They Do Exist.

10 Lies We Believe About Interacting With The Opposite Sex

Editor’s Note: Today’s kickbutt post is by Courtney Gabrielson, a senior at Davidson College. She tweets at @cogabrielson and blogs at cogabrielson.wordpress.com. With that, HERE IS THE AWESOME. – Lauren

Truth: I am nearly 22 years old. I have never had a boyfriend – serious or otherwise – and have only been on two casual dates, one of which was my high school prom. For a long time I thought it was my problem. I seemed too awkward, too fat, too incapable and uninteresting. So I dieted, learned how to ask people questions, did a lot of social things that felt risky and uncomfortable so as to strengthen my latent relational muscle.

And nothing happened. Still. Nothing’s happened. And perhaps it continues to be my problem. Perhaps, being a member of Generation MTV, brought up with Disney and Barbie’s Dreamhouse, I am a dysfunctional customer of a culture that sold me a hyper-romantic myth of what relationships look like: sex sex sex or Kleinfelds. I do watch a lot of movies.

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I’ve done my research. I’m convinced there is a big glob of lies that stand between women and men, keeping us from truly understanding one another, and messing up what should be relatively simple interactions.

I think that there is something wrong about the fact that girls feel guilty for wanting to be asked to formals; that come Friday night the same ladies are left lonely; that the majority of conversations women have with men are driven and instigated by those women; that at college breakfasts after church, the genders part much like the Red Sea.

It’s dumb and I hate it, and I think we need to get real. So, I want to take a few moments of your time, patient reader, to break down the lies I see from my perspective. Here I go.

Lie #1: “Let’s get lunch” = “let’s reproduce one day!”

I dislike the book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” in much the same way that I abhor the phrase “intentional dating.” Their continual use in Christian culture has programmed everyone to think all women want is marriage, and that until mens’ desires finally catch up, there is absolutely no point in interacting with women beyond a casual, “how are you?”

The collateral damage of this lie has been staggering. I feel as though I am surrounded by guys that are, for the most part, scared of having mature, one-on-one conversations with other women. In the same vein, I feel as though I am surrounded by girls (myself included) who are constantly fighting a battle against discontentment and self-consciousness, wondering when it’ll be their turn to feel noticed. (And since it hasn’t happened yet, what’s wrong with us?!)

Furthermore, the sexual tension that pervades even the simplest campus ministry meeting is a pungent and thick as smoke. I can’t help but think that these problems wouldn’t be problems if we were okay with casual mingling.

Gentlemen, it’s what girls want to do. Hang out! Go to the movies. Dance at the Court. Laugh over chicken parm at Commons. Get pretty for you because frankly we think you’re cute! Ultimately, we just want to get to know you beyond the fact that you’re a Christian and a male. Contrary to popular belief, as much as we may want to get married eventually, no one is really truly biting at the bit to do it now. After all, we have to get into grad school and write a thesis and do everything else that we do. When we say “let’s get lunch,” that’s really all we mean.

Lie #2: Just because us ladies are slightly more assertive these days, it must mean that we want to be treated like robots.

Go my gender. We can vote, we can have jobs, we can be President. Yaaaaaaaay us. Why does this scare you? A lot of us still believe that women are programmed to be pursued by men [translated: We like when you initiate things]. The ball is in your court! We can be patient, but take note: we won’t wait forever. “Mario Kart” will not be going anywhere, but this girl and many others like her will if you don’t speak up. With words.

Lie #3: Being friendly equals “leading us on.” Therefore, in the interest of protecting us from thinking you want to pursue us romantically, acknowledge us as little as possible.

It’s sweet that you’re trying to guard our hearts. Really. But much like we can’t own your libido when we dress, you can’t own our emotions when you engage us in conversation. So, engage us in conversation. I don’t get why guys think it’s okay to be rude and standoffish during social occasions. It sucks to be ignored! Pleasantries are pleasant! Say hello when we’re standing three feet away from you; chat about the weather, ask about classes, work, whatever – we’re friends, so let’s act like it. Believe it or not, we are not 12 year-old-girls at a 6th grade dance; if you acknowledge us in public, we will not be writing our first names with y’all’s surnames in Hello Kitty journals after recess.

Lie #4: Dates mean high costs and expectations.

Do I have standards for a guy? Yes. But if we’re just getting to know each other, I’m not expecting an all-expense trip to Santorini here, nor Pride and Prejudice theatrics. Let’s just chat! Laugh. I might even split the check. If conversation makes you nervous, let’s ease into it by going to a movie. No. Pressure.

Lie #5: It’s okay that we don’t socialize or interact with the opposite sex, because my spouse will fall out of the sky.

This was a hard lesson for me to learn, because I have struggled for a long time with a false sense of introvertism (is this a word?). But God got my attention. How? Because He reminded me with that I cannot love Him well in a vacuum.

Do I believe that God has someone planned for me? Yes. But do I believe that the TV will turn on by itself? Nope. I have to get up and turn it on. In the same vein, I’ve got to meet Jesus [and people] halfway! I need to develop the characteristics of the woman who will one day be a good wife. And how do I do that? By meeting people, interacting with people, serving people. I’ve got to leave my dorm room occasionally. When Jesus said, “go out and make disciples of all men,” he didn’t indicate that we were to Facebook stalk them into submission, but instead to go out. One cannot say “I’m focusing on my relationship with Christ right now!” and then go into a hole. We are a social creations, of whom God said, “it is not good for man to be alone.”

This means that the sexes will have to mingle if we are to be a functioning, vibrant, Jesus-centered community. We might as well enjoy each others’ company! Does that mean that we are to serial-date and turn into some absurd lady killer or Scarlett woman? Nah. Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Conversely, I think a lot of us are waiting for it to rain when God’s saying, “I invented hoses for a reason!” Check out Acts 1:11: “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky?” We are constantly called to action, to do things that make us uncomfortable so that we grow.

Lie #6: My decision to ignore the opposite sex doesn’t hurt anyone.

False. Do you know how many crying-conversations I’ve been a part of because of the passivity and indecision of Christian men?

This is best evidenced by a conversation I had about dating with a guy friend of mine. I discussed how a lot of girls are frustrated with the disinterest of the great guys around them, and they are caught in a spiral of self-doubt. Guy doesn’t ask me out, there’s something wrong with me, I’m not pretty enough, I’m not skanky enough, I need to change, or be more aggressive. This is coming from girls who love Jesus and are otherwise incredibly confident. This was/is me! My friend was astonished that the non-initiative of Christian men was causing a loss of confidence in these awesome girls, which sucks, because men SEE the loss of confidence, and then don’t like it!

Lie #7: Women just want romance and have a minimal sex drive.

We are sexual creatures and have sexual desires. All of us. While I acknowledge that men may be wired in different ways, it’s frustrating and disillusioning to suppose that guys are alone in the fight against lust, fantasies, the objectification of the opposite sex, and pure thoughts on the beach. I and many women like me experience these things, too.

Lie #8: I don’t need to interact with real women, because porn is more interesting, or safer. I don’t have to try, and there are no strings attached.

I would wager that if men and women spent more time interacting in a low-pressure environment with the opposite sex, the desire to rely on pornography as a source of relief would decrease. Is it a scientific fact? I don’t know. Perhaps I’m oversimplifying. But from my perspective, it seems as though we’re getting more and more uncomfortable with each other while the percentage of pornography users in the Church grows. This problem is an essay for another day, but essentially, porn is crippling men and women, stunting their relational abilities while placing incredible pressures on the opposite sex.

Lie #9: Non-Christian girls have a more low-key approach to relationships, so it’s a good idea to pursue them instead of the Christian crazies who want to marry me after the first date.

No. No no no. This one makes me mad. Why? Because I’ve lived it. I’ve faced the judgment of high-and-mighty brothers in Christ, who made me feel like crap because my evangelistic strategies were not as militant as theirs, because I liked to wear bikinis in the summer, and because I thought their concepts of submission were delusional. Yet the girls they dated were the girls we “good Christian girls” were to never act like. Double standard?

This is not a judgment call on any women, nor is it saying I am a saint. It’s just a call for consistency between words and actions of Christian guys.

Lie #10: Submission is a divine right that all men receive from their ladies, either girlfriends or wife.

Submission is a good thing. But when Paul talks about wives submitting to their husbands in Ephesians 5, he states that men are supposed to love their wives as Jesus loved everyone. That’s incredible love!

I will most certainly submit to my husband – I’ll make him sandwiches everyday for the rest of his life if it’ll make him happy – but this will be after he’s proven to me he tries to love me unconditionally. If not? Well, then have a nice day. I won’t be marrying you and we won’t have any issues.

Some people see this verse as a mandate used to justify misogyny in all types of male-female relationships. Submission should never be used as tool for enslavement. Paul uses states submission is for “husbands and wives.” Not boyfriends and girlfriends. Not friends. It comes with marriage.

***

Guys: The awesome girls around you are sick and tired of this relational confusion. We want to be your friends! We want to get to know you! We want to spend time with you! Zetus lepidus, we want to encourage you! Show us how to do this. Meet us halfway. Stop being scared or indecisive or lazy or whatever it is that is holding you back from being the men we know you are capable of being.

Let’s smash the metaphorical Horcrux (he he he) and work together to achieve this goal. Ignoring us, putting off figuring out your issues, acting as though we’ll go away and re-appear when you want a wife isn’t getting anyone anywhere. May I make a suggestion for a good first step? Ask us out to lunch and we can discuss, maybe, how we can best encourage each other over some mac ‘n cheese.

xoxo,
Courtney


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125 Responses

  1. Liz

    This is all my frustrations put into words! Thank you.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:07 am

    • Betsy

      Amen! So rich and well-written. Thank you.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:36 am

    • Jsmith

      A woman with admittedly very little dating experience giving dating advice. I'm a guy and somehow found my way here. She says these are lies from her point of view, but it's unclear to me if any of this article is meant as advice for guys.

      I would suggest if you are a woman who is thinking some or all of these things that you 1) get out of your head.. stop thinking so much about why you have hardly any dating experience 2) stop waiting on fate to send you someone 3) Go out and socialize 4) When you do find a guy you're interested in, just be straight up and to the point with him about what you are looking for.

      Guys start out interested in a girl 99% based on looked. If we hit on you/ask you out, it is to get to know you better and see if you meet the rest of our standards. Granted there are guys out there only looking to have sex with as many women as possible.

      Also think the reason there is more of a divide between men and women communicating is due to the advent of social media, smart phones, and texting. I'm old enough to remember the days when I hand wrote love letters to a girl, but young enough to still be in the dating game today. Seeing everyone walking around (and even driving!) with their heads glued to their smart phones gives puts me off to say the least. Also the busy lifestyle most of us have adopted does not help with this. So next time you are at the store or the mall, try putting that smart phone away and look people in the eye. You may make a connection with someone worthwhile.

      April 1, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    • treepolitik

      Yesterday, we men make far more money than you and we have no expectations of getting you. Today, men just figure it isn't worth their time, instead have a good time, and don't bother with expectations that can't be earned nor defined and subject to change at any time, plus damages for damages. The fact of the matter is, neither traditional gender has enough time, money, or life energy to carry out a relationship. We are culturally conditioned to seek sexual relationships when we just want to live for free in high quality and have a good time. Any primal urge is strengthened and subliminized by the culture when it should be irrelevant to general excellence. Secular raunch feminism and Christianity are equally cock-blockers. The one's considered the devil, the other's considered godly; both are religions in which people are controlled by people, and both are therefore devils to men. It comes down to this: the two traditional genders are too scared to approach each other with our limited time/resources and face the possibility of instant loss of resources in head to head combat (e.g. he buys car, house, and fuel, she gets pregnant, he divorces, she sues for child support).

      I don't want a whore, but I also don't want a resister who shuns hanging out in person (who also expects to be kissed well and kissed at the right time and led into it in the right way with subtle hints by a person in the correct caste, profession, health, and race over several years). No man wants to date a woman who has ground rules, scruples, and a real father unless the man in question the one who's been betrothed to her, clear exchange, word-for-word, line-for-line. And no man desires sex until they are taught the woman wants it. Don't want it before marriage? Then don't ask for it after marriage, either. Don't want kids before marriage? Then don't expect child support or welfare if you break the moral law. Don't want tricks that lead you into things? Then don't ask for romance; non relationship romanticism/spontaneity occurs after any person's struggle point; it's called a life lesson. You're all the law and you're all the exception, much as you probably see us. You're stronger than you think and can do without us. Millennial females in a recent poll were said to disapprove of pregnancy before marriage, but were also most likely to be pregnant before marriage. And if we just don't understand, you're absolutely right, we don't understand. You can't complain if you have the power to leave a sexless relationship, and we reserve the right to walk away with our reputation intact in complete confidentiality.

      July 28, 2014 at 10:36 pm

  2. hrh413

    YES! YES YES YES!

    March 26, 2013 at 10:24 am

  3. I laughed all the way through this. You are fantastic and wonderful. Thankyou

    March 26, 2013 at 10:35 am

  4. Courtney

    Take out the part about making sandwiches, and this is me. Like weirdly so, because my name is Courtney, I’m 22, a senior in college and have never been on a date in my life (or been asked out). I go to a small Christian school so I’ve dealt with these issues on a daily basis. And if not me, then definitely my friends!

    March 26, 2013 at 10:39 am

  5. livfierce

    Oh man… I can't help but be thankful that I have a man in my life who hasn't bought into all this bull! While he dislike "playing games" in a relationship, his philosophy is to why not get to know someone you are attracted to as a friend and then see where it goes? There's nothing immoral about going out for coffee without having a committed relationship!

    Thank you for writing this post! I hope that through it, some men will realize that it's okay to relax a bit.

    March 26, 2013 at 10:50 am

  6. Michaeleen

    Zetus lepidus! Your blog post was awesome, and making a Zenon reference made you even awesomer!

    March 26, 2013 at 10:58 am

  7. LC

    This is awesome, hilarious, and so true!

    March 26, 2013 at 11:23 am

  8. Here be dragons

    Number 9. Yes!

    March 26, 2013 at 11:41 am

  9. I had a hard time reading this article given that some of the lies were directed at women (#2, #3) and others at men (#6, #7, #8). I wasn't sure if the article was meant for the men or the ladies. Anyway some comments I'd like to add…

    #3- I agree it's never okay to be rude and that being a friendly guy shouldn't be interpreted as leading women on. BUT (maybe I'm alone here) a guy being overly friendly with me will most definitely lead ME on. *This is probably because of all the pressure the church has placed on male/female friendships.* (I'm sure there are other women like me and I commend the men who put healthy boundaries in our friendship to guard my heart… setting boundaries doesn't mean being rude but simply acknowledging that too much friendliness for the sake of being friendly can be misinterpreted).

    I'm not too sure on #6…. the real problem here isn't that men aren't interacting with women, it's that they aren't asking women out. Even if men and women were happily interacting and being friends with each other, women would still be hurt if men still didn't ask them out, which according to your example was the real cause of pain. In any case, we can't blame/resent men for not initiating since they are free to decide who and when to date.

    I do stand behind #9 which sums up pretty well 99% of the Christian men I know. I joke around the fact that godly Christian men tend to set high and almost unreal expectations for godly, committed Christian women but end up marrying new believers or not as committed Christian girls in an attempt to get the "best of both worlds". I can honestly say I've been very hurt by the double standard and have even been tempted to act less godly since it's what's getting the godly men's attention.

    Good article, loved your theory in #8, seems absolutley possible.

    March 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    • Brad K.

      Adriana, The issue about #9 is not about godly behavior.

      Good Christian girls (for whatever "good" means here) are usually raised in good Christian homes. And that is what they grow up knowing — Christian parents, and especially how Christian *mothers* act. Boys are usually raised with interests and understandings outside the home. Traditional child toys orient girls to raise families (skipping all that ill-defined "find a mate" interlude), and boys to build, be a superhero, or roar around loud and fast.

      Modern media, and especially advertising, promotes what I call recreational sex and acquiring recreational sex partners. I think this is where your "less godly" behavior comes from. The guys get closer to the "easy" ladies looking for an immediate "connection" (lacking that firm faithful connection to sustain them) much quicker — then get to know them, and marry what has become familiar. Don't confuse getting married to someone with having a secure, faithful home. Note the large number of divorces, and even larger numbers of unhappy or disconnected homes.

      And for references and introductions, I would look more to happily married women. They often have a better eye for quality in a mate prospect. Certainly, before things get intimate — observe and assess for yourself the quality of your prospect's emotional bonds to their friends, family, and co-workers. It is easy to add ties — but really tough for someone with tortured or missing connections to build a health relationship with anyone — close, certainly, morbidly so, but not healthy. You are building a family, you know, not just fooling around with one of God's gifts. . .

      November 8, 2013 at 9:17 am

  10. Lola

    fantastic! well written article and the HP reference was bloody brilliant.
    Praise God for this article!

    March 26, 2013 at 12:21 pm

  11. AJ

    I’m a man. I think the first to comment. Thanks. I think I do pretty well at all this, I know I’ve failed plenty though. But thanks for speaking out and sharing with guys about this,I know it was a good reminder for me. It’s sad that the church has put so much pressure on both sides and made dating and female-male relationships a scary ordeal. I know I have had great frustration with people who basically say opposite sex relationships are pointless cause once you get married they end. What? So I can’t be friends with women once i’m married? I understand not cheating and the boundaries would change but I don’t think we need to dump our female friends when we get married.

    March 26, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    • Daniel

      We shouldn't dump our girl friends, no. But we should keep in mind how hard it is to relent from falling into sexual sin with girls as well.

      March 26, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    • jesserrs

      AJ, thanks for commenting. It's great to hear a guy's POV in the midst of female comments. : )

      As a girl in the opposite boat, be careful with this kind of thinking (the last part). The thing about people and marriage is that none of them are ever exactly the same. I don't believe that opposite-sex friendships should end, but once you're married, they will look different. You will approach these friendships as a team, and anything that makes one person in that team feel uncomfortable (i.e. female or male friends), should not be ignored because you feel you have rights to your old life.

      Also, depending on your "thorn" in this life, this can be the biggest door for sexual temptation inside a marriage– both for women and for men. The temptation does not dissipate once you're married. So what is the best solution for this awkward "what-do-we-do-with-our-friends-now-that-we're-married?" Approach it as a team. Not much will go wrong, but if does, you both are ready for it.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      • AJ

        Yes thanks. Well said.

        March 26, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    • Linda

      I'm an old lady of 58. I don't believe it is the Church that is putting on the pressure but the changes in communication we have today. It used to be that Churches planned social events so young people had opportunity to get together. I have attended a number of churches over my lifetime and we had a great time going out for coffee as a group after the evening service. Or planning a game night for college/career people to have fun. Social media has replaced a that type of gathering. I even find myself falling into that trap. It's like people can't put down the electronic device even when there are real people to talk to. I attended a church in my mid-twenties that had a large singles group. We had several guys/gal houses. We were always inviting people over for dinner or to watch a movie. People need to stop over thinking their relationships and be a bit creative. My daughter started to invite people over for a swing dance night. She even provided lessons for people. You can find all sorts of fun steps online. And make the evening a no texting/phone call zone.
      In response to the question about having friends of the opposite sex. People should have all kinds of friends. I have lifelong friends from my 20's and we take missions trips together… play board games… we just enjoy spending time together. You do need wisdom. Our marriage counselor told us to never meet with someone of the opposite sex alone. It's a good piece of advice.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm

  12. Becca

    Just what I needed to hear TODAY. Literally just praying about feeling frustrated with interactions with men and women on my campus and the expectations of both. It's so comforting and encouraging to know other women my age haven't been in a dating relationship and love the Lord! Thank you for allowing God to work through you as you wrote this.

    March 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm

  13. stellaristic

    I feel like we would actually be best friends.

    March 26, 2013 at 1:34 pm

  14. Thank you for this. Seriously so good. #1 and #5 are ones that I've seen time and time again and drive me insane.

    March 26, 2013 at 1:49 pm

  15. Daniel

    As a guy, it sometimes feels girls are the ones who seem not as willing to open up. I know I'll eventually find the right girl and all, it just seems girls can be hesitant. I love talking with people. I love talking to close friends of mine that are girls, we know that we don't have feelings other than that of friendship. But girls need to go the rest of the half as well. If I'm going to go out of my way to talk to a girl because I like her then shouldn't she also do the same.

    March 26, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    • I think for both men and women, any hesitancy to open up is because we simply don't feel safe. Criticism and judgment abound (especially among Christians), and no-one wants to be the first to take off the plastic mask.

      March 26, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      • Agreed. Speaking from experience (as a girl) – most of us have been scared sh*tless to engage in quality conversation with other guys because we feel like it's assumed we're committing to the friendship –> relationship, or that we'll be cornered into "well you owe me a date because you made eye contact with me!" A lot of fear on both sides to be overcome. :\

        March 26, 2013 at 8:45 pm

        • Jay

          Lauren, this is in no way an attack or a judgement of your character, but could you please explain to me why you often feel the need to use profanity when you write (whether it's "censored" or not)? If I may be extremely blunt, it comes across as very un-Christlike and sets a bad example for the many women who not only keep up with the Good Women Project, but who may or may not look at you as a role model.

          March 26, 2013 at 9:56 pm

          • Sorry about that, Jay. Sometimes I comment on things super quick and forget I'm not talking with my friends. Hope you weren't offended too badly.

            March 27, 2013 at 12:43 am

        • Christian lady

          Well then, I would think girls (that feel the same way you do about the topic) would be more understanding about a guy that is hesitant to make that first step.
          Honestly, I've never heard the "well you owe me a date because you made eye contact with me!" line. I know you were exaggerating, but still. I don't think simple chit chat and non-suggestive body language would lead a guy into getting the wrong intention. Unless he has feelings for you. Even if he does end up thinking you want a relationship, or expresses his feelings towards you – as with anything, open, honest communication is key. Then the both of you will move on. Nothing to be "scared sh*tless" about, lol.

          November 8, 2013 at 9:53 am

    • jesserrs

      Have you ever seen the movie "We bought a zoo"? If you have, you'll get my reference. Half way through the movie, the main character is talking to his son about a girl. "All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage," I think this video sums up for both sexes. But not just for relationships– for LIFE with God, too. :)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed

      I fully agree with you. I am kind one of these girls you have described. I like hanging out with my brothers, but if they pursue a relationship prior to the friendship, I kind of shut down. I think it’s just the way I am. I understand that, for some guys, they can like you in an instant and that you should just go with it and not over-analyze it.

      I think one of things you’re facing is the fear females seen to always encounter in assuming something too early.
      I have to word my next thought very carefully, lest you assume the generalization and I make my gender mad. (ha…) Girls do want friendship; we want to be the sisters Christ has called us to be. But most are very perceptive to when I guy shows an "inclination", of sorts. Our minds jump the gun and our hearts do their best to keep us accountable. (This might be the other way around for some) But if you’re not actually interested, we don’t want to scare you away before a friendship has even been cultivated!

      Also, we mustn't discount God’s hand in all of this! We are to be who God created us to be! Even if that is a little awkward at times! Do the work he has called you to do, and , in his time, he will bless you with his BEST in a spouse. : )

      So whether it be for God, or for a girl you think is worth the jump, it only takes 20 seconds of insane courage and everything could change…

      March 26, 2013 at 10:33 pm

  16. Excellent post!

    May I suggest another lie? (IMO one of the biggest):

    Lie #11: Men and women are incapable of really understanding each other.

    Many of the points in this post allude to that. After all, if I'll never really be able to understand the opposite sex, and how/why they think and feel about things, then why on earth try? Many men I know are guilty of not listening, or even worse, not wanting to listen. I've been guilty of that in the past, but I no longer have any desire to be that way.

    There are stereotypes galore that keep building those mindsets, myths, and misconceptions. As an (older) single guy, it's a bit late for me, but I still struggle with the lie that deep down, women don't really need or want men (the Good Charlotte "Girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money" lyric comes to mind). Yes, it's a lie, but that's an example of what we're fighting.

    That's why I'm so thankful for websites and blogs like this, and for those who are advocating for biblical sexuality and marriage. We've been bombarded for far too long with a whole bunch of crud (putting it nicely) and it's high time we said "enough!", really meant it, and did something about it.

    March 26, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    • Daniel

      Couldn't agree more. And once you even remotely think you understand women, they throw you a curveball. hahah.

      March 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      • There are real differences between us, but we need to learn to respect and appreciate them as-is–they are there for a reason. When we mock or try to change them, we're going against what God created and designed, and just making the enemy's job easier.

        March 26, 2013 at 4:08 pm

  17. K.Joe

    I have wanted to scream this at the top of my lungs to 99% of the men I have met since starting college. I even transferred schools because the "christian" communities drove me crazy. Was this right or wrong? I don't know. But it is a fact.

    Thank you for writing this, it needed to be said. Now I wish this could be broadcasted to all Christian men, or maybe just men in general.

    March 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    • treepolitik

      Yes. Ungodliness and awkwardness is what seems to bring two people together. Why do so many protective suburb populations go hipster and move to the inner city? Because it increases the statistical chance of meeting someone when you go to a larger diverse population, where more forms of expression, and more mistakes(incidentally/accidentally attributed to God as well) in rigid codes can be found. "We broke the law to confirm the law." So as soon as clergy says something is godly by following a few guidelines (which still leave room for loopholes), it's suddenly not ungodly. Does some magic wand of authority guarantee prosperity and relationship security? Nope, just a way for important people to get in God's way. They have so little faith, so they just need to "make sure" someone follows their version of what God said, so that only favored specimens are commissioned by the theocratic state to reproduce. And it shouldn't be strictly about reproduction.

      July 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm

  18. I too cannot stand the I kissed Dating Goodbye culture. It is unrealistic. Dating advice in Christian circles in general is terrible and does not match reality at all.

    “Mario Kart” will not be going anywhere: exactly, guys and their video games. So lame.

    Girl's often have greater sex drives than some men. But Christian society makes it so taboo that they are forced to suppress their natural drive.

    #9 is somewhat true actually. I've a bit more dating experience than you and can honestly say that a large percentage of Christian girls I've been out with or dated get attached too quickly and want you to commit to the next level before you even really know them.

    #10 is a bit mixed up too. While I agree that submission is out of date and old fashioned, you can't just take part of the passage and say "if the man does his part I'll do mine". It doesn't work that way. I think a better way of understanding this passage is to say that ideally we would love as Christ and perhaps the submission thing is a bit cultural (a lot cultural). But we shouldn't say, if he doesn't do his part I won't do mine.

    Finally, great article. I loved it. I would say women hold some of the blame as much as men. Christian women are not all approachable. Many of the ones who verbally tell you they don't want to play games and just want to be straighforward, end up playing the most games. Many of them do this. Not just a select few here and there. Now we could go into depth as to why they do this, but that is for another time.

    Ultimately, we need to be honest. We need to work hard for relationships to work. Loving God isn't a golden ticket to the perfect relationship. Neither are a few Bible verses.

    Thanks!!!

    March 26, 2013 at 4:39 pm

  19. dancingwiththefather

    Thank you!!! Oh my goodness! Totally agree with everything you said. I know God has somebody out there for me! And I know that he will be AMAZING. But gooood grief the pressure is insane. It's also become "trendy" to get married young in the Christian culture. Yikes. I'm 21 and sooo far from being ready. Enjoy being young folks. It's awesome. Enjoy being friends with your guys! That's the best! Thank you! I'm subscribing to your blogs. Can't wait to hear more from you! <3 the Zenon reference…and Harry Potter. lol

    March 26, 2013 at 5:19 pm

  20. Miriam

    Comment from a Facebook friend who agreed to let me relay his inquiry for the sage readers of The Good Women Project:

    "While I applaud the effort that was put into this, it fails to consider that many men have been rejected time and time again because of their own supposed inadequacies: appearance, confidence, their own unique personality. When the norm is "say no because he's ugly", how can a less-than-attractive man really come forward and go on believing he might stand a chance? It may sound like I'm whining here, but really, I've got years of experience being a less-than-attractive, always-rejected guy. I know how it feels to be in that situation."

    March 26, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    • Jessica

      Please tell your friend to not give up! Just make friends first and some day a girl will say yes.

      There are many less-than-average-looking guys most girls would give a shot if they made an effort to be friends. I’d give just about anyone a coffee or movie date if they asked.

      That being said, I’ve also been asked out by less-than-average looking guys who thought if they asked everyone out then someone would finally say yes. It is never ok to ask out a girl and then two of her friends the next week or ask everyone out the first time you meet them.

      March 27, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    • scott

      In the same line how is a man supposed to react when he has pursued, has been nice, has done all of the things that Christian girls supposedly want but then run into lines like "you are just TOO good to me" "you're a really great guy… but I don't think God wants us to date"? (on that one I think both men and women both over spiritualize their dating life, waiting for a voice from heaven to tell you the name of the person you are going to marry. I think she addressed that one in there, its not just a problem among men)

      April 2, 2013 at 6:42 pm

      • Jordan

        Because we're all dealing with people. As people.

        Finding a wife, husband, friend or colleague does not come as a reward for following the magic steps.

        Sometimes you do everything 'right' and it blows up in your face. Or, you know, just turns out not the way you wanted it to.

        Because we're people, dealing with people, who have wants and wishes like ours. Or exactly the opposite of ours. Do they mean less because they're not what we ourselves want?

        If we all just came to relationships (ALL RELATIONSHIPS) with that mindset, there'd be a whole lot less thinking about "I tried but I didn't get what I wanted so I guess it was all in vain!"

        25 years old. I have a friendship that entailed sorting all this out. Our romantic desires did not coincide. And that did not make either of us horrible people, or God a liar.

        June 23, 2013 at 4:23 pm

  21. John

    Dude here #3 is a real problem. Most christian girls aren't like you. If I interact with someone more than 3 times they are expecting something. Sorry its the truth in the Christian bubble.

    March 26, 2013 at 7:09 pm

  22. Mark

    Courtney – first off this is an amazing article. You hit the nail on the head with all the points. I'm only 21 and have been through an engagement which never worked out and a few relationships before that. I couldn't agree more that men need to step it up a bit and engage in casual conversation/ actually acknowledge a woman's presence. I think its awesome you did your research and wanted to get to the bottom of this.

    I am curious though, after we as men engage in taking a young lady out to have a casual one-on-one interaction or engage in a group setting, why is it that when we engage with other people(females) in groups or one-on-one or don't "hang out with you" for a few days/maybe a week a majority girls get emotional bent out of shape and stop interacting or are standoffish and "avoid" us? or am I just misunderstanding what really goes on in a young lady's head.

    Yes #3 does cover this partially but not the one-on-one situations like "going to lunch", "grabbing coffee"

    I have a desire to engage with women on an intellectual level but feel if i did they would take this as an advance towards a relationship – which I'm not seeking at this point in my life. I want to have a female friend(s) without feeling like a relationship is right around the corner.

    If i decide to pursue a young lady I make it clear i want to date her, make it special for her – for instance, giving her a rose when I pick her up for dinner or taking her out on a planned, romantic date.

    Just curious what a young lady's point of view on this might be.

    March 26, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    • Mark, here's my take on the situation. For a little info, I'm 24, I've dated one guy without becoming boyfriend/girlfriend and I've had one boyfriend, but I've also had quite a few awkward and frustrating experiences in dealing with the Christian dating culture.

      From my own experience, I would say that the reason a lot of Christian women automatically assume that a relationship is around the corner after one date (or hang out or whatever you want to call it) is a combination of how the Christian culture has shaped the dating conversation and their own personal experiences with guys.

      For any girl who hopes to one day marry, at a certain age, your relationships with guys transition from them all just being buddies to determining their potential for marriage. For anyone who grew up receiving the same messages I did, it’s very easy to get the idea that if you don’t marry the first person you go one date with, you somehow failed. This falls in with the whole “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” culture and “intentional dating” and all that jazz. I personally take my relationships very seriously and think a lot about potential relationships. My perspective has certainly changed (for the better) over the years, but there was once a time when I wouldn’t go on a date with a guy unless I could already see myself marrying him. Cue the whole “one date = future procreation” issue.

      Part of the confusion also rests on you guys. I personally have a lot of guy friends with whom I hang out one-on-one on a regular basis. We’ve developed our friendships over the years and though there might’ve been an initial “what if?” question in our interactions, neither of us ever said anything, so we eventually fell into a comfortable friendship where us going to dinner or coffee wasn’t a big deal.

      But when you’re first starting to get to know a guy and he asks you to spend time one-on-one, there is always potential for confusion. Some guys are very clear about their intentions (as you seem to be), but many others are not. In my experience, a lot of Christian guys like to hide behind “let’s get coffee” as a way to take you out on a date without you knowing what’s going on. While we’d like it to be as simple as saying yes and seeing what happens, that’s not always easy.

      I had a friend in college with whom this proved to be a major issue. We had a conversation a couple of months into our friendship where he expressed romantic interest that I did not reciprocate, but we moved past it and things were fine…or so I thought. The following semester, we’d get lunch on campus or hang out in the coffee shop and talk and I thought nothing of it. At the end of the semester, he poured his heart out to me in a very awkward conversation because he made a lot of assumptions about my actions and the motivations behind them that simply weren’t true and never asked me about them. When we as women go through situations like that, we’re liable to be frustrated with the common lack of clarified intention.

      Another part of the problem is that many Christians in general (both guys and girls) forget that there is an in-between period between friendship and a relationship. You might be friends with someone and you might be interested in getting to know them better, but that doesn't mean that if you go on a few dates you're going to want to turn it into a romantic relationship. Because we've neglected and often completely ignored this in-between period, I think a lot of girls get the impression that if you want to spend time one-on-one, you by default want them to be your girlfriend. If you are spending a lot of one-on-one time with a girl, I think at some point there does need to be a clarification of intention (one way or the other) because it's really easy for someone to get hurt if that never happens, but it certainly doesn't have to happen right away.

      I hope that helps a little bit, and other women can obviously feel free to chime in, as these are just my thoughts from what I’ve experienced. And sorry for the novel-esque length…I’ve thought about this a lot over the years.

      March 29, 2013 at 1:53 pm

  23. John

    An interesting read. However I dislike being called cute. I do not think it is a manly for a grown man to be cute and good women would do well to take notice. I also believe that good christian men and women first of all need to learn to submit to God continually and progressively if they are to have any real chance of succeeding in relationships God's own way. And by the way, God's way, not ours, is the best.

    March 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    • gdonner

      I think as long as we guys are sure it means "he's attractive and approachable, which makes him appealing" we find it to be quite a compliment. :) It's just when we're not sure if it's being used in a "cutesy" or condescending sense that it gets a bit unsettling.

      March 26, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    • Sam Lorton

      Hi John!

      I just have a couple questions I’d like to ask in regards to your comment.
      Since you gave advice, I was hoping to find a little more clarity in your suggestions…

      Could you be more specific on what is degrading about the word cute? I know you used the explanation of ‘not manly,’ but I’m afraid I’m not sure what that means exactly…
      What makes a man, not manly?
      Is not being manly a sin?

      Also, when you say ‘a grown man’, what is grown considered to be?
      Is there a specific age, grade level, or even masculine, physical features that should be developed?

      Is cute inappropriate for grown men alone, or does this apply to grown women as well?
      Do you ever tell women, of any age, that they are or look cute?
      Would you think of a woman less if she were to be called cute?
      Would you consider her less of a woman if she were to use the word cute? When exactly is it appropriate to use this word and to whom should it be said to?

      And maybe my most important question (in my heart anyway), when you say, “good women,” what exactly are you referring to?
      What makes a woman good?
      What makes her bad?
      When you stated that “good women would do well to take notice.” Again, could you elaborate more on this recommendation please?
      What exactly would be beneficial for a woman to take notice of?
      Following that question, why is the reason(s) so vital for ‘good women’ to take head to?

      Thank you.

      March 27, 2013 at 6:50 pm

  24. I have experienced all of these at one time or another. These lies were some of the things that had me question the difference between Christian culture and really knowing what Jesus expects of us.

    March 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm

  25. samijane613

    Great post. I think a lot of it comes down to the fact that in a lot of Christian circles, men and women don't know how to be friends. You alluded to this a lot in your article, and it's definitely true. Often, the church (definitely mine) spends so much time highlighting differences in men and women that we fail to notice our similarities as people who love Jesus. It makes forming genuine non-romantic relationships really difficult, and, subsequently, leads to a lot of confusion in dating. In learning to become friends, Christian men and women would have an easier time discerning who is actually good for them in a romantic sense and who is just a good person as a brother or sister in Christ. Better understanding leads to better friendships leads to stronger romantic relationships.

    March 26, 2013 at 9:34 pm

  26. That Girl

    A couple of things:

    1) To those taking digs at video games: This may be an overreaction and/or a bad battle to pick, but these comments bother me. If you believe that A) Only guys play video games, B) Video games are always bad and/or C) Guys who are gamers, even if it's not obsessive or unhealthy, could not possibly be worth dating, then you have an alarmingly and disappointingly simplistic view of the world.

    2) "I will most certainly submit to my husband…but this will be after he’s proven to me he tries to love me unconditionally. If not? Well, then have a nice day."

    I don't think you understand submission nor sacrificial love, at least not in a Biblical sense. That kind of love is ALWAYS given unconditionally, because that's what love is. Love is not something you give away because you're getting something in return or someone held up their end of a bargain. That's not love at all!

    March 26, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    • Courtney

      I totally get what you're saying, and I got a little nervous that that line would be construed in that way. Submission is not something I intend to dangle like a carrot over someone's head, a la "you scratch my back I scratch yours." My intent was to challenge the perspective that a ton of guys in my circle have that is essentially, "you best submit to me, right now, as a guy because you're a woman." The conversation was never about loving each other sacrificially as Christians or friends or humans, but rather using verses in which wifely submission was discussed as a tool, I felt, for making me and other Christian ladies (friends and sisters in Christ) appear as maids.

      This is a frustrating attitude because in it's Biblically a spousal thing (which these guys weren't seeing), and is a frustrating attitude because it was being applied in this weird, macho context without them considering the nature of submission as a whole in marriage- that men are supposed to love their wives, who are congruently supposed to submit. There was no love in their discussion. My meaning was, "well, if that's the tact you're going to take- as a wife as merely one who submits and not as someone worthy of Christ-like love (which, again, was the way some in my circle were showing submission), than you will not be someone I'm interested in romantically, and I will not be putting myself in a situation where I as a wife would have to submit to you in the way that the Bible outlines." Does that mean that I stop loving them as Christ would? Nope! I just wouldn't marry them.

      I hope this clears that up!

      March 27, 2013 at 12:04 am

      • Christian lady

        Did you show those guys the part of the Bible that basically tells husbands and wives to respect each mutually? And the tell them of the part against spousal abuse? Did you ask them if they thought their wives were worthy of Christ-like love?

        Also, I don't like how the word "macho" was paired right beside "wierd". I really dislike this anti-masculinity vibe that society seems to have now, and subtle things like that contribute to it greatly.

        November 8, 2013 at 9:01 am

  27. KJV

    I understand the frustrations in this blog and some of the points made. But, I'm not sure it is entirely helpful. My intent is not at all to be argumentative or divisive, but as someone who has struggled with this subject I feel this post doesn't really address the issue in a beneficial way. I wrote a response here for anyone that is interested. http://ow.ly/jrXi2

    March 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    • Great points! Overall though, I do think Courtney's main frustration is the lack of simple brother/sister friendship between guys and gals. I'll be the first to admit that being rather introverted and shy should be no excuse, especially if comes across to women as being arrogant or standoffish. Sometimes it's just hard to break the ice or start the conversation if rejection has been an issue for us in the past.

      March 26, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      • Christian lady

        Actually, being shy/introverted myself, I definitely feel it is "an excuse". I don't think us shy, introverted people owe anyone (opposite sex, or society in general) some sort of explanation as to why we act the way our personalities incline us to act. If others view us as standoffish-arrogant then that's their problem – they're pre-judging us without talking to us first. In my experience, the most arrogant people are the most popular (and most extroverted – having to loudly shove their opinions down others' throats).

        November 8, 2013 at 9:05 am

  28. AJ

    Can I just say the key is communication. If you like a someone tell them, if you don't want anything and just want to be friends tell them. Somene gets let down okay, hopefully after a couple times of hanging out they weren't planning the wedding already. If they were they got bigger lessons they need to learn. A guy should never force a relationship upon an un-wanting female. If he is not mature enough to maintain just a friendship (that is he wants all or nothing) then it probably wouldn't have been a good relationship anyway. They key is to communicate what you are thinking if their is ever a question. When is that? If it hasn't been communicated it is probably a question. Over communicate instead of under communicate. Talk people.

    I'll also add that this article is maybe an ideal of how it should be. Every person is unique in how they "think" and we need to learn how to have healthy male-female relationships without expecting to marry the other person after conversing with them 3 times.

    March 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm

  29. THANK YOU! This is brill.

    March 27, 2013 at 12:11 am

  30. Sara

    I loved this article. Then you said zetus lepidus and I LOOOOOOVVVEEEDDD this article.

    Thank you for writing this. :)

    March 27, 2013 at 1:21 am

  31. Married Miss Sherry

    As a woman married 32 years and a mother of three sons, I'd like to add my two cents. I have observed three things that hinder healthy relationships between males and females in our culture, Christian and not.

    One, observe both academia and media and compare how many women are cast as strong, career women and how many men are cast as strong career men. You will find a great chasm there. I once observed a standardized test given to students in the 8the grade. Of the 9 stories they were to read, a female was the strong character, given to some great cause or career. The one story that had a male as the main character? He was grilling in the back yard. Men are being demasculated on almost every front. I suggest that once you make this observation, you stop reading such books and watching such media for a designated time – enough time for you to start developing your own friendship groups with REAL people. Yes, I do mean go cold turkey. Invite your friends to join you for the challenge, to spend time going for picnics, throwing the frisbee, croquet, playing indoor and outdoor games, meeting for a meal regularly. Read the Bible and HONESTLY discuss it. The Creator is the source of all life, including male/female. You may think I Kissed Dating Goodbye has been unrealistic, but I contend that the media is much more unrealistic. I have never read that book, though.

    Protect and respect your sexuality. The prized jewels are kept behind glass, while the cheap stuff is out there for everyone/anyone to touch. Sexuality IS a jewel for the right relationship. It is a reality with great power. And when you read the love chapter of I Corinthians 13, you'll see that it has nothing to do with sex. In fact, sex can be done lovingly, cruelly, selfishly, and even for profit. Love and self-respect and faith in God is what guards this powerful, but fleshly force, for marriage. Women SHOULD watch how they dress out of consideration for how God made men to be visually stimulated. Highlight your heart, your personality, your giftings, not your curves. Yet, you don't have to hide your curves with a potato sack, either. Still, if you want a man to win your heart, then that is what you should be highlighting for him.

    On both sides, what do YOU have to offer Christ first and His church? Offer it. Work alongside others for His kingdom. It's a great way to see one anothers hearts and personalities and skill sets. Tell an older experienced person you want training to serve. Gather some friends to do it with you, friends of both sexes you want to get to know better. Engage in real life. Volunteer in the nursery or with the elderly or the sick. Don't focus on entertainment, but real needs. Wash cars for the elderly in your church one day a month or provide a date night for those who ARE married by watching their kids together. Trim bushes. Working alongside someone is one of the best ways to get to know someone. If you've only been entertained together, you really don't know each other. Not that there isn't time for that, too. I am here to tell you, you can spend hours talking to/with one another… but you won't know each other until you have WORKED together. Marriage takes WORK, including communication, but communication that helps you ACCOMPLISH something together.

    For what it's worth… that's my two cents.

    My two cents. Hope it wasn't too long.

    TWO, God tells the woman to submit to her own husband, not to anyone else's, and really to only one other man, her father. And He never tells the husband to force his wife to submit. Instead, He tells him to love her. The converse is also true; it is not the wife's job to force her husband to love her. It takes a lifetime of communication, asking one another – Do you feel honored? Do you feel loved? Then, remember that before these marriage instructions, God tells us to submit one to another. That's where those questions come in. And He often tells His people to love one another. There's a give and take, and when it comes to who is going to love or submit first, the answer goes to whoever wishes to follow Him more closely.

    March 27, 2013 at 7:35 am

    • Married Miss SHerry

      Oops, I should have reread before I posted… It's still dark and early in the morning, and my husband just walked out and distracted me. ;-) I leave it to you young folks now to put this back in order as you read. Hope it's not too confusing! Bless you, young people!

      March 27, 2013 at 7:42 am

      • Mowgli

        Hi! I appreciate your wisdom and the points you made we important- I whole-heartedly agree!

        March 27, 2013 at 11:40 am

    • Christian lady

      Great post. I totally agree 100% about how the media, and academia are trying to demasculate men. At this point, I would not want to put my children in those public indoctrination-oops, I mean, public school. There was a poster of a local seminar about feminist issues, one topic was "Deconstructing Masculinity". I fear for the future…
      In Canada, it's really bad. K-12 they teach the following as normal: homosexuality, transgender, boys play as princesses in school plays, children are sexual beings, 6 genders, etc. A Toronto school website advocated children/teens to sexually experiment w/ vegetables. Not surprisingly, it was later found that the person who came up with this disgusting curriculum was found out to be a pedophile.

      I expected parents to be outraged and speak out about this, but I've only seen a few written complaints. Pathetic. People here are really stupid, passive, and afraid of being branded a "homophobe". I think as long as men and women such as ourselves learn how to recognize this war on masculinity – and speak out when we can – others will be aware as well. I would love for there to be a backlash – a demand for old-fashioned morals and gender roles.

      November 8, 2013 at 9:28 am

  32. MMS, not confusing at all–so very well said!

    March 27, 2013 at 7:53 am

  33. Sarah

    All these reasons are why as soon as I got to college I fought against the stigmas and befriended a GREAT group of guy friends. I suffered in the area of female friendships and soon realized I needed those as well, but some of the guys I befriended freshman year continue to be some of my best friends 2 years out of college. And, just to prove you truly can have healthy male/female friendships; I ended up marrying a guy not in that original circle of friends and two of my guy friends from that circle were groomsmen in my wedding! Yes, it did take having frank conversations about expectations, even in friendships. We need to reassure and encourage one another that we can be brothers and sisters in Christ, and nothing more! I even encouraged the guys to date, take girls out, have fun, come to dances with me – and those times continue to be some of my best memories from college.

    March 28, 2013 at 10:04 am

  34. Dave

    Might I rewrite #10 for you?

    As a husband, I will gladly love you unconditionally, but only after you've proven your submission. Also, I get to choose what submission looks like, and I'll only love when I've decided you make me feel you're unconditionally submissive.

    Flipping the script like that sure makes it seem ridiculous, does it not?

    Does the Bible instruct you to submit to your husband only after he's earned it? If it does, what is the threshold he has to hit before you feel your submission should kick in?

    March 28, 2013 at 10:28 am

    • Courtney

      Hi Dave! Thanks for the feedback. I received something similar, and I responded thusly:

      I totally get what you're saying, and I got a little nervous that that line would be construed in that way. Submission is not something I intend to dangle like a carrot over someone's head, a la "you scratch my back I scratch yours." My intent was to challenge the perspective that a ton of guys in my circle have that is essentially, "you best submit to me, right now, as a guy because you're a woman." The conversation was never about loving each other sacrificially as Christians or friends or humans, but rather using verses in which wifely submission was discussed as a tool, I felt, for making me and other Christian ladies (friends and sisters in Christ) appear as maids-(EDIT- before any idea of marriage was put on the table)

      This is a frustrating attitude because in it's Biblically a spousal thing (which these guys weren't seeing), and is a frustrating attitude because it was being applied in this weird, macho context without them considering the nature of submission as a whole in marriage (EDIT- not friendship)- that men are supposed to love their wives, who are congruently supposed to submit. There was no love in their discussion. My meaning was, "well, if that's the tact you're going to take- as a wife as merely one who submits and not as someone worthy of Christ-like love (which, again, was the way some in my circle were showing submission), than you will not be someone I'm interested in romantically, and I will not be putting myself in a situation where I as a wife would have to submit to you in the way that the Bible outlines." Does that mean that I stop loving them as Christ would? Nope! I just wouldn't marry them, which is how I phrased it in the article.

      I hope this clears that up!

      March 28, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    • Christian lady

      Haha, I get what you're saying. I think unconditional love should not have these conditions or requirements placed upon them – otherwise it's not unconditional.

      November 8, 2013 at 9:32 am

  35. Atalie Simpson

    I am going to write a reply to you and submit it. The first person I ever dated, held hands with, or kissed, was my husband…at age 23.
    Loved your article!

    March 29, 2013 at 1:01 am

  36. Pingback: What I’m Into March Edition | Leelee Writes

  37. I don't understand why people have such a problem with #10.

    God asks women to submit to their husbands (he also asks the reverse but that's another story). Is it really that bad for a woman to want a potential partner to be WORTH submitting to before they decide to commit?

    Why submit to someone who hasn't proven himself to be loving, Christ-led and generally worth following?

    It's just common sense.

    March 29, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    • Christian lady

      Okay, but it's only mentioned that men have to prove themselves worthy for unconditional love…Women should have to prove themselves as worthy of marrying as well.

      November 8, 2013 at 9:34 am

  38. gabriella

    Courtney, you are amazing. Great writing and insight. Love this and you!! (:

    March 30, 2013 at 4:16 pm

  39. Rochelle

    This is so so true! We have this same problem with the young men and women in our church (some who are in their late 20's and still "waiting" for God to drop someone in their laps.) I am also 22, and I'm very happily married to an awesome man who I started dating when I was 16. But at the time, we were the only young people in our fellowship who had ever had a relationship (why???) . We ended up being intimate with each other before we were married (and I know that was our own fault). But, everything we did was always a secret because we were so ashamed to even admit to anyone that we had physical feelings that were hard to contain. We never (and haven't to this day) told anyone what was going on. If only it wasn't so 'taboo' to have an honest and PUBLIC relationship were we could freely communicate and even show appropriate amounts of affection without feeling ashamed. We could have prayed with people without humiliation, and I am convinced things would be never gotten beyond kissing until after we were married.

    March 30, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    • Christian lady

      Blaming others for a sin you (and your hubby) willing committed is avoiding responsibility. Premarital sex should be shamed – look at what the apathetic attitudes towards that sin has done to society. Maybe that's why the other youngins in the fellowship avoided romantic relationships at that age?

      November 8, 2013 at 9:37 am

  40. yvonne

    amen to this!

    April 1, 2013 at 8:43 am

  41. christymwong

    I know this article is in the dating section & these things are all well and good for dating. However, opposite sex relationships do need to change once you're in a serious relationship or married. I know firsthand how even what might seem like an innocent friendship can end up as something more and can ruin a marriage/relationship. There do need to be boundaries in place.

    April 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm

  42. Cait

    Been there, done that, made the tshirt. And believe me, it doesn’t get any easier the more you vent about it. Give it a few years. Relationships with the opposite gender have to change to be healthy. Agreed, Christians are awkward, but cultivate healthy relationships with women and forget that marriage is a thing. Embrace being a young single woman and serve your single friends. God pairs people up on His time and in His ways and it does no one anywhere any good to complain about being single or married OR to brag about either. Life happens and the best we can do is invest in the relationships we have in healthy was. Don’t worry about guys not hanging out with you and live it up as a single girl while you’ve got it.

    April 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    • Christian lady

      true

      November 8, 2013 at 9:38 am

  43. Mowgli

    Hi Tom,

    First off, I'm sorry for sounding bitter. That's not my intent! My frustrations merely stemmed from the fact that Christian guys- at least in my circle- were being stand-offish, unfriendly, and confusing. For a while, I did wonder if it was my fault (which I discuss in the first paragraph) and tried to be more friendly, outgoing, etc. Still, nothing changed. After talking to Christian sisters both on my campus and across the country, I came to the conclusion that there was a bigger problem beyond just me.

    That's what inspired me to write this article. Not getting a boyfriend, not getting a date- but to expose the fact that Satan is using these lies to keep the Christian community divided and confused. I used my experience as a primary example, but this article isn't about me. We cannot be victorious if we don't work together. That's what I want to change.

    Thanks for reading and for the feedback!

    Courtney

    April 2, 2013 at 6:08 pm

  44. Scott

    I will start this off by saying that I am 30 year old Christian male who has encountered lots of Christian women in dating and social situations that made me want to give pursuing Christian women altogether and start looking for someone who might eventually want to become a Christian. Thankfully I finally found a Christian woman who was honest and upfront with me about what she desired out of a relationship and is very open and honest in all areas of our relationship. With all of that said, I do agree with you that many times men have the wrong ideas about women, or believe lies. Although, I feel that the same can be said for women in relation to men. I think for every lie that you have the men believe; I believe that women also believe many of the same things about men. I wont respond to each of your lies but there are a few that warrant a response. I will just respond in referring to which # lie it is a response to.
    Lie #1- If casual dates is how you get to know someone, when a male asks you on one and you accept the invitation show up to the date. If he has set aside time get to know you, you should at the very least return the favor. If a girl expresses interest in wanting to hang out and the guy reciprocates that desire respond to him. Flakiness = unattractiveness.
    Lie #2 – I will be the first to admit that in high school and college at times I was uncaring and also at times to shy for my own good which caused me not to pursue women the way they deserved. At the same time in the last 8 years or so of my life I have felt like I have grown and matured and have pursued women and have been loving and caring towards them. At one point about 8 months back if one more girl told me that I was "a great Christian guy and that I treated them so well….and if I was to date anyone it would be a guy like you..but I dont want to date you." If you want a man to pursue you, reciprocate! Don't leave the man hanging. Don't lead him on in a dating relationship for months having him hang around while you figure out if he fits into your plans. For the most part a mature man can handle you telling him you do not want to pursue further relationship alot better than he can handle, "I just need a little more time to decide".
    Lie #9 – This is one that probably most women get wrong. You say that Christian men dont pursue women because they are scared of them wanting marriage. Actually I would submit that Christian men often will pursue women that Christian women see as unfit for those men simply because those women will be honest with them. I don't think that I am strange when I say that my single Christian male friends are not the least bit scared of the prospect of marriage, they are scared of Christian women who will not be upfront and honest with them about their intentions. If you want to casually date, let them know that. If you are looking for a longer term relationship, let them know! Men (and I would suspect women as well) are terrible mind readers.
    Anyhow, I will get off my soap box now.
    sg

    April 2, 2013 at 6:34 pm

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  46. First of all, I'd like to commend you for this article. While I believe we have some differing opinions on a few of the rather generalised specifics you've noted here, I completely agree with the overall thesis, that there is a distinct ineptitude in the way predominant Christian culture has taught men to interact with women.

    As a man who has suffered from many of these ineptitudes, and then had to become self-aware in the way my relationship with a girl I was interested in (now dating with much expected joy and challenge), I can personally attest to the fact that there needs to be a lot more transparency and discourse with young men and women in their formative years in the way relationships (both platonic and romantic) are meant to manifest themselves when we're truly pursuing Christ. I was born and raised in the Caribbean where, the culture of interpersonal relationships is a little different, so I've actually never had a problem being "just friends" with a girl. For me, "let's get lunch" has always meant "let's get lunch", because I was brought up to believe that men and women can enjoy each other's company without underlying sexual tension. Of course, though, this meant that whenever I truly was interested in a girl, there was always a gap in communication which left me hanging on what to do next, and her unaware of my feelings. When I first started spending time with my girlfriend, we were just friends and I had no issue. Things only became problematic when she (born and raised in Canada) and I started developing feelings for each other, and were both unsure of how the other felt, because the assumption was that "he/she is probably just this friendly with everyone".

    I completely agree that many women of varying degrees of assertion still want to be pursued, and I personally enjoy pursuing my girlfriend in a Christ-like manner. I love her very much and hope we continue to bring each other closer to Christ in our relationship, up to and into marriage. That said, I also think there's still a little wiggle room in the way these interactions seem to take place. Having lived with a few wonderful Christian girls and discussed the issue extensively, I understand that a lot of girls suffer from self-confidence issues stemming from a lack of initiative on the part of guys, but I would also suggest we examine the symptom further to find the root cause. While the lack of initiative on guys' part may be the catalyst, is that not indicative behaviour of a lack of understanding of girls' self-worth in Christ? The validation of a guy will never suffice in place of the peace that comes with accepting that you're created in God's image and heiresses to His Kingdom. Furthermore, and not to dismiss the responsibility of godly men, I think many girls could stand to be a little more understanding of the insecurities Christian guys face too. While subversive, unspoken rejection is a valid fear of yours, just imagine being mortified by the threat of outright rejection constantly looming over your head simply because "the ball is [perpetually] in [our] court".

    Finally, my final qualm comes with the authorship of this article. While very apt in many places, written with much appreciated candor and character, and I trust from the best of intentions, I would point out that the author contends with many of the generalisations she dislikes from 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye' with some of her own ("Gentlemen, it's what girls want to do. Hang out! [...] When we say "let's get lunch," that's all we really mean"). I can, without hesitation, list at least five girls I know for whom that statement could be no further from the truth. The reality is, as much as we may dislike it, that there DO exist these Christian girls who size up every guy they meet, trying to "discern" whether or not he's their future husband. Some of them even idolise marriage. Now, far be it from me to cast judgement on these girls, their churches, or whether or not they've been "brainwashed", but it's a very real occurrence… but, as the author would like establish, not an exclusive one. As such, I would have liked to have seen a little less backlash and a little more discourse on what BOTH parties are lacking in terms of truly loving each other the way Christ calls us to, whether platonically or romantically.

    The struggle is real, and one that never stops, but it becomes a little bit easier when both men and women are engaging each other in discussion regarding the difficulties each face.

    April 3, 2013 at 9:53 am

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  48. FrustratedChristian

    I do not think the stereotype you submit as the "average Christian woman" is accurate or even adequate. Your accusations of Christian men are predicated on the notion that you have an understanding of, and can speak for the entire female gender. I don't think it's possible or fair of you to do that; blanket statements are often unhelpful and rarely true.

    While I do understand that this piece is predicated on personal experience, I found myself frustrated as a Christian man reading through your 10 thesis. They neither describe nor indite my actions within the church, yet a piece like this turns a blind eye to the equal opportunity for the blame you so willing pay forward.

    April 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm

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  50. Payge

    It sounds like this was written a little out of anger, just being honest. And it shouldn't be you'll do something that makes your spouse happy IF he proves his love first. It goes both ways and you should love & respect even if your spouse fails. Everyone will make mistakes and we all deserve grace. I know my husband has given me more grace than I deserve, and I try and give him the grace he needs too.

    April 5, 2013 at 1:27 am

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  52. Crista

    Refering to lie #1, I am not sure if the author of this artical has read I Kissed Dating Goodbye but I disagree that it guys to be "scared of having mature, one-on-one conversations with other women." Joshua Harris spends practically an entire chapter talking about how christian girls and guys can be brothers and sisters to each other without having to worry about getting romantically interested.

    April 5, 2013 at 8:44 pm

  53. RJ

    Firstly, from a guy's perspective, this article should be titled "10 Rants of a Single, Struggling, Christian Woman"

    And secondly…I wonder if the christian women this article talks about, realize they're probably the female version of the christian males they're bashing?

    A few examples of how this could be you:
    1. Still telling all your christian guy friends you're still waiting for "Great Christian Guys" to come along? (Cool. Guess we're wasting our time trying to hang out long enough to get to know you, in order to ask you out on a date. Good luck with your perfect dreamy christian soulmate. Did I mention we no longer have any interest in you and have decided that we're looking for someone better than you too?)

    2. Mario Kart isn't going anywhere? Neither is the Bachelor, or Teen Mom, or your "Friends" dvd collection. We all have ways to waste time. Yours are just as pointless as ours. Not every hobby or de-stresser needs to be productive. Try supporting your friend's likes, rather than alienating him.

    3. Your need for attention doesn't require men to give it to you. Develop a personality and some self-worth. Be someone that is "worth" our time. (get it? because "worth" is common struggle for many women? and you're literally ASKING to get your worth from us guys? Despite it being purely a personal problem that needs to be overcome?)

    4. You want love. Men want respect. Men want to love you. Women….don't always want to respect you. (The attitude of not showing that respect until you feel love, is selfish. I know she further explained this point, but in general, it's flawed to expect something of someone if you aren't even pulling your own weight)

    5. Stop dating non-christian jerks over the Christian nice-guy. Or even better, stop dating the fake-christian guy. If every guy can see through him, why can't you? (Maybe ask for references from his christian friends next time?) And really… if your "good christian guy friends" are such good, solid, christian guys, why aren't you looking there for a date?

    6. Don't refer to a guy's house/room as their "man-cave" or "bachelor-pad" when your house/room looks like you decorated it freshmen year of college. No, plastic lamps, storage cubes, bed risers, and postcard/photo collages on your corkboard, don't make you look classy or mature. It makes you look like you're 18. So either redecorate, or accept that the next step after college is just as difficult for men to make, as it is for women.

    7. Being flirty = leading guys on. There's a difference between friendly and flirty. And if you're doing it wrong, we quickly and easily think you're interested in us. It's simple. Don't flirt if you don't want a guy…(and do flirt if you do). We're friends remember? We don't know if you'd like us to be more than that.

    That should do it for now…but this could probably go on forever, since christian men are equally as frustrated with christian women's lack of effort in life. It's pretty clear that being open and talking about these sort of things isn't really going to fix them, as there's been hundreds of frustrated Christian relationship articles on the interwebz. Communication is certainly a good thing, but realizing that we aren't living up to our own potential, or even to what we expect out of the opposite sex, is a more important issue that needs to be fixed. If you expect your future christian man to have a clean home, strong body, great job, be perfectly polite and devout with his devotions, AND STILL BE SINGLE, then you better be right there on par with him in every aspect.

    April 5, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    • Christian lady

      Beautiful post. I agree, this was just to bash men. And what woman in their right mind would not love to play Mario Kart with a guy :)

      November 8, 2013 at 8:54 am

      • You’re the best kind of girl. :D

        November 8, 2013 at 12:38 pm

  54. Chris

    I got so excited when I saw the title of this article. Yes! Someone was writing on the ridiculous way that Christians seem to handle the opposite sex! I couldn't wait to read it and see that I wasn't alone in my frustrations. Instead, I got an article that 1) sounded selfish ("I will most certainly submit to my husband – I’ll make him sandwiches everyday for the rest of his life if it’ll make him happy – but this will be after he’s proven to me he tries to love me unconditionally. If not? Well, then have a nice day. I won’t be marrying you and we won’t have any issues." Jesus didn't handle US this way, and He definitely didn't tell us to handle each other this way.), 2) was completely one-sided, and 3) seemed to call men out for a lot of crap (some of which I will say I agree with and been frustrated by myself) while completely ignoring the crap girls in the church do. Neither side is perfect, and writing a blog post that seems to assume that the problem is men instead of broken humans in a broken world isn't going to help anyone. This topic needs to take both sides into consideration. Writing from just one will only exacerbate things where they don't need to be exacerbated.

    April 8, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    • Christian lady

      Exactly. If you're interested, I have posted a long comment (broken up into several pieces) about my take on this not-so-helpful article.

      November 8, 2013 at 8:51 am

  55. Grace

    It saddens me to see that so many young "Christian" women are so desperate for a man's attention rather than being desperate for God. I think women hunger for the excited feelings that they get when a man shows an interest in them. It is kind of like a drug. Oh that we would long for Christ to fill that empty spot!
    Also, if God has a godly man for a Christian young woman to marry, he will show up in her life at the right time. She doesn't have to worry about looking for him! Her goal as a believer should be to please her Master whether it is as a single woman for the rest of her life or as a married one.
    I am 38 years old, and have learned these things the hard way!

    April 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    • Brenda

      Amen, I absolutely agree 100% !!! Thank you for this comment !!! What we as girls should focus on is not what men are or aren't doing, but rather that our heart is overflowing with JESUS! If we do this, God will bring the right mate at the right time, and YES this is possible. And yes, it CAN be like a fairy tale. I don't care what anybody says. So many girls lose the dream of meeting an amazing man because of the messed up culture we live in that has sped up marriages because girls end up pregnant at 15! FORGET THAT! You don't have to be another stereotype. I am not trying to put down those who have gotten married at a young age, I'm just saying most people feel pressured to be married by age 22, when it should totally not be that way. You don't have to rush into marriage, enjoy being single, but DELIGHT yourself in the Lord while you're single! If you learn to wait, and fall in love with Jesus while you wait, you will get God's best!

      August 6, 2013 at 12:00 am

      • Brenda

        "Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart." -This verse is not a comment, or a suggestion, it is a truth- a life principle that becomes a reality when you actually live it out!

        August 6, 2013 at 12:03 am

  56. MBR

    I've read this article a couple of times. I like it, yes, but I don't really know how to respond. I've tried in the past to go on casual dates, but no dice; I've gotten only one yes, and she told me after two dates that she wasn't looking for something (we're still friends, though). It's taught me to fear asking anybody out. What else can I do if whenever I ask an acquaintance out to coffee I get the "I'll get back to you" that never pans out? I feel like a prerequisite to any relationship is to be best friends before I make my feelings known. Oh wait, I've tried that too. Maybe my picker's broke, or maybe I'm just in a place where there isn't another lonely soul like me. Either way, I'm lost and confused, and I've just about given up on romance forever.

    May 5, 2013 at 11:57 pm

  57. philipjacobsjr

    I'm not sure how to react to this article. Of course I agree with most of it especially because I've had a lot of friendships throughout the years of my life with the opposite sex; I've always had a lot of friends that are female. These girls trust me and talk to me about everything, and I mean everything (I feel like I'm part of sex in the city sometime)! My issue is that when I do become interested in a girl more than a friend (because I tend to take my time and not rush into things) that's all they want me to be, is their "friend." In many cases I'm their BEST guy friend! They tell me how comfortable and safe they feel around me, how genuine I am but I can't seem to escape the "friend zone" with woman. Yet these girls will pass me up and continue to date mediocre, lame sometimes douchey guys!! It drives me crazy.

    Anyway it's a great blog and I'm glad I came across it. Maybe I just needed to vent because I'm currently caught in this situation with a girl that I have shown total unconditionaly love towards. She even admits that she's never been loved by anyone like me before, and that I am her best friend (i even meet all the ridiculous things she has on her 'LIST') but she feels like I'm not "the one" that God has planned for her life and that she hasn't "fallen" in love with me.
    I know I'm an amazing guy with so much to offer, but It's left me very frustrated and don't care to ever pursue someone again.

    PS. what's with the smiley face at the bottom of the page?? I'm guessing you have hidden tags located in the pink box :-P

    May 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    • Ryan

      You're a pretty good-looking guy too. I'm surprise. But then again, I'm a guy, so what do I know :)

      October 8, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    • Christian lady

      If a grown woman has a "list" – that's a sign that she may be a narcissistic, self-centered woman to avoid. Imagine the difference, if you had a "list" and you told her that she was required to meet those standards? Typically, when a woman values a guy that treats her badly (i.e., douches), it tells about her inner character since that's what she values. It may also point to instability – the risky lifestyle, possible abuse, etc.

      I'm sorry to say this, but it sounds like those girls are just using you for your advice, for someone to listen to them, and for a shoulder to cry on. Sadly, many women reject nice guys, I'm a girl and I don't get it either. Why would they choose to be treated like crap, when the loving guy in front of them is willing to be their boyfriend?

      This is probably not very helpful advice, but the key is to find a woman out there that values a decent, genuine, God-fearing man, that reciprocates what you're putting into the relationship. Sadly, this is pretty much impossible though, in today's society. I don't know what else to tell you…

      November 8, 2013 at 8:47 am

  58. Jordan

    #9 — I've seen so many guys do this!

    June 2, 2013 at 12:04 pm

  59. Emily E

    Thank you. This is wise and witty and wonderful. I want to stand in a public place and read this aloud so passers-by will get a chance to hear these words.

    June 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

  60. Brenda

    I agree with this post to a certain extent. I can see and understand why you (and many of us girls) are so frustrated with the current interaction between men and women. It is frustrating, and it can also be very confusing. However, I do believe that as women of God we do need to have certain boundaries, and ultimately guard our heart continuously. This does not mean hide under a rock, hide from men, ignore men, be awkward around men, or completely put a wall up. It simply means to be careful. I love that you are very open about your opinion and not afraid to express it, but I do believe that one of the main things the church is missing in regards to this topic specifically is WISDOM. If girls were wiser, they would avoid so many heart-aches. I wouldn't entirely put down the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" generation, because there are some good truths and principles in the book. Maybe the church has been extreme and made it seem like we should be emotion-less with the opposite sex, until you meet your husband. It is good to be friends with the opposite sex, the problem is, many CHRISTIAN "good" girls don't know how to do that! They become friends with a guy, emotions get involved, and them BAM! "He's the one…" When maybe God had somebody else. What I'm saying is, I do agree we need to just be free from all of this awkward interaction that is keeping us from building godly friendships with the opposite sex, but I think that we girls still need to put boundaries, guard our hearts, and walk with an extreme amount of wisdom. Because the devil is sneaky, and we need to remember our value as women. Our value is not dependent on what guy asks us our doesn't ask us out. Our value is entirely dependent on what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross. If you're looking to feel valuable through another means, then that's the first thing you need to change. I don't think it's so much that we need to focus on how to interact with men or women, I think we just need to learn our true value as men and women of God, stop setting unrealistic expectations you can't even meet yourself, be real with yourself and with God about the future mate you want, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, and let the Spirit of God lead everything you do, everything you say, and everywhere you go. This will bring change & revival.

    August 5, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    • Christian lady

      Amazing insight.

      November 8, 2013 at 8:37 am

  61. Mickey

    Who’s kidding who here? Women today are hard wired to dislike, distrust, and disrespect men. And these same women carry an attitude that no man is ever good enough to approach them, let alone pursue a relationship.

    August 21, 2013 at 5:26 pm

  62. Mom

    As the mother of two 20-somethings, I do not push them into marriage. I want them to finish their educations and follow the passion that God has giving them. But I am working uphill against youth pastors who told them that marriage was next to godliness.

    And that's a shame because it's not what the Bible said. Jesus said to seek him first. Paul said singleness allows us to serve God better. Marriage just isn't that important in biblical teaching. I pray that God will bring my adult kids some very good and inspiring friends. Marriage is nice but not as important as serving God with 100% passion.

    You'll only have one spouse (probably) but you'll have dozens of friends who will have a great influence on your life.

    September 17, 2013 at 9:02 am

    • Christian lady

      I disagree. If I'm correct, the Bible views marriage and procreation as accomplishing God's goal for us – to have children and raise them in Christs' teachings. Children are a miracle of God. A career should be secondary, and volunteering could be hand-in-hand with one's career. By "singleness", I don't think Paul meant dating, lol. Maybe the lifestyle closer to that of a monk is what he meant? I think his message was along the lines of – if one is going to be single and avoid marriage, then would it not be wise to introspect and build up one's relationship with God?

      Now, I do believe that one can serve God with or without a marriage, and/or career. I just think marriage (done correctly) should not be cast-aside for the aspiration and greed of many career-oriented women (climbing the corporate ladder, being a wage-slave, etc.).

      November 8, 2013 at 8:34 am

  63. Mom

    As a mom of a college-age son, I say to young women:

    Get the highest education you can. Pick a career you love. Statistics show that highly educated couples have a higher marriage rate and a lower divorce rate. If you marry and have children, they will go to school after a few years, so make sure you have a job you really like because the majority of wives work (53% in 2010 — and 53% in 1990 too) and you will want to have exciting things to do and think about for the next 30 years after your kids are gone.

    My son isn't attracted to women who have no passion in life. If all you are doing is "waiting," then get a life. Go cure cancer or help change the world. Moaning about men isn't making you attractive…to the men or to their moms.

    September 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

  64. Eli91

    Hilarious but true fact. love no 9

    October 6, 2013 at 5:02 am

  65. MICHAEL

    The world and 'thinking'/'believing' that you people are living in, is a 'self-created' one! You don't change 'men' – to be as you prefer. You have to change/alter 'you'! The faults you see in men, are merely a reflection of yourself – that is the energy you are broadcasting to the universe/reality and so that is reflected back. The joy and freedom in this fact, is that you 'can' alter your experience (Of men, or anything) by choosing to view/define yourself, in a way which allows the 'other' (Men, whatever) to reflect your new focus and expressed energy. If you continue to blame your reflection in the mirror, for not smiling, guess what?

    October 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm

  66. Brad K.

    I have come to view dating in the context of family and community.

    I see marriage as a fundamental upgrade in identity, for each party (I think a family is one or more adults, raising children, without counting genders). I see that what we teach children is the crucial part. Adults gather into a family with a culture that each represents. The values and observances and beliefs of the home and family each was raised in are combined (a process called 'adjusting') into a home. It is teaching their children the home culture that transmits the values of one generation to the next, that assures stability of government, economy, faith, and a foundation for facing life and flourishing, at the family, community, and national levels.

    The comment about Christian dating takes in one aspect that might be missing in other contexts. Well, several things, but one that stands out for me. Knowledge of the character of the people in their community. Not because their membership in a church, or professed faith, should affect your choice. No, the big thing is . . history. Family history. How stable was their home, where did their family come from, what sorts of baggage will they bring to your home? And that history, that explanation and long term observation of stability by a community, that is a great predictor of future stability.

    As I mentioned, I see marriage as transforming two (or more?) people's identities within the community and nation, from individuals, to members of a new family. Families are fundamental building blocks of communities and nations. Communities open different responsibilities, opportunities and obligations to families and family members than they do to singles, for the most part. Marriage is a community event, not just a relationship between people, it both opens doors and closes off possibilities.

    So the search is not for an attractive bed partner with hopes to become something more. The search is for a co-parent and mate prospect to help define the best family identity in your community that you can, someone to raise children to flourish in the community and in the future nurture their families and communities. Look at the disillusion of Lily Allen's "22" video on YouTube; hoping to find an honest and honorable mate prospect where alcohol is served is picking the wrong road for a good destination.

    October 27, 2013 at 8:26 pm

    • Christian lady

      That was very well-written and made many good points. You should have a blog :)

      November 8, 2013 at 8:23 am

  67. Eunice

    I disagree about women pursuing. To some degree feminists dislike womanhood- a beautiful gift from God ( do not be deceived. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of lights…) Why do we have to strife to compete with men in any arena? Is not the woman of Proverbs 31 setting a very high standard most feminists can never reach? Why don't we embrace our gender, its strengths and weakness and ask our Creator how best He wants us to function rather than developing our own dead and lifeless ideas? ( No brash offense intended) If it takes two to be successful in a journey, then it is my part as a woman to pray and prepare myself as a good wife from the vast examples and resources the Bible offers. The woman is the helper. It is in fact an honour not to strife to try and find 'the man'. In fact, majority of frustration is cut when the woman only sits back and allows the man who so desires to lay his life for her to propose. It is quite improper for the woman to pursue. What if the man is not interested? What if you have it wrong? It is better to pursue woman perfection in prayer and seeking God, asking Jesus to make you the ideal wife rather than be busy chasing that man. The woman , is the queen and should have her desire for her husband ( Gen, 3:16). I certainly disagree with majority of number 5. Big time. And I feel as though the Scriptures quoted ought to be thoroughly explained and not tossed to just make your point. In addition, I feel some of the verses are very out of context. I do not think you can prepare yourself to be a good wife by socialising- the best way to be a great wife is to be eEXTREMLY prayerful and ask God who is who, and study the Scriptures. In that way, God can even speak to you from a distance who that man is. ( Also the temptation to go a step further with any guy in the course of just being friends, is high, especially where boundaries and the relationship type is not define….and risky. Casual relationships are fine,) It is a requirement to be able to communicate. But is seems as though you are going out there for the sole purpose of mingling enough to find someone. It does not always have to be that way. It is more exciting to trust God after hearing Him speak to you whom that man is ( ofcourse, using His Word, you can checklist the godly man and the voice you are hearing). It is more exciting to start a journey with someone a little fresh and not ''used''. You really should not date unless you hear God speak to you about that man- it is a waste of another woman's husband's time and a part of yourself, emotionally especially, is given away. We must keep ourselves pure in every retrospect. It may seem old fashioned but let us stick to what the Bible says. If we are not careful, our pride can make our consciences numb to advice. We must prepare ourselves in much prayer- praying for that man, the future family, against problems, etc. Please watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFKQaxcR9XU and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DT6RsJAhaEE and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AP6cc2aBecE

    October 28, 2013 at 5:50 pm

  68. Christian lady

    Why are men so heavily targeted in this article? Women make up false notions and outright lies about men, but of course, this isn't mentioned. Also, why is the idea that "men are scared/intimidated by women" repeated so many times throughout these points?

    Anyway, there are several things about this article that I feel need pointing out:
    The photo – What is that picture supposed to represent/say? The woman has her hands out, suggesting she is expecting something (money? gifts?), and the men are doing something equivalent to a facepalm. Okayyy…

    Under "Lie" #1 – It isn't a secret that women display more passive-aggressive behaviour than men. It's not bizarre that women don't always say what they mean at times, and play mind-games or, that they can have ulterior motives. So I don't blame men for not knowing when a woman actually states what she actually means.

    Continued….

    November 8, 2013 at 8:07 am

  69. Christian lady

    "Lie" #2 – After the author pats herself on the back for things she didn't work towards (unlike the men and women who made it possible for women to be able to vote, for example), she makes the audacious claim that these rights scare men. Highly immature (and obviously false). Then she claims that men should be the ones taking the initiative in the relationship – okay, no argument there. But if women these days are so "assertive", then why expect the men to take the first step (and probably do most of the work in the relationship)?

    Continued…

    November 8, 2013 at 8:08 am

  70. Christian lady

    "Lie" #3 – The author makes a negative anti-male stereotype (I could feel it coming sooner or later): "I don’t get why guys think it’s okay to be rude and standoffish during social occasions." Are you kidding me? It isn't the man's job to entertain you. Maybe he's just not that into you, and maybe you're just not that interesting/special. Maybe he's tired, introverted, etc. and just doesn't feel like making small chit-chat to every woman he sees? And, here's a new thought, maybe you could be "assertive" and talk to him (politely) yourself? You know, because friends have equality in their relationship, and according to the author, men and women are "friends" – "so act like it".

    Continued…

    November 8, 2013 at 8:08 am

  71. Christian lady

    "Lie" #4 – You, a self-proclaimed "assertive" woman, who works, can vote and even be President, "might even" split the check? Hahahahahahaha. So much for equality.

    "Lie" #5 – The only real problem I have with this part is the assumption that someone can't love God if they don't get out and socialize, as implied in this quote, "Because He reminded me with that I cannot love Him well in a vacuum.". Also, introversion is not a made-up concept (as implied).

    "Lie" #6 – Do these women make any effort to talk to these men or befriend them (at first)? I highly doubt that these "awesome women" are "otherwise confident" if they seriously considered turning skanky to get a guy's head to turn. Really sad that failure of an idea is even that wide-spread.
    Continued…

    November 8, 2013 at 8:09 am

  72. oakleaf

    "Lie" #7 – Okay, we all have emotions. Doesn't make it okay to slut/sleep around though. For men and women, we should try to keep lustful thoughts to a minimum.

    "Lie" #8 – Okay, fair enough. Porn is a problem, a problem that creates false illusions of what "great sex" is and unrealistic expectations. But don't pretend that only men watch porn.

    "Lie" #9 – Same can be said for the Christian, "good" gals that date "bad boys". There's the (false) saying, "Nice guys finish last"…

    "Lie" #10 – Alright, fair enough, I don't see any problem with this part. Husbands and wives are supposed to respect each other, and each other's wishes, mutually, with the husband being the leader of the couple. Okay, cool.

    Continued…

    November 8, 2013 at 8:10 am

  73. Christian lady

    (Yes, that was my comment above.)

    The part under "lie" #10 – Telling men it's their fault and putting ALL blame on men that there's "relational confusion" is just avoiding responsibility. I mean, c'mon. Do you really believe that this messed up society is ALL one entire genders' fault, and that the other gender (women) couldn't possibly have contributed?
    Then the author puts in even more anti-male shaming stereotypes at the end – that men should "stop being scared or indecisive or lazy". The blame-shifting continues, "Ignoring us, putting off figuring out your issues (<–what is that even supposed to mean??), acting as though we’ll go away and re-appear…". Also, your women-are-superior bias shows when you call women "awesome", and never once mention men in a positive light. As if to suggest, that "being awesome" is a gender-related thing (implying men aren't, therefore, implying that men are inferior).

    Continued…

    November 8, 2013 at 8:12 am

  74. Christian lady

    (Oh, also, about "Lie" #4 I think it was – yes, some women really DO value marriage and the family-and-household kind of life. It's not that hard to believe. I really don't appreciate the implication that women who don't put career as top priority are somehow robots, or are missing out on life, etc. There is enough stigma against women who are not career women. Why is that negative, demeaning attitude towards them here on a site with a Christian female audience?)

    To shame and blame all men, and act as though women have never done anything wrong (esp. in relationships), is just going to add to the already-existing tension, pressure and discomfort that is unfortunately a part of today's society between men and women. Open, honest and polite communication is key to relationship (and societal) success.

    I think the real goal of this article was to shame and belittle men, and blame them for everything that is wrong with today's dating/marriage relationships. Dare I suggest, that the author seems like a man-hating feminist in disguise…

    November 8, 2013 at 8:16 am

  75. Christian lady

    Where did my main comments go??? I saw they were posted up, and now they appear to be taken down…

    November 8, 2013 at 9:57 am

  76. Christian lady

    Wow each comment I put up here is gone…what a wonderful site….

    November 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

  77. realworldmegan

    I absolutely love this post! I especially agree with Lie #5. The hardest part about being raised to date in the Christian community is this constant lie we're told that a "good Christian girl" does not spend unnecessary time with boys, but then somehow learns how to be a "good Christian wife" despite going through life without any male-to-female interaction! We're discouraged from being so much as friends with the opposite sex and then criticized for not being married off by the time we're 21. It drives me crazy! Thank you for speaking up about these issues and confirming the delusions present in the Christian community.

    November 20, 2013 at 5:38 pm

  78. Well Done Courtney … and if I may, I would just like to add some "old single lady" wisdom to the mix…. I'm 41, never been married, been abstinent for over 15 years and in ministry for almost 10 years….And no, I'm not bitter or angry … LOL

    As someone who has been there… and then watched all of her friends get married…and now those friends have teenagers… besides being totally surreal, I have noticed some things over the years that have given me compassion for these young men who aren't stepping up.

    1. Where are their Mentors? … Back in my parents and grandparents day, Older men always took younger men under their wings… Whether it was their Father, a Teacher, a Pastor or someone else… hearing truth and garnering wisdom from previous generations went a VERY long way in teaching young men how to be cordial to and see value in EVERYONE.

    2. Women are like Automatic transmissions when it comes to our thought process… rev us up and their we go… God created men more like manual transmissions… they really do have to shift gears. Whether men or boys … they have one track minds…and NO, its not always on sex..but their focus and thought process are very different. And YES, they really can think of Nothing! Sometimes as women we are ten miles ahead and our brothers have barely shifted into 1st gear …

    3. If I could give any advice to young men and women… focus on your walk with the LORD first and foremost… think about the type of person and the character you would like to have in a future mate and then make sure to develop those characteristics in yourself first… and treat everyone as a brother or sister FIRST… we will be spending eternity as a FAMILY after all. But to be Family, we MUST Interact to connect and with connection brings satisfaction…which then bring confidence in relationships… even simple friendships.

    Just my two Shekels…

    Blessings to each of you!

    November 26, 2013 at 2:17 pm

  79. Michaela

    I've experienced so many of these! ESPECIALLY #3. And #10. But why is this mostly targeted at guys' errors, rather than pointing out the mistakes of both genders? There's a flip-side to each of these, and I think your readers would have been better served had this been more objective. The title may as well have been "10 Lies You Believe About Interacting with Women", that's how guy-oriented it seems. And isn't this mainly a blog FOR women? #5 was the only one that's geared toward how we women can change our behavior so it doesn't reflect the lies we believe.
    Still a good post and true points; I'd love to see the 10 that we ladies believe about men.

    November 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm

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