Why Don’t the Guys in my Church Ask Women on Dates? – Response to Relevant Magazine

22 Feb

I saw the article with this title, and wanted to share it with my readers.

Here are a few of my favorite lines…

I kissed dating goodbye but forgot about procreation and God’s design for relationships.

STOP! For the love of Joshua Harris, just please stop.

Although I might challenge a few things, for instance, when you promise that the women will start a casual dating journey with them.  (I am pretty sure that Joshua Harris impacted both Christian men and women.)  I am also not a fan of the closing words, You’re a Grown Man, because I don’t think that men should be shamed or stripped of manhood because they are not confident around women.  The ability to face rejection without it destroying your concept of self is wrapped up with maturity and personal autonomy.

Overall, great article – Keep writing Eddie.  Let’s do coffee sometime.  I saw you live in Orlando, so being from Minnesota, please allow me to come to you.

Now let’s open a new discussion.

Relevant Magazine,

I want to say this up front.  I think that you are GREAT.  I love the work you do.  I love the content that you are producing.  I am thankful for the discussions that you initiate.  In fact, I am so impressed that if you were a girl, I would ask you out on a date.

So, I say this to encourage you, and to help you excel in your already great work.

In the same spirit, of trying to remove the pressures upon men who want to ask out a girl, can we please address the picture chosen to promote the article?

Images often say more than words.  Images sell products.  Images cause people to pick up a magazine, buy a car, or in this case – read an on-line article.

Here are a few of my thoughts, taken from the picture alone…  Just in case anyone missed it, here it is again.  

After looking at this image, what does it say to men who are contemplating asking a girl out on a casual date?

Here is what it says to them.

1.  I don’t fit the mold.

Guys lack confidence because they don’t fit the image.  I am not trendy.  I don’t peg my pants (Wow, anyone else surprised that style has returned?)  I don’t have a cool beard and curly locks of hair.  I can’t play the guitar, or whatever that instrument is, and I certainly can’t sing.  Of course, girls would go out with him.  But with me?  Our use of nice images that makes us appear relevant, can also set standards which are unrealistic.

2.  She doesn’t fit the mold.

Guys are still looking for the girl in the picture.  While looking at their female friends at church, some men are thinking, “She is cute, but I was thinking…”  This destructive pattern of thinking is rampant due to pornography and other forms of media.  The pressures upon men and women to conform to size, weight, style, and beauty standards for dating is exhausting.  We know that these standards are often not stated through written words, but through images.

3.  I can’t reproduce that.

If we want to encourage casual dating, the image is appropriate.  I am not sure where the couple is sitting, but it reminds me of the Dead Marshes (from Lord of the Rings) during dry season.  How about a picture of a couple sitting in a coffee shop?  Life’s most romantic moments for me have not been from setting a stage with a blanket, a bowl of fruit, a musical instrument, and a rope? (I am not sure what the rope is about.)  Sadly in today’s world, loving relationships have replaced stability and commitment with flash and romance.

Maybe not much thought was put into the image.  I am sure that your staff is overworked, and have a billion things to do.

Or maybe I got it all wrong…  I have been wrong before.

Regardless, as Christians, we should rethink what stock photos and stereotypical images are doing to the world of dating.  We know we are being duped daily by Hollywood, but unfortunately this is happening by all sources of media.

Unfortunately, the image speaks against what the article hopes to do – which is to encourage dating that is casual, and Christ-centered.

 

Christmas 2012Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director for EA Resources,a non-profit designed to provide resources for emerging adults and their parents.  He is thankful for his wife Rachel of thirteen years (Look Left for a REAL PICTURE.) who said yes when he casually asked her out.  He is also thankful for his brother and sister-in-laws who regularly asked him to come over for dinner and board games even before they were dating.

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