I asked what dating - in the world's terms - is. I also wanted to know if that "dating" totally obliterated the friend stage. These are some of my responses.
Daniel said, "Ashley, yes unfortunately societal dating has pretty much eliminated the friend stage so as soon as you think you might like some one, you date them, and that is why so many people date so many people, and then never speek again, because they were never friends in the first place. Pluss a lot of dating relationships are based on physical interaction, which to a certain extent is ok, but should never be what you base a relationship on. One analogy I herd says that that is the icing on the cake, and relationships now days have no cake and are just icing, and that's why they fall apart. . .the societal norm doesn't have to be the standerd, and dating isn't bad if done right, but it's with a completely different purpose, instead of seeing if you really like the person as much as you think you might, you presue the relationship mutually seeking gods will in your lives individually and as a couple, and the point, although not totally, is to find out if it's God's will for that relationship to move towards mirage. I hope that kinda answers your question."
I think Daniel has a really valid point. I LOVE the cake analogy. So many relationships are sought merely for the physical, momentary pleasure and this will not and cannot support a relationship. It's doomed to fail. The Bible talks about sex as the sealing of a holy covenant. When people abuse that covenant and fail to hold to Christ's standard, the results are never good. Hearts are broken, and people are left more lonely than before. And wondering why they feel that way. They thought they were going to get a cake, but only got icing because they rushed something that they should have waited for. Physical satisfaction is the manifestation of a healthy relationship it can't be the healthy relationship. (I might write a legit post on this.)
Logan said, "And most of my friends are jumping straight to romance without first building solid friendships.This is so backward! Ugh! Friendship first, romance later. That's what I believe, and I believe that's the wisest path to Biblical romance."
Amen! Yes, Logan is right. And he is vehement, which is good. A problem with dating is that people are trying to get to know each other on dates, which is a horrible idea. It's the worst place you can get to know someone because of the high levels of temptations coupled with the fact that people are always "their best" on dates. I mean, who doesn't want to impress their date? Dating today has totally bi-passed friendship and it is unwise to enter a relationship with someone whom we have not gotten to know as a friend first.
Miguel said, "This seems to the common trait of our generation--in not just dating, but all relationships; in not just relationships, but all of life. For some reason we tend to just try to speed things up and if something doesn't work, we ditch it--or him or her in this case. But if we're not taking the time to really get to know a person before we get to asking them out, then wouldn't that make just about everything appear to "not work" in our eyes? My dad compares dating to trying on shoes. You don't know anything about the person, but if s/he doesn't fit right, then s/he apparently isn't right at all. The world's such a fickle place >.< And it is very, very confused."
Miguel's comment made me sad because it is very, very true. The world is confused. They have simply twisted and mishandled love. For many, it is about "trying on" and "fitting right" - to use Miguel's words. People are basing relationships on romantic feelings, but those wonderful, feel good feelings won't last forever. And once the mystery of those feelings is gone and faded away, the relationship will fade too. That's why there is no real commitment anymore. My heart hurts for the girls who have complained and mourn the loss of "true love". True love exists but I believe it can't be found until we understand the purpose and design God intended for love and commitment.
The world IS a fickle place, Miguel, and very confused. You said it perfect.
Be bold and pray. I'm encouraged to be even more outspoken about God's intention for love and relationships. Maybe we can touch some wounded hearts while we are waiting for our Prince or Princess. Trust me, if you do relationships differently, you WILL stand out and people WILL ask you questions. They are going to wonder why you trust that God will write your love story perfectly. What better opportunity can we get to share of the hope with in us? We serve a God who holds the world and our future in his hands.
Finally, thanks to you boys. I LOVE getting rich comments. You guys offer a lot of insight and I'm really excited to see how God will use each of you to change lives. Keep seeking the answers found in Christ - and then, keep sharing them with bloggers, like me. :)