Why DonÕt the Guys in my Church Ask Women on Dates?

"I notice a lot of Christian men are afraid to pass the friend threshold. Where are all the brave men?"

BY EDDIEKAUFHOLZ RELATIONSHIPS / LIFE February 18, 2015

Where are all the brave men? I will not go on a rant—and I firmly believe women can be just as brave—but I do notice a lot of Christian men who are afraid to pass the friend threshold. This is why so many women date non-Christians; because Christian guys rarely can just keep it casual and go on a date, give it a chance. What are your thoughts on this?

Thanks!
Erica

Erica,

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang! Erica bringin’ the wisdom with a punch-in-the-face question as sentence #1, a sly wink to societal norms in sentence #2, and a scathing (and true) assessment in sentence #3. Well done, and great question!

However, the answer you’re seeking isn’t really for you, it’s for him. Because I think you know the answer, don’t you? I know you do, because you alluded to it when you wrote, “Christian guys rarely can just keep it casual and go on a date, give it a chance.” That’s the symptom of a much larger problem—a problem that, unfortunately, will not be helped by me talking to a lady. So with that, I’m going to sign off and actually speak to the folks who can do something about this.

Your pal,
Eddie

—–

Dear every kind-hearted, well-meaning, a little bit quiet but not around your bros, comfortable in groups but not one-on-one, single and secretly dreaming of dating (and marriage and kids), kind, helpless, you thought you’d be in a relationship by now but what the heck is going on, I kissed dating goodbye but forgot about procreation and God’s design for relationships, awesome, good men,

We have a problem. And that problem’s name is Erica.

Sweet Erica is sitting next to you in church. She is brilliant, wise, articulate and principled. And you know you’ve noticed her because you notice every brilliant, wise, etc., woman in your circle. They think you don’t notice, but we know better, don’t we?

You noticed the moment she started her internship at your workplace that she was just wonderful, nice to chat with, attractive, marriage material, the bearer of your progeny, and definitely the one God has sent from on high to satisfy your deepest longing and …

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

We have some serious issues to work out, namely, the lack of courage displayed by really good men who are hiding their heads in the sand, even as their heart longs to connect. But why?

We’ve got yet another Christian culture problem. Somewhere in the formative and oh-so-tacky ’80s and ’90s, a message spread through Christian bookstores (R.I.P.), pulpits, youth groups, and all the nooks and crannies of God-fearing culture. This message was that casual dating is not good, women’s hearts must be guarded by men, and all romantic relationships better have marriage in mind—or the people in them are just using each other.

Yet while all these concepts have elements of wisdom embedded in them, they’ve been distorted just like so many good ideas before them (i.e. keeping the Sabbath). The truth is, we’re a people who, when left unchecked, go into Pharisee mode like it’s our job. And we’ve done this with Christian dating. Let’s walk through the three messages:

Message: Casual dating is not good.
Reality: Casual dating to get to know someone is good—and necessary—if you’re ever going to, you know, move past your mom. The fear is that casual dating means casual sex, casual deep intimacy or casual love—which are all by nature not casual. But if we assume that a good man and a good woman understand those boundaries, why would getting coffee and learning more about the other person not be healthy, enjoyable and within any reasonable scope of OK?

Message: Women’s hearts must be guarded.
Reality: Women can guard their own hearts, make their own decisions, and suffer the highs and lows of emotional intimacy just like the rest of us (if not better than the rest of us). The truth is, being a guardian of a heart is God’s job. Your job is to honor God, be respectful to her, and be brutally honest about when your feelings are casual and when they’re not.

And, let’s just be really honest, the reason “guarding her heart” became a thing is because men before you lied and we wanted a better term for lying. How about we just drop that and form a new message: Pursue God and quit lying to women to fulfill your desires for emotional and physical intimacy. Catchy!

Message: Romantic relationships should be walking toward marriage.
Reality: OK, maybe it’s a good idea to have a distant goal in mind that possibly, in the future, you could marry a person. And I intentionally said “a person,” not “this person” who you’re sitting across a table from, because knowing that you are moderately amenable to walking down that road means you’re probably in a good spot to date casually, honestly and respectfully.

But seriously, the amount of pressure that sizing up a newbie for marriage puts on a casual coffee date, not to mention the fact that you KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE PERSON (sorry, I’m worked up and yelling) does two things: 1. It paralyzes an organic and healthy period of “getting to know someone” and 2. It forces a depth of commitment that is best reserved for months and years later. In short, it puts the cart before the horse.

Gents, in closing, here’s what I’m asking you to do: Please, please, please take a look within yourself and determine if any of these messages have become part of your DNA. And if they are, take from them what’s true, and discard that which has been distorted by a decade or more of emasculating dating advice.

The pressure’s off, guys. Women, or at least Erica, don’t seem to be asking you to be perfect or fully realized in your husbandness. They just want you to be present and slightly brave. Maybe women should ask men out? Maybe we’re a mentorless/fatherless generation who has lost a bit of backbone because we haven’t been taught to properly handle failure? Maybe—probably.

But those are other conversations for another day. Today’s conversation is about sweet Erica, and the Ericas that are sitting right next to you. They’re not looking for a husband right this second, and they’re sure as heck not looking for a savior. They’re looking for a kind conversation, a respectful follow-up, and a nice cup of ethically sourced, fair-trade coffee.

Take just one step. I assure you, Erica and others will start walking with you as soon as you do.

You’re a grown man,
Eddie

Have a question? Good! Send an email to AskRELEVANT@relevantmediagroup.com. All identifying information will be kept anonymous.

EDDIEKAUFHOLZ

15 thoughts on “Why Don’t the Guys in my Church Ask Women on Dates?

  1. “Christian” guys talk about pursing “godly” women, but you know, they’re after pretty girls who don’t even know Jesus. Im not surprise. They’re off worse than non-Christians. What a shame.

  2. “Christian” guys talk big about pursuing “godly” women but we know action speaks louder than words. Oh dear, how I often find myself going after those guys without realizing it. I’m not expecting anything from them since they can’t do their job. To be honest, it does hurt but I’m going to keep maturing in Christ and keep moving forward, laying aside this weight that hinders me from running the race.

  3. White middle-class girls/women expect a lot from men. I learned that the hard way, and it was a killer. Very, very painful. Women need security, and they look for it from a man. Security = $$$. I’m not saying they’re gold-diggers although a lot of them are. Visit the lady’s home, like where she lives, to get a good idea as to how much you’re going to have to make to keep her happy. Dating can lead to marriage, so men need to be cautious. Never marry a woman whom you cannot take care of in the manner in which she’s accustomed, and never marry a woman who makes more money than you do. She will use it as power against you. It could be that for this reason guys are more cautious nowadays, but it’s more likely that they’re cautious because of this: we’re living in a highly feminized society in which women are encouraged to be aggressive and take charge, and men are expected to kowtow to the alpha females in his life. Women are not as demure and approachable as they used to be. I doubt if many women in today’s society can respect a man in the way Paul wrote about. They’re not prepared for that. They won’t do it, and why should they? It’s a woman’s world. They graduate from high school at a higher rate than men, and from college too. A woman accuses a man of being a pervert, and she’s automatically right, and he’s automatically considered scum. Men are tools to laugh at. Look at TV commercials if you don’t believe me. Of course, white heterosexual males are the oppressors of every being in the solar system except themselves. Feminism has triumphed, and the natural order of things has been stood on its head. This is not a good society from which to choose dates or wives, so be careful out there, guys.

    1. I don’t agree with everything said in your post, not all women are out for the wallet. But some of what you said does hold validity. Society has definitely changed. I worked at Bed Bath & Beyond for a short time and was astonished at how many men were starting their lives over after being with an unfaithful woman. Not only did she cheat but the law gave her the majority of material goods and finances (in some cases all). The adulterer was rewarded you see, doesn’t that come off wrong at all ladies? Definitely not biblical.

      The problem with this article is that it places the blame solely on men. Women rights has been slightly blown out of control and has created a generation of snobby entitled women, “why doesn’t he ask me out?” “I want, I want, I want…Me, Me, Me….Now, Now, Now”. Sound familiar? We all have to check ourselves here.

      I realize the article was about a simple conversation over coffee, nothing attached. But if we truly ask ourselves, is that what its really about? There are obviously many underlying issues that have not been brought to light. The “Man up men” message of this article is highly dismissive and only adding gas to the fire. Can’t you see that girls?

      I know that they’re are guys that do need to step it up, I’ve seen that. However it’s more about faith. If you grow more like Jesus then the confidence quickly follows. But to generalize and throw us all under the weak nice guy bus is illogical if you truly desire to see change. It’s a two-sided story, wake up buttercups…

  4. The opening paragraph (“Dear every kind hearted…”) of this article describes the kinds of girls I’ve actually met at church and other Christian contexts. There are guys (such as myself) who ask girls out at church but most often girls think that one casual date of getting coffee and getting to know one another will lead to committing to a relationship. So I’d like to use that very opening paragraph to address the women of the Church:
    Dear “every kind-hearted, well-meaning, a little bit quiet but not around your [girlfriends], comfortable in groups but not one-on-one, single and secretly dreaming of dating (and marriage and kids), kind, helpless, you thought you’d be in a relationship by now but what the heck is going on, I kissed dating goodbye but forgot about procreation and God’s design for relationships, awesome, good [women],” if guys at your church had the guts to ask you out on a date, please give them a chance instead of telling them that you just want to be friends and/or brothers/sisters in Christ.

  5. This was really helpful 😛 I’m a social person and approaching strangers is second nature to me, at the same time when it comes to personal relationships I’m extremely private. I can count the number of girls that I’ve met where I’ve been attracted to their personality on one hand(I’m 21 currently), so on the rare occasion where I meet someone that I would consider dating I just get this awful panic when I try to talk to them. I was taught growing up that you shouldn’t date unless it’s someone that you can see yourself spending the rest of your life with, which frankly is a ton of pressure for a first date lol I just need to ease up

  6. Maybe its because they all talk about how high their standards are and we men realize we’re not perfect!

  7. Reality!
    Casual dating to get to know someone is good—and necessary—if you’re ever going to, you know, move past your mom. The fear is that casual dating means casual sex, casual deep intimacy or casual love—which are all by nature not casual. But if we assume that a good man and a good woman understand those boundaries, why would getting coffee and learning more about the other person not be healthy, enjoyable and within any reasonable scope of OK?

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