Why Are Christians Scared Of Dating?
Christians are scared of dating. Somewhere down the line, probably through too many dating seminars and sermons on relationships, the thought of dating within Christian circles began constituting a taboo of some sort. On one hand, denying the natural humanistic instincts of love and affection seems completely unreasonable, but God clearly specifies the aspects he wishes out of a relationship that honors all that He desires out of us. There shouldn't be anything wrong with dating, but there somehow is, because of the wandering eyes and touted accountability we're all "called" to provide. We understand the reasoning behind careful eyes, but at times also prefer to live without the onus, often inevitably failing to create an equilibrium that satisfies both obedience to God and the rightful privilege to pursue and show love. I think the most frequent complaint I received in college, at least in regards to relationships, saddled itself somewhere around the annoyance of a community's attention towards a couple (usually potential couple) and the perceived judgement received by the ridiculously, flawed and humanistic law codes created through the presence of the dominating Christian leadership. Dating within the church often has an enormous magnifying glass associated with it and the users of it are not always qualified or claim dominance over it a little too often. An audit of every couple exists out there, somewhere in our minds, and its often fueled by the gossip of our peers. The Christian Community is wonderfully, and awfully, interconnected, and this, unfortunately, shows much of the latter.
All this boils down to a community scared of showcase and timid in the expression of love. It's clear that we all want to reach some sort of defining pinnacle of a God-pleasing relationship but perhaps this creates an inescapable and overwhelming pressure. Somehow, this has made us men and women terrified of the prospects of communicating affection. Even the slightest thought of confessing interest, not love, seems like an impossible task. We worry about what the other person might think, but at the same time, they're worrying about us. It's not that Christians no longer want to date, trust me they do, but the Christian community has built up a list of dating implications that, in reality, wholly represent beliefs of humans, not God.
These implications are daunting, almost used to create an unspoken foundation of how dating should be. The world has told us that the simple conveying of attraction to someone else implies commitment and we forget the basic premise of dating in the first place, which essentially only creates a platform for two people to delve deeper into an area of potential mutual affection. But this requires an understanding from both parties, that one date means nothing more than simply a common desire to appreciate the beauty of the inner workings of our personalities. I'm all for love at first sight but the reality of the situation needs to be fully acknowledged and that holds us back from something that need not be a petrifying endeavor.
That's not to say dating someone different every week, for the sake of "attempting" at a relationship is a wise decision. It isn't. What Christians need to take from this is to dismiss the notion that dating creates an absolute obligation for the two sides to now become the perfect, God-centered couple. At the same time, no one should feel called to grant every single person a date simply out of pure curiosity. Surely, though, the Christian community can have a slightly more open mind towards the concept of a date and the relatively little insinuations that surround it. I don't think God is displeased with us when we find ourselves attracted to someone and have desire to express it.
Refuting the fundamentals and basics of a Christian relationship is futile, as nothing holds more true than the words of The Bible. Easy it is, however, to align the wishes of God with our imperfect ideology. One thing is clear and it's that dating, in its purest form, can be an honorable thing to pursue. The fear and anxiety associated with it is frequently misguided by both sides of the coin. I believe God is pleased with us when we act upon our love and affection in ways that match how He would chase after our hearts.
Godspeed in dating, everyone.