In these two installments, we’ll hear from Anonymous Engaged Dude who is psyched to be just weeks away from his wedding to a fantastic godly woman. Anonymous Engaged Dude has some great words of encouragement for ladies and gents alike. Read on:
So, tell me about yourself. VAGUELY.
I am a twentysomething dude who loves Jesus. Is that sufficient?
Current relationship status?
ENGAGED!!! Believe me, this is totes crazy.
So, Engaged Dude, what is UP with the Christian dating scene?
Wow. Where to begin? Ultimately, the problem is that I don’t think we’re applying the Gospel to this area. In singles, this can result in panic or fear (“Why am I not married?”). In marrieds, this can result in insensitive advice (“Just trust in the Lord”), or dismissing singles as being a lower class of Christian. Single people can live in the confidence that in Christ they are fully complete, fully fulfilled. The desires they have for marriage are good, designed by God! But unless they find their ultimate fulfillment in Christ, they won’t be able to find lasting blessing in a spouse.
This failure to apply the Gospel has resulted in several things. I think it results in men failing to love their sisters by pursuing them nobly and maturely. I think it results in an exaltation of “beauty” and “charm” over the fear of the Lord. I think it results in both legalism and license.
What did you learn growing up about this nightmare that is Christian dating? Any particular influences? How have your views changed over time?
I Kissed Dating Goodbye was a HUGE influence on me. A lasting effect of that was that I when I eventually gave dating a side-hug hello, I tended to make first/second dates a little too weirdly spiritual, a little too stressful. I feel like over time, my view on dating simplified. This isn’t to say that I devalued it, but that I rather revalued it for what it was.
How many girls do you think you’ve asked out in your life? Estimate, maybe not counting elementary school.
Somewhere around a dozen? That’s not counting college formals, though.
Speaking of smooth, do you think guys can be non-alpha-males and still be successful?
Each person’s personality is different. I think it’s crucial to be yourself, and for a lot of reasons at that. I think all women want to be praised and prized, but ultimately, you have to have substance to back the swagga. Guys should be charming, fun, and witty, but it needs to be genuine.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in the dating arena?
Without a doubt, the biggest obstacle was my own ego and self-centeredness. I definitely struggled with worrying too much while being too early on in relationships. I over-invested a lot of worry and such. If I could go back and do it again, I would be less concerned about whether or not “things were going to work” and would just let them happen.
What’s your biggest advantage in this area?
Dogged determination? Yeah, I think the only thing that truly gave me a boost in finding my soon-to-be wife was that I knew that as a man, it was my job to pursue a wife, not just gripe and moan about it.
Come back tomorrow for part two, when Anonymous Engaged Dude will deploy even more sage counsel and rapier-like wit in his exploration of these dark and poorly-charted waters.