Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Looking Ahead

A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment. --Jane Austen

When I was eleven, my parents took me to see Joshua Harris (author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl) speak. After hearing him, I announced that I never wanted to date (don't get me wrong--I've always wanted to marry, I just decided dating wasn't a necessary step toward marriage). Since then, my opinion has changed a tad, though I still find myself in the minority where dating is concerned. Even in Christian communities, which was surprising to me at first--though now I'm used to it.

So, without further ado, here are some of my thoughts on dating:

I think of dating as a way to find a spouse...therefore there is no reason to date until I'm old enough to seriously think about marriage. I'll be 19 on Thursday, but I still feel very, very young, in many ways. I don't believe I'll be ready to marry for at least a few more years--which for me translates to not dating for at least a few more years.

After much research and prayer, this is the conclusion I've come to. I will date someone, but...

1.) Only when I'm old enough to seriously consider marriage (I honestly don't know when this will be, but I know God will give me a peace when the time is right)
2.) It must be someone I am good friends with, who is a Christian, and is mature and ready for marriage.
3.) The relationship must progress slowly, and must begin with the intention of deciding if marriage is right for us. I want to keep my heart guardedly open, if that makes sense. I want to be able to give my future husband all my love, and not have to deal with the regrets of past relationships that went too far too fast emotionally.
4.) The relationship must be firstly focused on God; secondly on each other. If the relationship doesn't further both our relationships with God, something will have to change (whether that means our attitudes toward it, or cutting the relationship off altogether).

Harris says in Boy Meets Girl, dating can be good, and courtship can be bad. What you call it really doesn't matter--what matters is your attitude going into it.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Mine are still fairly incomplete, and prone to changing slightly. :)

14 comments:

  1. I think I agree with most of this. Although...I think if you're good friends with someone already, a relationship can move quickly and still be healthy. They say that when you start spending a lot of time with someone, it only takes 7 months until you are ready to marry them. And I think there are reasons why it can be good not to wait too long- especially when you're keeping yourself pure for marriage.

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  2. That's true. Hmm...I guess I'll just have to wait and see my thoughts once I actually begin the dating phase of my life. :) Right now I'm thinking slow and steady probably simply because there isn't really anyone in my life who I'd be willing to jump into marriage with right away--but that will (hopefully) change.

    Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Elena, I think if you've been good friends for a time already, then you can consider that foundation laid. You may move quickly from friendship to romance, but you still would have had that base of friendship. In fact I think that's a very natural progression.

    I think the 'quickness' that you want to avoid is moving from merely being acquainted to romantically involved. That's more of the typical 'dating' style, I think. Boy and girl meet one day, and in no time at all they're inseparable, holding hands as they go to and fro and cuddling together at sporting events. Neither of them were ready to make such a quick transition, and since they cut out the friendship phase they find they can't handle it.

    Ideally I'd like to form a solid friendship with a guy before I moved on to romance. I'd like to know him as a person without prejudice before seriously considering him as a future spouse.

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  4. Well said, Mamselle Clare. :) Definitely agree.

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  5. Madame Clare, you always put thing so beautifully and perfectly. You too Ella. I always feel so - un profound.

    But lovely post and thoughts!

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  6. Very well put!
    I'm still far too young o think about dating seriously, but I do know at least one girl in my acquaintance who met this guy at a party and started going out with him almost immediately after. That always struck me as strange, though in the modern world many people see it as normal... meh.
    I think that the friendship is very important :)

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  7. Ella, my thoughts are pretty much idenical to yours =P (Except you express yourself waay better *nodz*)

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  8. I came from Lady Rose's blog.

    I pretty much agree with you on everything you said...or wrote. :D
    -Judi

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  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  10. :) Thanks Lanta.

    Heya Judi! Thanks for reading and commenting! :D

    Thanks Lady Rose! :D

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  11. Yup. It all makes tons of sense, Ella. I always find it strange when sixth graders are talking about dating and how they're mature enough for it. I'm like, what's the point when you're this young?

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  12. Exactly, Elphaba. I know a girl who is 12 and has already made out with a guy (twice), and that just disgusted me. And it really annoys me when ALL girls can talk about sometimes is boy, boys, boys. UGH! It really does NOT matter when you're younger than 18/19 at LEAST. I mean to be talking about them like THAT. I can understnad having guys as friends, but obsessing like, "Oh my gosh, did you hear "blah." is dating "blah."" "I TOTALLY want to go out with "blah."" Blah blah blah!! I just don't understand why it matters!

    Ok, I REALLY needed to vent on that. Thanks Ella, you are very smart on this subject, and I totally agree with you!

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  13. Thanks Elphie and Trina, for your comments. :) My prayers are with you both.

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Your comments make me smile!