In a culture that condones and even encourages the hookup culture, dating for Christians has become a taboo subject; it's either avoided completely, or only acceptable with a person you're "intending to marry." This makes living around hundreds of other young single people a very confusing and anxiety-producing thing.
But, of course, it's too weird to talk about.
So, of course, Drs. Chris Grace and Tim Muehlhoff will talk about it. In this edition of the CMR podcast, they sit down with Debra Fileta, author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide To Finding the Love of Your Life, to discuss why dating doesn't happen on Christian campuses, who can initiate, having realistic expectations, working on your own baggage, and spotting red flags.
After 11 years at Biola, Tim has observed something that nearly every undergrad already knows, that "...the way modern Christian college students navigate this is, there is virtually no dating that happens on campus. And what little dating that does happen goes from zero to a hundred in a heartbeat."
Why? As Debra sees it, given the excesses of the culture around us, "there's this fear of even interacting with the opposite sex....We want to honor God, we want to do what's right, but really deep deep down, I think there's also a fear of failure. We don't want to mess this up..."
Another of Debra's observations concerns a loss of perspective: "I think we elevate dating to the level of marriage. We take it just as seriously, and asking someone out for coffee becomes equivalent to a marriage proposal: "I have to take this seriously," even though it's really just coffee. I think we've lost the art of having relationships in a healthy way with the opposite sex that aren't even romantic."
And we haven't even gotten to the part about who can (should?) initiate, how social media affects our expectations and standards, and how becoming an emotionally healthy person is key to having a healthy relationship. It's worth the 27 minutes (and after that, Part Two is here).
Debra Fileta is a professional counselor, national speaker, and creator of TrueLoveDates.com where she reaches over 2 million people a year with the message that "healthy people make healthy relationships." She's also the author of the book "True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life," where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and all over the web.
Debra will also be on campus in Chapel on April 4 & 5, 2017!