My thoughts on the dating question.

Posted: 17/02/2011 in boundless, eHarmony, relationships
Tags: , , , ,

>In my previous blog, I asked everyone for their opinion on a question that I heard on the The Boundless Podcast. The question came from one woman, asking another woman on a show hosted by a woman on whether or not it was “correct” to initiate contact with a man she was interested in on eHarmony.

Thank you again, espeically Nicole and Brandi, for your responses to the question.

Here’s how I would answer it: The purpose of eHarmony is to make getting into relationships really easy. Why would you want to make it more difficult? The answer is ‘women need to let the men lead.’ Does letting the man lead mean doing nothing? This may seem like hyperbole, but I have to wonder this: if a woman is unwilling to make contact due to ‘we need to let the men lead’ will she be able to reciprocate interest later? Can she respond in a way that is conducive to relationship building once mutual attraction is out the open?

I know this may seem counter-intuitive to many Christian woman/girls, but if you don’t show interest in a guy that guy will assume that you are not interested in him. Let me repeat that: if you don’t show interest in a guy that guy will assume that you are not interested in him.

It seems so strange that FOF, Boundless, and other segments of Evangelicalism want to so harshly split gender roles. Men are supposed to 100% dominate, assertive, and pursuit-driven. Women are expected to be 100% submissive, passive, and receptive. Yet scientifically everybody knows that testosterone and estrogen are present in both genders. Philosophically, most schools of thought (especially eastern) will say that there is a “feminine” nature and a “masculine” nature and that all humans are mixture of both. Even the Bible ascribes both masculine and feminine traits to God. It seems so obvious that while we might expect behavioral tendencies for each gender, we shouldn’t expect some black and white, either/or, divide.

More broadly, I simply don’t understand the purpose of such moral quandaries when it comes to dating. Is it not missing the forest for the trees? If the goal of Christian dating is to get into a committed, healthy, relationship, than maybe we shouldn’t be so fixated on little rules. What if the rules are in conflict with the stated goal? It is if we want two streams of water to flow down a hill and meet together. So we decide to add several dams, ditches, and other obstructions to make sure they do so the biblical way.

I hope that any evangelical woman on eHarmony would consider talking to …guys… when they have questions about how to interact with men on eHarmony because that seems the better place to look. (This of course assumes that male/female friendships are not against the laws of evangelicalism.)

I will close with one final thought. My honorary sister commented that if women can lead the church, than they can click the eHarmony thingy. I would like to add that if women can host a podcast, endorsed by a large parachurch/webzine, which has influence over many, many, young evangelicals, than they can click the eHarmony thingy.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. >I guess I am also still confused as to where "letting the man lead" even came from. I just asked James about this since he has been Christian longer than me. Here is a breakdown of the conversation:me: Where did letting the man lead even come from?James: sexism?There you have it.Sometimes I wonder how a sex that has more numbers than males is still considered a minority, and then I remember it's because we are dumb enough to ponder the repercussions of winking at someone on eharmony.

  2. Draw2much says:

    >I couldn't answer your last blog cause I'm not a guy and you wanted guy responses. (Boohoo, you left me out! 😉 )I gotta say some Christians take that submission passage(s) and apply it to a lot of straaaaange things. Those passages are specifically written to married couples. If you aren’t married, they don’t apply to you. Dating is not the same as marriage. (I should think this was obvious but apparently it’s not.)There also seems to be this weird thinking that if a women (wives only) is being submissive, the man (husbands only) will automatically take control, leadership, and initiative. This is so far from the truth it’s laughable. Apparently these people think men are divine or something? Men don’t know everything, nor can they be every where at once. *Smart men delegate.* They also know when to let someone else lead, either because they are not familiar with a particular thing or because they simply don’t have the energy for it. (I think this pretty well explains the Proverbs 31 woman, don’t you? :^) )Also, I totally initiated the relationship with my husband. Haha, we often jokingly say that I was a cheetah and he was the gazelle (who made the mistake of wandering away from the herd). I am not normally an aggressive person, but I knew when I met him that he was exactly the type of guy I was looking for and by no means was I risking having him “snatched away” by some other (less deserving 😛 ) girl.

  3. Adele T. says:

    >Interesting blog. I just wanted to say that you're never too old to be enlightened . Women are told to submit to their own husbands, not to men in general. This is an angle I'd never thought about before. It has to do with organization and effective progress, like in the military context. Yeah, Beth Moore. Love, your mom

  4. RobertAGC says:

    >Good post, Joel. I especially enjoy how you pointed-out the inherent reductio ad absurdum in the notion that a woman must simply sit and wait for a man to initiate any sort os action if she is to hope to have a helathy and functional relationship. Very nice, indeed.

  5. >"Let me repeat that: if you don't show interest in a guy that guy will assume that you are not interested in him."RIGHT ON! :DI also agree with Draw2me's mention of the Prov 31 wife. She was a strong woman; I bet she totally initiated that relationship. Probably something completely scandalous, like winking at him at her bat mitvah lolz.

  6. >oops, bat *mitzvah /blushes

  7. Jin-roh says:

    >Draw2much, don't feel bad about not commenting. You got to comment now.Besides, my honorary sisters broke the rules and didn't listen to the instructions of man.Clearly, they've been influenced by the evils of the feminists. They should check themselves or they'll never find a good man….oh wait… yeah that's right I attended one of their WEDDINGS…

  8. >bwahahaaha I'm such a feminist XD

  9. Nelima says:

    >As one who has drunk the Boundless Kool-Aid, allow me to offer my thoughts on your thoughts.Does letting the man lead mean doing nothing?No. At the end of the question, the asker concluded with "what would Ruth do?" Ruth let Boaz know she was interested, and this was the basis of a series of Boundless articles some years ago (don't have time to look them up) on how ladies could let guys know they were interested. …if a woman is unwilling to make contact due to 'we need to let the men lead' will she be able to reciprocate interest later?The two aren't mutually exclusive. Remember, the girl is interested. Interested enough to ask for advice, I may point out. When the guy makes his move, she will most likely be besides herself with joy, giggling with all her girlfriends about it. Just because she's not taking the first step doesn't mean she'll be passive for life. …if you don't show interest in a guy that guy will assume that you are not interested in himI would say the same thing to guys. Heck, even Boundless agrees.Men are supposed to 100% dominate, assertive, and pursuit-driven. Women are expected to be 100% submissive, passive, and receptive.Men aren't to dominate. That's unbiblical, and unfortunately it's what many (incl. Christians) think male leadership is about. And, as Adele commented, women are called to submit to their own husbands, not to every male on the planet. What if the rules are in conflict with the stated goal?I'm afraid you're setting up a false dilemma here. You may not know any women who are in happy and healthy marriages (not just dating relationships) that came out of the guy pursuing the girl, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. (This of course assumes that male/female friendships are not against the laws of evangelicalism.)Now you're being snarky :(Commenter #1 said:I guess I am also still confused as to where "letting the man lead" even came from.God. Eve was the one who talked to the serpent and took the first bite. But God addressed his question to Adam (Genesis 3:9). Over the centuries, horribly wrong interpretations have been made of what it means to have men leading; and in all fairness the pendulum swings to both extremes quite easily.

  10. Jin-roh says:

    >Well thanks again Nelima. I'm glad that I found your posts again.Its nice to see that so many people take interest in this question.Many of the commenters are good friends of mine, and they will probably have more to say to the kool-aid. 🙂

  11. Stephanie says:

    >There are very few hard and fast rules that apply every time in every relationship. Love is give and take. I kind of hate Christian dating rules. I broke them all and it turned out pretty well for me. 😉

  12. >Seriously. I can't believe women are so silly sometimes. A man isn't going to take the lead if you don't make yourself available. As ANY woman who knows ANY man should know… Men are DUMB about stuff like this (no offense guys)! They need some serious coaxing sometimes! And a little cleavage never hurts! 😉 Sheesh!

  13. Dave says:

    >Joel,Thanks for the great blog post. I really like your reasoning except for the following:"most schools of thought (especially eastern) will say that there is a 'feminine' nature and a 'masculine' nature and that all humans are mixture of both. Even the Bible ascribes both masculine and feminine traits to God."1. I'm not sure Christians should be taking their cues from the eastern religions.2. God created male and female together in His image. Of course God will have "both masculine and feminine traits" but it's quite a logical leap (and that's being generous) to assume that those traits are mixed within the genders. The fact that we can readily identify them as "masculine" and "feminine" qualities to begin with is a big clue…

  14. Jin-roh says:

    >Dave, I was waiting for someone to eventually mention what I said about eastern stuff. Thank you for bringing it up.Note, I chose my words carefully in saying Eastern PHILOSOPHY not Eastern Religions. The line is rather blurry. However, Christianity has taken plenty of cues from Western Philosophy, so I feel fine in invoking philosophy in general, and adding Eastern Philosophy to show universality to the point.Regarding the masculine/feminine divide, that point also rests on testosterone and estrogen being present in BOTH genders, but different measure, not only that both such verbiage is ascribed to God.Part of what motivated this blog was knowing how many Christian Girls feel pigeon-holed into an archetype. Not every girl wants to grow up to be a pastor's wife.Thanks for the post, Dave. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s