Courtship and Young Men

A commenter at Donal’s asks: if there are so many desperate tradcon young women, why aren’t the tradcon young men courting them?

As a young man who could accurately be called a tradcon, I am going to tell a personal story from this winter which might illuminate.

I was on a Christian dating site, and sent a short message to a girl, she responded. After a few messages back and forth I invited her for coffee, she accepted and we met. Over the next month we went for coffee a few more times and I had her over for dinner and cooked her some Yakisoba. She was a sweet girl with good values, feminine, and joyful; somewhat plain, but attractive enough. I was the first man she had ever gone out with and she was taken with me and I was growing rather fond of her.

One night, I visited her church for the Christmas play service where she was playing Mary. After we went for coffee, chaperoned by one of her friends. We talked for an hour or two, at one point the topic of why she was on a dating site came up. She said it was because there were no men at her church. This confused me (well, it would have had I not been a reader of the manosphere), because I was sure I saw at least 3 or 4 unattached men at the Christmas service (not to mention she had previously told me stories of her interactions with one of her male friends at the church, from which, even never having met him, I could tell he liked her). So, I told her, ‘what do you mean, I saw a bunch of single men at your church.’ Her and her friend both had the same reaction: ‘yeah, but ewww.’

I did not press the point further, although I was happy I was no longer in the ‘ewww’ category as I had been years before.

My family celebrates on Christmas Eve, so we went to my parent’s house to meet my family, have Christmas dinner, go to our Christmas Eve service, and such. We had an enjoyable time, the atmosphere was relaxed and festive, my parents went out of the way to make her feel welcome, and they all took a great liking to her. Things went well.

The next day we went to her parent’s for Christmas. It was not to be their Christmas celebration for that was a major family get-together that was to take place at a different time, so it was just a basic supper. We drove out to their farm together. We walked in and I was sort of ignored (her parents, three of her brothers, and two of their wives were there; the girl was the only daughter with 5 brothers). I didn’t really know what to do, I had expected them to at least say greet me at the door, or say hi, or something. So, I said ‘hi’, put my gift on the table and sat down on a couch. I was then ignored for about 20 minutes. As regular readers may know, I’m not that good in social situations; Only twice before had I asked permission of a girl’s father and I’ve never been in a situation where I was in someone else’s home and been ignored, so I was out of my depth and experience and didn’t start a conversation with anyone but the girl. After a while, the father got to opening my gift, made a few jokes, then went back to ignoring me. One of the brothers did show me and the girl a cattle pen he had made, but other than that nothing. After another while, we all ate; nobody really talked to me and I didn’t really say much.

After supper, the parents seemed to notice my existence, and asked about me and the girl. I told them that we had gotten to know each other a bit, I was fond of her, and I would like their permission to court her. They then presented me with a list of dozens of questions (I’m not sure if this is the exact list, but if it isn’t it’s close enough for government work), saying me and the girl should go over them. I said we would. The parents then proceeded to grill me with questions straight off the page for the next hour or two.

I answered fully honestly. I am a mostly responsible, decent young man, but I am not perfect and have my failings. So most of the questions on employment, finances, home life, responsibility, church life, etc. I answered fine. Out of the many questions asked though , the parents got stuck on three major questions: alcohol, physical contact, and Bible reading.

I drink responsibly on occasion, but they were absolutely against any imbibement at all and they hammered on that point over and over, even though I said, if it was necessary I stop drinking while courting her I would (leaving it unsaid but implied that we would decide the alcohol question in the long-term as a couple; the girl herself didn’t drink but didn’t have problems with moderate alcohol consumption).

They asked about physical contact, I told them her and I had already discussed and agreed upon limits for physical contact previously (and they were strict limits) and although her desired limits were stricter than mine I would respect hers. Despite this they still did not like that my limits were not as strict as hers (for one example of the differences, I thought the engagement would be a good time for a first kiss, she wanted to wait until marriage); they then spoke approvingly of a young couple they knew that had worn boxes (actual, literal cardboard boxes) whenever they were alone together so they would not be tempted by physical contact.

The last was Bible reading. I answered that I don’t read daily; I tend to read sporadically but in-depth when there’s a topic I want to look into, but that I would take my duties as a leader of the family seriously and lead both my wife and children in regular Biblical study. That was not good enough for them, so I said I would start reading daily (and I did read daily for the next four months or so, even after the relationship ended).

A fourth area of concern was when they asked me what my greatest struggles in the faith were (this was after the Bible question): I said, ‘well, I guess I should read my Bible more and like most young men I struggle with lust.’ They then asked me about pornography, so I admitted in front of a dozen strangers that I do struggle with watching porn, but hadn’t watched in the last few weeks and was trying to stop (I stopped watching after our second date and continued to abstain for a few months after all this). Oddly, this didn’t seem to be that big deal to the parents, it was barely mentioned after that except for a joke (the alcohol question was far and away the big one, followed by the Bible one), but I mention it as this was the one that seemed to matter most to the girl.

After the grilling, the parents conclude that while they have concerns but aren’t going to kick me away. They get my e-mail and say they’ll keep in contact with me.

After we’re done, I drove home with the girl (and her friend who chaperoned us there and back on the 2-hour drive); we spend the first half hour in silence, then we talk, she was disturbed by the porn thing, so we talked about that, and she concludes she wants time for us both to think and pray, so she wanted a break for two weeks (when we were never even officially dating). So we had no contact for two weeks.

The parents e-mail me a couple days later and we go back and forth a bit as we discuss my readings of Ecclesiastes and Proverbs; things seem fine. A week or so later, I get a 2-page, heartfelt handwritten letter where she says we can no longer court (from the letter it sounds like its her idea), so I assume we’re done. I don’t respond as I agreed to no contact for two weeks andI didn’t have time to write a letter back. Then on the exact day the two weeks are over she texts me. We meet for coffee and talk. She offers to be friends; I say no, it’s either a relationship or we part ways. She thinks, and decides on a relationship; we then spend a happy evening walking outside in the January chill. We’re back together; we make plans to meet on Sunday.

On Friday I get an e-mail from her parents saying we can’t see each other anymore. I get a text from her a little while later; we text a bit over it. She says she’s going to obey her parents, and I encourage her to do so. We say goodbye. I respond to the parents asking if there’s any way I can earn their trust; I do not get a response. Me and the girl have not contacted each other since.

****

Maybe this is where the tradcon young men are: stuck between ‘ewww’ and and the impossibly high standards of parents. How many young men could possible be able to give the positive, hoped-for answers when surprised with a grilling on five dozen questions? (Oddly, had I simply lied or stretched the truth, we’d probably be courting).

Of those very few who could possibly meet those requirements, how many will not be ‘ewww’?

I would guess there is probably a huge positive correlation between being able to meet those dozens of parental standards and being an ‘ewww’ guy.

If parents and young women make it impossible for young men to live up to your courtship standards, how can they possibly complain about being unable to find young men.

****

This brings us to the next part, Moose Norsemen finds someone (Thomas) arguing why courtship is fundamentally flawed. I agree with Moose and I agree with courtship, but Thomas does make some good points.

The courtship movement eliminated dating and replaced it with nothing.

Or, put another way, they replaced dating with engagement. The only tangible difference between an engagement and a courtship is the ring and the date.

The goal of courtship is not to prevent marriage, it is to promote marriage by helping find suitable mates for men and women. Right now, it seems from what I’ve read around the web, that it is often used to destroy relationships rather than to create marriages.

A father should find a good man for his daughter, but how can he expect to when the first thing that happens when a young man comes a-calling is to grill him about every aspect of his life and boot him away if he doesn’t answer all 50 questions correctly?

How can a young man possibly think the risk and unpleasantness of that kind of grilling and the huge expectations of courtship is worth it for a girl he barely knows?

If I hadn’t gone on a number of dates and already developed a fondness for her in the month before meeting her parents, I would not have thought it worth it to go through that. What kind of men would willingly deal with that kind of ritual humilation before even spending any alone time with a girl? (The answer: The kind of man women go ‘ewww’ over).

You rarely hear of fathers trying to find and introduce good young men to their daughters; from the impressions I get, fathers seem to act primarily as a negative filter in courtship rather than a positive one.

There is no perfect young man, so if any flawed young man is rejected, who could there possibly be available to date young tradcon women?

****

So, if we want a better courtship, one that isn’t broken, what we need is one devoted to creating marriages, not siphoning out young men.

Parents should act as a positive force for marriage. Instead of simply screening out young men, they should be actively looking and screening in young men for their daughters. Introduce young men you approve of to your daughters (and vice versa). Meet with other families in shared family events to get young people together.

Courtship should be more relaxed. Courtship is not engagement and it should not be treated as such. It should, at first, be somewhat casual (with the long-term goal in mind) so the young couple can get to know each other. Young people in group activities, young men attending relaxed family events with the girl’s family, a few outings to public places, etc. Let them get to know each other before dumping all kinds of expectations on it. Expectations and seriousness should escalate over time.

Questions like those above should be gone over, but over time. Instead of playing bad cop on the first meeting, get to know him and learn these things over time by spending time with the young man.

It should be recognized that young men aren’t perfect. Instead of a father rejecting a generally good, but flawed young man his daughter fancies, he should work with the young man to help him better himself. (If the young man refuses to try to better himself, that is another story).

Courtship is not about keeping young men away from young women, it is about actively trying to create godly marriages.

****

In my particular case, it’s possible that the problem is me, as a commenter at Moose’s stated:

If it were me getting shot down by a bunch of dads as viable husband material for their daughters, I’d be asking WHY. I wouldn’t assume it was a problem with them first: I’d assume it was a problem with me.

I know I could be a better man in many ways, but I’ve only ever been shot down by that one father before, and most of the older adult males in my church and life seem to respect me and think well of me, enough so that I at their behest I have led the young adult small group in the past and, again at their request, am entering a leadership residency in my church. But I thought I should mention this as it might seem an explanation.

****

Because I’m sharing, here’s one more small story from university when I was just starting to work my way out of omega. I was part of a small group at my university Christian group. In this particular study there was me and one other guy and three young women. These young women were all in the 7-9 range. One I had asked out a year-and-half before and been rejected (she was the first girl I ever asked out), another I had asked out a few months before and been rejected, and the third had just broken up with her boyfriend a couple months before and we had been getting close to each other (we ended up dating later that year).

The topic of the sermon we were watching was dating, so we were talking about this. At one point, one of the young women said dating was hard because there were no good men. The other two agreed with her. I was shocked, so didn’t respond but I should have. I had personally asked out two of them and was very obvious in my intentions to the third.

All of these girls were very attractive, good girls and could have had any man they wanted. The one I knew the best had many male friends, I knew at least 3 or 4 guys (who were good men, if a bit socially awkward) who had either asked her out or were so obvious about liking her even someone as socially oblivious as I could tell. One had just gotten out of a year-long relationship, her third relationship in 3 or so years. The final one was one of the most beautiful women I had ever met and would occasionally tell stories of guys who had gone out of the way to compliment her.

I was an ‘ewww’ man at the time (but improving), so I didn’t count. I guess those other men didn’t count either.

These two stories are why I don’t believe women when they say they can’t find a good man or there are not good men. I have seen women who could have almost any man they want, who had numerous suitors (who were good men), , who had good male friends who obviously wanted them, who had been asked out by me specifically say there were no good men, when it was simply untrue. Unless a woman lives in a village of 50 people in the middle of nowhere, there probably are good men, the women’s probably just not counting them.

Oh, and just as a last little bit, two of those three women are married. The most attractive one is not; she’s 29 this year and, as far as I know, is still single.

****

So, for tradcon young women and their families, maybe it’s not that there are not good men, maybe it’s that men are stuck between ‘ewww’ and impossible standards.

Instead of young women and their families holding out for a suitor who is both super-attractive and able to meet a parent-approved 50-point bullet list, and rejecting any suitor who is not perfect, maybe give them a chance.

Parents, instead of rejecting that young man your daughter fancies, work with him* to help him improve himself. If she doesn’t have a suitor, work to help introduce her to good men. Be a positive force for marriage rather than a negative force.

Young women, instead of rejecting or ignoring those men you don’t see, make yourself available and say yes when you are asked out even if he is kind of awkward.* The worst that can happen is a few hours of unpleasantness and maybe you’ll be able to work with him to improve those awkward things that aren’t quite attractive.

****

* Obviously, I am not talking about unrepentant degenerates, those unwilling to try and better themselves, and the like here, just the normally flawed.

84 comments

  1. Top notch post. Women (and men really) should not let the perfect become the enemy of the good

  2. Am wondering if her parents screened the wives of her brothers (before they were married) as rigorously as they did to you.

    In all, it doesn’t paint a comforting picture of how hard it is for the single Christian male to marry. In any case, great post.

  3. This reminds me of discussions with a baptist pastor concerning alcohol. You can’t, with any semblance of good hermenutics, establish that alcohol is sinful through scripture. He was intellectually honest enough to concede that after some discussion and we left it, but he couldn’t help but take issue when a young pastor in training lost the same discussion with me marvellously and instead of conceding anything opted to anger. :D

    All of Christendom for over a millenia took alcohol with most holy communion, and now teetotallers primarily of North American sects wish to ban it because their denomination happened to get wrapped up in a political movement over a century ago. They don’t even understand why they ban it. It’s audacious to approach another Christian regarding that question and it’s something I haven’t hesitated to throw back at other Christians when they get on a high horse about it.

    Same with reading your Bible. What do they think? No Christian before the 16th century had a growing, strong relationship with God? Certainly we should be glad we have scripture in our language, and certainly we should avail ourselves of it. But arbitrarily reading it once a day gets you no closer to heaven than tassels helped the Pharisees. The Northerner studies right, it’s doubtful those concerned about daily reading do.

    In dealing with these kind of people you’ll have to learn to dig in, take the high ground on your stances, and take the girl anyway.

    But then I’ve never asked a girl’s dad permission for anything before. And my Father in Law is a pretty good guy too, it wouldn’t be terrible to have asked him. But I don’t think the disposition that would be inclined to ask him would have been the same disposition that it took to get his daughter :D

    Really though there isn’t any case to allow yourself to be grilled by another as if they where entitled to question you. Let them ask questions to be sure, but keep the conversation coming back to them as well, and show that you are as entitled to ask them things as they are to ask you. This is true for anything, it’s not good to lay back on the defensive giving up information.

  4. Bang her brains out and ask God for forgiveness later. All 50 questions will boil down to one. “can he Fuck my brains out?” If the answer is yes, then what her parents think won’t really matter… At all. That’s what the manosphere is for. Cutting through all the bullshit. Don’t meet her parents. Don’t talk to her friends. Isolate and escalate. The cold hard truth is that if you don’t, the bad boy will. She will succumb to temptation and be wrapped around the finger of some asshat who dosent give one flying turd about faith. Who will eventually cast her out without a second thought making her into a more broken woman than she was before. Reading this back to myself I sound like a real jerk… But I’m going to post this anyway so you might revaluate why exactly you are trying to adhere to an archaic script that dosent have your best interests at heart when you could be pleasing the Lord by creating a stable family all while enjoying the warmth of a woman.

    I enjoy your blog a lot man. But that post was quite painful to read. Having faith but knowing the real nature of women is a hard line to tow. What is more important to you? Being a ‘tradcon’? Or being happy? Here’s hoping you don’t take this comment the wrong way.

  5. Were these girls (so deserving of the perfect suitor) virgins when they were married? I doubt there was much blood on the wedding bed.

    The parents are often far perfect. Some use religion to cover the flaws in their character.

    It is impossible to argue with people who love their blind spots more than reality. The adults are like children (men included, something man-o-sphere people seem to miss).

    A missionary once said that reading the bible was like reading the road code – remember it and don’t waste time re-reading about the work that you should be doing.

    This aside, do we really want them after they have finished rejecting men and losing their youthful vigour? Some have them, and far as I can see I do not want to be them, as their lives appear to suck.

  6. @prairepolyguy:

    This reminds me of a woman I dated late last year; she was a leader of a few cell group leaders (all females). [Red flag alert] She shared with me once about how her concern that there was alcohol involved when one of her cell group leaders organised an outreach event. Her premise is what the leadership in her church (and our denomination, on the whole) had — a Christian should never imbibe alcohol at all. I challenged her by explaining to her that there isn’t a clear Scriptural reference about a complete alcohol ban for believers. That Jesus and his disciples drank at the Last Supper.

    At first, she looked a little convinced but a few days later, sent me a hyperlink which posited that the alcohol they drank then had very little alcohol content.

    About the attitude a man should take when being “grilled” (for lack of a better word) is respect.

  7. @IMGrody:

    Yes you really are grody, your advice is repugnant.

    You cannot build a healthy genetic lineage like that. If a man comes to your daughter and your daughter knows her father seduced her mother before marriage what makes you think she will resist this man? A daughter’s understanding of how to have a relationship with a man comes primarily from her childhood relationship with her father. The qualities her father exhibits are those she will look for in a man. She learns how to treat men from observing her mother, but she learns how to respect and love a man from observing her father. Your advice is as stupid as it is sinful.

  8. You see the problem with tradcon in R selection is not possible or very difficult, danger always looms. Technology has created an environment that is challenging all gender roles of the past and basic human nature.

    The part about the porn was very interesting to me. The parents didn’t really mind but she did (kind of). Personally I don’t trust a woman who doesn’t watch porn or is not honest about watching it. I actually see porn as being something that can enhance both male and females sex lives AND hold a pair bonding relationship together. The key is in the understanding by both parties that it stays in the realm of fantasy and no one tries to act out what they are watching with other people. Porn fantasy should be a substitute for cheating.

    You as a man can’t say that you don’t ever have fantasies about other women and she can’t tell you and be honest that she won’t have sexual fantasies about other men. If both people agree that these basic desires can be fulfilled through fantasy then you will be able to trust the other because now your both being honest. Get a girl who likes porn but wants a LTR and can understand this concept.

  9. “Young women, instead of rejecting or ignoring those men you don’t see,make yourself available and say yes when you are asked out even if he is kind of awkward.* The worst that can happen is a few hours of unpleasantness and maybe you’ll be able to work with him to improvethose awkward things that aren’t quite attractive”.

    I had to laugh at this. Surely you know that no woman would ever take this advice so why bother saying it? The idea that a woman would spend a few hours of unpleasantness to help a man improve is kind of wishful thinking. Also if the woman can’t see the man how and why would they make themselves available even if a little awkward? Wtf? Men wouldn’t do this for women, why would the gender that does the choosing and has a billion other options do that? Sorry makes no sense.

  10. @Bango Tango

    Free northern still thinks that women are fully functional human beings. We’re all entitled to our delusions.

    @Freenorthern
    Great post, though it’s the fathers who need to change the ground rules, not the daughters. To fix things men must first take change of their families and find mates for their children instead of letting them thrash about like beach fish.

  11. Interesting timing. I started seeing a girl recently, and had just seen her for coffee three times when she messaged me saying her father wanted to meet me one-on-one. I agreed, and we ended up meeting earlier today.

    I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was a bit worried that he would be very pro-courtship and was about to grill me with 50 questions and give me 8 simple rules for courting his adult daughter. As it turns out, he looked slightly more nervous than I was, and just asked me a few questions about my faith, theology, and views on relationships. He didn’t push into my past or personal life any further than asking whether I had dated many girls before (my answer was not many). He didn’t seem too bothered that we had some different points of views on theology; he seemed happy that I at least had developed my own views and could hold my own in a discussion about it. He bought me a coffee and we mostly just had a good chat.

    He still seemed quite pro-courtship, but either respected me enough not to push his views at me, or perhaps that will come at some point in the future if I continue seeing his daughter.

    I have to say it still gives me some alarm bells when a father wants to see a guy one-on-one after I only seeing his daughter three times, and I was prepared to drop the relationship pretty quickly had he been unreasonable about anything at all. I don’t regret meeting him though, and think it would have been a shame to just next her just for his asking.

  12. I’m sorry to hear your run in with this girls father was so messed up.

    From what I can tell, theres two groups that follow courtship. The first is the purity ball type, who have a great deal of rot infesting their views of their daughters and men. The second is people who follow old, traditional courtship.

    Sadly, the first group is far more numerous than the second.

    I’m an advocate of the second, and do all I can to avoid the first.

  13. In the old days, when patriarchal fathers controlled their daughters, here is how it worked, among affluent and respectable people:

    The mother, and sometimes the father would select some suitable young men. Their daughter would go to a highly supervised dance, the dancing requiring a fair bit of sexy intimate contact, with a dance card filled out by her parents – so their daughter was required to have physical contact with several young men chosen by her parents and prevented from having physical contact with any other young men.

    This of course turned daughter on. After a bit of negotiation, daughter found herself dancing with one and only one guy. After several hours of such contact spread over several venues, contact that came close to kissing but never quite resulted in being kissed, she found herself engaged – which meant that both parties promised that if sex occurred, they would get married, and the girl would submit to the man. They then generally got married. If the girl did not really want to marry, she was allowed – finally – the opportunity to kiss and have sex. To her surprise, the kiss predictably led to sex, and so the girl had to get married to the man her parents had chosen for her, theoretically by her own choice.

    Parents forcefully prevented any kissing and any opportunity to have sex outside of engagement, and to some extent prevented kissing and sex outside of marriage, while forcefully requiring sexy intimate contact with men actively selected by themselves, thereby preserving the illusion of daughter’s choice rather than parental, choice.

    Thus, parents not only actively stopped sexy times with unapproved partners, they actively promoted, and indeed compelled, sexy times short of kissing with approved partners – eventually compelling several hours of sexy times short of kissing with the predetermined candidate.

    If that did not result in daughter making the right, which is to say parentally predetermined, choice, then, “engagement” . I put it in quote marks because it meant the opposite of what “engagement” means today. The daughter is told that if she voluntarily submits to sex with this man once, she has submitted forever. Even if she has serious doubts about submitting forever, she is then told that being engaged, it is OK for her to be in private with him. Raging hormones plus opportunity then result in her submitting once.

  14. Why the heck would anyone put up with that treatment you talked about in trying to ‘court’ that girl…? It’s not a job interview, to get grilled a ton of personal questions like that. The majority of women aren’t nearly that much hassle, lmao.

  15. My gut instinct after reading this is that the father (and perhaps brothers) doesn’t want the girl to be dating at all. He’s stuck in the “my baby girl” phase and refuses to accept the natural progress of human life. There is a time and season for all things, and moderns have a particular problem accepting that we must transition from childhood, to adolescence, to adulthood, and finally death . This includes those milestones like marriage, children, and finally grandchildren. The father in the story needs to read his Bible a little closer than he is doing, in my opinion, and bow to the pattern God built for human life, however hard it is to accept that his daughter is moving on to the stage where she is no longer his concern. I joke about shooting, dismembering, and burying my daughter’s future boyfriends in a shallow grave in central Alabama, but when the time comes, I understand that it’s my role to give her away, not to keep her to myself in a creepy extended childhood.

    I’ve been asked by my 30ish single friends how I can be so happy about “losing my freedom” and raising children when I’m “still so young.” Frankly, the very thought of being unmoored, living an artificial adolescence like them terrifies me far more than fulfilling my natural function at the proper stage of life.

  16. Just saw this because someone linked it at another blog… Let me offer some advice. The problem is not the impossible standards. The problem is you being a pussy.

    I don’t mean that to be an insult. its just a fact. When you sat down with her parents… you acted like a big pussy. You submitted to them. Son you are not supposed to submit to them. What you should have said is, “Sir, Ma’am, I ain’t perfect and neither are either of you. We all have our struggles but with all do respect my struggles are no more your business than your struggles are mine.”

    Then you should have thanked them for their dinner and their time and left.

    You are not their boy. You are their equal and you need to enforce that perception. It would have made you FAR more attractive to their daughter… and it would have said a ton about your strength of character to them.

  17. *Shaking my head* When I read stuff like this, I start losing hope for Christianity, because we’re doing it wrong. I start to think Rollo Tomassi, an unbeliever, is right about us when he says it’s a wonder that Christians manage to marry and breed at all.

    Those questions the girl’s father asked you are completely inappropriate. It ought to be limited to what you do for a living and whether you’re a believer. Any father worth his salt ought be able to know enough about himself and human beings that he can interact for a while with the younger man and size him up such that Dad knows if the young man is on the level or is spewing bullshit. That’s all Dad needs to know at that point. The rest, he’ll know as time goes on because Cupcake will be sure to mention it to Mommy, who will tell Dad.

    Dad screwed it up by doing exactly what we accuse girls of doing: rejecting good men and expecting perfection.

  18. “So, for tradcon young women and their families, maybe it’s not that there are not good men, maybe it’s that men are stuck between ‘ewww’ and impossible standards.”

    No, it’s that tradcon men are gigantic pussies who fail shit tests.

    This was a shit test…and it was failed in epic fashion.

  19. “You are not their boy. You are their equal and you need to enforce that perception. It would have made you FAR more attractive to their daughter… and it would have said a ton about your strength of character to them.”

    The reason she broke up with you is because she was no longer attracted to you…

  20. First, seriously, stop with the porn. Its willful sin and disobedience. Chastity is a lot easier if you don’t stoke yourself up with porn.
    I’m a member of a church where I see lots of very attractive young women married to mid and greater betas. In the secular world these girls would likely be dating bartenders and drug dealers but guys like this would have no shot. Something about that culture in that church is working to counteract hypergamy.
    We generally agree here with the concept of patriarch as necessary for civilization. I can’t think of anything more central to patriarchy than a father controlling the sexual activity of his daughter. Whether or not you use the term “courtship” rejecting this authority is rejecting patriarchy. Rejecting it because of a few (or even a lot) of stories about when it didn’t work well is like a Christian women saying we need divorce because of spouse abuse. Look at it this way, you may chafe under patriarchy in this period as a young man but then you benefit from it for the rest of your life.

  21. Let me give you a positive anecdote. My sister was homeschooled and a virgin in her early 20s. She dated a few guys and then started seeing a guy who was a real beta. He spoke to my dad about marriage and my dad basically said you have a shit job, how are you going to support my daughter? He went to fire school and became a fireman and now they are happily married with two kids. If my dad hadn’t challenged him he would still be working in retail. He’s still a real beta and the rest of us still make fun of him a little but at least now he has that fireman cache working for him.

  22. Deti,

    When you keep in mind plummeting church attendance rates in the USA, Rollo seems even more on the money. Of course, churches keep playing the, “Don’t send your kids to secular college, *that’s* what ruins them overnight!”

    There’s good reason why very few christian men with balls intact go to church anymore… and why the 18-28 age group is largely vanished. It’s the same in almost any church… you’ll see the infants through high schoolers, middle age parents, and the senior citizens. No other group. Even my own Churchian mother commented on how the mega-church my parents go to (Church of Apostles in Atlanta) is getting emptier and emptier.

  23. Obviously Barnabas doesn’t understand patriarchy. The girl’s daddy is not your daddy Barnabas. She’s joining your family. You’re not joining hers. If he has these questions he should be talking to your dad about them. Not you.

    This is a shit test and nothing more.

    Answering these questions at all is a failure of that test.

  24. Her family sounded strange and inhospitable. If you had blasted your way through that gauntlet and ended up marrying her, well, you would have married into her family. So, really, you could just as easily have grilled them back, you could have said, “I’m checking you guys out. Here are my questions for you…” Just like a job interview (which is what they were doing to you).

  25. Archerwfisher,

    There are solid churches out there. They stick to preaching the Bible, keeping it simple, and aren’t hung up on trying to please the masses. Thank God I go to such a church. And we aren’t empty, because the true Christian will want to hear that Word spoken with conviction and honesty.

  26. Wow, that was pretty painful to read. Sounds as if you managed to extricate yourself (albeit inadvertently) from a potentially very distasteful situation.

    Chicks did jerks, assholes, and bad boys. End of story.

    Read more Chateau Heartiste and Rational Male.

  27. Also, what is the deal with the chaperone? Y’all are adults…and perfectly capable of traveling together…

  28. Calling this a shit test is not correct. You can’t take rules that apply to horny females and apply them to every aspect of your life. Did you use a backturn on the dad? When your boss thinks you’re incompetent do you agree and amplify? Bullshit.
    I do understant patriarchy and that girl is yours when she is given to you. Her dad can’t make you do anything but he can tell you to fuck off.

  29. Like a shit test it certainly could reduce attraction if you don’t come off well. Since every other suitor for that particular girl is facing the same opposition, what’s the problem?

  30. “Like a shit test it certainly could reduce attraction if you don’t come off well.”

    Which is exactly what happened here.

  31. Based on all replies, I think the answers lie in the middle.

    The PUA/shit test wing has a point about confidence. I don’t think any man can enter marriage and handle a wife over the long term unless he has a true sense of himself. This is even more important today as our society no longer promotes and supports marriage as it used to do.

    However, I don’t agree that FN had to be rude to the father. FN should have simply walked away once the questioning began. Why?

    @Gordian

    I agree with you. Fathers are killing a lot of potential marriages because they don’t want to let their little girls go. These daughters remain in submission to their fathers who do not focus on finding them a husband.

    This is a terrible problem. It destroys marriages. Any Christian father needs to think about his motivations.

    @FN

    I would follow you own advice about women. They have no power on their own. Their power comes through submitting to a man whether father, boss, etc. I’m not sure I even believe that women can have the same kind of direct faith relationship without going through a man (ie father or husband).

    If any courtship prospect doesn’t seem willing to submit to you and has all these third party people driving the agenda, she isn’t the one.

    Your story is a sad one, but please remain focused on your work on Earth and your faith. Marriage comes when it comes or it doesn’t come at all. A man is defined by his God-honoring work here on earth. It is through the work that a man usually finds a wife.

  32. I just don’t like to see vocabulary abused, by definition men don’t shit test. From how this is coming off you might think that there is alot of friction between fathers and son’s-in-law and that is not what I see at all in real life (“coutship” aside). Friction is almost always between the wives and mothers-in-law. I think that these 50 pt check lists from fathers are just what it looks like when they are trying to wing it. It’s not like anyone has modeled for them how to do it properly. You should try to see things from their perspective and try not to take it too seriously. Maybe cold approach a few randoms fathers to get over approach anxiety.

  33. ” ’m not sure I even believe that women can have the same kind of direct faith relationship without going through a man (ie father or husband).”

    Hogwash. Where does the bible state this?

  34. @ chokingonredpills

    The idea that their wine was somehow weaker is also false and easily deconstructed with the text of scripture alone.

    Now, they didn’t have 40 proof alcohol or any such advanced distilling methods, but that doesn’t magically make their basic wine have less alcohol.

    But getting bogged down by the actual history would be way too much for a mind such as her.

    Just kindly point out two things. If their wine was not strong enough to cause drunkenness there would be no cautions against drunkenness in scripture. Fresh juice is mentioned once in scripture, in Acts ‘They where drunk with New Wine’ it has a different root word and is clearly distinct from ‘wine’ in the sense of ‘fermented alcohol’. Every other time wine is mentioned in scripture (which the apostles actually drank), it’s gonna be at least 5% alcohol by volume.

    Plastics and pressure sealing didn’t exist then. Sealing and preserving juice didn’t come into being until this whole teetotaller debacle started in the 1800’s. Fresh juice existed only in season and the only method of preserving it is fermenting it and fermenting it properly (no light wines as we have today either), so no, they didn’t have either juice or lightly alcoholic wine.

    If you at all could have the way to deal with that would be to talk to her in person about it. If she’s posting a website she clearly has no idea what is actually going on and is leaning on an anonymous other to make her case, no matter how horrible it is. Go out for coffee. Talk to her in person about it. Deconstruct the website where she is the only one that can defend it. Don’t be afraid to cause at least a little bit of shame in her for mentioning it (the argument is so bad it’s shameful after all, and causing shame asserts your control of the situation)

    Like I said, you’d only have needed 2 easily understandable points to get through how bad her assertion via that website is. A third would push home the shame of how ridiculous it is.

    In then end since you where dating her you need to become a substantial part of the filter though which she interprets the data she encounters. That was a great opportunity to become such a filter by deconstructing and destroying a weak crutch she leaned on. It really is too bad you weren’t able to capitalize on it.

  35. “These two stories are why I don’t believe women when they say they can’t find a good man or there are not good men. I have seen women who could have almost any man they want, who had numerous suitors (who were good men), , who had good male friends who obviously wanted them, who had been asked out by me specifically say there were no good men, when it was simply untrue. Unless a woman lives in a village of 50 people in the middle of nowhere, there probably are good men, the women’s probably just not counting them.”

    Word.

    I don’t believe it either. Stats show it: Over 85% of all US women have married at least once by age 40. Stories show it: We all know women who are 30, 35, 38, even in their 40s, marrying for the first time. A woman can marry anytime she chooses. When a woman sets her mind to it, she can find a man good enough to marry. She can do it. Any woman can – even good looking ex carouselers; even homely, mousy church girls; even cloistered religious girls; even career girls. Any woman – ANY WOMAN – who sets her mind to it can find a marriageable man and get it done in a year. (That usually happens around age 28 to 32.)

    So no, I don’t believe women when they say there are no good men or they can’t find any.

  36. @ Gordian

    “I’ve been asked by my 30ish single friends how I can be so happy about “losing my freedom” and raising children when I’m “still so young.” Frankly, the very thought of being unmoored, living an artificial adolescence like them terrifies me far more than fulfilling my natural function at the proper stage of life.”

    As it should. Well said man, well said.

  37. @Medialuddite,

    “FN should have simply walked away once the questioning began. Why?”

    No, walking away is an attempt at asserting dominance. He wasn’t dealing with a woman there where he can just take control like that. It would have just got her banned from being with him with none of her say weather it impressed her or not.

    Your goal with that kind of thing is to establish peerage, that’s why I say answer questions and pose counter-questions. He can’t simply banish you for being disrespectful because you aren’t being, but you don’t just sit and submit to his whim like a pussy and don’t lose face with the girl…

    Plus if you establish any kind of peerage in her eyes you can start to take control of her away from him (as you should be doing regardless) as she’ll perceive your authority in a similar way as his (as she should).

    You’re right the answer is down the middle road, but the middle road isn’t just walking away.

  38. What I’m seeing in articles like these is that some parents have really distorted the idea of courtship, probably so that they can continue to helicopter-parent their precious princesses right on through marriage if possible.

    Courtship is: chaste, exclusive dating, with the stated goal of potential marriage within a reasonable time frame, and with the regular involvement of family and friends. That means you spend a lot of time with each other’s families, because that helps you see what the other person is really like, where she comes from and so on, and it helps keep you out of the back seat on dates. It doesn’t mean interrogation. Maybe her dad takes you aside and asks you your intentions in a general sense, to get to know you a little and make sure you’re on the same page as far as marriage being the point of the process; but he doesn’t get to be your confessor.

    The main difference between courtship and dating is that when you ask to court a girl, you’re declaring up front that if things go well, you’ll be proposing in the near future, and if things get to a point where one of you decides marriage isn’t in the cards, you break it off. It’s dating for the stated purpose of discerning marriage. All this other stuff about questionnaires and hyper-chastity is just extra weirdness that people are trying to call courtship because it makes it sound traditional and churchy.

    This girl, like the others you talked about and most girls under 30 these days, probably doesn’t really want to get married. Maybe she likes you, maybe you even turn her on, but she doesn’t really want to marry yet. And her parents clearly don’t want her to marry unless she can marry a clone of Dear Old Dad. You probably never had a chance.

  39. As a father of several girls, I feel free to share my opinion that the parents were way out of line. Instead of a fifty-point checklist, the dad should have taken you aside, just you and him, and had that kind of discussion, and he should have been fine with your answers. A man can demand respect from another man only when he shows respect back, and that applies if one man is a father and the other man is a suitor.

  40. I am the guy who made the comment at Moose’s place that was referenced in your article.

    The comment outlined the challenges we faced when my oldest announced she was moving in with a young man that she met at work, went to church with (a different church than mine) and were “not serious,” until we got the “we prayed about it and think that God is OK with us living together.” Thankfully, it only took an hour during lunch with an open Bible to put that idea to rest, but a few days later, the young man approached me and asked for her hand in marriage.

    Even in such a situation where there were enormous red flags, the young man was not removed from consideration, but I wanted significant time (about six months) with him before marriage. It was only when they moved up the wedding date to make this impossible that we removed our blessing for the union, though we still assisted and participated in the ceremony.

    Perhaps the best thing to come from their wedding (and divorce less than a year later) is a sobering of her younger brothers and sisters regarding marriage and the importance of selecting well.

    Free Northerner’s comment above: “It should be recognized that young men aren’t perfect. Instead of a father rejecting a generally good, but flawed young man his daughter fancies, he should work with the young man to help him better himself.” That is exactly what I intend to do. I’m new to the “courtship” scene, though, as homeschoolers, we’ve seen and read a good deal about it. I expect that I am not going to find the ideal husband for my girls – but I am damned sure going to try to build one. And I’m not going to apologize for that. It’s a biblical calling for the mature to instruct the immature. I wish I had the benefit of knowing what I know now before I was married. It would have changed my entire outlook and approach toward women- and my entire approach toward marriage. I am doing my best to give my sons and daughters the benefit of what I didn’t know.

  41. Why does anyone actually take the idea of courtship seriously? I mean, really? Are they delusional? They want their daughters to be single forever?

    There’s already the issue that guys in church are not highly inclined to chase women in the same church. (Maybe they heard the expression, don’t pee where you swim.)

    Now, some insane people want to ad in, “Oh, yeah. While we’re making things difficult for boys, and telling girls some perfect man is out there for them, let’s make it harder for guys to ask Christian girls out! Let’s make it so they have to talk to the girl’s father first, haha!”

    Now, compare that to dating outside of church. It’s not remarkably hard to go online, find some decently cute girl, and be having sex with her within an hour of first meeting.

    Why on earth would any sane guy with options decide, “Ya know, instead of just meeting girls and at least getting a makeout by date 2 (assuming he takes it slow) I want to meet some Christian girl in church, get nothing unless I make a lifelong commitment, and before I even invest my time for zero return, I want to have to meet and impress her dad first!”

    I remember the first time I met a girl’s dad, and it wasn’t on purpose. But he was polite, didn’t give me flak, and apparently decided that a clean cut teenager dressed decently wasn’t too threatening. I felt grateful.

    Point is—conservative Christians already are trying to make Christian guys have a harder time for less payback if they want to date Christian girls vs just meet some girl. Now you ad on “yeah, let’s make the guy try to meet and impress dad first.”

    This is an awesome plan if you want to make sure that Christian girls don’t date at all, or have to be sneaky and careful about it.

  42. After supper, the parents seemed to notice my existence, and asked about me and the girl. I told them that we had gotten to know each other a bit, I was fond of her, and I would like their permission to court her.

    These parents are idiots. Just the fact that a young man would come to their house and ask them their permission to court her should have told them all they needed to know about you. Only a respectful man with a mind towards proper civilized behavior would ever do such a thing in the first place. You showed them an immense gesture of respect….and they returned it with an act of total disrespect. You should have stood up right there and called them on it.

    I think it’s parent’s like these who are helicoptering their daughters mating prospects that end up shocked and dismayed when she elopes with some non-believer bad boy.

    They then presented me with a list of dozens of questions (I’m not sure if this is the exact list, but if it isn’t it’s close enough for government work), saying me and the girl should go over them. I said we would. The parents then proceeded to grill me with questions straight off the page for the next hour or two.

    Good lord. I have to go with Nate on this one. This is where you dropped the ball.

    And admitting you struggle with porn at the dinner table with the entire family watching the grilling? That was some Christmas you had there….

    All that being said, you probably dodged a bullet here. Her attraction towards you must not have been that strong. Watching you submit to her parents frame probably killed what attraction was there to begin with. Maybe I just don’t get it because I left my families denomination of Churchianity as soon as I was old enough to rebel, but in my memories of dating and meeting girls, I can’t imagine a single girl not immediately expressing some sort of dismay and embarrassment the moment her parents decided to do such a thing as giving you the 50 questions treatment in front of her entire family at the dinner table. At the very least, she should have warned you before you showed up on what to expect. Her parents treatment of you was disrespectful and off-putting…but the fact that she just sat their and let you endure it without interjecting at all should also tell you all you need to know about her.

    I bet if you had done what Nate suggested, she would have found her attraction for you amplified to a much higher degree. But the fact that she let you sit their awkwardly when you first arrived, and made no effort to try to at least make you feel comfortable in her family home I think shows just how lukewarm her attraction for you was to begin with.

    In hindsight, you should be glad you got blown out of the water by her folks. I think Dalrock and deti are absolutely right…no one should get married unless they absolutely burn with desire for each other.

    Nevertheless, If this is indicative of how many present day Christians are conducting their daughter’s prospective dating affairs, I’m echoing Rollo’s sentiments about Christian fecundity.

  43. Speaking as the target audience for this “courtship” thing, lmao, currently 22 years old who spent 20 or so years in churches. I do apologize for posting so much, but as my parents were very much of this mindset, like Freenortherner or Donael, it is a serious topic for me, because my parents pretty much killed my attempts at dating in college through heavy-handedness.

    Two years ago I turned down a *really* cute girl (who basically asked me out) that I met at church because she knew my family and was pals with my sister. She was an 8, but because I met her at church, I decided dating her would be way too much risk/trouble, compared to just meeting a girl at college. (My parents are the conservative type who were deeply upset when they found out i made out with a girl once.) Last year my mom, maybe realizing how efficient she had been at stopping me and my siblings from dating, literally offered me $10 if I would ask out her friend’s daughter and offered to pay for the date if the girl accepted. Gymnast, extremely fit, definitely an 8 or 9.

    I just laughed and told her she was ridiculous. There was no way in hell I would go out with someone that closely tied to the family–much less a “daughter of Christ/waiting for marriage” poster girl.

  44. “I’m actually kind of surprised that any of this ‘courtship’ seems psychologically normal to any mature adult.”

    It’s complete lunacy.

  45. I’ve come to the conclusion that when interested in a girl, before showing any obvious interest in her, you need to build a friendship with her father. Prequalify yourself prior to expressing interest. You want to be that young fishing buddy of old pops that happened to notice his daughter. This allows him the chance to get to know you ahead of time, so he doesn’t feel he needs to bust out a list of questions to determine if he can trust you. He already trusts you. Plus you can pick up on any familial issues ahead of time, and if it doesn’t work out, you’ve still gained a fishing buddy.

  46. That’s great when possible, Moose, but isn’t always able to happen. I know I’ve been turned down by fathers out right before I even had a chance to meet them.

    However, in all cases, even when I was horribly shot down, every single one of them brought to the forefront a very important part of the woman that was a deal breaker for me. I’d much rather rip a band aid off than let something rot and fester before having to amputate.

    So, while I may not have benefited from a wife yet, I’ve avoided getting entangled with a great many disastrous women.

  47. “I’m actually kind of surprised that any of this ‘courtship’ seems psychologically normal to any mature adult.”

    Well, now, there’s “courtship” and then there’s “courtship.” You’ve got to define what you mean by the term.

    And in any case, not “psychologically normal to any mature adult,” could be leveled at much of your writings, Rollo. A great number of people would find your positions repugnant and backwards, which I know you are well aware of. In any case, “dating” is a fairly new development, historically. The old ways are not necessarily worse. Or better, for that matter.

    Just because it doesn’t fit within your cultural, religious or tribal worldview doesn’t mean that it can’t be effective, particularly if the young man understands some principles of what makes for attractiveness. And the parents aren’t controlling freaks. That kinda helps too.

    When I was in high school, I once asked out a girl and was told, “I can’t date you until you have dinner with my family.” So, I was dutifully invited to dinner and experienced something akin to what Free Northerner went through. Pretty much ignored by the parents, not questioned at all and after dinner we all sat down and watched an episode of The Love Boat and I went home. Apparently, just being willing to endure the dinner was enough to receive permission.

    The two daughters of that family, though “good Christian girls,” managed to make their own way – one was quickly married after becoming pregnant and the other was married secretly to the boyfriend the parents did not approve of. Each is now onto an additional husband or two at this point.

    The family dynamics there? Controlling mother and submissive dad. Oh, so religious, but I am so thankful that I didn’t get mixed up with that bunch.

  48. Oh, and to clarify, Rollo – mot taking aim at your writings in my comment above. I bought and learned from “The Rational Male.” But we all filter stuff through our own lens.

  49. “courting”….

    Ah yes… a social practice among the idle-rich, entire families who lounged around all day, and intermarried their children to keep the land and wealth among themselves… children who had known each other since before they learned to read.

    What POSSIBLE relevance could the marrying habits of European nobility have to do with anybody outside of that sphere is beyond me.

    Women have their heads of ridiculous Victorian-era novels … not just the girls, but their mothers, too, for preaching this idiotic crap to them, completely out of context as if it has the slightest bit of relevance to anything other than the European nobility of a bygone age.

    The big problem is, every girl YEARNS to be a princess, and so the idea of emulating this crap, and forcing the men to emulate it (“chivalry, etc.”) is retarded.

    Chivalry was never meant to even be POSSIBLE to abide by for any man who wasn’t due to inherit a chunk of land the size of a couple of counties (which meant, even a duke’s SECOND SON wasn’t expected to either abide by, or even try to compete at that twisted game).

  50. I find it amusing all the people that think courting is part of chivalry, nobility, or anything else.

    Courtship is a tool from Christendom in which the families were involved so that emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, commitment, and logical “do these two people work together” proceeded along side each other in practical steps towards marriage and creation of a family. It openly acknowledged that emotional intimacy leads to physical intimacy, and that physical intimacy going too quickly can lead to a lack of commitment on either party’s part as well as delude those sexually lusting after each other that they’d work well when they become one flesh.

    Even in it’s hayday, courtship was something that was a…. tenuous thing, at times. For humans have always been lustful, prideful, and rebellious; and unmarried youth are more so than any other. Hence where courtship was ignored, shotgun weddings were enforced.

    That, also, is not to say that the system was abused by poor intentions of parents getting greedy or losing sight of the overall good of their child by focusing too much on any individual trait (beauty, lust, status, wealth, etc) rather than overall health of the child and, in particular, whether the person they were joining flesh with would help them achieve salvation and sainthood.

    These days, courtship works where people acknowledge what it is – a system in place in which emotional intimacy and physical intimacy do not outpace commitment and logic. It does not, and SHOULD NOT, have the same form as old school courtship as our current societal failings have led to different expressions of individual failings. It should acknowledge that courtship is not engagement, nor is getting to know someone a little before asking to court them a bad thing. Most traditional families want to know the individuals before courtship is pursued, and when that is not possible, or they’re not as traditional, a few ‘casual dates’ for coffee or to a public activity is usually accepted. Meeting the father a first time is not unheard of, but I haven’t encountered a grilling such as FN as of yet.

    The whole system is supposed to take two fallen human beings and place them together in a way to support each other through love; not topple into a fallen state of sin, nor make princesses/saints out of fallen women, nor kick a Brother in Christ out to the curb with nothing but his coat and tattered remains of dignity and respect.

    Any courtship that doesn’t align with reality is not courtship, but a twisted perversion of delusional ‘love’ which is lacking in all that makes love beautiful.

  51. So is calling courtship a “habit of European nobility” supposed to be a bad thing in these circles?

  52. Dam. That’s some messed up dating. Or courting. Wow. Telling complete strangers you look at the pornz, on the tubes. Wow. Just wow. She’ll be fucking some alpha behind daddy’s back. Rollo is right, this Christian thing seems a tad sterile.

  53. And in any case, not “psychologically normal to any mature adult,” could be leveled at much of your writings, Rollo. A great number of people would find your positions repugnant and backwards, which I know you are well aware of. In any case, “dating” is a fairly new development, historically. The old ways are not necessarily worse. Or better, for that matter.

    Just because it doesn’t fit within your cultural, religious or tribal worldview doesn’t mean that it can’t be effective, particularly if the young man understands some principles of what makes for attractiveness. And the parents aren’t controlling freaks. That kinda helps too.

    I’ve never read any of Rollo’s writings and I agree with him. The idea of submitting to a grilling by any father is just going to kill the girl’s attraction to you. As probably the only married Christian guy with kids on here, let me tell you how it worked for me. My wife and I met at church. We started dating. I met the parents when we were serious. Her dad and I butted heads at the meeting. At the next meeting sometime later, I asked him for permission to marry.

    Courtship is just going to kill all attraction. In Biblical times, it seems that the man and woman were attracted to one-another fairly seriously and the families, seeing the attraction, quickly moved the relationship towards marriage provided no red-flags were raised. Adam exclaimed, “Bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh!” when God brought him Eve. The Hebrew suggests he was highly attracted to her. God Himself immediately presided over their wedding. No courtship. I’ve yet to meet anyone married in the church who went through ‘courtship.’

  54. “I’ve never read any of Rollo’s writings and I agree with him. The idea of submitting to a grilling by any father is just going to kill the girl’s attraction to you. As probably the only married Christian guy with kids on here, let me tell you how it worked for me. ”

    But that was the very point of my comment – what is put forth here as “courting,” i.e., “grilling by the father” is not courting as I know it and define it. And I agree that the situation recounted here is pretty messed up. But that, in itself, does not negate courting when it is handled differently.

    I don’t know how many readers bothered to click through Free Northerner’s link to the list of questions he thinks the young woman’s family used. But the way the questions are presented there are radically different from the way they ended up being used in FN’s situation.

    The makers of the list state: “My husband, James McDonald, created the following questions for the purpose of getting to know potential suitors for our daughters. This list is NOT meant to be a “checklist,” a “pass-or-fail-test,” or an in depth parental evaluation. Each young man is free to decline questions he feels are too personal. Incidentally, our daughters and current sons-in-law even helped add questions to this list – a list that has grown over the years. During our years speaking at various Christian conferences, my husband has received numerous requests from parents for his “famous” courtship questions. However, he has been hesitant to make them available, since it is easy for people to want a formula for courtship. His concern was that families may misunderstand the purpose for the questions and miss out on potentially wonderful matches for their daughters.”

    They then go on to say: “One thing I’d like to point out before you read these questions is that we haven’t used this list in its entirety for all of the young men who have called on our daughters. It is a compilation of all the things we thought would be helpful to our daughters in making a decision of whether or not to move forward in a courtship. Things she should know and evaluate, things they could discuss and work out together.”

    Note that phrase: “helpful to our daughters in making a decision.”

    THAT is more in line with the courtship concept I know – parents taking an active role in helping their daughters (and sons) wisely select a mate.

    ” I’ve yet to meet anyone married in the church who went through ‘courtship.’”

    Perhaps your circle is a bit restrictive, then. I know several.

    And I too am a married Christian guy with kids. Who did not “court” and fell into troubles I likely would not have fallen into had that been an option. I was immature and set loose with young women who had no reason to suspect this nice, Christian boy of anything untoward. My first sexual experience with a girl was in the back of a church van, late at night on the way to Mexico on a missions trip. Ten other people in the van and my hands wandered where they shouldn’t have. It devastated her. We didn’t come back from Mexico as a couple.

    I regret it to this day. I wish there was some involvement from her parents. From my parents. I wish someone had explained how things can escalate quickly. How women respond to men and why. I wish that we had been raised in a culture where physical expressions of affection between high-school aged kids was not encouraged. Where “pairing up” or “going steady” was frowned on rather than expected.

    I hope to avoid some of that regret for my own children. I have already seen one daughter suffer a lot of pain from my lack of involvement – I’d like to help the others escape some of that, if I can.

  55. @prairiepolyguy

    You made a very good point disputing my “walking away” comment. I agree with what you wrote.

    @Josh

    You may say “hogwash” to my point about women and God, but I merely said “I’m not sure….” I am a man so I don’t know the mind of a woman.

    That said, I first point to the Bible and its many passages about husbands and wives. There is the headship of 1 Corinthians. Ephesians 5:26 speaks of a husband washing his wife in the Word. Also, this:

    “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church” (1 Corinthians 14:34,35).

    Let’s also look at Original Sin. Eve went against God by listening to the serpent. Adam went against God by listening to Eve.

    The Bible is clear that the authority is:

    God <— Man <– Woman

    This is why I ask about a woman's relationship with God without a man to lead her in this relationship.

    If you want a more modern and direct example of women and Christianity, I would also suggest you read this post from Wintery Knight's blog:

    http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/survey-christian-mothers-value-family-over-their-relationship-with-jesus/

    His post is about a survey of Christian women. Here's what they say:

    Highest priority in your life:

    Family 53%

    Faith 16%

    Health 9%

    Career 5%

    Lifestyle 5%

    Most important role in life:

    Being a mother 62%

    Follower of Christ 13%

    Being a wife 11%

    This is not a poll of all women but of Christian women.

    While some will criticize women in general, I now tend to believe this is merely part of the design and why headship is truth. Women are mothers first, people of this world. They can't easily separate themselves from life on Earth to embrace the realm of Christian faith. They need a man's help to do this.

    These Bible passages, the Wintery Knight blog post, and many other life experiences do explain my reasoning about women and faith. However, you are certainly free to reach your own conclusions, Josh.

  56. It strikes me that the problem isn’t so much the grilling, its that the daughter is present. This should be a conversation between men with daughter and mom not present. Best approach if faced with such a situation would be to demand a private discussion.

  57. I also had the cannot date her to we have diner and interviewed some number of young men who were interested in my daughter. I would expect, and deserve a punch to the face for asking those questions at such a early time. Hell maybe that was the test Free and you failed because you ate their shit sandwich.

    And those questions….. wtf? How’s my relationship with my brother? Did I obey and honor my mother? Even the idle chit chat questions can be loaded.

    Never once did I set out to intimidate young men who came a calling. Which I get the impression the family Free described froze him out early on to set up some bullshit power play. I see the whole thing as some beta wannabe hard core power play.

    Courtship is a half measure; Bibical marriages were arranged.

  58. @FN,

    “It should be recognized that young men aren’t perfect. Instead of a father rejecting a generally good, but flawed young man his daughter fancies, he should work with the young man to help him better himself. ”

    A big problem with courtship is most fathers only want their daughters to marry a full time Pastor or Missionary . This is flawed. A church needs 16 to 20 tithing families to support pay and benefits for one full time staff member. A daughter marrying a guy with a secular job who tithes and raises church attending kids is a ministry in and off itself.

    I strongly disagree with those who say this was a shit test and the girl lost attraction to you. She submits to her parents, they disapproved of you so she went along with their wishes. If she had rebelled that would have caused lots of problems down the road.

  59. You got a lucky break. Imagine if you’d got married to the girl. Those horrible people would be your in-laws and you’d have to spend Christmas with them for the REST OF YOUR LIFE.

  60. In real life, 16 to 20 families is way too low. A study showed that on average American adult church members give 2% of their salary to their church.

  61. First, you dodged a bullet with this one – this family doesn’t strike me as something any decent guy would want to be a part of.

    Second, I agree you wimped out – “dating” (or whatever it’s called these days) is a two-way process of finding a partner. It’s not one of a supplicating male grovelling for female companionship and submitting to any and all indignity she or her family may choose to impose on you before bestowing her presence upon you.

    Third, instead of submitting to the questions, a more dominant response would’ve been to assert your position as an equal, call them out for their shameful treatment of basically ignoring you up to that point, and ask why you would want to be a member of a family like them much less answer their rather intrusive questions in front of the collective.

    Fourth, if you chose to answer their questions, then pick and choose the ones you’re comfortable discussing, and then apply the “fair’s fair” doctrine and have them answer the same questions. If they want to know about your “struggles with porn” – what about their struggles? Methinks they’d either backpedal real quick, or assert that they don’t have one – at which time you could’ve asked if they’d been castrated or something.

  62. @prairepolyguy:

    Thanks for your comments.

    The alcohol thing we discussed as part of her church’s doctrine. Effectively, she’d have to “choose” believing me (someone she’d known for a few months) and her church leadership (people whom she respected and grew up with). I believe that her sending me that hyperlink might be a tacit acknowledgement that there’s some truth to what I’ve said but she had to defer to her leadership. At that time, I didn’t want to pursue but would, at a later date, when our relationship gets stronger.

    Another thing I highlighted to her was about leadership. It stemmed from her complaint about how there are fewer men in church and even fewer cell/small group leaders who are men. It made it extremely awkward for her because when it comes to male sexual issues among men in the cell/small groups, she couldn’t deal with it since she was a female. I told her one plausible reason why men either aren’t rising up to be leaders or have left the church — it’s no longer relevant to them and that there are few opportunities for them to serve as leaders. I suggested to her that she might want to consider allowing some of the men to take on bigger roles in planning outreach activities or events. In response, she said she was concerned things may go out of hand. To me, it was a flippant excuse and that my emphasis about how men lead other men did nothing to change her stance. Note also that her church has been led by a single female pastor the past decades and even though she has “stepped down” to a male pastor, she held onto a newly created post called “Resident Apostle”.

    In any case, things didn’t work out between us. It’s water under the bridge but I am more wary now of such red flags among Christian women.

  63. Red,

    If your assertion that she was deferring to her church leadership was true then you still had to keep your offensive going. Never forget that YOU, personally, are designed to take leadership in the life of the woman you want. You’ll always be taking it from those she’s been with all her life, church and family. It is in her nature to give it.

    Failing to pursue means you implicitly surrendered. That means two things to her. Either you’re intellectually dishonest with your stance, you got beat and won’t back down and her church is right and you’re a soft christian making excuses for alcohol because you’re an unrepentant sinner (worse, a stupid unrepentant sinner). Or, she was right all along and you submit to her church leadership and you are not experienced or knowledgeable enough to contest leadership from them. Regardless you took a terrible blow by failing to pursue.

    I’d assert that the reality is worse though. She referenced a website, she didn’t set you up to talk to her pastor or anything like that. Even if it was her churches website she still used that as HER argument (even if she doesn’t understand it). You submitted to HER, not some other leadership, not her church, you dropped an issue she pressed. Sending you a link is another argument for her case, and you effectively surrendered by not responding. You went passive, didn’t want to cause trouble, and submitted to her.

    I don’t think I need to go over with you how many problems that causes. IMO the only reason that wouldn’t effectively terminate the relationship then and there is that she was so used to men doing much, much, worse than you.

    Here’s the thing about dealing with a woman’s current leadership. Either they are good and strong leaders that you want to follow personally, and can submit to them (I’ve heard rumours of such things even nowdays, even in churches). Or, you’ve got to take leadership of her yourself as soon as possible. One way of doing that is being savvy enough to deal with these intellectual stances and beating them with the brute force of reason. It’s ugly, it’s violent, but it has to be done.

    If you lose the girl because you beat her leadership the only way to actually get the girl is to submit to said leadership, in virtually all cases that is not worthwhile. There is never any reason to delay shifting her beliefs into yours nor delay breaking the bad beliefs she has. The only thing worse than losing this fight is not fighting it.

    So, the lack of male leadership in the church. Well, you where going to be her male leader, you backed down. She won’t become submissive on her own, she needed someone worth submitting too, and it sounds like you back down from that too many times.

    I’m not saying the problem isn’t often on the womans end, I’m saying many of those problems take a good man to fix. I’m not giving you a general empty ‘man up’ but pointing out specifically where you where feminine to think about and become stronger.

    Not a lot of people are up to taking on ingrained beliefs and ingrained leadership. You didn’t do bad. But you’ll need to do better if you want the submissive ruby of a woman you want.

  64. I’m not even close to being an authority on scripture. But it seems to me the way the family treated you before dinner violated something put forth in the bible. Love thy neighbor as thyself? Love one another?

    If everyone had been friendly and accepting to you and then grilled you, I’d say fine. But their behavior says to me that this is a dysfunctional family (mis)using religion to keep their dysfunction going. As for alcohol, anyone that obsessed with it is probably hiding a drinking problem. I never drink so I never even think about this. If someone appears that obsessed with the subject, you can bet they spend a lot of time thinking about it.

    Finally, if this is indicative of what Christian culture has become, it sounds like it’s in its death throes. Women treated like this by their folks will end up 45 years old before they approve of anyone. So much for grandkids. Good luck with a better woman in the future.

  65. Your bonds are your preconceived unsubstantiated ideas to which you are a slave. Among them your submission to church authority [the fake variant], and your ‘idol in your heart’ beta-esque ideas of courtship and the role of the father (of your love).

    Life is so much more simple. Stop making it hard on yourself. Do you think you’re pleasing God? He’s not asking all that of you. Go after your women, win, lose, and stop living life rules that never were, nor are asked for by God. Stop thinking about Christian culture things. It’s all nonsense. It’s all people setting up their own little mental time-restricted reserves (so that they can avoid reality for another day).

    This advice is not un-Christian. It is also not Christian. It is simply good advice.

    Stop making ‘dating women’ a Christian thing. All people date. And if you don’t like women who claim they are Christian (with 90% of them not being one, by the way), then simply wait, or move on to the next. It’s not worth a blog.

  66. @Deti I start to think Rollo Tomassi, an unbeliever, is right about us when he says it’s a wonder that Christians manage to marry and breed at all.

    There are fewer than 10 men I know alive on earth that are truly like Jesus. One of them is the family man/ artist/investor/author/entrepreneur behind the name Rollo Tomassi.

  67. Maybe I’m not marriage material, but if I had been put on the receiving end of that kind of questioning – totally inappropriate for the time and context – I would have told them that they needed to arrange an appropriate time with me for a discussion of those matters. And, in fact, I would probably conclude that I did not want to court the daughter of such parents. I did this twice with deranged Protestant dads in my early twenties: “Fine, buddy, feed your princess yourself for the next thirty years; if this is your family’s style of crazy, I don’t want your daughter mothering my kids.”

    I would have come right back at the sense of entitlement: had they raised their daughter to my standards? Had they prepared her to be my wife, submissive and competent in domestic matters? I’d remind them that their daughter is a financial liability, probably worth less than nothing to them, and useful to other men only as a competent mother and domestic partner. Who do they think they’re kidding, asking me if I’m the prince of Siam? I’m interviewing YOU to see if your economic burden is going to be a net benefit for ME. And she may not be, unless she comes with a pair of oxen and a few household appliances, maybe a pile of cash. Let’s talk dowry; let’s see how much you owe me to take her off your hands.

    There is no doubt that this is the biblical model; the Bible is full of men trying to pawn their daughters off, not of competent, financially stable men begging for the privilege!

    I find this Protestant, “Bible-based” approach so affected. Even their own grandparents never handled things this way. I suppose there’s a reason I ditched the Protestants, went Catholic and became a monk! So often in Protestant circles, there is this proto-progressive tendency to “engineer” an approach to life, an obvious necessity when ideology replaces tradition as a guiding principle. This results either in obtuse rudeness (“Say, I know it’s Christmas supper and you’ve only just met these ten members of your prospective family, but I was wondering: how often do you jerk it, and will you pass the yams?”), or in the rank obliviousness to reality brought on by ideological blindness – like asking whether you study your Bible enough to have become holier than our Lord, carefully rejecting the thing He most highly blessed and honored in His last moments of earthly liberty, and which He explicitly commanded us to continue doing – you know, like any good student of the Bible would!

    Because marriage does deal with a quid pro quo involving so many blunt realities – looks, class, money, ability, virtue, etc. – the sane and traditional way for all of this to occur, is for the families to have representatives and go-betweens, who get answers to all of the above questions in discreet ways. At worst, the fathers hash it out; at best, a match-maker will handle it, who is good at knowing the score on all these points, and thus at sparing the feelings of all involved from the outset. I see more clearly every day, how Protestantism is phase one of Liberalism, of Progressivism. It was the beginning of the fake, engineered, ideological approach to life. Everything in modernity has developed from it, as the corn from the kernel. What a horrible way to spend Christmas Day!

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