Thursday, October 2, 2008

myths of christian dating

so, I found this article rather interesting the other day. It's "The Top 5 Myths of Christian Dating". You can read the whole thing by clicking this link:

While the whole article is good, there is one part I found particularly intriguing:

Myth #4: "You have to be friends with a woman before you can date her."

This is the point where I might tick off some of you, so allow me to assuage your anger before I explain this myth. I am not saying that you cannot or should not be friends before dating. I'm also not talking about a man and a woman who are interested in each other and agree to be friends for a period before dating. Some of the most successful relationships begin in friendship. Sometimes you don't even know you want to date someone until you're friends with her. I've met couples who were friends for years and then fell in love. It's a super way to start a relationship.

The problem is that a lot of men think the best way to pursue a woman is to befriend her while hiding their interest in dating her. This is a rotten idea and sets a lot of men up for trouble.

Tommy was a client of mine who tried this approach. He had been interested in a woman at his church for a few months, but he was terrified of rejection. So he made his best effort to become her friend, never letting on that he wanted to be her boyfriend. He gave her rides to church, had coffee with her, and talked to her on the phone two or three times a week. Whenever she needed help or support, Tommy was there. But he never asked her out. Then another man in the church asked her out, and she accepted. When she shared the news with Tommy, he was devastated. He told her about his true feelings, and she was shocked. She was hurt that he didn't tell her sooner and expressed regret that he'd never asked her out. However, she refused to back out of the date with the other guy. It proved the end of their friendship, and Tommy retreated into frustration and despair.

You have to be honest about what you're doing. Don't kid yourself and don't lie to her. Be friends all you want, but if you want to date her, she needs to know and you need to ask her out.

Some people distinguish "dating" from "friendship" based on one thing: physical intimacy. More specifically, kissing. A man and a woman who are interested in each other remain "friends" by going out only on group dates and refraining from intimate contact of any description. Apparently, this means they aren't dating.


Friendship and dating are categorically different. Of course, you must be friends with the person you date, but there's much more to it. The emotional "heat" that occurs between people in a romantic relationship is both more exhilarating and more complicated than friendship. People have higher expectations for someone they're considering for marriage. Friendship cannot contain the emotions, intensity, and intimacy that dating does. If you and a woman are hot for each other, you aren't "just friends." I don't care if you go out on dates alone or with the whole church choir. It also doesn't matter if you wear a HAZMAT suit and stay ten feet away from her at all times. If romance is the goal of a man and woman's relationship, they are dating. Confuse it with friendship at your peril.

I'd love to hear other thoughts on this. It goes back to the basic theme of When Harry Met Sally. I believe that guys and girls can be friends. I have a lot of guy friends, ones that I would never think of in any other way but as a friend. But when a "guy friend" does things that start to blur that line, with or without the physical intimacy, it just creates a very confusing and frustrating situation. And I think I am getting to the point in my life where I don't want to deal with the confusion any longer. Either be my friend, or date me, but make it clear. Don't say one thing, then act another way. If that means I have to end a "friendship", I may just have to do that. It's not good on my emotional well-being to be jerked around all the time.

So the bottom line...can you just be friends with someone you are interested in dating?

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