All my Christian guy friends talk about how they are going to marry their first gf. I find that many of them go into relationships expecting to marry the girl, then both people get disillusioned and break up. Why does this happen so often? I’m afraid of dating seriously in case this happens to me.
Christians have a lot of funky attitudes about dating, there is no doubt about that. This one seems to make a certain amount of sense. If you are going to date someone, it makes sense that you see them as someone you would consider marrying. To expect to marry them is definitely taking that understandable idea in a very weird direction.
I would guess that the reason this happens is twofold. First is just the general freakout level Christians have about dating. The longer you wait to start dating, the higher that stress level gets. So there are some folks who only want to deal with that once. They figure that if God asked them to do some as huge as (gasp) ask someone to get coffee, then that is 90% of the way to marriage anyway. Of course that is a borderline insane concept of dating, but it is what kissing it goodbye has wrought.
The other reason is that essentially every pastor I have ever heard talk about his marriage says he “just knew.” Now, I am a deeply cynical person, but I tend to think that is the rosy glasses of hindsight now that the relationship has gone that way. Also, it makes a much sweeter story in the sermon than “she looked great in those jeans so I asked her out. Later on I found out we also have a lot in common and she was the kind of person I wanted to marry.”
The simple fact is that most dating relationships do not end in marriage, and the vast, vast majority of first dating relationships don’t. That’s fine. Nobody dies because of a breakup. It sucks, but you learn things and move on.
Not getting into a relationship because it might end is letting fear drive your life. That is not going to bring anything good into your life or your walk with the Lord. 2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” There are valid reasons to not want to date, but fear isn’t one of them.
-Matt from The Bridge