Meanwhile, guys feel like they’re at a job interview when they go on Christian Dates. In the same thread at Boundless, Corwin aptly sums up the Christian Dating Problem from the male perspective:
I’ll be completely honest with you, I hate Christian dating, haven’t been on a date in well over a year, and have little interest in dating a Christian girl ever again because it often seems like first and second dates are more like a driver’s licence exam than a social evening. Did he show ability to take risks by asking me out in person? Nope, he used Facebook — two demerits. Did he show ability to provide by jumping up to pay for my $3 coffee? Nope, he was in the bathroom when I ordered, so I had to pay — three demerits. Did he show leadership by picking a venue conducive to conversation? Nope, he took me to a crowded place that he should’ve known would be too loud to talk deeply — six demerits…and that’s a fail for this dude’s godly husband potential.
Of course I’m exaggerating, but I really have found that the expectations and judgements that are made on Christian first dates are quite extreme. I really don’t think you can accurately assess anyone’s leadership or provider or parenting potential the first time you go out with them. No one is truly themselves on a first date either due to nerves or trying to be impressive, yet statement like “if he can’t lead a first date, he can’t lead your children” make it sound like it’s totally legit to give guys one high-pressure shot to prove who they are to women.
Christians love to talk about how “the world” is so messed up and “worldly” dating is so messed up – maybe they should look at the church, because as far as I can tell, it’s not any better inside the church.
I absolutely refuse to date Christian girls,* for the reasons described above. For whatever reason, marriage is viewed as The Most Important Thing Ever So You Better Not Screw It Up Or Ever Dare Think Of Treating It Frivolously™, which makes for rather pressured—and unenjoyable—dating experiences. Part of this stems from a weird corruption of the patriarchal tendencies of conservative evangelical groups. Most evangelical families that I’ve known are mostly intact and have semi-authoritarian fathers who generally raise good Christian daughters. However, fathers tend to offer little relationship advice to daughters, an generally leave their daughters to their own devices when it comes to mate selection.
To better get at what I’m trying to describe, it’s best to think of these fathers as the type of men who have no problem telling their daughters—in no uncertain terms—that they are not permitted to wear certain types of clothing, but suddenly become more deferential to their daughters when it comes to mate selection, as if the latter is somehow less important than the former. As such, daughters—who still tend to defer to their fathers—are told to basically choose for themselves. A more involved father might tell his daughter to look for certain characteristics in a man, but the general tendency for the daughters is turn their fathers’ principled advice into strict rules, which is then why girls end up having their own impossible checklists, and thus why Christian “dating” seems to feel so much pressure.
Fortunately, I have a solution to this problem: have the dads arrange their daughters’ marriages. Better yet, make sure the daughters are married off by eighteen or so, which will ensure that they will not have to waste their time with the bullshit known as a college “education.”
In the first place, the daughters’ efforts to please their dads is what leads them to create these long checklists describing the perfect Christian male. Unfortunately, that guy died a couple millennia ago, and he wasn’t on the market either of the times he was alive. What most dads (hopefully) have that most daughters do not is wisdom and perspective. Most young guys are not likely to be perfectly successful by their mid-twenties. They should certainly be heading that direction, but it will still be a while before they get there. A lot of young women do not seem to understand this, and will thus pass over metaphorical diamonds in the rough, despite their penchant for shiny things. An older man, though, should hopefully be good at spotting which guys are cads, and which guys will grow into the responsibilities of husbandry and fatherhood.
In the second place, a lot of female discontentment can be avoided if she doesn’t ride the proverbial carousel, which is why it is so important that women avoid college. College is an open invitation to sexual buffets, and fathers would do well to have their daughters avoid the temptation, and the despair and vanity that succumbing to the temptation brings. The rewards of a college education are nil: you get a piece of paper that qualifies you for a soul-crushing job do menial make-work in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Why let your daughter aspire to that? Especially when it puts her at a far greater risk for being pumped-and-dumped, and being used as nothing more than a sexual object by man-children whose greatest aspirations in life are hedonistic saturation and the avoidance of responsibility?
In the third place, marrying your daughters young enables them to release their sexual desire at its peak. Women (and men) are strongly inclined to have sex at this age, and it seems far better if they have sex with their spouse than with some school acquaintance who doesn’t give a single damn about them. From a more practical standpoint, it’s easier to marry them off when they’re getting ready to hit their peak in beauty instead of when they’re well past it.
In closing, I’d like to share an anecdote from my life. My sister, who is eighteen months older than men, is currently single, and quite deep in college debt. She cannot find a husband that meets her checklist, and is currently preparing to live the life of a cat lady. To deal with her college debt, she’s going back to college to get a nursing degree, so she can join the Air Force and have her debt forgiven. She is definitely past her prime in looks, and she was never particularly attractive to begin with. As she’s gotten older and faced more sexual rejection, she’s become more bitter and kind of a bitch. To comfort herself, she claims that guys don’t want to date her because they are intimidated by her spiritual-mindedness (i.e. piety). She has a fairly miserable life, and it doesn’t look like it is going to get much better for her. Part of me wonders if she would have been better off if my dad simply found a decent enough guy for her to marry and told her to marry him. Maybe she was always going to be miserable; I don’t know. But I have a hard time believing she’s better off being single and bitter.
Anyway, perhaps fathers should consider taking a more active role in their daughters’ lives, particularly when it comes to marriage. I can’t think of a good reason for young women delaying marriage past the age of nineteen, and I can’t think of a good reason why fathers should not bring some perspective to the table when it comes time for marriage. But maybe that’s just me.
* “Christian” here referring to those who are members of my particular denomination.