I grew up fundamentalist, but strayed for a few years in my teens to seek out gangs, sex and art. After a couple of years, I returned to the Church but dabbled in romance and kink on and off. Eventually, I returned to the Church and tried to be good.
However, in the Church, “being good” means trying not to have sex but keeping an eye open for a suitable partner. The hunt is always on, and I was constantly having to show my spiritual peacock feathers. I had to flash my mojo more so than other Christian because I had some strikes against me:
- I wasn't a virgin
- I didn't have a clean record
- I was a smoker
- I liked to drink
But in certain religions—as it is in Christianity—once you marry, it is for life. There is no divorce. There is no leaving. There therefore is no settling. Why marry someone a par or two less than what you can possibly get?
Essentially, this would keep many of my older friends single and unmarried way into their forties and fifties. You even wonder if these people are saying that they are “waiting for the right one to come along” are merely trying to cover the possibility that they are gay or lesbian.
When I first reintroduced myself to the Church when I was 18 years old, I didn't know much about dating. Showing interest in a girl at church the second or third time I went, an acquaintance said that he didn't think she was interested in dating anyone. Not interested? We're fresh adults in our prime, at the age of looking for a spouse. How can she not be wanting to date anyone?
Later, I spent about three months in an intentional community of Christians: Jesus People USA. This was the same group of people that are known for the Jesus Movement of hippies in the 1960s and 1970s. They now live in a huge hotel in Chicago and have several businesses that they run, including Cornerstone Festival.
Everyone at JPUSA lived in small bedrooms with other people like dormitories, and you lived with your spouse and children if you were married. Not being married, I was immediately looking at options. Most of the cute women were married off, and maybe of the younger girls were courting, or were pre-engaged. Not many options, not that needed a spouse yet, but I was trying to be a good Christian man but horny as hell.
There was this one girl that caught my eye and was about my age. She has long, dark red hair, fair skin with freckles, and I thought her body was ideal: smaller breasts and a large round butt. I thought she was super hot and would talk to her occasionally, and she seemed to respond to me, even if it were to be friendly.
One time I was going to approach her but saw this book she was reading: I Kissed Dating Goodbye. My word! Why would she do that? Why would she not want to date? Why wouldn't she be interested in having a boyfriend, and eventually a husband? She was so fine (my early-twenties' libido) that I literally thought to myself, “What a waste.” Someone that hot not wanting to date, to marry, to have sex.
After a while hanging out in singles groups and hearing sermons on relationships, I started to learn that Christians approach dating different. You friend them, then hang out with them in groups, then have the talk, then start to court with marriage in mind, get married, and then you can have sex.
I kind of knew these things, but not in completion. You learn these things as you mess up, get corrected by someone in leadership, or teased by a peer. The I Kissed Dating Goodbye movement left quite an impression on me. Not having read the book, or knowing the cleverness of the title, the title left a bad taste in my mouth.
Guys are taught that women don't have strong sex drives, that they reluctantly give in to men's advances, and that you sort of have to woo them to get them into bed. I thought the same went with marriage. Hide your dirty laundry so Miss Perfect will accept your advances. Someone not wanting to date is like a baseball player not wanting to reach first base; they obviously don't want to reach second or third.
Sex was forbidden in my religion, but many were giving in. And I was young and horny, so I gave in, too. I was a serial monogamist, loyal to whoever I was dating and/or having sex with. But I wanted God to bless my future marriage.
Basically, anyone in love with someone else, I encourage them to express their love with that person in any way that they desire. And if you're both mutually-respectful adults and wish to have a fling, go for it. Be happy, live fulfilled. Don't let any religion or dating advice be your sole force in how you live your life. Once I dropped religion and its unrealistic demands to the wayside, the more fulfilling my sex life got. I don't carry the guilt and I can fully express what I want with my wife.
And here's the kicker: she has a sex drive, just like any other woman. And I don't have to coerce her into bed or to date me. Women are just like guys. But religious people and texts won't tell you this.
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