Why I won’t ask girls on dates

Note: I no longer agree completely with everything I wrote in this post. Still, I agree with my overall points, and the post remains a record of my thinking at the time I wrote it.
Free Northerner’s post, “The Rationalization of Effort” and the comments on it got me thinking. As a 25-year old virgin, committed Christian, looking for marriage, I meet at least the broadest rough parameters that commenter FNBF has set, as far as I can tell. Yet were I to run into her at church, I would not ask her on a date. It’s no reflection on her attractiveness–I’ve never seen her. It’s not that I’ve read something she has written that turned me off–I’ve read very few comments that she has written. Rather, it has everything to do with the fact that I am looking for a wife, not a girlfriend.

And dates are designed for dating, and nothing more.

I can’t claim to speak for all guys in the target demographic, but as a guy in the target demographic I can at least speak for myself. A few months ago, I did notice a girl in church. She was pretty and fit with long hair and always dressed in a dress or skirt. I started paying more attention. I noticed that she was demure and yet joyful, and consistently respectful to her parents (yes, she lives with her parents). I found opportunities to get to know her parents, I found her father was in a similar line of work to the one I am in, making conversation easy.

About this time, one of the men at church I most respect, a man about the same age as the father of this girl, started talking her up to me. He knew what I was looking for, and he sang her praises as just what I was looking for. After that, I found opportunities to talk to her. I asked her about her future plans, and she talked about her goal of becoming a dentist. I brought the topic around to family a little later and she said “I don’t want to just get married and have kids as my life goal–I want to do something worthwhile with my life first.” Later, I mentioned my eventual plan of building a small cabin in the woods where I can shoot my own meat and grow my own vegetables. Her response was that she wouldn’t want to live in that way–she went on to explain why she wants to go to a particular dental school “because it is close to L.A.”

The man who had been talking her up to me mentioned her again later, and I told him “I’m looking for a wife right now, and from what she says she isn’t interested in becoming one for several years.” But–and here’s what’s important as pertains to Free Northerner’s post and the discussion on it–even if I had found out that her priorities were in line with mine, I would not have asked her out. Instead, I would have probed a little further, and on determining our priorities to be compatible, I would have simply told her “As I’ve gotten to know you, I’ve been evaluating you for wife potential, and I’ve been impressed by many things about you. From what I’ve learned about you, I feel like we share the same major priorities. I’m interested in marrying you, but there are a few things that we need to talk about first.”

Asking her on a date would be shooting myself in the foot. I can learn far more about a person when they are not aware that I am watching and evaluating them. I will learn far more about a girl by asking older men at church who have watched her grow up than I will from any number of dates. Going on a date is like intentionally tying a blindfold over my eyes.

Now, here’s the real kicker. I avoid dates because they are detrimental to my goal of marriage. However, the player, gamer, pick-up artist, and average frustrated chump all pursue dates because they are essential to their goal of fornication. And just like I read the signals and apply my effort only for girls that seem to be a good bet for marriage material, the fornicators read the signals and apply their effort only for the girls that seem to be a good bet for fornication. This is what FNBF realizes but few others are acknowledging. If FBNF sends out an “I don’t do fornication” vibe, most fornicators are not going to ask her on a date because they know it is a long shot to get what they want. Likewise, most marriage minded men like myself are not going to ask her on a date, because a date is not the pathway to our goal. So, unlike the woman in Free Northerner’s earlier post, women who signal “no fornication” will not get many dates. However, if the goal is marriage, the lack of dates should not bother them, because dating is a substitute for marriage, not a pathway to marriage.

So here’s my advice to my sister, FBNF, and any other marriage-minded woman: don’t worry if you’re not getting asked on dates. It’s actually a good sign. Rather than worrying about dates, get your father looking for a husband for you. When a new young man shows up in church encourage your father to go introduce himself, or even to invite him home for lunch. And then when that young friend of your father’s asks you about life goals, talk about marriage and children, not school or work.

Don’t be surprised if rather than asking you on a date, he says “I’m interested in marrying you, but there are a few things that we need to talk about first.” Be ready to have that discussion.

Advertisements

12 thoughts on “Why I won’t ask girls on dates

  1. I’m similar to yourself. I responded to that mostly in FN’s thread, as I’m unsure if FBNF will read this here.

    Curious, what would you recommend to those of us that are without families in the area? I know I have forged somewhat of a different process based on my reality of not having family in the area and having to overcome the difficulty involved in that. What would you recommend to the men or women that have awakened to the truth of how courtship and marriage works, and find themselves having to make their way without family guidance due to various circumstances?

    Like

  2. @ Chad

    Excellent question. I am separated from my family by thousands of miles, and it does make a difference. I think the best strategy for you and I as men is to seek out surrogate fathers in the local church. It was such a surrogate that played a role in the story I laid out above, and I still value and trust his advice.

    Like

  3. Fair. I haven’t done that exactly myself, because I haven’t found a man I trust on their opinion of the women in my parish that has the time apart from his own family to form such an opinion about the young women of the parish.

    Also, I’d be curious about your opinion as to what women should do should they find themselves without family in which to place such trust? Also find a father figure in which to place it? I know a couple women in my parish without father’s near by. None of them are ones that I would court at this time, but I wouldn’t know how to do so without family involvement and I also would like to be able to give advice to them, should they ever honestly seek it.

    Like

  4. Chad:

    Here’s how I would advise a woman in that situation. First, find a surrogate family. Look among grandparents, not parents. Ideally, you want a couple that has demonstrated their ability to stay married for 40+ years. Imitate the wife, learn skills from her, and watch how she interacts with her husband. Listen to what the husband says about the men in the church. He probably knows them far better than you. Second, don’t hang out with the singles at church. Hang out with the married couples. After the second or third hike where you are the only single tag-along to a group of married couples, you will have added all or most of them to your spouse-finding team. Finally, spend some time with the old ladies. The Dorcas society or whatever. Those old biddies would like nothing better than to help you find a husband.

    Like

  5. Moose, I admire the way you’ve figured out what you’re looking for in a woman, and prioritized the various qualities. I admire your saving sex for marriage. If we lived in the same community, I’d be on the lookout for a potential wife for you.

    But….

    I think you’re taking the courtship/dating scene too seriously. You say “dates are designed for dating, and nothing more.” It doesn’t have to be that way. Think of dating as a way to get to know a woman better, to see if there’s a spark of attraction, to practice social skills, even as a way to just have fun. A woman may look great “on paper,” but what if she treats wait-staff like dirt? Yes, continue to do your research beforehand, so you don’t waste too much time on a worthless prospect.

    “I’m interested in marrying you, but there are a few things that we need to talk about first.”

    I’m afraid that 98% of women will find that a bit creepy when it’s done too early-on. Consider, instead, “I want you to know I’m serious about getting married and starting a family within the next year. How do you feel about that?” Be quiet until she gives a reasonable answer. She may or may not tell you the truth. I would take a young woman’s plans with a grain of salt; she may have a stock answer because society tells her she needs one, but she may not be fully invested in it. Once she learns how wonderful you are, she may gladly change her plans.

    I agree that this is probably a deal-killer: “I don’t want to just get married and have kids as my life goal–I want to do something worthwhile with my life first.” But if she can’t afford dental school or doesn’t get in, she’ll be open to a new plan.

    -Steve

    Like

  6. Just curious – do you find many young women at church who are interested in getting married sooner rather than later? Or do most of them want to spend their twenties “pursuing their careers” like the general population?

    Like

  7. @ Dr. Parker:

    I think you’re taking the courtship/dating scene too seriously. You say “dates are designed for dating, and nothing more.” It doesn’t have to be that way. Think of dating as a way to get to know a woman better, to see if there’s a spark of attraction, to practice social skills, even as a way to just have fun.

    Sure, but the thing is, I can do all of those things without going on dates.

    I would take a young woman’s plans with a grain of salt; she may have a stock answer because society tells her she needs one, but she may not be fully invested in it.

    Agreed. It’s not plans that I balk at, but the priorities they reveal.

    Like

  8. @ Robert What?:

    My experience is that the young women of most churches plan on getting married and having kids eventually, but take umbrage at the suggestion that they take any action whatsoever to pursue such plans. The vehemence with which I have heard them defend the idea that God will “pick out” their spouse for them makes me think that they might accept parentally arranged marriages if the parents actually stepped up to the plate. However, barring involved parents, they seem content to sit around and hope that God will arrange a marriage for them. In fact they seem to actively encourage each other to avoid putting any effort whatsoever into finding a spouse, using such phrases as “wait on God” and “God will give you a man when you learn you don’t need one.”

    Like

  9. @Moose – thanks for the reply. My son is a young man now and my influence on him is limited. But if I were doing it all over again I would have married a Christian woman who was on the same page as me. I think parents being involved in courtship in a healthy way (as opposed to a manipulative or toxic way) makes a tremendous amount of sense. After all, who should have the best interests of the young person in mind more than the parents? I don’t mean actual arranged marriages, but at least having the parents vet out the intended. My parents weren’t even Christians, but I would have been much better served listening to their advice as regards marriage.

    Like

  10. @ Robert What?:

    You may feel that your influence on your son is limited, and it indeed may be, but do not forget that “the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

    Like

  11. Just to touch on what Dr. Parker said in relation to the “serious” factor – It’s quite possible that the girl spoke of her educational pursuits because she wanted you to see her as more than just a potential housewife (however, in your case, the dentistry aspect seems unusual). Many women, myself included, would like to travel or explore before marriage (especially if there’s a possibility their future husband will not want to after marriage).

    Like

  12. Dr. Parker gets it. Also, dating is in no way essential to the goal of fornication. Personally, I’m looking for a companion. I may be able to discover values and character traits about someone through others, but unless I take the time to get to know them personally (ie dating), I can’t be sure whether their flaws are something I can work with, or something I can’t futching stand. In my experience, those who do not desire the companionship do not bother dating, instead engaging in the hookup culture and fornicating freely.

    Like

Please read Comments Policy prior to posting

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