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I think this is a good topic (and one we've discussed a few times). I'm talking about the things people say to you when you're single, and they know (or assume) you'd like to be not-single.
A guest blogger at Stuff Christians Like, comedian Kristin Weber, recently tackled this topic:
I’m single, in my late twenties, and live in the Bible Belt. Needless to say, I get some pretty spectacular advice both about being single and how to become unsingle. At this point, I almost want to stay single so I can keep getting new story material.
She goes on to share some of the awkward advice she's received. This was my favorite:
"If you want to get married, you need to hang a pair of men’s pants at the end of your bed, and then pray to God every night to fill those pants with the perfect man.”
Yep. That's pretty awkward.
Singleness is a problem subject people seem to love to offer advice on. And advice can be a good thing. As Proverbs 12:15 says, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice."
But I think most of us have experienced receiving unsolicited (and possibly unwanted) advice that is also unhelpful. It is helpful to remember that the advice-giver usually means well. I remember my younger brother (who married seven years before me and was pretty baffled that I hadn't hooked a guy) once saying, "Aren't there, like, any Christian coffee shops you can go to, to meet guys?"
I nicely said no. No, there were not.
(Though awkward advice at the time, it's ironic that I did, in fact, meet my husband at a coffee shop.)
How about you? What is some strange, awkward or just downright bad dating advice you've received?
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--While not exactly "dating" advice, a few misguided people have advised me to freeze my eggs because time was running out for me to meet a good man.
I think they'd given up on the typical dating advice, which was mostly along the lines of, "You need to marry XXX" simply because he goes to church.
--Yes. It was called "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." :-)
--Dave wins the interwebs.
--I'm waiting for the firestorm to start..
--Ok I'll start the firestorm :) I actually really liked "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," and still do. I'm kind of curious why you pin pointed that book as awkward dating advice though, Dave.
--The Storm already happened in this article I was reading all the comments, quite Interesting. Here is the link community.focusonthefamily.com/.../true-tale.aspx
--I remember talking to one of my former pastors about how frustrated I felt when I was single. He told me that marriage isn't so great and that his wife had repeatedly threatened to walk out on him.
Part of the problem is that we live in a society where people are expected to know everything. If someone asks us something we don't know we tend to just make something up to pretend that we do know.
This can be very hurtful. My wife had three miscarriages and almost everyone has their own opinion about why it happened. Some people blamed her for working while others suggested she ate the wrong foods. None of this advice was helpful.
Perhaps we need to be more humble to just admit we don't know why some things happen. We don't know why some people are single even though they seem to do everything right. We don't know why some people keep getting fired from jobs. There is a lot we don't know because we are not God. Only He is all-knowing.
--Well, Dave wins the thread.
I did once have a recently married friend ask me if I had ever considered the possibility that I was called to singleness. To my credit, she is still alive and we are still friends ;)
--My grandmother frequently tells me I need a better social life--like going square dancing. I'm part of a really great, encouraging Bible study group for graduate students, but she recently told my sister that I needed to move on/find an additional social circle, because I'd clearly exhausted my matrimonial possibilities there...
Ok, maybe some of that is valid advice, but it still makes me laugh
--Hi keith. I'm so sorry for what happened between you and your wife. I know that people can go a bit crazy with weird advice. I know that they gave you some pretty useless advice. I'm a doctor in canada. I want to make sure of certain things : Has your wife been followed closely by a doctor to determine the medical cause of the miscarriages? When I hear of a woman having multiple miscarriages, I automatically want to rule out any inflammatory or auto-immune diseases. Sometimes, one of the only symptoms of a woman with inflammatory/auto-immune disorder can be multiple miscarriages and infertility. These disorders can be managed. If you have already seen a doctor and he has ruled out any of these disorders, then please just disregard what I wrote. I just want to help. Again, i'm sorry for this ordeal.
"I'm kind of curious why you pin pointed that book as awkward dating advice though, Dave."
jeiswerth, the answer to that question would require an entire separate blog post. Or multiple separate blog posts. Like this one here:
--In high school, I went to a youth conference, and the speaker said, "Raise your hand if you are dating. Okay, I have two important words of advice for you. BREAK UP!!!!!!!!!! You're teenagers, you don't know the first thing about love. Until you're an adult, Jesus needs to be your number one boyfriend if you are a girl, and yes, I know this is going to sound a little strange, but if you are a guy, Jesus needs to be your number one girlfriend."
As you might expect, my youth group was quite outraged, so the youth pastor had to calm them down. I wasn't allowed to date anyway, so I was just laughing. Maybe dating in high school is too problematic, but it's worked out for some couples, and not everyone regrets it. I think it is interesting when conservatives don't want juniors and seniors to date, AND they also want young people to get married as soon out of high school as possible. The people I know who got married young were the ones who dated in high school, even though it was much more common for couples to meet each other at college and marry a couple of years later.
--When I consider the dating "advice" I received from the church over the years, it is among the most unhelpful and fear-inducing I've ever heard-- in hindsight, it makes me angry because it was almost all wrong or inaccurate. I've dated three people now (and kissed them all...and good! :D ) and I have zero regrets about any of them-- however, if i had listened to most Christians giving me advice or "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" I would missed out excellent experiences with wonderful people and kept me in perpetual "innocence" with regards to dating (which is really just fear about getting hurt).
Yes, breaking up sucks. Yes, I miss them sometimes. And that's totally normal and healthy. Dating and breaking up can teach you how to deal with life's disappointments. (and NO--- previous boyfriends DON'T always pop up in your head when you're kissing someone new. Unlike that horrible story in IKDG about a guy's ex-girlfriends waiting with him at the altar on his wedding day., it just hasn't been true for me at all in different relationships. If that's true for him/her, he/she has other issues.) And honestly, the most relationship "hurt" I've had is from my GIRL friends---- not my boyfriends. Interesting.
I feel like I could go on forever about the awful state of dating advice in the Christian world and specifically about how IKDG screwed me royally over for years about knowing how to have a healthy relationship. While Josh Harris meant well, those books disappearing entirely would be a positive thing IMO.
--Here's the same comment I left on the SCL post: While being rebuked for ending a relationship - "You do know that he might be your only chance to get married and raise a family." Ummm, thanks??
--Since "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" was mentioned... how about this entire site? (Sorry, couldn't resist ;-)
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