A reminder to you (even to myself, as I tend to write for myself ) to date/ get to know people more widely and not eliminate anyone until mutuality (the kind that precedes a relationship) has been expressed.
Before I proceed, it’s important to preface the article with this; Let no one be an authority for you when it comes to dating except the word of God, most especially Matthew 22:37 -39, “Jesus replied, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.” The person you date or you enter into a relationship with, or marry, is your neighbour.
One of the most controversial focal points when it comes to the topic of relationships within the Christian sphere, is dating. We contend with the definition and then we contend with its appropriateness. It’s seen as the worldly equivalence to courtship, so often the argument is that it’s not appropriate for Christians to indulge in. We rarely get to the heart of how Christians should date (frequency, with whom, the selection process etc) because usually the conversations stop short at, “don’t do it”, but I think there’s more. There will always be the temptation to see things in black and white and then hold firmly to those things with copious confidence (which a lot of us do with this topic) but I’m deeply suspicious of Christians who have built heavy doctrines around “no dating” and I disagree with every effort to paint dating as the devil’s handiwork. Anyway, I say all of that to say this, Christian Women should date multiple people.
This is the part where a naysayer chimes into the conversation and says something along the lines of , “Cristine is encouraging women to be philanderers and consummate relationships with multiple men.” No naysayer, I’m simply encouraging women to be audacious and don’t just let life happen to them. Be the architect of your own fortune (to the extent that you can, recognising of course that God is still sovereign) and that fortune looks like dating multiple people.
So what is this term that I am throwing around and how should we define it? I believe dating is the act of going on dates. It’s the rendezvous in the form of restaurant days/ nights, cinema days/ bowling days/ nights and the list goes on. It’s the gathering of specific data in order to determine whether this friendship can transition into something more intimate. Given that definition, I think it serves Christian women to do this with multiple men at once.
We’ve seen both inside and outside of the church that women have the short straw when it comes to options. Historically, we’re the hunted as opposed to the hunter, which meant that our options were capped to the men who actually approached us and then the issue is further exacerbated when you consider the number of men in the church more widely (I’m aware that anomalies could exist, hence the phraseology “more widely”) is significantly lower than women. Thus, the dating scene is significantly stacked up against women. Our counterparts, like to speak from a place of privilege when arguing that women put themselves in that position with their various preferences but even if preferences were not an issue, the math (just look at your own church demographic) is still very telling. So armed with that knowledge, what should christian women do? Spread themselves more with multiple options, at the same time.
Typically, (again I say typically but recognise that this isn’t the case for all) when a woman meets a guy there’s a tendency for them to 1) over-inflate his positive attributes which leads us to 2) thinking we’ve reached our last stop i.e this is the man we want to give our all to. Science supports this. Studies have actually shown that dopamine levels increase when you first fall for someone which can lead to you lowering their negative traits and so we neglect to see the wood for the trees. Then when the smoke settles and you’re left disappointed because it didn’t go in the direction you expected, you’ll be back to square one. Dating multiple men could potentially flatten this dopamine hit, causing you to mitigate disappointment and make better decisions.
The thinking behind dating multiple men at the same time, is to get to know multiple men (building friendships which will likely translate to going out together, perhaps for coffee, cinema) thus increasing the likelihood of finding the right fit for you. As an aside, I do not believe “in the one”. You’re levelling the playing field a bit more and that’s ok to do. What is not ok to do is continue to do so when you’ve established romantic mutuality with a person and you’re in a fully fledged relationship. Until then, go on those dates with Mark, Luke and John and enjoy yourself.
I read something recently, that competition breeds better results and I’m not saying that the dating scene is a competition per se but if women could see the value in not putting their eggs in one basket until mutuality/ exclusivity has been discussed, then we wouldn’t be so downtrodden by the bleak math (see above).
No more dopamine hits, just cool and collected assessments of people that you have gotten to know. Stop applying the principles of exclusivity and commitment just because the bowling date went well, especially mutuality has not been established. You’re only getting to know them.
Spread your eggs in more than one basket ladies, not literally though – that’s for the marriage bed.
P.S Commitment is still the imperative thing. Do not delay the process more than it needs to if romantic mutuality has been established and ensure that you both continue to love each other as neighbours, living out Matthew 22:37-39 as we ought to as followers of Christ.
Love Cris x
Hi guys & dolls!
Please do add your email address below to be kept up to date for when the book drops!