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Is Dating a Lost Art?

Posted on May 23, 2023


Remember back in the day when you dated? The two of you would stare into each other’s eyes because you didn’t know what to say. And when you did say something, it was intended as “romantic,” but it usually didn’t come out that way. Well, teenagers and young adults today don’t know how to date. In fact, they probably wouldn’t even use the word “date” because that term has lost all meaning. Why is this the case? And what does the Bible say about dating? 


Dating in a Social Media World


I have to be honest with you: I’ve tried five different online dating sites, and I’m convinced that online dating is nothing more than a waste of time and money. Don’t get me wrong, some find their future spouse on these sites, but the majority of people on these sites aren’t really looking for a committed relationship. 


Concerning online dating, Suzie (who calls herself a dating diva) explains it best: “It seems people no longer want to enjoy the process of dating. They want to rush into things, whether it be a relationship or sex. This is magnified when you’re online dating. The amount of time wasters on there is extraordinary. While some people truly want to meet someone, most actually aren’t looking for anything real, even if they DO say they are looking for a relationship. On the most part they are ‘shopping around’ and will judge people based on a few interactions or just messages for days on end without actually locking down a date.” 


She’s right! I remember messaging a girl back and forth, and we messaged quite a few times. Finally, I asked her if we could do a video chat (not a date), and I never heard back from her. On another occasion, a girl “liked” my profile, and so I looked at her profile and I liked what I saw. So I messaged her, but I never heard back! So it seems that many of these social media dating sites are filled with people who lack commitment. They just want to look around, maybe chat some, but go on actual dates? Nah. 


The website “Future Marriage University” has this to say about dating: “As our culture became more narcissistic, dating became more and more about fun than the future; more about the pleasures of adolescence than the progression toward adulthood.” What’s funny is that the place where dating is most prevalent is in junior high and high school. Kids are simply pretending to be grown-ups, but make no mistake, there is no commitment involved. 


FMU goes on to say that we were not made to have sex. “Instead, we were made for relationships. We were made to know and be known by the most important people in our lives. And through those relationships we are called to maturity!” Our culture glamorizes sex, but that’s not what dating is about. So what IS it about? 


The Purpose of Dating 


We’ve forgotten the actual purpose of dating, and it couldn’t be more simple. You date someone to see if they are who you should marry. That’s it! But too many people today date around simply to have fun. They don’t want to be lonely. If you’re lonely, make some friends, but don’t fill that hole with a boyfriend or girlfriend that you have no intentions of marrying. 


I would say that the correct definition of marriage would be two individuals of the opposite sex spending time together, getting to know each other, with the express purpose of marriage in mind. Marriage has to be the goal, otherwise you will only disappoint the other person, and in the end, it was a waste of time. And let’s be honest, for many people today, online dating is a waste of time! It’s because people’s intentions are not right. 


What Does the Bible Say about Dating?


This is the tricky part. The Bible doesn’t really say anything about dating, and that’s because back in Bible times, arranged marriages were the norm. There was no such thing as “dating.” And that’s probably why there are so many Christian books on dating today! It comes down to personal preferences, careful attention, and sound wisdom. 


The Bible doesn’t mention when you should hold hands, or when you should kiss, and so it’s up to the couple to make those decisions (and I DO think the couple should make these decisions because they are adults, and adults are responsible to make their own decisions). However, the Bible is clear on sex (that’s for marriage only, see Heb. 13:4). 


So yes, dating can be difficult, but it’s always been that way. It requires a lot of prayer, and both individuals need to be aware if the relationship is moving forward or not. To answer the question, yes, dating is a lost art, mostly because of social media, but also because young people today lack commitment, and that’s the biggest problem. 


If you’re reading this and you’re single, and you want to get married, then I hope that you will date with that purpose in mind. Don’t date someone just for the fun of it. This involves a lot of prayer and seeking God’s will (and maybe looking at dating sites if you want), but make sure that you are dating for the right reason. Don’t follow the culture, follow what God wants for your life. 

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