10 Truths for Navigating the Modern Dating Culture as a Christian

We are living in unprecedented times. At least for those of us trying to navigate this nauseatingly complicated travesty that is the modern dating culture.


The noncommittal guys, the “rules for communication,” the necessity for seeming like you don’t care, the casual approach, the ‘swipe right’ mindset of romantic relationships.

But for me, there’s a whole ‘nother layer to navigating this -LetsBeHonest- toxic dating culture: and that’s my faith.

It’s confusing. It’s frustrating. Add to that the fact that I live in NYC, and it can seem just down right hopeless.

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So here are my 10 Truths for Navigating the Modern Dating/Hookup Culture as a Christian:

*And let me just preface this: I am not suggesting that all guys fall into this camp. This is just a satirical look at some “norms” I have come across in NYC.

#1. Cut the Casual Crap

One of the most frustrating things about “dating” is that everything is so casual. I mean, you can’t even call it “dating,” or else you’re seen as too serious. You’re talking, you’re hanging out, you’re friends with benefits. No. Just, no. Because you know what that is code for? Sleeping around. ((See #2))

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#2. Ditch Dating Around

Being so casual with “hanging out” is just a sneaky green light for seeing a bunch of other people and stringing them along with the bare minimum to keep them interested. For most people, this means being “F-buddies.” For me, that’s not an option. So what’s a nice girl to do when all the guys are looking for is a casual and convenient “fling” that is maaaaybe reoccurring? No sir. If I’m going to invest my time and heart with you, you better not be seeing any hoochie mama on the side. Puh-lease.

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#3. “Netflix and Chill” my A**

Now, I am not high maintenance. I love to watch a good football game on the couch or hype up for some March Madness. I mean, my game day eats are on point. BUT I will not be some stand in for a guy friend that will exist solely to “meet your needs.” I do not do that.

#4. Tinder Me Not

OK. The online dating apps…they just need to stop. Like, immediately. Tinder is such an enabler to the hookup culture. First of all, it is literally a catalogue of faces (or other anatomy…) for you to simply swipe left or right on – simply based on their looks. The majority of guys I know approach Tinder like so: “it’s a way to find a hookup for the night.” — And that’s an exact quote. Just delete the app. SMH

#5. The Texting Game

Ugh. This one is so frustrating. Dear people at Apple: the “typing ‘…’ bubble” and the “delivered/read” receipt — thank you on behalf of all the women everywhere having collective panic attacks waiting with phone-in-hand for their “guy of interest” to text a reply.

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And while we’re on the topic: we need to just put the kibosh on this whole, “Oh I have to wait 2 hours to text him back.” Just reply to the damn message. I don’t want to get labeled as “needy” or “too eager” because I have the conversation courtesy to text you back in a timely manner.

#6. The Gentleman Caller

Believe me when I say that I hate talking on the phone as much as the next person. I mean, I haaaate it. But since when did actually calling someone vs. texting become a faux pas? Sometimes, I want to just have a spontaneous conversation about something funny that just happened, or to solidify plans. Not everything can be communicated through emojis! 

#7. Digits, My Digits

As a flirty, young female in the city where there are nearly as many bars as there are people, I’ve definitely had to perfect my “bar” game. What to wear; how to show just enough skin to stay in the classy – not trashy – camp; the perfect height of heel — because believe me, 1/4 of an inch is the difference between a night of fun and a night of tears.


But if there’s one thing that is exasperating: it is guys asking for your number. I am out with my friends. I do not want to be solicited for casual dating right now, NOR will I want to be harangued via texting me eggplant emojis tomorrow during church or at brunch.

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And same with guys buying drinks. I don’t want to owe you anything. Keep your wallet in your pocket. I don’t want to have to make small talk with you for the next 30 minutes because I feel bad you just dropped 16 bucks on a vodka/soda.

#8. Kiss and Fly

Which, yes, is the name of a trendy club in meatpacking. But is also a current “dating” trend that needs to just stop. The last I checked, a kiss means something. At least to me. You’re gonna kiss me on Saturday night, and then not call or see me again until the next “group hang” where you act like it never happened? What is that about?

#9. Forget Fishbowling

Which, I’m just going acknowledge right off the bat, sounds like it could be something dirty on Urban Dictionary, or something pertaining to drugs, but for alliteration’s sake, I’m going to just go with it.

Here’s what I mean: it is so annoying to go “young adults” or “young singles” church nights, and then go to the “mixer” at the bar afterwards. Please. It feels so forced with our handwritten name tags and craft beers. I feel like I’m in a fishbowl being forced to “spiritually mate” and find my future husband. To the point where I have stopped attending these events. They are that bad. I know, I should probably meet a guy a church, but for cryin’ out loud, let’s not look that desperate.

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#10. Forget all this and remember what’s important.

So okay, I’ve had my rant. Sure, I may have tried to be a little witty, and okay, some of my points may be borderline complaining, but it’s coming from a sincere place. I am fed up with the modern dating culture that doesn’t respect a committed relationship, and finds ‘waiting for marriage’ as an archaic, absurd, and prudish notion. I mean, I feel like the stigma is that if you’re waiting to have sex that you’re automatically wearing orthopedic shoes and an ankle length dress.

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But it’s just a fact that in the modern dating culture, if you don’t “give it up,” all a guy has to do is buy the next girl at the bar a drink, and he can get what he’s looking for.

So I have come to terms with the fact that I will most likely not find my husband out at a bar. Or on Tinder. Or really anywhere secular in NYC.

And I could get really depressed about that. Become exasperated that I’m devoting all my social time to hanging out in a crowd that isn’t on that same page, while all the while aging. While my youth fades and biological clock ticks.


Am I wasting my time? Some may say yes. But I say no. I have incredibly wonderful friendships that are filling my heart to the brim. During my anorexia, I was so bereft of social interaction and friendships because I was pushing everyone away and isolating myself to self-destruct with my disease. So now, I am making up for lost time. With my friends.

And I trust that I am where I am supposed to be. That God will bring the right man into my life at the right time. And you know what? It’s impossible for me to miss him, because God already has “Mr. Right” picked out for me.


So my final truth for navigating this scene:

#11: Don’t Dismay

Don’t get too caught up in how crappy and dismal the Tinder-obsessed dating culture is. The right guy is out there (and you probably won’t find him on Tinder.) But God already ‘swiped right’ on him for you. He is impossible to miss.


 

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

303 thoughts on “10 Truths for Navigating the Modern Dating Culture as a Christian

  1. Extremely wise words for people who are just now stepping out into the dating world or for people who haven’t left that air of immaturity behind. Glad to know that a young lady has all this in mind and is honest enough to say it out loud.

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    1. Hi again friend! wow thank you so much 🙂 That’s so kind of you to say. Well, somebody had to say it, so it might as well me be haha hope you’re having a great night! hugs and love xox

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  2. So I just found this post, because you linked to it in your recent post. I’m the other gender and on the other coast, but I experience a lot of the same frustrations. I spent most of my 20s around the other extreme, the kind of legalistic Christians who throw a fit if you’re spending time alone with the opposite sex or kissing before your wedding day. And I’ve spent most of my almost-over-now 30s around the kind of people you describe in this post. There has to be a happy medium somewhere. I just haven’t found it yet. But it is encouraging to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

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  3. I know it is possible to miss one who is out there…but not if you are putting Jesus first. Holy Spirit will lead you….He is the new wine who gives love peace and joy to guide you. Sense that outside of the church building proper ….not in a bar, just as you said… you will meet the guy. I keep sensing sometime when you are involved in service to a charity somewhere…some really good giving of your time to a deserving work…he will be there. If HE (Jesus) has you somewhere giving of yourself look for him to show up….somehow some way that you know it is a “Godincident”. Praying for you right now…Charlie

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    1. Wow, Charlie, thank you so much for this beautiful persecutive. You’ve given me so much to think about here this morning. Seriously, I appreciate the great insight. I’m going to go look up volunteer opportunities in the church bulletin right now 🙂 sending big hugs xox

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  4. I’ve been reading your blog since you liked one of my posts 🙂 (that’s how I discovered your blog). My first comment.
    Thank you so much for writing this. I do not live in NYC, but I’ve found similar situations in several cities I’ve lived in. It’s sad that something as beautiful as romance/courtship has been debased the way it has, and that this toxic culture is promoted in our media. Sometimes I sigh. But I’m not dismayed. There are responsible, mature, God-honouring people in the world who won’t use other people like (sex) objects. It just takes a little digging to find them.
    Also, just thought I should inject here my opinion about Mr. Right which is that there’s probably more than one candidate, and you should patiently seek the person out as opposed to waiting around for him to magically appear in your life. Okthanksbye.

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  5. Wouldn’t you say you are limiting yourself all because you aren’t willing to adapt to “modern dating”? Everyone knows that dating comes along with certain subconscious behaviors aka not acting too needy, clingy, desperate or too eager. Those subconscious behaviors become embedded in us at a young dating age when you start figuring out what “works” and what doesn’t work. Let’s get real if you don’t want to causally date then you are setting yourself up to appear like all those behaviors I listed above. Casually dating doesn’t ALWAYS have to mean sex…or having a F buddy. But it does mean that you are in the process of getting to know what the other person is all about. That could entail going to a happy hour or going for coffee instead of a full blown date, which indirectly adds increasingly amounts of pressure on both parties. Starting with something less casually can progress the relationship naturally instead of having a forced “idealistic” idea of what dating “should” be. A certain degree of games are naturally played in any progression of dating or a relationship so if you don’t think they exist or should exist than you got a tough road ahead of you. Maybe you’re looking for an “insta-texter” that responds within 1 minute to your every text or someone who is overly eager, until you increasingly become uninterested for reasons “unknown” to you. It’s in your subconscious to be turned off by behaviors like that, its not surface level. No one wants that right off the bat when they are still trying to get to know someone, its a turn off for both males and females. SO i say embrace the casual aspect of getting to know someone and it CAN be without sex. Otherwise you may scare off the Mr. Right that God has sent to you, by swiping right to quickly with expectations of how you should be dated.

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    1. Hey Nate, thank you for this great perspective. A lot of really great points here. Yeah, i think there is a lot of truth in putting myself out there and just seeing what happens. “Idealism” is definitely not realistic, so I should just give love a chance in the often broken system that exists. thanks for stopping by! hugs and love xox

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  6. Hahaha! I love your article, you keep it real!
    I think so many are facing the same problem. Dating these days is like shopping online. If you don’t like the item, you can just return it. But it is something to be respected, treasured. I have a question though, what do you think about christian mingle?

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    1. Thanks so much! That’s so true…hmm I don’t know! I have never tried it. I’m kinda old fashioned in that I want to meet someone in person, but then I guess…look how that’s turned out so far lol. Thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

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  7. I’ve been where you are in some sense and got so tired of looking. It’s easy to get down on men in general. But I hope you know that there are still good guys out there who DO want the same thing that you do – a loving relationship. Keep thinking about those guys, not the superficial ones. Keep an open mind about men you meet who might not meet exactly your standards of whatever (looks, personality, brains) but who might still have much to offer you and who you can still be attracted to. I was single for much longer than I should have been because I was overly picky and judgmental. When I found my husband, I almost let him get away because I wasn’t sure he met my checklist. Thank heavens I came to my senses. We have two wonderful kids today, and to think I almost “swiped left.” (And my clock was probably ticking way louder than yours…)

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    1. Hi Laura, thank you so much for this encouragement! You’re right-I’ve gotta keep my eyes open because yes, there are still good guys out there. You’ve given me hope! Haha but seriously…thank you. Big hugs xox

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  8. This is so cool. I personally feel that nowadays a lot of people put adhering to pop culture and society standards above just being themselves. they won’t express their emotions or how they feel just because society has said its ‘not cool’. I think that there is no one way of dating and people shouldn’t be afraid of being themselves even if it is ‘weird’.
    Thanks for this

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