Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Caught in the clutches of... love? Part #2

Have you read Part #1 yet? 
 I hope you have... because I may just sound like a blabbering, ultra-conservative homeschooler if you don't hear what I had to say first.  The reason that I didn't include this one right in Part #1 is that, personally, I don't like extremely long articles, however interesting they might be.  Don't get me wrong, I'm working on that, because I definitely love reading - to the extent of forfeiting my night's worth of shut-eye to pour myself over their arresting paragraphs of those wonderful works of art which are called books... which I am also working on. :)
Hold onto your hats, ladies and gents, the Valary-Mac will unleash.

Although I do understand that many couples have only dated the man (or woman) they have ended being happily married to for many years, they are usually in late twenties, and have a more mature outlook and steady emotions.  Dating isn't evil!

Before anyone can go into the pros and cons of either side, we must define both, and compare them.

So, first, the difference between dating and "courtship", which this (I hate to call it an article) will mostly deal with.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines dating as "making or having a date with," whereas to court is "to seek the affections of, especially to seek to win a pledge of marriage."

Dating: usually short term relationships with intent of romantic affection between two of opposite genders; forming emotional ties and seeking feel-good remedies;  pushing off realistic relationships to amuse yourselves and fulfill your personal emotions and feelings of real growing-up in an immature manner.
A Date:  a one-on-one time together on which money is usually spent to amuse; "going-out" to cultivate a romantic and spontaneous relationship with the unstable feelings and wants of hormone changes and puberty.
Valary-Mac's perspective on Dating:  An immediate reaction to normal, growing-up changes in the body and brain with little or no immediate accountability.
Reasons we Date:
  • Everybody is doing it.  (face it young people, peer pressure can drive us to insane measures far beyond simply dating)
  • Its fun. (I've never dated, but it sounds awfully fun.  That's the problem, in my opinion, that is)
  • We want to do it. (that ties right into the "its fun" reason.)
  • Social status. (admit it. Everybody wants to be in with the best football player in school.  Don't most girls envy his girlfriend?)
  • Personal Fulfilment. (We feel useless and ugly - that's the hormones again - and the thought of a guy liking us, taking us out, buying us things, and wanting to be with us personally and exclusively is exhilarating.  It is wired into our brains!  If it wasn't... nobody would want to be with each other, and we would eventually die out.  We would not know what it was to want to feel loved, and God's perfect love would be... well... boring.)
Courtship: usually long term relationships with intent of furthering mature growth for a pure marriage between two of opposite genders; a way for the two to get to know each other in everyday settings with other people of various ages around, such as home, church, sports, missions, projects, and tough situations ministering to and helping others; being committed to just one of the opposite gender for an extended period of time to discover if you could see marrying and spending the rest of your life together.
To go a'courting:  Perhaps going to your "significant friend's" house to play games or have a meal with the family; being around other teens, adults, and perhaps children in church events and serving in the community; helping out at your significant "friend's" house - cooking, building, babysitting, in Bible-study or prayer; The greatest majority of the time, for the young people to decide to court, the man will go to the laddie's father or guardian and ask for permission to "court" his daughter.  The father will "screen" the young man to make sure his girl isn't unconsciously walking into a destructive relationship, and then ask his daughter, or let the interested suitor ask if he may "court" her.
Valary-Mac's perspective on Courtship: A more mature way to get to know one of the opposite gender with more moral, serious, long-term relationship.
Why some court:
  • To ease gently into a new kind of relationship with the opposite gender (A relationship beyond childhood guy/girl friendships.)
  • To form accountability around a relationship to guard against emotional blindness.
  • To get to know someone with possible intent for marriage.
  • Protect purity before marriage.
The difference:
  • Dating prepares one for expecting... well, not much but emotional highs and breaking up when things go wrong... bluntly said.  Courtships starts when one believes they are getting ready, or are somewhat prepared to be a spouse and parent, and hopefully (if its done right) prepares the couple to face difficulties together responsibly.
  • Dating is a system that allows for many, many partners that usually end up very close to ones emotions and/or heart.  Courtship is laced with accountability, and is designed for the long-term, and to one person.
  • Whereas in Dating is very easy to make and break up, and with Courting, much thought goes into, "do I really want to court this person?  Its a very serious matter that may likely end in marriage."
  • Daters usually start young, as young as 5-6, (yikes; scary; bonkers) and Courtship starts as young as when one feels ready to start seeing another person with intent of possible marriage in the near, or farther future.
  • Dating usually involves physical contact, and a somewhat quick (if at all) meeting of parent and child's date before being whisked off alone (usually). Those Courting are carefully looked over by both parents, older relatives, and sometimes other church members (which would be a little weird, I admit, but very, very safe), and usually none to minimal physical contact.
  • Dating, both guy and girl put on their best act (goodness, I would too, how could you help but do it) when on their date.  Those who court get to observe their "significant friend" in many situations: around their family and siblings when they are being annoying; on missions trips when working with others; reacting to things they don't like; etc...

Now just a few interesting, and completely unbias facts:  (if you have more, from either side of the argument, please comment below, providing the source of your info, and using language appropriate for a young lady's blog.)
  • 8 out of 10 single people think the first kiss is a good indication of how the rest of the relationship will be.
  • On average a single person - male or female - will go out on 100 dates before getting married.
  • 34% of women see a deposit on a home as a greater sign of commitment than an engagement ring (Woolwich survey)
  • The most common time for breakups is around three to five months.
  • On free dating sites, at least 10% of new accounts are from scammers.
  • The online dating industry generates $1.8 billion per year and the matchmaker/dating coach business generates $260 million per year in the United States
  • During the early twentieth century, dating evolved out of a courtship ritual where young women entertained male callers under the watch of a chaperon. By the 1960s and 1970s, “hooking up” increasingly replaced dating, mainly because the age at which people marry for the first time had begun creeping up.
  • An average couple will kiss on their second date.
  • Each year approximately one in four adolescents reports verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse.
  • Dating violence among their peers is reported by 54% of high school students.
  • 1 out of 10 sex offenders use Internet to meat victims
  • 1 out of 3 couples sleep together on their very first date.
  • 70% of raped women knew or dated their offenders.
  • About 51% of couples who dated end up divorced.
  • Less than 1% of couples who courted each other get divorced.
So lets talk about it:
The No.1 reason that girls and guys alike don't court instead of date is that they think the "courting thing" is to strict and it would embarrass them.  I can relate to that.  When I was younger, I felt abhorrent that I would even be able to look at a guy who had come to my father and asked to start "seeing me" for the intent of marriage.  Not that I never wanted to get married, but that would be way too upfront!  Dating sounds so much more comfortable and casual.  But now that I have grown up a little bit (and I still have a lot of growing up to do) I am more interested in getting to know Jesus better than a man.  I am not ready yet to "go out" with anybody from the opposite gender.  I want to save everything for my future husband.  My first actual date will be after my wedding.  My first kiss will be saved for our wedding ceremony, and we will save the biggie for the wedding night... (uncomfortable silence).  I would hope that a man would take me seriously enough to be serious about our relationship.  Instead of "Hey, your cute and funny and nice... lets just hang out... nothing big, we will probably break up anyway, but I'll have some fun with ya."  I would more like to hear: "I have prayed long and hard about this and have taken the time to talk to your dad. We talked and prayed over it and he said it would be OK if I started seeing you more often, if that's OK with you."

"For me personally, courtship would more follow God's very serious guidelines for getting a good, godly husband, and saving myself completely for him. That's my decision, and I have prayed much about it and researched.  I am not trying to tell you that dating is evil! I'm saying: 'here are some facts and my opinions - start praying about it.'"

Just For Fun:
Common questions girls have asked me about my decision to not date:

Q: How will you ever get to know any guys? 
A: I get to know more guys much better when I look at them for who they are: guys that I'm not in love with.

Q: What if he isn't cute?
A: Is that really a question that needs answering?  No. But I will. Bluntly.
Just because I choose not to date doesn't mean I'm blind and stupid. ;) Courtship takes more thought than dating, and hopefully you would look for God's will in your dating as much as I would in my courtship.  Looks don't account for everything!

Q: What if your really old when you get married?
A: I would rather marry older and know that I got the right guy, than marry younger and not know for sure. Please tell me that you agree!  And most couples who court are, surprisingly, not very old at all!

You may also be interested in / Related posts:


Caught in the clutches of... love?
Part #1

Caught in the clutches of...
love?  Follow up

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