Yes, true tale.

25 Jul

The latest hubbub at Boundless is over this article in Christianity Today.  Gina R. Dalfonzo, the article’s author, writes:

Once there was a good Christian girl who dreamed of growing up, getting married, and having children. She read all the right books and did all the right things. She read about how she was a princess in God’s sight and how he wanted the very best for her. She committed herself to sexual purity, to high standards, and to waiting for the good Christian man that God was going to bring her.

Just as she was getting old enough to start dating, however, she noticed something. Some of the popular Christian books were talking about not dating at all, and just being friends, until God had made it clear that the guy she liked was exactly the right one for her. Her Sunday school teachers taught from a very popular book about how dating was unbiblical, and how a truly righteous young Christian man would initiate a courtship with marriage as the goal, working in tandem with the girl’s father and the pastor and others in the church body.


The girl was given to understand, from various quarters, that it was girls like her, girls who delayed marriage, that were the trouble with her generation, with Christianity, and with the country in general. She was informed that it was her own fault that she didn’t have the things that she longed and prayed for. She started to hear words like “spinster” and “bitter” and “self-absorbed” and “career woman” whispered around her.

And the girl grew tired.

She was tired of advice. She was tired of waiting. She was tired of hearing about Prince Charming and Mr. Darcy. Perhaps most of all, she was tired of shaking heads.

So she ran off with the first non-Christian man who showed some interest, asked her out, and treated her with respect. And the knowing ones shook their heads and said, “What happened to her? She used to be a good Christian girl.”

I’ve never read a more succinct compendium of all of the bad dating advice bandied about in church circles.  While not every single Christian woman over a certain age will run off with the first man who looks twice at her, whether or not he is a Christian, the temptation to do so will increase and the rationalizations will start to creep in.  As long as he had good morals… But if we got along really well… He wants the same things in life that I do… He’s kinder than any of the Christian men I know, and smarter and funnier, too… He’s the only man who has ever thought I was beautiful…

It’s tiresome to hear married Christians lecturing singles about God’s good gift of marriage and how we must wait patiently for God’s perfect timing, and the meantime work on perfecting our marital skills (except for sex), or some other drivel.  At some point, every Christian longtime single asks him- or herself, “Are my Christian principles the hill I want to die on?”  What Dalfonzo’s article points out is that for some, the answer is no.

A Christian woman who holds on to her principles sometimes ends up in limbo:  not cute and girly enough for Christian men, too prudish and boring for non-Christian men.  This is how a non-ugly-faced, non-fat young woman can spend over a decade with minimal male attention thrown her way.  I have this suspicion that men think that if they see a woman and think she’s attractive, the woman somehow automatically knows and it counts toward her inner mental count of male interest.  For many women, however, short of a definitive action such as being asked for her number or out on a date, the woman will never know.

By the way, yesterday was my birthday, or, more aptly, the __th anniversary of my increasing SMV irrelevance!  Feel free to congratulate me in the comments.


82 Responses to “Yes, true tale.”

  1. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life July 25, 2010 at 8:55 am #

    Happy birthday!

    I actually read that post at Boundless and left a comment that didn’t get past the moderators there.

    “Isn’t the problem that there aren’t nearly enough single Christian men for single Christian women to go around. Isn’t it just math?”

    I’m not sure why that was so offensive to fail moderation.

    The Focus on the Family people know what they are purposely doing to young Christian women, and they simply do not care.

    [Aunt Haley on 7/26/10: Athol, your comment has been posted. What happened was that you posted after business hours on Friday. They don’t usually approve comments over the weekend.]

  2. Koanic July 25, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    Haley, why aren’t you married?

    I would think if you tried online Christian dating and were willing to settle, there should be little difficulty.

    You have a good noggin. What gives?

  3. Koanic July 25, 2010 at 9:19 am #

    Athol, there’s a very obvious solution to that kind of mathematical problem.

    Unfortunately, it’s a Biblical one, so Christians will never try it.

  4. dalrock July 25, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    Hi Haley,

    Happy Birthday!

    My wife is one of those Christian girls who married a non Christian. But she wasn’t pressured in the awful ways you describe and she was only 20 when we married. On paper it was a bad choice I guess, but while she has taken (more like exceeded) my politics, I over time have become convinced that her religious views are correct. But at the time I was upfront that I didn’t intend to change. I’m probably not most folks’ idea of a good Christian though, because we don’t belong to a church and I’m not looking to convert anyone.

    I wish I had some snappy advice to offer you and the other women in your situation. All I can think of is to use your best judgment and do what seems right. Yeah, not very helpful. Sorry.

    It does frustrate me that the church is offering men and women such bad advice on marriage. I meant what I said in my blog post that I think the church generally loves weddings more than it hates divorce. It almost seems as if they see it as a positive if they can marry the same person off several times. It must help their metrics.

    Athol Kay’s point on the gender imbalance is spot on too. And that they would moderate such a comment speaks volumes as to the state of denial.

  5. Anna July 25, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    The most telling part for me: After the CT author commented at Boundless, Suzanne responded: “But the ending focused on the natural consequence rather than the spiritual fix (which is AVAILABLE to all such girls).”

    As if everything has an available “fix.” So typical of FOTF.

    Comment #21 is really good.
    When did someone tell her that following a formula wouldn’t necessarily mean “happily ever after” for God’s little princess? …

    When did someone tell her that most of the advice is just opinions anyway? …

    When did someone tell her that trying to fit in a “good little Christian girl” mold is a recipe for heartache? …

  6. Jesus July 25, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    hahaha willing to settle hahaha, anyway, Haley if a man talks to you he is interested, or wants something from you. Either or just be proud of the fact that you are not fat or ugly. Looks to me like you have to learn some female game. I would travel to south america and learn how to be feminine and seductive from the best. Party more, that way you expand your social circle, go to bars and live a little bit more without thinking what the big guy said in the Bible. Just hold on to your core beliefs and don’t go outside them. If you do something to hurt others, it’s bad, if it hurts you, it’s bad too.

    I could also say don’t settle but looks like that ship sailed already. Don’t look back to see how much time you wasted following advice that got you to where you are, it’s not worth it.

    If it is not too late learn some game, find a guy that fulfills you as a woman, not a christian, and marry him.

    Easier said than done maybe. Or maybe it is time to reevaluate your belief system. You could possible be happier as a budist, or a catholic if you are protestant, or non-denomination, or muslim, or just something that gets you closer to real happiness.

  7. Aunt Haley July 25, 2010 at 11:42 am #

    How do you know I’m not fat or ugly?

    Also, it doesn’t matter if a man talks to me or not. If there’s no number close or request for a date, I’m effectively in the same position as if the man had never spoken to me at all.

  8. Aunt Haley July 25, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    Koanic, shouldn’t you know better than to ask a single woman this question?

    The short answer is that I haven’t been asked on a date in a long time.

    Online Christian dating is a crapshoot. One of my friends has been with eHarmony since the beginning of the year and hasn’t had much luck, although I do know people who married an online match.

  9. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life July 25, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Oh I didn’t even fully realize you weren’t married Haley. I heard “aunt” and just figured you were matronly happy.

    Why not throw a picture up on the blog and a generalized location? Use the blog as a tool. :-D

  10. Samson July 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    I actually read that post at Boundless and left a comment that didn’t get past the moderators there.

    “Isn’t the problem that there aren’t nearly enough single Christian men for single Christian women to go around. Isn’t it just math?”

    I’m not sure why that was so offensive to fail moderation.

    Maybe they missed it; I find it hard to believe they would moderate that. In any event, they have addressed your question before, but since it’s not relevant to me I’ve never actually read what they say. You can have a look, though:

  11. Jesus July 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    If you are fat and ugly settle for the nearest beta that will have you.

    You are not getting asked for your number or out on a date because a lot of American men are pussies. So either you wait for a man with balls or you find a guy that you like and take the lead.

  12. Koanic July 25, 2010 at 12:07 pm #

    What’s internet anonymity for, if not honesty? Quit being a tease.

    Have you read Christian Carter’s catch him and keep him? You do know that YOU can ask GUYS on dates, right? For all your iconoclasm, it’d be amusing if you were stuck in the maid-in-waiting paradigm.

    Fact 1: Many decent men rarely if ever pursue women.
    Fact 2: Many high status men are constantly pursued by women.
    Fact 3: Initiating contact on a man’s arm is socially acceptable and effectively attention getting.

    What kind of lame-ass excuse is “internet dating is a crapshoot”? So’s dating, period. You want a crapshoot, try doing cold approaches as a PUA. It’s a numbers game, baby.

    If you’re ugly, cosmetic repair. If you’re fat, paleo diet. Easy stuff.

    Seriously, if you’re giving out all this advice, let’s talk about YOUR excuses and hangups.

  13. dalrock July 25, 2010 at 12:51 pm #

    I was thinking about this some more and I think Athol Kay’s original comment is critical here. If there is a gender imbalance that means that the more scarce gender will get really picky. So men who are 7s start expecting 9s, etc. I can’t prove it but this is what I’ve read.

    The thing is, while the church has come up with a pretty comprehensive strategy to drive single men away, all of those women at the church have brothers who were raised Christian too. It would seem to help if you could tap in to that group of men who still have faith (and would promise to raise your kids Christian) but got turned off by all of the feminist stuff. The bonus would be these are the less Beta (Beta in a bad way) guys who were pushed out. As you’ve said I think on another post, most guys still in the church are skewed to the cowed side. The guys with testicular fortitude figured out somewhere along the way that church is for chicks, and are doing their own thing. Not all of these guys lost their faith, they just didn’t want to sign up for weekly emasculation.

    But even then I think you have another lesser challenge you need to at least be aware of in your thought process. Over at CR I remember Xsplat explaining why intelligence didn’t matter much to him in a LTR prospect. He said he knows he only has so many attraction points he can “spend” when picking a mate. If he is willing to compromise on the intelligence side, he can probably “buy” more of the other qualities he cares more about (chemistry, sex appeal, beauty, etc). While he lives in a different world than you and me, this struck me as a solid thought process. Even if you start with equal numbers of Christian men and women, if the women value Christianity as a trait more than men do you still will have a skew in the market. You’ll have to give up a bit more alpha coolness, looks, (or whatever you value) to be able to “afford” that critical quality of Cristian man. But compared to the marketplace you are in this might still seem like a bargain.

    Having written this it sounds brutal, but I think it is true. At the very least I would consider your priorities. Just how Christian do you need him to be, vs where he lies on the Alpha-Beta scale and how good looking he is and how good a job he has. And the tough thing is (as you already know) you have to think with both your head and your heart. Marrying a good Christian man who you don’t love or even worse loath the idea of sleeping with is basically setting you both up for heartbreak and sin.

    This is a really tough nut to crack. On the bright side if you figure it out you will be able help advise others and break the dam of heartbreak and frustration so many other single Christian women are evidently feeling. The internet is a powerful thing, and you have a great platform with your blog. But you shouldn’t be in this position at all. If the church had any wisdom they would invite back the manly men so women like you didn’t face a slew of bad options.

    If you are looking for something to throw right now, or have a mental image of strangling Dalrock (happens often, I’m guessing :) ), feel free to zap this comment.

  14. Aunt Haley July 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    Athol, I’m surprised your comment didn’t pass moderation, since they do often post comments that are from readers who are clearly familiar with manosphere principles.

    Although, if you consult the links Samson posted, Candice Watters thinks she has dispelled the “myth” of fewer men in the church, so maybe that issue in FOTF’s mind is Q.E.D. and therefore undiscuss-ible.

  15. Aunt Haley July 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    The most telling part for me: After the CT author commented at Boundless, Suzanne responded: “But the ending focused on the natural consequence rather than the spiritual fix (which is AVAILABLE to all such girls).”

    As if everything has an available “fix.” So typical of FOTF.

    RIGHT? Hardly anyone will challenge Suzanne’s assertions, though, since she beat the odds and married a much younger man at age 30 or 31, in a manner and timetable which Josh Harris would approve of.

  16. Aunt Haley July 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Athol, I’m not putting my picture on the blog, but I’ve mentioned my location before.

  17. Thursday July 25, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    It is questionable whether there actually are more never married women in church than men.

  18. Aunt Haley July 25, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    Koanic, congratulations on being the first man who has ever called me a tease.

    I know that women CAN ask men on dates. It’s just that it’s usually not in the woman’s best interest to. I can’t think of any men who became more attracted to a woman because she initiated and planned a date for him.

  19. Koanic July 25, 2010 at 4:07 pm #

    Haley, I think I’ve got you figured out. You’re very smart at giving others advice and complaining and observing, but when it comes to taking action, you reverse engines and start using your intelligence to make excuses.


    Anybody as familiar with the PUA-o-sphere as you should know there are ways to avoid the awkwardness of being seen as initiating a formal date.

    So how bout it, honey? Is it all talk? Let’s see your GAME, bitch! I want FIELD REPORTS! Go out and do 50 approaches!

    Lol. Just kidding. Kinda.

    More seriously, there are lots of male-dominated activities that, by participating in, you could up your chances. E.g. shooting.

  20. Koanic July 25, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Once my startup goes platinum I plan to rampage through God’s hallowed (sterile) halls collecting my harem.


    ULTIMATE revenge on all those faggy Campus Crusade for Christ Organization Men / Frat Boys who found my theological questions heretical. With their stupid SWPL necklackes and wristbands and lame-ass useless “missions-trips.” I’d like to run them all through a woodchipper.

    In your church, stealin your virgins. I’ll make ’em scream “Oh Jesus!”

    – Koanic

    PS It’s legal I won’t be deacon.

  21. Koanic July 25, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    Haley you are the only Christian woman I know who isn’t head and shoulders up her own ass.

    There has GOT to be a sexual market out there for that.

    Your general observations on men are spot-on, but there ARE men in the church who are so brainwashed they don’t care about beauty. FIND THEM. And use this blog to do it.

    Post a pic of yourself, full body, and black out your face. And start fishing for marriage proposals. Put the ad right on your sidebar, at the top.

    You could start running your own online christian dating service off this site, and make big bucks. I believe in you and this blog.

  22. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life July 25, 2010 at 4:56 pm #

    Where Are All the Christian Men?

    Unfortunately, American evangelicals have another demographic concern: The ratio of devoutly Christian young women to men is far from even. Among evangelical churchgoers, there are about three single women for every two single men. This is the elephant in the corner of almost every congregation—a shortage of young Christian men.

    Try counting singles in your congregation next Sunday. Evangelicals make much of avoiding being unequally yoked, but the fact that there are far more spiritually mature young women out there than men makes this bit of advice difficult to follow. No congregational program or men’s retreat in the Rocky Mountains will solve this. If she decides to marry, one in three women has no choice but to marry down in terms of Christian maturity. Many of the hopeful ones wait, watching their late 20s and early 30s arrive with no husband. When the persistent longing turns to deep disappointment, some decide that they didn’t really want to marry after all.

    Given this unfavorable ratio, and the plain fact that men are, on average, ready for sex earlier in relationships than women are, many young Christian women are being left with a dilemma: either commence a sexual relationship with a decent, marriage-minded man before she would prefer to—almost certainly before marriage—or risk the real possibility that, in holding out for a godly, chaste, uncommon man, she will wait a lot longer than she would like. Plenty will wait so long as to put their fertility in jeopardy. By that time, the pool of available men is hardly the cream of the crop—and rarely chaste. I know, I know: God has someone in mind for them, and it’s just a matter of time before they meet. God does work miracles. But the fact remains that there just aren’t as many serious Christian young men as there are women, and the men know it.

  23. dalrock July 25, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Good call, but you have to give him credit for trying!

    More seriously, it really doesn’t matter. No matter your looks, etc, you still want to find the best man you can attract (and fall in mutual love with). If you are a 9 that isn’t any different than a 6, etc.

  24. Josh July 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    You have to have some pity for the Church – they are attempting to hold together the old order, to protect and maintain one last bastion of civilization. Men and women have never been as morally upright as the church would want us to be, but they are attempting to set a standard, and it is heroic, not hypocritical, to set a high standard against which we, more often than not, fail.

    The problem is our society undercuts that standard. For every chaste woman, there are three bar sluts. I think the best response is not to abandon the Biblical standard, but to have a clear-eyed view of the world. We must understand that while Biblical principles are inviolate, we must achieve them with the full knowledge of humanity’s fallen nature.

    The problem of the “Focus on the Family” types is that they give advice based on how people ought to behave, rather than how they actually behave. This is a cultural challenge – the church is not yet willing to fully admit their loss of control over mainstream culture.

  25. Josh July 25, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Oh, I’d be remiss not to wish you a happy birthday, but it is difficult given your clearly unenthusiastic invitation.

    The remainder of your earthly life is not fore-ordained. If you don’t like the direction, change it. Although God is sovereign over our lives, He has apparently chosen to give us great latitude to shape it ourselves.

  26. dalrock July 25, 2010 at 9:08 pm #

    Show me what metrics a business or organization measures and I’ll tell you what they care about.

    Churches measure buts in chairs, the weekly offering, how many countries they have sent missions to, probably weddings & baptisms, and a number of other things. I’ve yet to find a church that measures what percentage of those weddings they perform end in divorce though. If you can find one, please point me to it.

    If you don’t measure divorce, you don’t care about it. And if you don’t care about divorce, you don’t really care about marriage or families or children.

    And I suspect this is one of the main reasons the men are missing.

  27. Aunt Haley July 25, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Do you have a citation to back that up? Also, the number of never married women in church vs. men isn’t exactly the issue at stake – the issue is that the church is populated with more devout single women than men.

  28. Aunt Haley July 25, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    dalrock –
    I agree that you usually have to make concessions. It’s trying to figure out which concessions to make that’s difficult.

  29. Aunt Haley July 25, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    Methinks someone is not a Calvinist.

  30. Aunt Haley July 25, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    there ARE men in the church who are so brainwashed they don’t care about beauty.

    Well, if this isn’t motivation to post a picture of my body with a blacked-out face in an effort to find a husband, I don’t know what is.

  31. Josh July 26, 2010 at 6:41 am #

    Oh, I am…to my understanding, election in Calvinism refers to the sovereignty of God in choosing those He will save. I don’t think most Calvinists doubt that they are given free choice in their lives.

  32. ThinkingMan July 26, 2010 at 6:51 am #

    Some pretty good comments here.

    As ‘Jesus’ said, most men in church are pussies. I was one, taught to be that way by my christian feminist mother. That changed slowly though had I stayed in organized religion I’d probably still be a pussy afraid to ask women out. The further away I get from organized religion the more healthy my outlook becomes. And the better my relationship life grew. Hardly a coincidence.

    Dalrock is right about the church driving men away. Men like myself who learned that the church and its ‘to be a Godly man is also to be a girly-man’ is a formula, unintentional but harmful nonethless, for relational disaster. And for those of you who didn’t have that type of church to grow up in, well, good for you. That wasn’t my experience. And I lost many years of my life because of twisted teachings promulgated by the screwed-up fem-dominated churches I grew up in.

    Josh, your thought about the church trying to be a bastion of morality is somewhat right. But you’re leaving out that so many churches disapprove of men being masculine, shaming them for attempting to be masculine aside from reading books like Wild at Heart and convincing the men in the congregation that reading a book or two like that suffices a good Men’s Ministry.
    That approach is like putting a band-aid over a bullet wound.

    What is sorely lacking from my experience alone, is proper mentoring away from the sexually frustrated, passive girly-man approach implied as desirable by many fem-centric churches. I never found it in any of the churches I attended. So while the church may convince itself that it is the last hope to hold society’s morals together, it’s approach as it stands today will ultimately lead to failure.

    And Happy Birthday Aunt Haley. I sincerely hope you find a good guy to share your life with. Perhaps you’ll find him in church but do realize that in so many churches you’re more likely to find a weak, passive beta that you’ll have to pursue.

    Most men who have good communication skills with women see the church for what it is. And incubator for passive male betas and other forms of non-masculine men. And we men who are not impressed or attracted by such tendencies have left the church for exactly that reason. We want to be men, not wussies.

  33. sdaedalus July 26, 2010 at 9:17 am #

    Happy birthday & I really like your blog.

    You should take a look at the latest post at An Unmarried Man (link from in mala fide), this really encapsulates my views on the whole thing. A lot of men complain about certain women, but aren’t really interested in the alternative (I suspect the same is true of a lot of women too).

    I’m not a Christian in the sense you are, though my basic principles would probably be not that different, they are slightly more relaxed. I suspect Christian men often don’t really appreciate Christian women like they should, far away fields are often greener.

    Anyway, congrats on a great blog.

  34. Will S. July 26, 2010 at 9:50 am #

    Happy birthday, Haley.

    Sometimes, I just wish the church should just shut up on these subjects, and married congregation members should thoughtfully include singles when inviting others over, etc., and just leave it at that. I would prefer that the church did something more, er, “pro-active” (I don’t like that cliched expression, but it fits here, I think), but I’d be satisfied with them just zipping their mouths and getting out of the way rather than exacerbating an already unfortunate situation.

  35. Aunt Haley July 26, 2010 at 11:15 am #

    Thanks, sdaedalus. I took a look at that article and can’t disagree with it. Some men complain that women act like women, and they also complain when women don’t act like women. It’s a no-win situation. As a certain someone likes to say, don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do.

  36. sdaedalus July 26, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    Yes, and very true for men (not excluding that certain someone) as well as for women.

  37. dalrock July 26, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    I suspect Christian men often don’t really appreciate Christian women like they should, far away fields are often greener.

    Probably true. But the church has done everything it can to drive more manly men away. Everyone seems to be more or less agreement with this. So they are in a different place and find women where they are. Also, it is an open secret that Christian women divorce just as often as non Christians, and last I saw I think Atheist women were statistically less likely to divorce. So they aren’t being irrational.

    A lot of men complain about certain women, but aren’t really interested in the alternative

    I haven’t read the blog post you mention, but I think this is the same point I make to Betas in my “Interviewing a wife P2” post. Don’t be the male equivalent of the alpha chaser who ignores the nice guys and then cries about being treated badly.

  38. tannen July 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    Happy birthday! Nice blog with thoughtful reflections and commentary.

    I’m a christian man, and I’ve always gotten along with non christian women far better than christian woman. Never could understand why. Maybe I’m not religious enough.

  39. tannen July 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

    apologies for the stream of conciousness blurb above.

    Evangelica americana browbeats its single members into holding out for ludicrously unattainable standards of behaviour, status, and net worth. If they don’t measure up, their level of sanctification is called into question.

    Such princes/princesses exist only in glossy magazines of parachurch organisations or in the bounlesssphere. A recipe for unfulfillment and bitterness toward the other sex. In real life, people are actually sinners in need of a saviour.

    Most of Boundlessline advice is well intentioned but misguided bollocks. My job as a sinner saved by grace is to let the Holy Spirit work in me to conform me to the likeness of Christ. Yes, I’d love to be a husband and father, but not under the fuzzy yet no less suffocating legalism shackled onto evangelical singles and couples these days.

  40. Koanic July 26, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    Aunt Haley apparently has no genuine interest in improving her chances of getting married.

    The alternate hypothesis is that she is a fictional construct, I am beginning to favor that more heavily.

  41. sdaedalus July 26, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    Do you think I’m a fictional construct too, Koanic?

  42. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life July 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    For the record the Boundless moderators finally showed up to work today and they did approve my comment and another 27-30 of them as well.

  43. Aunt Haley July 26, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    Athol, I saw that. The Boundless mods don’t work on the weekends, so if you post after business hours on Friday or over the weekend, you’ll be stuck in the queue until Monday. At least they let your comment through! :)

  44. Aunt Haley July 26, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

    I like your alternative hypothesis.

  45. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life July 26, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    Social media giant and no one works on the weekends….? What the heaven.

  46. Koanic July 26, 2010 at 6:56 pm #

    Ditto that Tannen. Many Christian women come with a MASSIVE princess complex. All that indoctrination as to what to look for and expect in a man, translates into a huge load of responsibiilty and expectation being dumped on the man from the get go. Plus they’re usually very well treated by their families, = more entitlement.

    Or worse, she’s a nominal Christian.

    That’s why I prefer the more traditional view: women should be given away much like property, with few or no strings attached. Otherwise, they will be taken, again much like property, but with zero strings attached.

    Basically, you need to be a 30 year old guy or equivalent maturity to think about grabbing one of these Churchian women on their own terms, and settle immediately into baby and homemaking. Not that this is a terrible thing in all respects, but it’s a buzzkill.

  47. Koanic July 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    You have a ring of realness to you, SD.

  48. Koanic July 26, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    Internet crossdressing: you don’t even need to get dressed!

    It’s always been a possibility in my mind, that you’re a Michelle Malkin-esque identity – a man’s intellect in women’s clothing.

    Are you admitting as much?

    I’ll have to follow longer to be sure, haven’t read much of your oevre yet. If you are a man, it’s a clever ploy and pretty well executed. If I reach the point of private certitude, I won’t attempt an outing.

  49. Aunt Haley July 26, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    “Social media giant” is a bit hyperbolic, I think. The non-modding on the weekends does stifle the flow of conversation, though.

  50. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life July 26, 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Well if they want to shut down God’s Work for two days a week… :-P

  51. sdaedalus July 26, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    No, Koanic, I am not a man, you’ll have to take my word for this one.

    I was making the point that, unless one is the blogger in question oneself or knows them in real life, it can be difficult to know with anyone.

  52. sdaedalus July 26, 2010 at 9:54 pm #

    That thing about the ring of realness is one of the nicest things anyone here has ever said to me. Thank you.

  53. Koanic July 27, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    I already knew you’re not a man, SD.

    You’re welcome for the compliment.

  54. dalrock July 27, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Yes, it really isn’t an easy spot. And advice is always far easier to give than take anyway.

    I’m curious, the original quote you had said “the rationalizations will start to creep in” claiming the guy had all of these great qualities. But based on the lack of young single men at church and the fact that they are skewed to the less manly side (which I gather doesn’t quite appeal to you…), is this really “rationalizing”, or is there more than a kernel of truth there?

    Put another way, if you didn’t feel the restriction to marry a Christian, do you think you could find that kind of man in the “rationalization” description much easier?

  55. Aunt Haley July 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    My Christian faith shapes my whole worldview. I can’t conceive of becoming “one flesh” with someone who doesn’t share those beliefs. So, yes, any deviation from that standard is rationalizing.

    I think there would be more potential for a match with a non-Christian just because they outnumber the Christians, not that members of either group have been beating a path to my door lately.

  56. Thursday July 27, 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Reasons certain women don’t get asked out in church:

    1. They aren’t all that good looking.
    2. They go to a small church and aren’t exposed to many men.
    3. They are really smart and scares away men less intelligent than them, i.e. most of them. (Please note that smart men are not intimidated by smart women, though it isn’t what primarily attracts them to a woman either, and they will sacrifice a certain amount of intelligence in a mate for looks.)
    4. By the luck of the draw, the men in their church are particularly wimpy about asking girls out. (Wimpiness in this area is a major problem among conservative Christian men.)

    My guess is that you have been caught in a confluence of the above factors and they are creating a negative feedback loop. I’m assuming, as you have implied, that you are of average looks. My blunt analysis, though perfectly decent looking, you’re probably not quite pretty enough for a somewhat less intelligent and/or a somewhat more hesitant man in general to overcome his anxieties and ask you out.

    My suggestions are as follows. Apologies if they seem lame:

    1. Seek out churches/organizations/activities/sites where there are more and/or more intelligent Christian men present. (I’m not sure where these might be.)
    2. Try online dating. Sure it’s a crapshoot, but it’s better than doing nothing and people do meet this way.
    3. Be more obvious about conveying interest, perhaps even to the point of asking guys out.

  57. Aunt Haley July 28, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    Thanks for the advice, Thursday. I have a rule against asking men out, though. Every time I’ve done it because my desire exceeded my reason, I have crashed and burned. Men don’t become more interested in women who ask them on dates, either. It’s just not a great way to start a potential relationship.

  58. sdaedalus July 28, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    I would absolutely agree with Aunt Haley on the asking out bit.

    Although I think it’s possible to push men in the right direction, the saying “you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink” is highly relevant here.

  59. sdaedalus July 28, 2010 at 10:42 am #

    “push” might have been a bit strong

    “gently lure” would be preferable.

  60. cleared in hot July 28, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    As a man who grew up in evangelical church circles, I can certainly vouch for #1 and #4. I would add that the ones who “aren’t all that good looking” can often have quite the entitlement princess attitude, too. Maybe 9’s and 10’s can get away with having a b*tchy attitude all the time, but 5’s just can’t.

  61. Aunt Haley July 28, 2010 at 11:33 am #

    As I like to say, it’s the woman’s job to throw out hints. If the man still doesn’t bite, it’s time to move on.

  62. Aunt Haley July 28, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    I would add that the ones who “aren’t all that good looking” can often have quite the entitlement princess attitude, too.

    Hey now…they’re just holding out for “God’s best”! Don’t be a H8ER!

  63. cleared in hot July 28, 2010 at 11:55 am #

    Just saying that the people we find in church are often not as different from the mainstream culture as we’d like to think.

  64. cleared in hot July 28, 2010 at 11:59 am #

    Interesting article. If you replace the “she” with “he” then it pretty much would be my story – with some obvious modifications, but the main point goes both ways.

    Us boys are told all sorts of things about what women want, what they are really like, and how to “attract” that good Christian girl.

    Later, sometimes many painful years later, we discover that most of it is bullsh*t.

    “Be strong in your faith, mature, well-mannered, and kind.” Yes, these are virtues, but they are boring to the “good Christian” women.

    One nice Christian guy married a girl who had only recently come into the church…who really was looking for that “decent” man because of her past experiences with other men.

    Now, ten years later, she is bored with him…

  65. Aunt Haley July 29, 2010 at 11:57 am #

    “Be strong in your faith, mature, well-mannered, and kind.” Yes, these are virtues, but they are boring to the “good Christian” women.

    These qualities don’t make a man interesting; they only make him virtuous. Virtue alone is not enough to keep a woman interested long-term. You have to be an interesting person yourself.

  66. Ted Slater July 29, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    Actually, I do work most weekends, moderating blog comments. This past weekend was quite busy, though, and I just wasn’t able to release them. Sorry about that. I know it hinders conversation, and that’s the whole purpose of our blog …

  67. cleared in hot July 30, 2010 at 10:31 am #

    Hmmm…Vox Day maybe has a good explanation:

    (do ‘A’ tags work here?)

  68. Aunt Haley July 30, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    cleared in hot –
    Vox Day’s argument has some merit, but I think a simpler explanation is that women evaluate each other using the same criteria they use to evaluate men. If a girl likes another girl’s personality, she will rate that girl’s attractiveness higher. If she doesn’t like the girl, the girl will be uglier, even if the girl is objectively beautiful. It’s part of why girls so frequently hate on beautiful girls: if the beautiful girl doesn’t have a good personality and make herself likable to her female peers, they will turn on her.

  69. tannen August 8, 2010 at 3:19 am #

    “…settle immediately into baby and homemaking…”

    Preferably in a generic six bedroom suburban McMansion with a three car garage down the street from your local franchised gigachurch. There must be a “great room”, and a huge deck not to mention crown molding in every room. All cars must be SUVs no more than five years old. Achieving and maintaining this lifestyle shows God’s boundless(line) favour on you. Not doing so miiight be a salvation issue (eeeK!)

    I’m being overly sarcastic but…. we’ve all see/heard the innuendoes in church.

    “…All that indoctrination as to what to look for and expect in a man, translates into a huge load of responsibiilty and expectation being dumped on the man from the get go…”

    Man, a few years back, I remember feeling that culturally legalistic noose around my neck and ‘nads. Funny how the BIBLE doesn’t lay down any of these male ‘must haves’. For a while I was broodingly angry at low church evangelica for peddling these checklists in books/ministries etc. But it took too much effort to keep worrying about them and I realised it was easier following God’s Word instead of evangelica’s male standards.

    In the end God asks us to repent and walk humbly before him. Although His standards are impossible to attain, the Holy Spirit preserves our faith and enables us to carry on. When I meet someone who agrees with this, I’ll become interested, not before.

    The evangelical marriage industry pays lip service to this but in practice behaves opposite to this by browbeating unmarried Christians with guilt and shame.

    Being a Rush fan was also a major buzzkill for many single Christian women (clearly they’d never listened to 2112 in its entirety).

  70. tannen August 8, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    Aunt Haley, please correct my longish comment above…..

    “In the end God asks to repent…” should read “In the end God asks US to repent….”


    [Aunt Haley: Addressed.]

  71. Φ August 9, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    Evangelicals make much of avoiding being unequally yoked, but the fact that there are far more spiritually mature young women out there than men makes this bit of advice difficult to follow.

    This criterium, “spiritual maturity”, has the advantage of being undefined, allowing women to invest it with whichever of their desires they don’t feel are being satisfied by the men in their Sunday School class.

  72. Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life August 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    Spiritually Mature = Feminized

  73. Aunt Haley August 9, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Spiritually Mature = Feminized

    Not necessarily. Billy Graham is someone most would identify as spiritually mature but few would characterize as feminized.

    When women say they want someone “spiritually mature,” they mean spiritually alpha, i.e., goes to church regularly, reads the Bible, prays, displays leadership qualities, does not change personalities depending on whether or not he is in a Christian crowd, etc. Not “loves to hold hands across the aisle and attend men’s breakfasts.”

  74. Hermes August 12, 2010 at 5:13 pm #

    The problem with “spiritual maturity” is that it’s one of those traits like kindness, generosity, sense of humor, etc. These are things women SAY they want, by which they mean that they would like attractive men to display those traits, a statement which is easily misinterpreted to mean that the trait is what makes a man attractive in the first place. Yeah, spiritual maturity is better than spiritual immaturity but it doesn’t get women’s motor running if the guy is a social omega.

    I’ve done the spiritual maturity thing and it got me nowhere. Several years ago, I was much more active in church: I attended the Saturday morning men’s ministry and a weeknight Bible study/fellowship group with people of all ages, both families and singles; I made at least some attempt to do daily devotions; I offered to pray with/for people; I attended adult Sunday school every Sunday and even taught 1st and 2nd grade Sunday school for a year; I volunteered every time we did one of those classic “partner with an inner-city church” deals, went down and painted a few rooms and cleaned up trash with the crew, played with the inner-city kids and gave them all piggyback rides, etc; I served behind the scenes tallying the Sunday offering and preparing it for deposit at the bank.

    One thing I was never able to muster was an interest in foreign missions, something that was pre-eminent for the girl I was dating at the time. She broke up with me and went on to marry a guy who was also into foreign missions. None of the above made me attractive to any other women, as far as I could tell. Today, with the excuse of medical school, I do none of that stuff. Since moving to an area where there is a greater population of twentysomething Christian singles, I’ve seen that the best girls go to the guys who are not only spiritually mature but socially alpha at the same time.

    It’s heresy in the evangelical world and even mentioning women in connection with the above would lead many to question my motivations in doing all of that and suggest I never really loved Jesus, but I think that few people do anything unless they get at least a little something out of it in this life. If the best I can do is a 5, with OR without spiritual maturity, what’s the point?

  75. Hermes August 12, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    In getting caught up in my own anecdote, I forgot to mention the point as it connects with previous comments: all this talk of “spiritual maturity,” as evidenced in the Mark Regnerus passage quoted by Athol Kay, is misdirection. These women aren’t holding out for spiritual maturity; they’re holding out for (social) alphatude.

  76. Aunt Haley August 13, 2010 at 11:05 am #

    Hermes, isn’t spiritual maturity an end goal within itself? Your desire should be to walk in fellowship with God regardless of whether it nets you more attention from attractive women.

    Also – is it possible that a hair/wardrobe makeover would help you? If you’re presenting yourself as a drab, academic guy, that undoes all of the good of being a future doctor.

  77. Cane Caldo August 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    “I’ve done the spiritual maturity thing…”

    To talk of one’s maturity in a past sense is proof that it never existed.

  78. Hermes August 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    Well, aren’t you, and even more so Cane Caldo, now giving the typical evangelical answer? That the problem with me is simply that I don’t love Jesus enough? Have we come full circle, does this game stuff not really matter at all? The answer Boundless would give me is the true one?

    As for the externals, I’ve gotten better. I do feel kind of foolish for showing up, when I first moved here to start medical school, at a big church young adults singles group looking like Bill Gates–short-sleeved button-down shirt tucked into khakis, loafers, and glasses in drab frames–and expecting girls to like me. But then, for all I’ve learned over the past 2 years, there’s still a part of me that thinks women SHOULD like Bill Gates, they SHOULD spurn the jocks and embrace the nerds, because of my longstanding childhood belief that the cool kids are bad and supposed to be punished, while the shy kids are good and supposed to be rewarded. So I’m sure there’s a part of me holding back, not really wanting to become one of the cool kids, feeling that would mean going over to the dark side. Also, my inner game is in the gutter, since I don’t like medical school and am not doing well at it, and am despairing about my lack of success with women, creating a vicious circle.

  79. Cane Caldo August 16, 2010 at 7:19 pm #

    “The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao.” ~Lao Tzu, Evangelical

    “The beginning of knowledge is knowing I know nothing” ~Socrates, Evangelical

    Spirituality is not just for Evangelicals; nor is the concept of spiritual maturity. And yes, I do believe spiritual maturity would bring you more women. What commonly passes for it in Evangelical circles is nothing like it. Being in the spirit of a thing is about getting your mind, body, and heart into whatever you want to be in the spirit of. It has nothing to do with foreign missions. The hard part is body. Judging from your internet persona, your body hasn’t been into much of anything. Work out; get your body in some kind of shape to be useful for something else. Plus it will clear your head.

    Do you realize what you whined up there about Bill Gates and the cool (bad) kids? It sounds just like this: “I know I’m a fat girl, but I think guys SHOULD love me for my Jesus-shaped heart.” Bill Gates should absolutely not be the stereotypical heart-throb. Can you imagine Bill Gates defending himself or his family?

    The “be yourself” advice is relevant here: Whatever you don’t like about yourself, change it, and be that. Unless you think chicks love to watch you mope around med school.

  80. Jennifer August 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm #



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