New research conducted by writer Samuel Verbi in partnership with a megachurch in the UK has revealed some shocking findings of Christian dating culture.
Rebecca, a single Christian woman in her late 20s, revealed to Samuel that there is now a dearth of single men in the church.
“There just aren’t any single Christian men! I’ve read all the books, know that God is in control and all of that, but when there literally aren’t enough men to go round, I really don’t know what else we’re supposed to do?”
In a church culture marriage to another Christian is seen as the best and often only option, yet with a ratio of 60:40 single women to men, the situation for women like Rebecca can be problematic.There appears to be a general lack of dating within the church. The scenarios of single women like Rebecca appeared to be the norm.
Over a two-year period, the normal experience of a single Christian woman was to be asked out by two non-Christians, one Christian in general and no Christians from her own congregation. This meant that 63 percent of single women in the church hadn’t been on a date with another member of their own congregation in the past two years.
“I’ve never been asked out by another church member in my entire life,”
wrote one 23-year-old woman.
“I go to a small group, I go to services, I really don’t know why it hasn’t happened! But outside of the church, it is different. In my friendship groups people have asked me out loads – they are very fine with it.”
Samuel further wrote that women were frustrated with the lack of dating occurring, and particularly with the lack of initiation from men. Of particular note were answers to the question, what would you like to say to the opposite sex regarding dating culture?
Here almost 70 percent of women wanted Christian men to “man up” and ask them out.
“If you like someone, ask them out – be the man!” said one woman.
“Be brave, be masculine! Men are meant to be men! In the real world, men ask women out and pursue them all the time”, while others were a little less tactful: ‘Grow a pair of
While the other 30 percent of women didn’t necessarily disagree with these sentiments, there was likewise a more tempered vocalisation of intentionality.
“Be intentional, treat your female friends well, don’t use them to fill your emotional needs while you’re waiting for a girlfriend”,
said one woman.
In any case, it became apparent that there was frustration from one side of the group! But what about the man’s perspective?
Over the same time period, the normal experience for a Christian man was to go on dates with two to three Christian women, but only one from their own congregation.
One guy who has been attending the church for over a year said:
“It’s difficult to find a woman that I really click with. It seems that I just haven’t met the right girl yet.”
“I’d much rather just hang out as friends and get to know them that way,” added another.
In the male population, the main frustration wasn’t the lack of dating opportunities – but rather the intense nature of dating in the Christian context/culture.
“The understanding of what dating is, is skewed and too many people take it too seriously expecting marriage at the end of a first date,” said one man.
Another coined the term Christian fishbowl effect to describe what it felt like to be a man in the Christian dating culture, “where everyone likes to know your business, and you feel like everyone is watching you. People making too big a deal out of going on a date.”
During interviews, Sam, however, discovered that women felt there was, in fact, a lot of unofficial dating occurring.
“Men never go on an ‘official date’ with a girl,” said one woman in her 30s – they in fact “just flirt with her, leading her on.”
Another woman added,
“Men will be seeing several women at the same time – but nothing is defined because he’s not my friend or my boyfriend…I’ve seen a lot of that happen.”
Likewise, Emily said that her only experience of dating within the church congregation involved three months one-on-one time with a guy, but without ever making it official. When she finally asked if anything was happening, he replied that they were just friends.
“And I didn’t get upset or anything, but that happens a lot in the church, a lot.”
What was particularly interesting was that the more Sam talked with these women, the more he heard answers in which they contrasted their experiences of dating inside and outside the church.
One woman noted that Christian men crave so much about sexual intercourse.
“The Christian men are wanting sex, and yet when I was dating an atheist, when he found out that I didn’t want sex before marriage, he was fine with that…he was perfectly OK with not having sex before we were married.”
So since Christians are all the same everywhere we would love to know what’s the dating situation is like in Zimbabwe. Share with us in the comment section below.
Source: Premier Christianity