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The Decline of the Romantic American Relationship

March 1, 2007

I was reading this item by Al Mohler, about how pop music no longer talks about marriage. This got me thinking about relationships involving the opposite sex in general, and how they have changed, even within my short lifetime. As a teenager, even as a homeschooler, I knew that in the secular world, you were supposed to be in a dating relationship. However, by today’s standards, dating seems quaint and old fashioned. The culture seems to have gone more and more in the direction of directionless relationships. Even ten years ago (1997 was TEN years ago?), you were supposed to get into at least a dating relationship when you liked a girl – sex came as a benefit of at least a modicum of commitment, although obviously not the level of commitment that God calls for with regards to sex. Now, in just ten years, sex is much less tied to relationship. The phrase “friends with benefits” is a sort of code for “we really aren’t committed to anything more than friendship, but we’re having sex.”

The interesting thing is that now, there is really no socially accepted model to get to know the opposite sex – it is a social free for all now. The book title “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” is almost out of date now, replaced by “I stopped hooking up with every girl I met”.

This makes a decision for courtship a little bet less strange, I think. After all, even though involving her parents will be seen as weird, it is really no better or worse than what everyone else is doing, right?

I’d like to see in a few years how people ARE getting into marriages. How does dating figure into all of this? Is there a stage where people start getting more serious, and get more formal in a relationship? How does the world decide on who they will marry in this hook up culture? I really don’t know the answer to these questions, but they are interesting issues to follow in the days to come.

One Comment leave one →
  1. MichaelQ permalink
    March 13, 2007 8:36 pm

    Interesting, as always!

    I liked this sentence:
    “The culture seems to have gone more and more in the direction of directionless relationships”

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