Making the rounds is this article from Christianity Today: “The Good Christian Girl: A Fable”, by Gina R. Dalfonzo. The fable provides a useful summary of the varied and often conflicting advice that “Christian Dating” experts give to young people: show interest – let the guy take initiative; don’t be too picky – don’t compromise your standards; etc.
I think the writers and speakers should start by being candid: life is hard. And to paraphrase John Wayne, life is exponentially harder if you’re fat, or ugly, or stupid, or – for men – short, or poor, or aspergery, or worst of all inexperienced. None of the options such people face will likely be good; no amount of macro-level strategizing is going to make selling a low SMV especially easy.
I would push back against this comment though:
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.
Okay, but I can’t personally conjure, even in hindsight, some unexploited trove of females to whom I was attracted who would have looked favorably on my romantic attention. It’s true that I didn’t ask girls out absent a reasonable expectation of an affirmative response; it is also true that I have no actual evidence my threshold for that expectation was other than where it should have been.
On a related note, an otherwise sound article by Mark Regnerus has this:
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.
One in three? Really? Defined how? More importantly, measured how? Because absent rigor, “spiritual maturity” can become an empty vessel into which women pour whatever alpha qualities they expect but don’t think they’re getting, providing a socially acceptable basis on which to run down the single men in their Sunday School class.