Christian friends before dating
, in which couples seek to bypass the challenges and dedication that deep relationships—and, eventually, marriage—require.A man and a woman may engage in a friendship that involves a growing emotional intimacy but without the requisite deepening commitment, which results in warped relational patterns, disappointment, and pain. The other extreme is to plunge into a romantic, physically involved relationship that commonly leads to frustration and disappointment, and often results in profound emotional pain.This “just friends” commitment-avoiding status produces some measure of intimacy and provides some emotional benefits that typically come with marriage—but without the responsibility marriage requires.We’ve heard of married persons having “emotional affairs” (i.e., extramarital emotional attachments with the opposite sex without physical involvement), but this can happen with single persons as well.
And while dating itself isn’t morally wrong, it has its pitfalls, as we have seen.Dating may have the advantage of “screening” a prospective spouse before making any commitment to marriage. There is the tendency to become attached prematurely without wider exposure to the opposite sex (just think of a guy and a girl pairing up during university freshman orientation).