dating relationships: getting married or breaking up.
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And, for many Americans, that right place is online, with dating sites like Elite Singles.
- Janelle Paris, social anthropologist at Messiah College Indeed, a surprisingly large percentage of Christian singles are turning to the internet to find a long-term, spiritually-connected partner.
As my friend Lindsey, married and in her thirties, recently remarked, “I’m sure glad I wasn’t much of a Christian when I started dating my husband!
” Whether over coffee in my kitchen or on the hallowed ground of women’s small groups, I hear these murmurs constantly.
This involves judging a potential guy or girl for the 38 qualities you are looking for in an ideal mate—before even grabbing coffee together. Sometimes the “hanging out” leads to hooking up, sans dating, which is another uber-confusing side effect of the Faux Christian Dating cycle. What if Christians just began to date like normal people—not dating toward immediate marriage and not eschewing dating for the less-desirable “hanging out” no man’s land?
It’s like arranged marriages where no one is making the arrangements, and it doesn’t seem to work very well. Here’s what I think it would require: Stop evaluating whether the guy who’s taken an interest in you is strong and tenderhearted enough to raise your future kids.
I don’t have first-hand knowledge, but thanks to reality TV, I believe it appears to involve asking the woman’s dad if she is available to date, and possibly not kissing until the actual wedding.
Outside the Duggar-verse, there is the less overt but just as prevalent “ideal spouse” dating. Did she want my sweatshirt because she was cold, or because she likes me?
In fact, the research also pointed out that the amount of Americans attending church regularly has dropped somewhat in the last years. More and more Christian singles are joining dating websites to find a spiritually supportive partnership. This difficulty is enhanced by the fact that not all church-going Americans are suitable date material: in truth, many of those who do attend church are already in relationships, married or in significantly different age brackets.