Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dating: A Variation of Shelby's Lectures on Love

Dating has come up almost as much as "love" and "marriage" in my life recently.

Read this article, Time to Stop Hooking Up then come back here.

I was talking at work the other night about how I had a completely different college experience than most. I went to a private university with an honor and dress code (that is actually observed by the vast majority of students). Members of the opposite gender couldn't be in your apartment before 10am or after midnight (1:30 am on Friday nights). Bedrooms were off-limits. I still don't go into men's rooms. Abstinence was followed because we reaffirmed every school year that we were willing to live the code we signed when we decided to attend our college, a code that is rooted in our religious beliefs. My alma mater is the #1 stone cold sober school in the country, and I can't imagine it will ever be dethroned.

You know what I got from this? A regret free education that's left me with many amazing male friends in my life that I got to know through casual interactions or "dating". I also developed a strong sense of what I'm worth and what I deserve.

I don't let men text me to make plans. When a guy and I start to text and I can tell he's fishing to figure out if I'd be interested in going somewhere with him I lay it out, "Ask me in person and we'll see what I say". I've used this on multiple men (last month actually). I know it freaks them out, they've told me. I've asked men for their numbers. I've called men to ask them out, or have asked them out in person, so I know how it goes. It sucks, your heart beats fast, you say the words, then it's over. And  you know what? It makes it more special.

I date. I don't accept "hang outs" if a guy wants to get to know me. Sure, chat me up at a party, but if you want to see more of me let's plan something. A guy, a girl, some food (although I'm a terrible eater...), some talk. My church says a lot about dating that I won't get into, but bottom line is I won't accept less than courtship. I'm worth so much more than being a casual part of your life. If you just want to be friends we'll figure it out real quick and be friends.

I'm very careful with affection. Read that article again and tell me I shouldn't be.

My approach may be old fashioned, and when I'm back on campus at my undergrad it is more than surreal to be in such a wholesome atmosphere, but I built a foundation there that still informs my interactions with men. I didn't date as much as some women there, but I had healthy and wholesome relationships and while I bat around phrases like "Remember who you are" "Return with honor" and "Stay vertical", I mean them and I live them.

This article also reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend this fall about the order of things between men and women. In the "world view" sex is step 2, 3, or 4 in a 10 step process, getting to know that person intimately, if at all, is usually closer to 7, 8, or 9. In my Mormon world it's opposite, with sex as 9 or 10 and getting to know someone intimately being step 3, 4, or 5. I like it better this way. You only get to step 10 after step 9, which is marriage, which means that most likely step 10 is reserved for one person. Isn't that nice? I think so.


  1. I love this...a lot. I wish I'd had all this figured out when I started dating. By the time I actually came to this same conclusion, I had already met my number one man (who is now my husband), but I wish I had had a slightly more serious outlook on being around the opposite sex before I met him. Props to you for knowing what you want, why you want it, and sticking to it.

  2. Shelb, this is great! My two favorite parts are 1. "I also developed a strong sense of what I'm worth and what I deserve," and "I'm worth so much more than being a casual part of your life. If you just want to be friends we'll figure it out real quick and be friends." Amen. And it will continue after you get married. Isn't it great, that we, through our upbringing, have all of this instilled in us - it is just up to us to live it. - Brianna

  3. You're so much more articulate than me and I'm jealous of that.