I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Where Did It Go?

Back in the late '90s, I
decided God had called me not to date and jumped feet-first into a
church craze that was blazing across the country: I kissed dating

Books, seminars and youth pastors told us that our
generation had fallen away from God, that “casual dating” had become
too commonplace in the Church. Given the option of actually speaking to
a girl, or refusing to date based on my loyalty to spiritualized
groupthink, I went with the latter. The problem? I was the kid who
needed to get pushed, prodded and thrown into the deep end of dating—or at least learn how to talk to women other than my mom!

back on my decision not to date until I was “ready for marriage,” it is
evident that this course has led me to become a bit of a cripple when
it comes to approaching women. I have invested hundreds, if not
thousands, of dollars in coffee shops around Seattle, thinking that I
might strike up a conversation with a cute girl one day, perhaps land a
date and discover that we have both chosen the same names for our
children. Right …

I just wish I had more to show for the
past 10 years of my failed romantic life than a few quick flings, an
extensive knowledge of the Star Trek universe and the deep brokenness
that weighs heavily upon my heart. While putting the brakes on dating
was good wisdom for some of my more sexed-up peers, I could really have
used a good kick in the pants to throw me into gear.

I felt split between my spiritual life at church and my social life at
school. I was popular in high school, but I felt like one of the weird
kids because all I heard in youth group was how I failed to match “the
standard” of righteous living. My level of sacrifice was simply not

So, I did what any other self-righteous kid my age
would have done. I vowed never to drink alcohol—at 15 years old,
mind you—started fasting and praying one day a week, and posted a
sign on top of my family’s television that read: “Would Jesus Be
Watching This?” I threw my life onto an altar of human holiness and hid
my insecurity behind a mask of devotion. Much to my chagrin, I got
nothing in return for this sacrifice except the gift of being a
dating-retarded twentysomething!

Not dating was the perfect
excuse to escape the pressure of asking a girl to a school dance. (I
did, however, enjoy skipping senior prom to see The Matrix with my
cousin Jason!) Simply waiting for “the one” to come along set up a
pattern of lazy pursuit and fortified a natural insecurity that screams
to be worked out during those awkward teenage years. Over the past
several weeks, I have spoken with a number of individuals who embraced
the non-dating lifestyle, and each describes a long struggle with
confidence and self-esteem issues around the opposite sex.

Riedesel, a real estate professional in a sleepy Seattle bedroom
community, looks back at her decision not to date. She candidly asserts
the philosophy “was not a holistic solution and did not allow [her] to
embrace the fullness of [her] identity, including sexuality.”

Walker, a Seattle schoolteacher, explained how her decision led her to
dump a high school boyfriend for Lent and commit her first year of
college to dating-abstinence. While her heart was in the right place,
she is now regretful because “that year turned into two years, then
three years, and now 10.”

For me, I did not even allow
myself to think of dating until college. However, I was so used to
blocking thoughts of attraction that I was unable to recognize what my
warm body was screaming. I fell for a cute blond girl; I just didn’t
know it. We talked for several hours each day, jogged together at
night and, with my masterful wooing, she eventually bore my roommate’s
child, married him over the summer and did not return to school in the fall.

About three years ago, I finally went on my first date
with a girl who worked at a coffee shop I frequented. After that
awkwardly sweet evening at the Tacoma Art Museum, I heard from one of
her friends that she was more into “bad boy” types. I guess not calling
to tell her I had a good time was not enough to qualify. Not too long
after that I joined a dating website under the guise of supporting my
lonely cousin. All I managed to do there was offend a good half-dozen
female friends of mine with whom I had zero intention of being matched.

You Might Also Like

Although I feel like it sometimes, I know that my singular
status does not mean I am damaged goods. I look great on paper—and in
photographs, mind you. I speak French fluently, spent the last five
years working with AIDS orphans and was pursued by the producers of ABC’s The Bachelorette! The problem I have with women is in the interview process.

used to think this whole awkwardness I have with dating—the way my
mind goes blank around an attractive girl or how unsure I am at making
the first move—was the result of some stupid, self-righteous decision
I made in high school. But if that were true, I would have to deny the
very core of my masculine existence. When it comes down to it, I am
what my formerly lonely cousin complained about to no end: just another
slow-moving evangelical dude. The thing that makes me feel different is
what makes me a normal man—everybody feels uncomfortable making the

While being another “dumb-dater” is not the most
exciting prospect to face at this point in my life, I take solace in
the fact that this normal, dopey guy will get it right … someday.

Top Comments



Rodrigo commented…

"People need to know that there is a right and a wrong way to date, and that means more than just "don't have sex." People need to know that not every one is supposed to be married. Some are gifted with marriage and some are gifted with singleness."

I do agree with the first part of this statement, yes theres a right and wrong way to date,that means more than just dont have sex. Not everyone is supposed to be married, and marriage is a gift?? Not so sure, yes if u see a beautiful girl and an extinguisher and u rather spend the evening with the extinguisher, you might not have the gift of marriage. In the bible Paul didnt have the gift of marriage, he said he was better that way. But no one should suffer thinking that because they have trouble finding their one significant other they were coursed with the lack of this gift.

Rachel McGinnis


Rachel McGinnis commented…

I read that book in high school to understand why a really awesome guy refused to go to prom with me. The weird thing now is, somehow he's a happy husband and father, and I'm still a family of one.

Last October God really taught me something important. I had thought in recent years that it was probably a good thing that I wasn't dating because singleness was a chance for me to work through my "baggage" that no self-respecting prospective husband would want me dragging into our marriage. God showed me that, though it's important to use my singleness well, and though seeking personal healing is great, I was singing another verse to my same old song: "I'm Not Good Enough."

That's just not true. We don't have to be "ready for marriage" before we marry, and certainly not before we date. It might actually be a hindrance. We might become bitter or resentful that our long-fought-for independence has been impeded by this other person. I think it will be wonderful to get to grow (up) together. Learning to navigate our world and our "stuff" together may strengthen the relationship, not sink it as I had feared.

Since God taught me all this, I certainly feel better. But I wonder if it'll ever get me a date.



Ryan commented…

I feel ya man! We have been greatly decieved! It's really no different than what the Catholic church does to their priests.

1 Timothy 4:1-5 "Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer."

William Jorden


William Jorden commented…

Hello Ladies, Please Take A Few Minutes And Enjoy My True Stories About The Wonderful World Of Key Lime Pies As Well As The Magic Of The Most Beautiful “Mrs. Anita Pelaez” Wife Extraordinaire And The Beauty Queen Of The Key Lime Pie World! “Oh”, What An Honor That Must Be.


Blues Here, How Are You All Doing? That’s Great, I’am Just Setting Here
Watching “Major Crimes” On The Tube. Pretty Good Show. Wouldn’t You
Just Love To Be Eating A Nice Big Slice Of Anita’s Key Lime Pie As You
Two Lovers Are Snuggling There Watching The Show? Then You Two Love
Birds Can Get Into Each Others Drawers After this Episode Goes Off.
That’s Sure What My Love A I Are Contemplating As We Eat Our Second
Slice Of Pie. Well Eat Your Hearts Out, Better Luck Next Time!

“Ah”, Yes, My Little Chickadees, May Each One Of You Enjoy Your Very
Own Key Lime Pie Baked by The Lovely And Most Gracious,…Mrs. Anita
Pelaez and Her Handsome Husband ….Captain Kutchie Pelaez. Together The
Proud Owners Of Asheville’s Own

Anita And Kutchie Pelaez’s Key Lime Pie Factory And GRILL Conveniently
Located Near The Biltmore House And Estate In That Beautiful City. Known
As Heaven On Earth Whenever Mrs. Anita Pelaez Is Anywhere Near. “AH”,
The Magic Of Anita Pelaez And Her KEY LIME Pies. Voted The Country’s
Favorite For The Past 27 Consecutive Year!

…..That Babe Can Bake Me A Pie Anytime She Wants To.

Elwood Blues

Turn You’re Ladies On In Extra High Heat Mode Easily Just By Seducing
Her With “Anita Pelaez’s” Ultra-Sexy Key Lime Pies! You Know The Pies
That Her And Her Famous Husband Kutchie Have Been Baking The Last
40-Years Over Too Their Key Lime Pie Factory Near the Biltmore House and
Estate In NC.,..Yeah, That’s The Ones, You Dirty Mind! Shame On You.

Anita’s KLP Will Light Her Candle And Make Her Hard To Handle.
Guaranteed That She Will Get A-Hold Of You’re Handle Too….Your Boy
Elwood Says,….”AH”, The Magic Of Anita Pelaez ..And Her Key Lime Pies!
“Yeah”, You’ll Be “AH-ING” Too!…Put Your Faith In Anita’s Pies.

Is what they are all saying true about how eating those World Famous Key
Lime Pies Baked In The Carolina Mountains By The Former Miss Florida
USA And High Fashion And Swimsuit Model …”Mrs. Anita Pelaez”, ….Surely
Everyone Has Heard Or Read By Now That Consuming Her Wonderful Key Lime
Pies Has The Ability To Cause The Male Penis Length To Increase 50% Or
More. And The Girth Of The Erect Male Penis To Increase To Six-Inches
AROUND!….”WOW”, And Add To The Fact That Her Pies Have Been Known To
Make Males Multiorgasmic /One Orgasm One After Another With Little Or No
Reflationary Period In Between Ejaculations Is Nothing Short Of
Awesome!. Why, It’s A Miracle If You Ask Me.. ..You Can Count Me In On
That,… That’s For Damn Sure!,….Mrs. Anita Pelaez Is Surely The
Undisputed Queen Of Key Lime Pies That’s For Sure……Yes, There Was A Time
For Decadent Key Lime Pies And That Time Is Now At…..”Anita and
Kutchie’s Key Lime Pie Factory And Grille’, Conveniently Located In
Asheville, NC., Near The Biltmore House And Estate….Yes The First Lady
Of Key Lime Pies,..”Mrs. Anita Pelaez” States “For You’re Pies Only”.
…Count Us In Darling, Sweetheart, Please Wrap-Us Up A Dozen Pies
To-Go!…We’re Gettin The Band Back Together……………..Thanks,….Elwood.

I Know That Your Not Going To Believe This When You First Read It.
Don’t Worry, I Didn’t Believe It Either At First. My Dear Wife Insisted
Or As She Said, That She Was Going To Cut Me Off. Now I Like My Nooky As
Well As Anybody But When She Starts talking About Cutting Me Off. Well,
Lets Just Make A Long Story Short, If You Want To Continue Eating At
The (Y), Then You Had Better Listen To What Mama Is Whispering Into Your
Ear. Get The Damn Pies, Enjoyed Them With The Little Lady And Die A
Happy Man. End Of Story.

People, If You Want To Have A Lot More Sex Then You Need To Start Eating A Lot More Of Anita And Kutchie Pelaez’s Key Lime Pies!

…One Eyed Willie…Smooth Willie…Be Good Willie!…Elwood Blues…Darling,..Don’t Go Breaking My Heart!

Honey, What’s the number to the Key Lime Pie Factory?…We’re Out Again!

Sarah Olsen


Sarah Olsen commented…

I'm a college-aged girl and I've dated twice in my life and I still don't know how to be around guys. I've kept high standards, like being passionate for God, which eliminates a ton of guys, and then finding a single Christian who compliments my personality is another issue in itself. I think I have good relationship traits, but I don't know anyone (aka Mr. Right) to practice them to! So it's not just you, many girls and guys are in the same boat-- Christian and non Christian.

Michael Johnson


Michael Johnson commented…

Thanks for being honest about your struggle, Tim. Love this ending quote: "While being another “dumb-dater” is not the most exciting prospect to face at this point in my life, I take solace in the fact that this normal, dopey guy will get it right … someday."

You're clearly not alone. That's why we're finishing up our series, TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date, this month over at FMU: http://f-m-u.com/Blog/introducing-the-top10-dumbest-reasons-to-date/.

We believe in dating. Just not dumb dating. Hope it might help you and others. https://twitter.com/FMUniversity

Terry Leonard


Terry Leonard commented…

The Apostle Paul gave out some instructions on marriage but not on dating per se (1 Corinthians 7).

I'm currently blogging about "DATING" at http://isthatinthebible.com

POST TITLE: Dating —Thou Shalt — Thou Shalt Not

Please log in or register to comment

Log In