Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Greeting Dating with a Kiss
Today in Marriage and Family Class we talked about dating. Woo hoo- big deal...the majority of you are wondering why I am paying thousands of dollars for a class that teaches me about dating. But regardless of "why?", I am and I have actually learned some things which are quite beneficial but.... I am not going to share. However,the class did make me think about my past relationships and how I should define dating for me. Or maybe better yet, determine what is the best way of dating. I mean who knew there could be so many types and that people actually try to pick the best? I guess I should try.
Although I am young, I am pretty sure I have done the majority of the ways of "dating" that are out there except courting and arranged marriages and I am not ruling either of those possibilties out.
In no particular order I have done:
the "deep friendship first that evolved into dating"- lasted on and off again for about one year and four months.
the "we meet, we go on a few dates, we start fast and end fast" which lasted for the lengthy period of about one month.
the "we hang out in the same group, are around each other a lot, have commonaltiies, love Jesus, and find each other attractive so let's date" which lasted for a solid year and three months.
the "you like me so I guess I will like you back but not really into it" which lasted surprisingly about three months which can probably be attributed to the fact I only saw him about once or twice a week.
Oh and I can't forget about the multiple times I did the whole "we are best, best friends with mutual attraction for a couple months but never put a title to it" which all ended in similar ways: we don't really talk anymore. So much for those best friends.
Anyways, I think that about covers it. And all of these "dating relationships" have ended in their own special ways. Some we are still friends, others we have not spoken in years. So what does this mean? Well, even after hearing a whole lecture on dating, I have no idea. Which way of dating do I like the best? I have no idea.
I think liked them all and I learned a lot from each one without experiencing any tramatic heartache...yet.
As I am sitting here writing and thinking about the subject, my friend Zach informed me that in Japan where they practice arranged marriages, divorce rate is at 2% unlike the United States where the number is nearing 50%.
So that settles it. When I decide to get serious with my love life I am off to Japan where I will find a Japanese host mom and dad who will set me up with a stranger and provide for me an everlasting marriage. Hello fried rice and kimonos!
Just kidding. But as far as my opinion on dating, I am a full advocate of it and no, I don't advocate one certain kind for anybody. To each his own, eh?
According to John Brown University and a lot of other evangelicals, dating should be intentional. The majority of my friends here at JBU believe that you should not date without the intentions of marriage. But something about that does not settle within me. I think it is naieve and unrealistic. I don't like the idea of having to be so intentional about it- frick, that is why we date in the first place: to figure out if a person is right for you, to figure out if you are right for them, to find things you need to change about yourself, to find the things you need in a mate that will compliment you and sharpen your character. I won't figure this out with spending a lot of time being so intentional with each relationship I enter into because what if it doesn't work out. What if I enter into a relationship expecting marriage and it fails. And then I try it again and...failure. A. it was probably a big portion of my life that the relationship took hold of and B. I can only imagine the heartache and loss I would feel would be much greater than if I went into the relationship thinking "lets just see where God takes us".
So no, I will not kiss dating goodbye Joshua Harris. I will date and I will date for fun. Marriage will not be the end all be all John Brown University (I know I am making a huge generalization here). Sorry if that goes against your standards and your expectations.
For me going into a relationship with the expecation of marriage coming out of it is just a set up for failure and a broken heart. No thank you!! Yeah, this may look like I am inviting more drama into my life or maybe even more heartache but I tend to be capable of steering clear from that. And plus, all the "drama" and "heartache" I have experienced so far, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have learned from it and it has affected each of my following relationships.
So instead I will greet dating with a kiss. Bonjour dating! Let's get to know each other and see where God takes us.