To Date or Not to Date?

Should we allow our kids to date or not to allow them to date? If so, what age will they be allowed? These are the questions my husband and I are up against now that our daughters are reaching that mysterious age. Sure, Matt still insists that 30 sounds like a great age for them to begin considering these issues. But we already see the signs of attraction. We hear the whispers with their girlfriends. And in this new age of technology, we read their texts and stalk their social media accounts. There have been plenty of “talks” about boys in our home. And there are rules that we never in our wildest dreams thought we would need to make: under no circumstances is it okay to pucker your lips for a selfie. But we always knew that we would need to figure out this whole dating dilemma. Of course, teens now say they are “dating” when no one has a job, and no one can drive. As of matter of fact, they don’t need to actually go anywhere together to be “dating.” It’s more of a status, a label deeming a boy and a girl in some sort of nebulous relationship. Matt and I have no idea what to do with this unstoppable madness. It seems that teens have put the cart before the horse. The relationship status comes before any actual dates. An interesting article is being shared all over Facebook today, speaking out against the courtship movement. Apparently, Thomas Umstattd Jr. used to be such a proponent of courtship relationships that he started But now he has changed his mind. Now that some time has passed to look back at the whole “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” craze, Umstattd sees some major flaws to the courtship model. Foremost, many of the advocates of this model still find themselves single, and not so much by choice. Secondly, he is now discovering that some of the couples that did get married are now divorcing. That wasn’t supposed to happen! Umstattd exposes the problem with courtship: The courtship movement eliminated dating and replaced it with nothing. Or, put another way, they replaced dating with engagement. The only tangible difference between an engagement and a courtship is the ring and the date. Suddenly, asking a girl on a first date has become entirely too weighty. One must ask permission from an over-protective father to enter a courting relationship with the intention of marriage. Does asking a girl to share some burgers and milkshakes have to mean that you intend to do that for the rest of your life together? How do you get to know people anymore? How do you get experience to learn what type of person you are compatible to spend the rest of your life with? Can dating be an actual activity again instead of a heavy category one is labeled by? Read the entire article here.