How To Date A Devout Christian

It’s Saturday night. You meet a cute girl at a bar. Things are going well and you try to take her home. She turns you down with “Sorry, I have church in the morning.” Wait, what?

Ever wonder if you could make it happen in the Evangelical Christian dating field? Don’t scoff; it’s a land mine. I grew up in a devout Christian family and during my short life, I’ve spent about 6,000 hours sitting through some sort of religious event. Approximately 4,000 of those hours were spent spacing out and people watching, two activities which often left me pondering the subject of romantic love within a modern Christian community. From what I’ve observed, here’s what it takes:

Pre-Dating

If you’re interested in dating within the Christian community, you should try hanging out with your love interest in a group setting like Bible study or a capella choir practice. For Christian dating rookies, either of these are great places to get to know members of the opposite sex (you can get close to members of your own sex, but don’t you dare get too close). If you want to make a move on your love interest, ask if you can pray with her/him. If they respond with “Oh yeah, I’d like you to help me thank God for my boyfriend/girlfriend,” they are blowing you off. Move on to the next spiritual sister/brother. If they respond with “Yes, I’d like to pray with you sometime! Maybe Friday night at 7,” they’re really into you, a.k.a. the Spirit is moving them (literally) to be into you (figuratively).

If you find yourself in a one-on-one prayer sesh on a Friday night, look out for positive body language and verbal cues. For example, if your love interest insists on putting their hands on you when praying, that is good. If they whisper in hushed voices “Yes Lord, yes Lord,” that is also good. If they are moved to tears, that is very good. If they don’t pray aloud for at least fifteen minutes, that is bad. You are in the Spiritual Friend Zone and have been demoted back to a “spiritual brother” or “spiritual sister.” Any God-fearing Christian is a spiritual brother or a spiritual sister, so basically you’re screwed.

So when’s the right time to make a move? One way a dude can ask a gal to go steady is by asking if he can be her spiritual mentor. Be careful, as there’s a bit of roundabout logic associated with this question. Since spiritual mentorships are reserved for strictly platonic relationships between two people of the same sex, a rejection of this offer is really code for “I want to be more than your spiritual mentee; I want to be involved with you romantically.” So if a girl tells a guy she doesn’t want him as her spiritual mentor, this is GOOD. Get it? No? You should probably pray about it.

Dating

Once you have successfully entered a relationship with a devout Christian, you must announce it with tact. First, quietly mention it to members of your Bible study, especially if the two of you met there. The earlier, the better. This will reduce idle gossip and inter-fellowship drama. If you’re the kind of person who likes to pronounce things with panache, slip it into a corporate prayer so everyone can hear it (“Thank you Lord for this new change in my relationship status!”). If you’re shy, you can probably just get away with it if you avoid PDA. Keep this up and you can go months — maybe even years — before anyone finds out. If anyone does find out and gets annoyed that you kept the news from them, just calmly explain that you wanted to keep your new relationship free of outside temptations.

When it comes to actual dates, stick to day activities that minimize lustful thoughts. Try visiting a botanical garden, running in a 5K, picnicking by a lake, or jousting at a Renaissance Faire. It’s probably best to plan one-on-one interactions before 10 p.m.

In terms of group dates, activities with other Christian couples will prepare you for the married couples fellowship of your later years. Try joining a book club together to read Why True Love Waits. Resist getting sexually aroused by the true-life testimonies.

In terms of gift giving, pick out something that symbolizes your future together. If you’re stuck, cross or fish-themed jewelry are always acceptable for both sexes. Always spring for the sterling silver or cubic zirconia. If it’s gold, anything less than 13 carats is unacceptable.

Sex

Not applicable

Living Together

Not applicable

Breaking Up

If for any reason things don’t work out between you and your Christian significant other, don’t fret. God has bigger plans in store for you. Maybe this plan includes a new person. Maybe it includes a lifetime commitment to a nunnery. With God, you just never know. If Satan has turned your significant other into a crazy person, here are several acceptable ways out of your relationship:

“I’m about to leave on a missions trip and I think long-distance would be really distracting spiritually.”

“I feel the Spirit moving me away from you.”

And if you’re really desperate: “God is calling me to be celibate.”

Marriage

Marry early, marry often (JK about the last part! Only applicable if you are Newt Gingrich). If you somehow managed to bypass all the complications listed above, more power to you; marriage is on the horizon! This also means sex. That is on the horizon too! Remember though, you are not making room for one another person in your life; you are making room for another person AND a divine presence. Christian marriage is basically one divine threesome between you, your spouse, and God. But God is also the trinity, so it’s like a threesome within a threesome. Get it? No? You should probably pray about it.

For the wedding, it is important to make God present in the ceremony. Anybody who has seen a wedding on TV knows the passage about love from 1st Corinthians 13. Mix things up a little by reading aloud a passage about Gomer, the lesser-known love story of the Bible’s favorite prostitute. This will certainly move everyone to tears, which is good.

For the reception, request Steven Curtis Chapman’s “I Will Be Here” as the first song you dance to with your spouse. Then request that certain secular hits like “My Humps” and “Yeah!” be removed from the playlist. Keep the “Cha Cha Slide,” but ask the DJ to fast forward through the section requiring you to “go to work.” Add Christian party anthems like Audio Adrenaline’s “Big House” and Rich Mullins’ “Awesome God” to the mix.

On the actual wedding night, things might be a little awkward, but that’s to be expected. If you courted each other the way God intended, you haven’t done anything past first base. Perhaps you’ve even saved your first kiss for the wedding ceremony. Either way you’ve spent a long time denying your sexual urges and now, on this night, it’s okay. In fact, it’s God’s plan.

Everything is confusing. You’ve ignored sex in mainstream media, but you’ve definitely read about it in puberty pamphlets, psychology textbooks and Joshua Harris’ Every Young Man’s Battle. So how come you don’t know where to put things? Forget the obvious; how do you switch the frontal lobe from “hands off” to “hands on”? This is where Song of Solomon comes in. As the raciest book of the Bible, It reads like an old school romance novel and will certainly get you in the mood.

Don’t stress, though; things will get easier. Being horny for your significant other is no longer a sin because this time, it’s in preparation to “bear fruit.” You’ll convince yourself that everybody else’s husband probably has a penis like your husband’s. You’ll come to terms with the fact that your wife’s breasts are not the same size and the left one actually receives a little help from Victoria’s Secret. If you had been in a secular relationship, you might have known these things already. You may have entered the marriage with different expectations about sex and intimacy, but for you, your choice was right.

Enjoy married life by sharing your struggles in a small group. Give talks to teens about how you struggled with pornography during high school but never once masturbated during your engagement. If one day you can co-author a book on heterosexual marriage with your spouse — congratulations, you have made it! Consider running for political office. TC mark

image – Shutterstock

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  • holy cow

    This is one of the best stories I have read on here.

  • macgyver51

    Thanks for being so brave. I was just thinking earlier, “Man I wish someone would come along with their grand twentysomething wisdom and push their narrow experience dealing with faith on a diverse community of people that numbers in the billions in a deeply critical but weakly whimsical way.”

    • Jesuswillfixit

      I believe there is an invisible man in the sky and I am very angry!

      • Easus

        Thought catalog has numbers in the billions? Congrats guys, that’s a lot of hits!!!

  • Leee

    I AM VERY AMUSED HAHA. This was pleasant without being too insulting. Good job! :)

  • Myjohnsonis12incheslong

    I know some guys are into dumb girls, but dating a evangelical christian is taking it to new heights- those people are fucking morons!

  • Anonymous

    Rude. The religious are just always easy targets. So easy to scrutinize them while we bask in our enlightened atheism.

    Just, how do secular people dare ask for respect when they can’t stop poking fun at those who actually have beliefs? Live and let live. If you can’t handle that try fucking someone else, yourself perhaps?No, I am not new here.

    • Meatgazer

      @hiddenmicky – well, the “poking fun” by secular people is a lot harmful than the hate, intolerance, and disinformation spread by people “with beliefs”. We are constantly be told to “respect people’s religion”. Why? Do they respect you? Not if you’re gay. Not if you don’t believe exactly what they believe. They are an “easy target” because they believe in archaic non-sense, deny scientific facts, and believe they know something about the afterlife that the rest of us don’t. If they were harmless people who wanted to believe there is a man in the sky controlling things, fine. But it doesn’t end there. People are dying all over the world because of these beliefs, and violence and backward-thinking in this country usually comes from the evangelicals. So, as far as offending some christian, I couldn’t care less. They offend me by fighting against gay rights, womens rights, civil rights, and scientific inquiry.

      • Anonymous

        Then respect begets respect. No wonder this world is fucked up. People who are enlightened enough about rights and scientific inquiry stoop to the level of those without. Equally disrespectful, they may be enlightened, but they are just as hating and intolerant as the people they’re offended by.

      • Meatgazer

        Satire is not disrespect. Secular people don’t tell other people what to believe. Christian’s do. By pushing their message on people, they invite disrespect on themselves. Its like people on facebook complaining about people’s comments when they posted on a public forum. I’m sorry, but when someone who doesn’t know anything about me assumes I will “burn in hell” (also assuming they KNOW what will happen to me in the afterlife) – this invites, at best, satire- at worst, aggressiveness. Also, its nice that you admitted Christians are hating and intolerant, but this article is not the same as the hate, vitriol, and pure unadulterated bullshit spewed by religious zealots. Your comparison makes little sense. 

      • beatrice

        I’m a Christian and I absolutely agree with your message. Ironically, I was offended by the article tho

  • Kate

    This was very accurate and Very funny. I have friends who are evangelical Christians and they are awesome people so thanks for not making it offensive either haha

  • Jeff

    An off-handed insult to anyone who doesn’t do things society’s mainstream way. Neither funny nor, in many ways, even accurate enough to make it a workable parody. This simply supports the notion that anyone who isn’t mainstream is wrong and “weird.”

    • bee

      Since when is being Christian not mainstream?  Are homosexual couples just not allowed to get married because of.. I don’t even know.

      • Jeff

        Being Christian is pretty mainstream, at least in America. I was referring to Christians who date in non-mainstream ways referenced by this article. That segment is not, at least in my experience, the “mainstream” of the way people date (Christians and non-Christians alike).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VYDVROKY4PUBOKUHB3QF42FH2Y Paul S

    As a Christian I did NOT find this offensive whatsoever. Anyone who does is just insecure.

    • beatrice

      Umm okay Jose

  • Yes.

    I am a Christian and I approve this story. Fellas, take notes. There are some hotties worshiping the big man.

  • Sara

    Pah! I know heaps of ppl that went to Christian colleges and let me tell you, that place is a hot bed of sex. Everyone knows that youth group is just a place to pick up. But that noted, don’t they say church is supposed to be a hospital for the sick?

  • Sunnymish88

    I’m an Evangelical Christian and I think this article is hilarious. Our pastor did a sermon that sounded like this poking fun at the way we do things.

  • Dewizzle

    Ha! A fantastic parody. Just one note: Joshua Harris, the author many such dating books, did not (gasp) write the one you cited. The authors of “Every Young Man’s Battle” would be Steve Arterburn and Fred Stoeker. Joshua Harris wrote (three highly commendable) “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, “Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship”, and “Sex is Not the Problem – Lust is”.

  • Sophia

    I find the way this is written to be rather irritating. Nothing in this is false or even offensive to me, and yet the author’s tone comes across as if he thinks it’s all ridiculous. It’s presumptuous and annoying.

    • Mitch

      it IS ridiculous- you people are fucking batshit crazy 

      • Minorgatsby

        “you people”

        wow
        also, i’m really not following your name down the page, i’m just reading the comments and you’re the only one thus far who’s said things that upset me.

      • Mitch

        Yes- you people- as in crazy people who believe their invisible man in the sky is better than someone else’s invisible man in the sky – who tell other people how they should live – you people who are a humorless, anti-intellectual, dangerous group. 

    • http://ruthtam.com Ruth Tam

      You know what’s also presumptuous? Assuming the author’s a dude.

      • Sophia

        Sincere apologies for not reading who wrote the piece. I generally use “he” as a non-gendered pronoun, which is very much an acceptable option, since the English language lacks an actual non-gendered pronoun. But regardless, you’re right; I should have just checked who the author was.
        This all, however, is a little beside the point.

  • Amanda

    Where did you grow up? Sounds awful. I’m a Christian and I grew up in the bible belt, but I also partied in college and met my husband in Vegas. We’re not all brainwashed, bible-thumping eunuchs. I lead a happy life and try not to judge others in hopes that they will return the favor. And I definitely don’t use religion as a crutch or an excuse. Satire is cool and all, but generalizations are dangerous.  

    I thought this website promoted open-mindedness… Did I miss the Christian exclusion clause?

    • http://twitter.com/xsssy Chrissy Lane

      I went to a Chistian college, it’s exactly like this.

      • Amanda

        I went to a Christian college as well – in the South – and it was nothing like this. Not even close. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware that there are some Christians who are like this, and that’s their choice. I just want to challenge the assumption that it’s 100% of us. 

      • Mitch

        ok – sorry. Its 99% of you 

      • Abbey

        actually, no. it’s 100% of Christians found in media. In actuality it’s probably way more like 65%.

    • Minorgatsby

      THANK you.

    • Katie

      Amen sister! Preach it.

    • Meatgazer

      a christian talking about open-mindedness? wow 

      • Anonymous

        your comment is definitely not open-minded itself…

  • Michaelwg

    I feel like a threesome with God would be difficult. I mean, how ditry do you get? What is and is not Ok? Will I be immasculated when she enjoys his Divinity more than mine? Or will I be more attracted to him? Will he look like Brad Pitt? There’re just so many things that can go wrong…

  • Minorgatsby

    honestly, people need to quit generalizing christians. really. my husband and i are both very strong christians and our relationship was literally nothing like this. it’s true we didn’t want to live together before we got married, but we do not demonize people who do. i have a gay brother who i love very much, my best friend is a lesbian and there’s not a thing wrong with that.

    my husband and i had sex before marriage (oh, no!) but we felt like we were ready and we knew we were going to get married. i’m a christian and i respect the rights of everyone. gay people can be gay, girls who want abortions can have abortions… i don’t care. it’s not my life to live or my decision to make. do i believe gay people are all going to hell? I would certainly hope not, but as is also a christian stepping stone, it isn’t my place to judge that. it’s my place to love and respect the people around me, which i do to the best of my ability. but it’s really difficult when those same people are grouping me in to this judgmental group of people that they call “christians.” yes, i am a christian and i’m proud to be called a christian, but the stereotypes need to stop.

    • Mitch

      Oh, stop. Every time someone who is critical of Christians and their intolerance, someone like you pops up and says “i’m christian, and I love gays…blah blah blah” – you know damn well this isn’t typical. Christianity’s famous intolerance, heavy-handedness, and backward-thinking is stereotyped because, largely they are all true. Sure, there is always the exception- but go tell some of your loving evangelical brothers and sisters about you brother and your friend, and they will explain how they are going to burn in hell. 

      • Anonymous

        I really hate religious discussions, but Christianity does not promote intolerance or backward-thinking, it’s people who understand it in a wrong way. God said you have a right to choose how to live and if you judge you will be the one judged by God.

      • Minorgatsby

        i would really say this is pretty far from someone saying “i love gays.” it’s not that i love gays, it’s that i love people without worrying about whether they’re gay, straight, a hooker, a banker, whatever. if someone is nice and respectful to me, i’m going to do the same. it has nothing to do with “loving gays.”

        yeah, some christians are like this. some christians are like this. mainly the ones who get media attention. but you don’t see half as many christians writing entire articles  about all the downfalls of an atheist lifestyle. you don’t see people writing entire articles about how all gay people are flamers and why that’s wrong and hilarious just because the few gay people the person has met have been as such. it simply does not happen.
        and seriously, secular beliefs no longer equate to a lack of religion. a more appropriate definition would be anti-christian. i have literally never seen Islam or Hinduism put under such scrutiny as christianity, and many Muslim customs are anti-feminist and things that a good chunk of people would not agree with. It’s even rare to see Judaism put on blast, and they’re even MORE old fashioned than Christians.
        “Christians and their intolerance.” Christians aren’t the only ones with issues of intolerance, my friend, i assure you. intolerance is EVERYWHERE. every major group of people everywhere is intolerant toward something.
        As for my church, i would appreciate it if you didn’t put them up like bad people either, thanks. They love my brother and everyone else, just like they preach. 

        As for James Dowland, I was raised Lutheran but currently go to a nondenominational church. 

      • Minorgatsby

        sorry I got your name wrong, John.

      • beatrice

        Being a Christian myself, i wholly agree with your answer. But o must say the reason why Christians are under such intense scrutiny is cos many Christians are openly judgemntal, condemning others subtly.

    • Anonymous

      That’s the kind of Christian I am as well, it’s annoying as hell to see people put everyone in one pot and then it is us being the judgemental ones..

    • John Dowland

      I don’t want to be nosy, but are you Episcopal or Lutheran or…some other kind of liberal mainline Protestant? Because I think that, at this point, the differences between Evangelicals and  those churches are almost as significant as the difference between Catholic and Protestant. And it’s clear from the article that Ruth was talking specifically about  Evangelical denominations.

  • http://www.consciencebound.com/ jeff

    you have to be able to laugh at yourself or at the stereo type of your group people.  Come on.  When I was a christian I spent years in many groups that were EXACTLY like this.  Its a parody though, laugh with it and stop being offended at everything.

  • Amy

    This article is completely tasteless. I don’t see how this could open anyone’s mind  in any real productive way. And if satire was the only intent, the subject is pretty worn. Let’s move on, shall we? 

  • MonstaBob

    to be fair, the title of the article is ‘how to date a ‘DEVOUT’ christian, so its not unreasonable to assume the author’s exact demographic to be somewhat more specific, rather than referring to christians in general. 

    also, since this was meant to be satirical (whether or not it was entertaining in actual fact), i think we may assume it to be natural that certain stereotypical referances be included, especially when we consider this present medium (a forum) to be very much part of media. which would, by extension, mean that the generalizations and essentializations involved in the article take after, as was pointed out above, the popular media’s portrayal of a certain over-fanatical proportion of the religious community.

    can this be generalized to all christians? certainly not. had it done so, would it be an injustice to those of faith? assuredly. but then again, i doubt all this to be the purpose of the article, although its interesting to note how both sides harbor such strong beliefs, whether or not they are given over to religion.

  • Jenny

    for the most part, i found this entirely wrong. i have never heard of any way of Christians acting like this. and most Christians are not ignorant in sex education. Just because they have never had sexual encounters, does not mean they do not know “where to put things”. 

    the breaking up part was hilarious because I have heard lines like that. 

    but seriously, these comments are ridiculous. back off on both sides. people are judgmental on every side, even if you say you are not. i’m a Christian and I am sometimes judgmental even though I try to be loving. we all fuck up. get over it. we’re human. 

  • beatrice

    Im sorry, sex in Christianity is not just to “bear fruit”…

  • Anonymous

    I pray that people of all faiths can find humor in parody.  

  • http://twitter.com/nawasaka Becky To

    SPOT. ON.

  • Sophie

    LOL this was beautiful.

  • Domino

    This was completely ridiculous and I loved it.

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