Dating and the Peanut Gallery
Re-posted blog from Fri, 27 Mar 2009
Two years ago at Mt Hermon Writer’s Conference I journaled my response after pitching an idea for an article to an editor on a panel. Here is the dialogue:
“Our editor is not interested in articles on dating.”
“How come?” I asked
“He doesn’t believe in dating.”
“How is someone able to know someone if they don’t date?”
“He believes if someone asks you to dinner he should be ready to state his intentions.” (for marriage) he explained.
How long has he been married? I asked
"Twenty five years," he responded.
“If myself or any of my friends went out with a man for our first dinner date and they said they intended to marry us, we would run the other way. It would scare us off, especially in an age where there is so much divorce..." I explained.
That night I journaled:
“An editor of a large Christian magazine believing that a man state his intentions of marriage to a woman on a dinner date, before he truly knows the heart of that woman, is disturbing to me.
It is a reflection how far removed from reality some of the married church members are from those of us who are single and hoping for a long lasting relationship.
That stance not only overlooks prudence and the insight to navigate a relationship trusting God by stepping inches out in faith. Fantasy not faith.
(It requires) A man must be so holy he can hear God’s voice once from a mountain top so to speak for the direction of a lifetime rather than from a still small voice—daily. Daily depending on nudgings of the Holy Spirit which is the true walk by faith. Step by step. Walking in the garden with God. Listening. Learning. Asking. Waiting for the unfolding of the petals to reveal the answers in time.
The woman has no built in auto radar. She is also trusting God will show her His plan over time in her life and show her His will as she discerns this person and discovers him outside of a group setting. How does he treat her away from the fishbowl? Do his words and actions line up? Impatient or patient? Spontaneous or controlled? He needs to consider her ways toward him also. Is she selfish? Does she listen? Who is he? Who is she?
It is the dance of two single people moving together and sometimes even circling as they reveal their hopes, their hearts, their thoughts, their trials, celebrations and their hurts. All of which will take more than one night and lots of one on one time to grow and learn and bond and develop trust.
Prematurely stating intention romanticizes the process of meeting and wooing. It romanticizing life…but like G.K. Chesterton said, “Romance is the deepest thing in life. Romance is deeper even than reality.”