“Why would I date if I don’t want to get married yet?”
That’s the question we need to ask ourselves isn’t it, why do we really date? Do we need to get romantically involved with everyone that we find attractive?
And as I uttered that question, my parents told me that it’s not the right mindset to keep. I appreciated their response and decided not elaborate further. I assumed that they thought that from my point of view, I feel the need to marry the girl I date.
If by dating we mean starting to get to know someone with a romantic intention, I think it’s naive to think that we would spend the rest of our lives with them. I mean, we barely even know them.
But the point I’m trying to make actually is much more different. I don’t particularly think that we need to marry the first girl we’re dating, but that we should initiate a romantic relationship only if we want to get married in the near future. Why do we date, if we don’t think it will last in the first place?
I told my parents that if I only want to have a dinner with someone from the opposite sex, I think we can still do it as friends. The same goes with walking down the street or going to shopping malls; a boy and a girl who are bound by friendship can do those things.
Then why do we keep looking for that perfect counterpart that we keep imagining before sleep? Is it merely because of social pressure? Do we do that with the hope that it will fill that void in our lives? Or so that we may have the answer to “Kapan nikah? (When are you getting married?)” or “Udah punya pacar belum? (Have you got yourself a girlfriend?)”
I don’t really have a complete answer to that, and I think my answer might sound somewhat unpopular. But here goes: I personally don’t plan to date for fun. In fact, I don’t think dating girls after girls is fun at all.
I think that having a relationship requires constant work from both parties. Maybe we might feel that there is no stopping “the spark of love” between 2 lovers. But we need to remember that feelings change. People also change. If we like someone because of their looks, what would happen if she/he looks differently years from now? Do we date other people because we’re sexually attracted to them? Then by implication, should we date everyone that we’re sexually attracted to (or maybe just the ones that aren’t out of our league, lol)?
I may have been overthinking this. I mean, it’s just dating, Tom! You have years ahead of you to make mistakes! You should learn to be a lady magnet just like Barney Stinson! Have some fun!
Haha no, thanks! This is another point I’m trying to say, why do we date, if it’s only some fling? Won’t it just be the same with wasting our time? Why do we keep dating different girls while Elon Musk is working hard trying to get people to Mars? Not that we shouldn’t hang out with people from the opposite sex, but won’t it be better if we don’t date everyone we’re physically attracted to and converse as friends instead?
I think that the word “love” is uttered way too easily these days. I can say it, you can say it, but I personally feel that it’s hard to mean it from the heart. To purely love means to give ourselves completely without the thought of cutting back our possible losses. I think that none of us can’t understand this concept of true love (yet).
“But in true love, your aim is to spend yourself and use yourself for the happiness of the other, because your greatest joy is that person’s joy. Therefore your affection is unconditional: You give it regardless of whether your loved one is meeting your needs. And it’s radically vulnerable: You spend everything, hold nothing back, give it all away.”
(Timothy Keller, Jesus the King)
Then how do we know if we have met the one? I honestly don’t know. But if we have found someone who we can be frank with, like the sort of nerdy things that we are into, and in the utmost, someone who believes in the same meaning of marriage as we do, I think that special someone might be worth a shot. I pray, that the relationship that we’ll have from this point on won’t become another meaningless moments that ends in despair. But that we can finally live as God has intended for us to live, that we’re not seeking for mere temporary joy. May that special someone can bring us closer to God, and vice versa. This, I think, is the main goal of having a romantic relationship. I pray, that we can find this special person if it’s His will. If it’s not? That’s okay.
Further recommended readings:
- Five Pieces of ‘Out-Dated’ Dating Advice (Marshall Segal)
- Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis)
- 10 Questions on Dating with Matt Chandler (Tony Reinke)