Dear Miss 29,
Thanks for the offer of a date, but I’m afraid I’m going to have to decline.
It’s not every day a beautiful woman offers me a no-strings attached date. Or any day. At first sight a date without expectation sounds like a great thing (although the prospect of being scored out of 10 is slightly off-putting (even though you’re very generous – no way did Mr Twenty40 deserve a five).
I thought I’d give you the courtesy of explaining why I’m turning you down, and why I suspect many of my fellow Christian guys have not jumped at the chance. (Although some have – each to their own!)
It’s not just about sex. It’s not just that we have different views on the place of sex in a relationship; it’s not even mostly that. There would be three of us on this date and that would be awkward. I believe in God, and I don’t just believe in Him in a benevolent deity, far removed but originator of the universe kind of way. I believe in a God who is actively involved in all of the world, in all of its corners and inhabitants, who cares what goes on. I want to involve God in my life, and that means He’s not just a private belief, a private eccentricity like building model train sets that can be confined to the attic and annexed from a couple’s life.
I can’t not believe in God, I can choose to ignore Him, I can choose to live life as though He isn’t there. But God is not only something I believe in, He is what illuminates and frames my life and the choices I make in it.
Ok, it is also about sex. You make it pretty clear you’d want to live with a guy before you got married and sex is a pretty important part of a relationship for you. And I don’t think that way. And however well our date went, however much I charmed you, however much I was enthralled by you, if the chemistry was incredible, if the fun was contagious. There would be a question, one that cannot be ignored: what next?
Woah! Hold on. That’s pretty heavy for contemplating a first date, and not even a regular one at that but one designed under a brilliant and slightly bizarre adventure, you may say. And yes, I’ve read your blog, I love it, I’m even getting some ideas and tips for future dates of my own.
But what’s the point in a date unless it looks forward, unless there is some sort of goal in mind? However much you are enjoying the now, it is never just about the now: the now is a prelude to the future. I want to date someone who shares my faith, who, when we look out on life and the world around us, is seeing the same vista that I am. A vista where God is the central actor, with our lives as a dance that includes Him as we see whether it’s a quick sashay across the room or a tango down the aisle.
I want to date, go out with, and hopefully eventually marry someone who sees the world through the same lens I do. I want to see life through the same lens they see it. I don’t think this is unreasonable, I don’t think it’s abnormal, in fact I think it’s pretty standard. Every relationship involves compromise, some give and take, some changes to each as they get to know the other. But I think it helps if you are both playing the same game on the same playing field.
It doesn’t diminish my respect for, and friendship with, people who see the world differently to me, who do not believe in God or live their lives in response to that, but it does mean that I don’t want to date them.
So we could go out, we could have a few drinks, a few laughs and it would be great. I’d take your hint, book a table and find a quirky activity that would set me out from the crowd. But it wouldn’t be a date. A date has some prospect, some hint however remote, that it might become something more.
I wish you well with your dates, you’ve had some offers from threads readers already, but it won’t be me.
All the best,
Boy About Town