Why I'm in favour of dating
Dating these days seems to mean 'sleeping together'.
Chrisitans object to this, with good reason, and many Christians have therefore thrown out dating altogether. In some extreme cases, young people will wait to have a relationship ‘arranged’ by trusted mentors.
I will take a little detour to explain the reason why I am actually in favour of dating (with some obvious limitations).
Marriage is unique amongst human relationships as being in general the only relationship which spans all four spaces - the public, social, personal and intimate spaces. (For more information on the four spaces, check the links on friendship on the side of this blog.)
In a good marriage, a man and a woman need to relate well in the public space together. It helps if they have similar backgrounds and similar life experiences.
In a good marriage, a man and a woman need to relate well in the social space. It helps if they enjoy going to the same places, and have the same expectations of social interactions. It even helps if they understand each other’s relating style.
In a good marriage, a man and a woman need to relate well in the personal space. It helps if they have the same friends, or at least like each other’s friends.
In a good marriage, a man and a woman need to relate well in the intimate space. It helps if they enjoy their sex life and appreciate each other’s bodies. It helps if they can be truly honest without getting mean or defensive. It helps if they understand how to express their love so that the other person feels loved as well.
If marriage is a relationship that spans all four spaces, surely a reasonable knowledge in each space, of the person you are considering marrying is helpful!
I think it's good for a couple to learn about each other in as many ways as possible before they marry, so I am in favour of couples going out together.