Christian dating in a post-Christian world

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had recorded a podcast with Fishers of Men host Mary Ashley Burton. The episode has just been released! I had a chance to listen to it today and am pleased to report that I’m getting gradually less squeamish about hearing my voice on audio 🙂

Seriously though, I had a lot of fun recording this conversation and I have little doubt that, were Mary Ashley and I living in the same city, we would be friends. We share a lot of similar experiences when it comes to being a single Christian woman and in this episode we exchange stories, experiences and thoughts on Christian dating in a post-Christian world.

No doubt some guys won’t like what we had to say but I want to stress that this was simply an honest conversation about many of our experiences with dating Christian men. I was also grateful for the opportunity to clarify some of the misconceptions and misinterpretations I’ve encountered. Hopefully for many of you, those have already been clarified on this blog.

Again, I do apologise if I spoke too quickly at times. That tends to happen when I get excited or passionate about what I’m discussing!

Enjoy.

11 thoughts on “Christian dating in a post-Christian world

  1. It was a good post though at an hour long I’m afraid many people won’t sit though the entire podcast.
    Just a couple of points.
    I think you are right that U.S. women tend to be more materialistic than Australian ones, though its more a question of degree than anything else. I’ve got a reasonably highish status job and its amazing the difference in interest you get here in Australia once women find out what type of work you do. As a student, I remember working as a cleaner and can recall women deliberately trying to avoid talking to me. I don’t advertise what I do but when word gets around it’s surprising how many “cold” women turn quite warm. I’ve always found that type of woman repulsive but it’s a fact of life that status is a chick magnet.
    The same theme keeps coming up in your conversation; namely, most Christian/Catholic guys are unattractive to you. Now what I want to know what is it in Christianity that either attracts the intense guys or is there something in Christianity that makes the guys intense. It’s a rhetorical question.
    Thirdly, there is an interesting dilemma at play here fore a Traditional Christian male. The range of physical affection permitted to non-married couples is severely limited in Catholicism, so if you’re looking at someone with an intent to get hot and steamy with, there is very little scope to exercise this faculty except within marriage: you’re either not in or all in. As a young Christian male you don’t want to be wasting your time so there is a strong urge to get down to business quickly.
    Interesting, dating is a very modern phenomenon with people in the past actually limiting it quite severely due to the proximate risk of sin. Traditional theology makes dating a phenomenon that is best limited. As repulsive as it sounds, arranged marriages are far more “theologically” safe.
    I also find it interesting that since you’re actively looking for a marital partner and yet you’re critical of young men who announce their intentions too soon and see it as a turn off. A double standard, no? I’m gently criticising you here but it is an example of women disparaging men for the things they do.
    Overall, I thought your podcast was good and I think it was a good example of a female perspective of the current dating situation.

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    1. Hi fluvox, can you refer me to what I say about criticising men who “announce their intentions too soon”? If you’re referring to the comment I made about men who go from one woman to the next to see if she will date him, my complaint about that was nothing to do with announcing intentions too soon, it was about being made to feel like a display in a meat market, where the person isn’t interested in you as much as he’s interested in a “Catholic wife”. Or were you referring to something else?

      Also, just to be clear, I’ve known several Catholic/Christian men who are devout and very attractive to me. It’s just that they’re usually either already married or in a relationship, or not interested in me. The point being they do exist, they’re just very few and far between.

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      1. You don’t describe traditionalists very favorably. One of my acquaintances said he found them strange when he attended a Latin Mass church in NYC. I like the Latin Mass. But I could do without the lace and fancy robes. I suspect the lace is a big reason why some guys are there in the first place.

        While on a date, have you ever asked (or thought about asking) a trad guy whether he’s a closet Freemason? That’d be hilarious.

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      2. Hello Agony,
        The section in question is 13:20 to 14:15.
        “does she fit the template for a potential catholic wife.”
        And you’re not looking for a man who fits the template for a potential Catholic husband?…….puh-lease! I understand that these men lack social skills but they’re looking for the same thing that you are. You are pretty upfront about your situation, but so are they (In their own Aspergy way) I understand it’s all about social nuance, or lack thereof, but there is a sort of double standard at play here. What separates you from them is social skills, not much else.
        The Bachelor is currently on the telly here and he is announcing to all and sundry that he is looking for a mate and no one is calling him creepy, weird or “intense”. Did I happen to mention that he is hot? All things will be forgiven a man if he is attractive. If a man pushes your buttons he could softly whisper passages of the Summa in your ear and you would find it irresistible. Such is love.
        And what are you if you’re not a potential Catholic wife? How do you differ from the other girls then?
        Here’s an interesting thought: They value your Catholicism more than you value theirs. And as you and friend mentioned, when it comes to attractiveness vs the faith, when it comes to women, in most cases attractiveness wins. There is a deeper “mystery” at play here which goes a long way in explaining why God wanted the priesthood to be male.
        Dating IS a meat market where everyone is on the lookout for the most attractive mate they can find. (Attractive, in this instance, being the sum total of traits that a person finds attractive) You may not like that but that is reality. The Catholic bachelor is sizing up every one of the girls he meets and compares them against each other and is trying to optimise his choice, and that includes how hot they look. You’re deluding yourself if you think otherwise.
        And….you may not have intended it but what really came across in this podcast was how unattractive you and your friends find most Catholic men. Yes, I know there are exceptions. I’m a married guy so I really don’t care, but I’ve got to admit that when I listened to the podcast, I thought to myself: man, they’re really laying the boot in. Catholic guys are like icky, secular guys are like….sooo normal.
        “Honest and up front” if I remember correctly.
        I think that there is a bit of the Kettle/Pot thing going on over here but I also think you’re highlighting a fundamental truth. Namely; a lot of religious men are unattractive, even to religious women. What I want to know is why.

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    2. Hi, I’m the friend you mentioned. I just want to point out that my intention is not to bash Catholic men, but to understand why these situations are happening as well. By “intense” we did not mean declaring intentions (or at least I didn’t…I have it on my online dating profiles that I want to get married, so I totally respect guys that say that as well), but rather going into a date with a checklist of things they want to find out that aren’t necessarily first or even second-date appropriate conversations. It turns into more of an interview, rather than really getting to know the other person for who they are, and at the same time appreciating that you barely know each other, and might not see each other for another date, let alone get married. I agree with you that the root is wanting to “get down to business quickly,” but this doesn’t really respect where the other person might be and actually rather objectifies the other person, by only seeing them in terms of their usefulness to you, rather than as a whole unique creation in God’s image. And THAT can feel very manipulative and gross.
      As for attractiveness, it goes way beyond the physical. I have found that emotional attraction can make someone attractive to me that I otherwise wouldn’t find physically attractive, and vice versa, take any attraction out that I might have had physically. And emotional attraction comes when I feel genuinely cared for, respected, and listened to. So the issue we discuss, about women marrying men outside the faith, is much broader than “non-Catholics are hotter”. I think it has more to do with the fact that often non-Catholics, or even non-practicing Catholics, are more open-minded when it comes to dating, more likely to be able to appreciate women they date as people with unique gifts and not just see them in terms of their usefulness to them, and yes, of course, social skills.
      And no, I do not go into dates with a “Catholic husband template”. Marrying a Catholic would be nice, but practicing the faith and reading the right books are, sadly, only a fraction of the whole picture when it comes to who a person is. Rather than checking off a list of qualities, on a date I am much more interested in whether we can have a meaningful conversation or if the conversation is stilted and forced, whether he gets my sense of humor, whether he listens to what I say rather than interrupting me to talk about himself and clearly not remembering details, whether or not he gives me unsolicited life advice (UGH!), and, mostly, whether I feel comfortable with him and enjoy spending time with him.

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      1. Mary and Anna, if you’re dating and open to marrying non-Christians, what’s this whole “crisis” about anyway? What does it matter how many Christian men there are, or what we’re doing?

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      2. Mary and Anna your conversation was a joyful delight,you guys were funny and informative and what made it even more interesting and appealing you both spoke from the heart,which was all you wanted from the Catholic guys. Absolutely seamless.

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  2. Your social circles are very different from mine. I can’t say that I’ve ever discussed Aquinas with anyone. That said, I think that travel destinations, music, and the Simpsons (early seasons) are better topics for discussion on dates. The Summa may be great, but I’d rather talk about Bee Gees’ albums or traveling to some obscure country.

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  3. Overall I think the episode was good.

    I’d probably add that I think the emphasis on women’s alleged desire for wealthy men is a bit of a red herring. I’d frame the problem more as that we live in a world where most of women’s material desires are easily satisfied, whereas they used to rely more on having a loyal, reliable husband to provide. From what I’ve observed, without this constraint it seems to lead to situations where women develop very unrealistic expectations about what they can obtain in a man. They either want a man who out-earns them (increasingly hard with all these efforts to close the so-called wage gap) or start looking for a man who ‘excites’ them (and exciting men don’t necessarily make good husbands).

    Also, regarding your comment about ‘refugees’: increasingly men are realizing mass migration is really just a tool by liberal elites to wage demographic warfare against their own lower classes. It lowers wages, makes housing unaffordable and leads to the fracturing of communities, all of which hinder family formation. You can’t claim that you support strong, cohesive communities and then downplay or ignore this factor, particularly when the majority don’t have strong Western Christian values.

    Christians like to point out Jesus was a refugee, but neglect to mention that HE WENT BACK (and he only crossed over to neighboring Egypt which was also part of the Roman Empire). Aquinas (Summa 105) recognized a distinction between travelers and migrants, and that a much higher standard was to be applied to the latter where they aspired to become citizens. Hospitality for the stranger is one thing, turning natives into strangers in their own country is quite another.

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    1. Agreed . I think when Christ refers to the story of the Good Samaritan(helping),here he is referring to your Christian brother ( not con Men) .As for money I think it really represents security,the girls can be forgiven here,as they don’t want to live in squalor and who could blame them it’s hardly conducive to the long term physical/mental health and happiness of their children-it’s biological, they seek men who are up to the task in the interests of their children.

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