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I grew up as a member of the homeschool community back when we were hiding from the cops and getting our textbooks from public school dumpsters.
When I was a teenager, my friends started reading this new book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye. After reading it myself, I grew into as big an opponent of dating as you could find.
Visits and comments poured in from all over the country about how to make courtship work and why it did not work. I’m talking the kind of couples who first kissed at their wedding were filing for divorce. The deal was that if we put up with the rules and awkwardness of courtship now we could avoid the pain of divorce later.
Each year I waited for courtship to start working and for my homeschool friends to start getting married. The whole point of courtship was to have a happy marriage, not a high divorce rate.
When my grandmother dated in middle school (yes, middle school) her parents had one primary rule for her.
The Primary Dating Rule: Don’t go out with the same guy twice in a row. She explained that the lack of exclusivity helped them guard their hearts and kept things from getting too serious too quickly. The lack of exclusivity helped the girls guard their hearts and kept the boys from feeling entitled to the girl.
It seems that my great grandparents’ rule forbidding my grandmother from going out with the same guy twice in a row was a common rule in those days.
Readiness can become a carrot on a stick, an ideal that can never be achieved.Dating was evil and Courtship, whatever it was, was godly, good and Biblical.My grandparents would often ask why I wasn’t dating in high school.This is different from my generation, which is encouraged to “wait until you are ready to get married” before pursuing a romantic relationship.This advice, when combined with the fact that “the purpose of courtship is marriage”, makes asking a girl out for dinner the emotional equivalent of asking for her hand in marriage.
It often had symbols like the girl wearing the guy’s letter jacket.