Home dating/courtship More Problems With Dating

More Problems With Dating

by Kelly Crawford

I will have to break this topic into several posts…first let me list several MAJOR problems with dating you may have not considered…because unless you’re convinced that it’s wrong, what motivation is there to entertain anything else? (I promise, Civilla, it’s coming 😉

(BTW, there are quite a few articles on Dating and Courtship in my archived posts.)

1. Time frame. We typically start dating as early as 13 or 14 in America. (And preparing for it much earlier: “Do you have a boyfriend yet?”)

This is nothing short of absurd. What purpose does dating fulfill? Based on the thoughts below, it is blasphemous to use such activities for recreational purposes. The idea is no different than sending a child into a candy store with no money. So he licks the pieces he likes and puts them back.

2. Pre-mature romance. Dating assumes that being romantically involved with someone other than your spouse is harmless, or normal. In most cases, the typical person will have a relationship with 5 or more people before marriage.

Not harmless. Would I consider my husband’s involvement with another woman harmless? What if it were only emotional? “Well, of course not, you’re married–that makes it different.” Not so much. Our involvements do not magically disappear at the altar. They are with us for life. My husband NOW was the same man before we married.

We should help our children understand that intimacy, romance, dating, etc. is nothing to play with. Until they are ready to pursue marriage, there should not even be a hint of pursing a relationship with the opposite s*x.

(Consider if a spouse does have a marital affair; let’s say he repents, wife forgives, and they “start over”. Will not the residue of that activity still remain in their marriage? So the “pre-marriage affairs” affect a couple after they are married.)

God created the intimacy between two people to be bonding by nature (thus the “one-flesh” language), with s*x being the seal of that bond. Intimacy was never intended for anyone other than your spouse. There are lifetime consequences otherwise. (This is why the bible says that most sin a man commits is outside of his body; but se*ual sins are against his own body.)

As someone mentioned in the comment thread last post, dating is logically incongruent with marital faithfulness. “Falling in love” then breaking up, repeat, repeat, repeat…is nothing more than creating the habit of a heart to leave when “I don’t like it anymore”.

Nothing about dating involves loyalty and faithfulness; it’s easy to get in, and easy to get out. Hmmmm…kind of resembles most marriages. (Let’s think about it!)

A “spotless bride” is so much more than physical purity! This is the problem I have with the well-intentioned “Love Waits” campaigns many churches have done. It assumes that as long as we don’t “go all the way”, we’ll be OK. Not so. Love waits, indeed–for everything.

3. Deception. Another BIG problem: dating allows for a “smoke screen” that easily deceives. If I’m considering a person for marriage, don’t I need to see them in action? How do they relate to their family? What are they really like in the grind of life? A movie and dinner doesn’t reveal those things. I’ll talk more about what I mean here in a later post.

“But how does someone know a person is the right one unless they’ve dated several people?”

This reasoning is illogical; if it had any substance, it would assume that a person must date every person alive before he could know which one was right. (I could try 10 different shampoos and go with #10; but what about the other 437 brands left? I’m still left wondering.)

I wish I could plead with parents to grasp the flawed model of dating, to understand its devastation, to be willing to say “NO” for their children.

I challenge you to really think about it, if you haven’t before. I’ll post more on “if not dating, then what?”

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Amber October 24, 2008 - 3:46 pm

So courting then, is an engagement that can’t be broken? Or else you’d be guilty of having some sort of relationship with someone else before you got married?

The Mangerchine's October 24, 2008 - 4:17 pm

I don’t think it matters as much what we call it. I don’t think the hang up should be on the technical terms that we use and which one makes it okay. People can approach courtship with the wrong hearts (just following rules, and not out of love for God and His ways), and people can approach dating with the right ones. It’s all in surrendering every aspect of everything you do to the Lord, His purposes, and for His glory. None of the worldly way of dating does any of that!

I agree with everything that you’ve said here and think it’s a great post! Being recently married myself, I wish that I hadn’t spent my late teens and early twenties dating the worlds way. I am so thrilled and blessed by the Godly way that my husband pursued me though, we made every intention to submit our dating/ courtship… whatever you want to call it to Him and the fruit of that has been amazing!


Word Warrior October 24, 2008 - 4:17 pm


Ideally, yes. Courtship looks different for every family and is NOT a perfect, free-of-problems design (we are dealing with humans).

But the principle in place, the idea is that you would carefully “rule out” unpotential marriage partners, and not become romantically involved until the Lord gives a green light.

Little Missy Homemaker October 24, 2008 - 4:48 pm

I’m glad I didn’t have the so called “normal” dating experiences as most women my age. I met my husband at 18 and I knew the first time I seen him that I was going to marry him (I had trouble accepting that at first because it was so unlike me to think like that but obviously it was God telling me that and I’m glad I followed His plan). I was 19 when we were married. At 19 most of the girls I went to school with were on their 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th serious relationship! Acckk, not for me. We have been happily married for almost 9 years now!

ehaley October 24, 2008 - 5:46 pm

Does something bad happen if “s*x” is spelled properly, because you use the letter “e” in other words you write?

Word Warrior October 24, 2008 - 6:54 pm

Yes…my Google Adsense will pick it up and pull undesirable ads.

Ana Smith October 24, 2008 - 7:24 pm

“But how does someone know a person is the right one unless they’ve dated several people?”

This is another reason why I love my church and your’s (a sister church). Guys and girls are able to become great friends without any thought of a romantic relationship or flirting while surrounded by parents and little blessings. Sincere friendship is pursued, not temporary relationships that end up hurting both parties.

Mrs. and Mama K October 24, 2008 - 7:38 pm

now to convincing the kids of these facts…I wish our youth group had taught more than “don’t have sex” about purity along with all this…

Mrs. Lady Sofia October 24, 2008 - 11:36 pm

I have been reading your posts about dating and I agree with you completely. Although I was never “taught” the courtship method by my parents, I always thought of dating as a “meat market.” When I was in college, I could never understand how individuals could be in relationship after relationship with different people of the opposite sex. It never made any sense to me. I ALWAYS dreaded dating because it seemed so unappealing to me. However, I did try to “date” but it always ended-up as a disaster, and I was often left heartbroken and sad.

Regardless of my “dating mistakes,” I still believed in relying on God to help me find the proper mate for me to marry. He did (although it took some time). The man that I am married to now – we were friends (e.g., no romantic or physical involvement) for 7 (or was it 8) years before we actually started “dating,” but when we did “date,” marriage was the main objective. My only regret is that I didn’t remain as “spotless” as I would have liked before the actual marriage date.

At any rate, now that I am married, I really see the importance of being pure, not just physically, but spiritually as well. I believe this is really an important part of marriage. I would encourage younger ones to NEVER compromise their purity in a non-marital relationship. Why? Because there will always be regrets (even after repentance).

Kimberly October 25, 2008 - 1:24 am

I never dated, I met my husband in high school when I was 14, and not allowed to date. I was allowed to go to his home with my younger sister in tow, or he could go to my house. Both our grandmothers lived with our respective families. We didn’t go anywhere alone for years. I was 18 when we married, and have been married 24 years. My eldest son is married, #2 son is engaged, if my 16 year old daughter was invited somewhere by a male friend, I would consider letting her go on the condition her sister-in-law, or an older brother went along.

Angela October 25, 2008 - 9:48 am

My daughter is only 7 but I have already been preparing her for purity. I have always told her that we save our kisses for our husbands. I love the idea of courting and wish my parents had led me in this direction. It may have saved me many mistakes and alot of heartache.

Lisa October 25, 2008 - 10:04 am

I am SO pleased to see this topic becoming a thread of discussion. We read Joshua Harris’ book when our oldest boys were in their early teens and were convicted by it. Being homeschoolers made the road easier for us than for some, I think, but all of our children understand the concept and want the benefits of holy courtship leading to blessed marriages. Having traveled teenage rollercoaster ourselves (we have one 21 y.o. and four teenagers now), I can attest that the road is not, as W.W. said, trouble free ~ and there is room for adaptation from the strictest interpretation of this lifestyle, but the mindset alone is well worth pursuing.

Thank you for so eloquently explaining this life changing concept for others who may not have even thought about the dangers of conventional dating ~ and the beauty of this option! This is a wonderful series of posts!

Kim M. October 25, 2008 - 11:12 am

Thanks so much for posting about this topic!
I wish I would have embraced the idea of “courtship” from day one.
It was such a foreign concept in my teen years.

Trisch October 25, 2008 - 1:46 pm

I heartily agree! Especially with your comments about “if it’s not okay when you’re married, it’s not okay when you’re not!” (Well, that’s a paraphrase! 😉

We had a situation at a homeschool get together last summer where some of the guys were carrying some of the girls around on their shoulders (not my girls!!!) My daughters were appalled, and I drove it home–“Would it be okay if one of those young people’s dads carried me around on their shoulders?!” That really hits it! It seems sick and disgusting, which is just what it is when you’re single, too!

When they were younger, I would say, “Would it be okay if Mr. So and So (our neighbor) would kiss me?” They all went “Ewwww!” 😉

Like you said, he’s the same man before as after, and we’re the same woman, too. Praise God He forgives and restores years the locusts have eaten, but how much more praise to Him and how much more wonderful to truly save everything–mind, soul and body–for the one God intends for you!

We’ve learned a lot from observing different courtships, and while there can’t be a “one size fits all” method (we love methods, don’t we?! 😛 ), when entered into by those truly seeking God’s will, there will be a lot less potential for hurt and baggage than the typical stream of relationships the dating scene offers.

Good posts!


tami October 25, 2008 - 5:42 pm

great post!
we have just had our first child enter into a courtship only to have her “pull out” of it a few weeks in! she said he was looking towards marriage as a goal and she was not. not sure where we stand now.

» Dating, Courtship, Marriage August 19, 2009 - 7:57 am

[…] More Problems With Dating […]


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