Monday, July 19, 2010

The Courting Model — Its for the girls

Hi William,

I think the thing you don’t understand is that our views of dating vs. courting have to do with defending and protecting our women, not about antagonizing and irritating guys.

If women were wired like men, much of what you have to say would make perfect sense. I could hang with a guy for an afternoon and never talk to him again in my whole life and it wouldn’t cause him any trouble or me any trouble. But if I asked a woman to hang with me for even fifteen minutes, I would be in serious trouble. This is because women and men are different.

If a woman were to ask a man to do something fun with her for an afternoon it would be the very rare man who wouldn’t read into it that she liked him in some romantic way. And he wouldn’t be wrong 98 percent of the time. This is because men and women are wired differently.

Almost all women spend their entire lives looking, waiting, longing to be married to a knight on a white horse. They are wired this way. They play with dolls when they are little because they anticipate one day having babies and a house and a family. When men are little boys they play with soldiers and tanks and cars and balls and everything except “house” with the girls. This is because they are focused on world domination and conquest. They are wired this way.

When a man sees a woman, he often sees a conquest, a challenge to be won. He goes after her wondering if he can make her like, maybe even fall in love with him. Then, when she does, he freaks out and runs away. He wanted her to like him, but all of a sudden she is talking about love and how many children he wants. All he wanted was to be friends, to unfreeze the frozen, to crack the unfriendly face of the beautiful but distant Suzy. So, he cozies up to her, says hello, asks smoothly if she wants to go for coffee. Just coffee, no commitments, no emotions, no intimacy. And she agrees because she doesn’t believe him. She doesn't believe him because she is thinking he really might love her. He might be the one. He might be Mr. Right. And if he says all the right things and does all the right things, he is definitely the right one. And because he wants one thing and she wants something totally different, they are talking the same language, but meaning something entirely different from one another. The result is a train wreck. Her heart broken and he wonders where it all went wrong.

Men want the contest. Women want the man. If men lose, they just move on to the next battle. If women lose, their hearts are broken and they are emotional basket cases for years, maybe their entire lives. They are shredded, they are crushed, they are devastated.

And dating is only helpful for men who want to dally, who want to pick and choose and squeeze the tomatoes in the store before they buy one. The problem is that the tomatoes they are squeezing are being ruined with the squeeze. So dating is only good for the men. They get the emotional uplift of a woman liking them and they get the deniability of saying, “it was only a date, why are you so upset?”

In courting, the man has to deal with the father who knows how the game is played. He can see an idiot 30 miles away. He knows if the young man is interested in his daughter because he is interested in really loving her, or if he is just interested in a hot babe and a difficult challenge. The father can protect his daughter from predators who only want the thrill but not the responsibility of a real, intimate, committed relationship.

Often all the woman sees is a nice looking chap, or a well put together fellow. But her father can see through all that and tell the guy to take a hike.

Sure if a young man came to me asking to court my daughter, I might ask her what she thinks about him, but not until I know what I think about him. If he’s a loser, he won’t get close to my daughter even if it is only my asking her what she thinks about him. If I don’t like him already, I don’t want to plant in her head fact that I've even considered the guy.

So, if a fellow comes to me, I will grill him, probably for hours. I will take him golfing, tree cutting, have Pepsi with him and get to know him for a long time before I will ever ask my daughter what she thinks about him. He’s got to pass my inspection before I will allow him to take the chance of hurting my daughter’s heart.

Then, if I’m convinced he is a good guy, a godly man, a manly man, then I will ask my daughter if she’s noticed him and if so what she thinks about him. Then, if she doesn’t know much, I’ll ask her to pay a little bit of attention to him and check him out from a distance. If after a time of her observing him in action, from a distance, she decides he is worth getting to know, we’ll orchestrate a very slow courtship sort of thing where they can get to know one another in a very controlled and antiseptic environment. At any point, if she doesn't like him, no matter what I think of him, he's history.

The courtship time is the opportunity to see if things actually “fit.” We investigate family backgrounds, personal practices, expectations for life and work and ministry and calling and children. We want to know the things we couldn’t know in public. Does he like old people, dogs? What kind of music does he like? Can he play an instrument? Is he athletic? What sports? At any time me or my daughter thinks he isn’t the one, we’ll pull the plug and tell him to take a hike. It is not an engagement period. He doesn’t get to touch her, just because they are courting.

All this because courting is way to protect our girls from men who are really boys at heart; men who do not understand women and how they work; men who are not really interested in commitment and intimacy and truly hard work. Dating has none of these advantages and it is set up for men to get their jollies and for women to be ripped off.

I hope this helps.

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