For the love of Chick Fil A, please no more Christian dating books

I   C A N N O T   T A K E   A N Y M O R E  C H R I S T I A N   B O O K S   A B O U T   D A T I N G.

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It’s too much y’all. (pixabay image, edited by moi) Also note that I didn’t include the Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller because that book is FIRE

Is it because my heart is hardened?

 

Is it because I’m living in sin and want to avoid conviction?

 

Is it because I am resistant to wisdom? 

 

No. It is for this simple reason — in no other area of Christian life have I seen Christian wisdom take such a phariseeical turn so quickly.

The authors are not necessarily to blame for this, but I think this is what happens — a Christian man/woman/couple figures out a way to date that seems in-line with the Christian faith. They then share their insights and wisdom from their own personal experiences. Christians read these books, and instead of seeing them for what they are –  musings by good but still-being-sanctified people – they see them as RULES that we all must follow, lest we be pegged as pagos. #pagopegged #ouch

But let’s all take a step back and get a little perspective — in biblio times, dating didn’t exist. You were a child, then boom you go through puberty, then boom you are married. This doesn’t mean that the Christian faith is irrelevant to how we date, but it does mean that pretty much any *specific* dating advice is just that – advice from humans – not the Word of God.

So let’s not perpetuate self-righteousness and phariseeism by acting as if the compilation of some Christian dude’s musings on dating is The Way the Truth and the Life. There is probably wisdom in many Christian books on dating, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that if you don’t follow that author’s recommendations you are rebelling against the God of the universe. For example – In Single, Dating, Engaged, Married,* Ben Stuart talks about how he would always tell his now-wife Donna the next time he was going to contact her. He saw this as a sweet way to reduce her stress – she didn’t have to worry about if / when he was going to contact her, she already knew – “I’ll call you tomorrow.” I agree, that is sweet. Does that mean that if a guy doesn’t communicate like that to you, you should kick him to the curb? No! It’s a nice specific example of how Christian faith can play out IRL, but it is by no means a rule.

Side note 1 – many dating books are probably somewhat useful for high-schoolers who are still living with their parents, and truly have zero life experience to help them navigate dating with wisdom. But there are some dating practices that are absurd if not impossible when you are living on your own (e.g. the dude asking the Dad’s permission to date). So let’s recognize that not ALL Christians get married when they are 19, and what worked for a man dating his wife in undergrad may not be useful for a 29 year old woman.

Side note 2 – I’m also getting cranky with Christian women who assume they are entitled to impart their sage dating advice. I don’t owe it to you to spill all the beans of my romantic life just because we are both Christians, and frankly many of you haven’t earned the right to tell me what to do or hear the intimate details of my life and heart. If you are concerned about my dating choices, how ’bout you pray for the Spirit to convict me directly instead of appointing yourself as my accountability supervisor. I suggest with all the gentle love I can muster that you are just as likely to turn me into an anxious self-righteous snoot pants than to protect me from harm. Just sayin’. As the modern sage John Crist would say, “check your heart.”

I plan to approach dating with the freedom Christ gained for me, as captured by the idea “Everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial.”** Earlier this year I demoralized a dating decision and thought “I can date this person if I want. We could have wild sex every night and guess what.. I would still be a Christian. Jesus might be grieved, but he would still love me. Now, knowing this, do I want to? What would be the consequences?” And that actually led me to a healthy decision that was MY decision, not a half-hearted, dutiful response to the pressures of others.

Okay.. that’s all! Be free!

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*At least he talked about this in his Single | Dating | Engaged | Married sermons when he was preaching at Breakaway. I actually never read his book because I heard it was basically the written version of his sermons. 😀

**1 Corinthians 10:23

 

The End of an Era: Gallo’s final words on romanticals

Dear ones,

I have greatly enjoyed opening up my heart to foreign internet bots, passionate masculinazis, and my exes (recent market research indicated these three groups comprise 96.8% of Galloblog readers). But, the over-sharing sun has set, and the moon of discretion is rising.

I will no longer use this blog as an outlet to share the good, bad, ugly, and rando details of my dating life.

 

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New year (kinda), so new life strategies, amiright?!

 

But don’t worry – I’m planning to write a lengthy manifesto titled “No Sex and the Kitties: How following Joshua Harris’ model for dating turned me into a lonely cat lady” available 2021.

As another parting gift, I’m leaving final thoughts that I had jotted down and I probably would have tried to pound out into an entire post for all of your reading pleasure. Alas, maybe someone else will stumble upon them and be set aflame with inspiration.

Here they are,  in no particular order —-

  • He’s not that into you, and get over it. It’s not the end of the world if someone you’re dating isn’t swept off their feet by your charms. Sure, it’s always a blow to the ol’ ego, especially if you are a little swept away by them. But by pure statistics, it’s bound to happen – get over it, give it some time, and who knows— you might gain an amazing friend.

 

  • If you expect them, they will come.  I think sometimes presupposing that all men are arse-holes is a self-fulfilling prophecy (maybe bc the good ‘uns are *for some reason* not attracted to our contempt). So yeah — expect to meet amazing men, and you probably will.

 

  • There really are many fish in the sea – don’t give in to the scarcity complex and latch onto people who are grossly incompatible with you.

 

  • We need to be more gracious about people’s pasts. It’s more important how someone has dealt with their past and what their trajectory is now, than that they have lived a perfect life since birth.

 

  • Let’s make dating fun again. It’s okay to get to know someone in a relaxed, casual manner. No need to dissect their worldview and see the last 6 months of their credit card statements on the first few dates.

 

  • A call for exclusive cas. Dating more than one person at a time – even when they all know you’re not being exclusive – sounds easy and breezy, but was a terrible idea for me. I was emotionally spread thin and unnecessarily hurt some really great people. From now on, as much as possible — even if I don’t tell the dude I’m doing so — I’m going to focus on one romancer at a time.

 

  • (That being said), Dating and hurt feels.. like peas and carrots. Listen up people — there’s no secret technique for avoiding hurting your own or someone else’s feelings. That being said, it is worth trying to be as considerate as possible.

 

  • I could be single forever. If so, what a waste to wallow around feeling sorry for myself, or work myself into an emotional frenzy each and every time I go on a few dates with someone I see potential with. Like the secular sage Joel Osteen declares, Live your best life now! Lolzzzzz. But seriously — I feel like keeping the big picture in mind has helped me not wait for an ideal relationship status before I start doing stuff (traveling, trying out new restaurants, etc.). It also makes me want to invest more in really great frands #ovariesbeforebrovaries

 

  • Don’t buy into the relationship prosperity gospel. God does not owe you a perfect spouse because you courted instead of dated, if you’re saving yourself for marriage, or whatever. And if you haven’t followed Joshua Harris’ … or Marshal Segal’s … or Ben Stuart’s relationship books perfectly, God may very well still choose to bless your socks off in the romantic department. Yep.. *squints knowingly in the distance* It’s called grace.

 

I just gave you 9 blog posts in 1. Lucky day, lucky day.

A part of me will miss this greatly. But a wise soul said to me a while ago – “Be careful who you invite to speak into your life.” Posting this pretty personal stuff for the entire world to read is essentially inviting the entire world to speak into my love life. Sorry Charlies, but I don’t want or need that no more.

I FEEL SO MATURE RIGHT NOW!

Okaayyyyyyy, C. Gallo out ❤