Lara Witt, a self-professed feminist (of the crazy kind), has set off an online viral sensation with her ridiculous article, titled “10 Things Every Intersectional Feminist Should Ask on a First Date.” She has justly received a tremendous blowback for her ideas. Yet, lost in all this discussion seems to be a bigger question left unanswered: what is the purpose of dating anyway?
In case you missed it, Witt listed the following 10 dimWitted questions as ones she recommend all feminists to ask on first dates:
“1. Do you believe that Black Lives Matter?
2. What are your thoughts on gender and sexual orientation?
3. How do you work to dismantle sexism and misogyny in your life?
4. What are your thoughts on sex work?
5. Are you a supporter of the BDS movement? [The BDS movement is apparently code for “anti-Israel.” This should not to be confused with BDSM, which is something that many feminists also support, but I would advise against Googling it.]
6. What is your understanding of settler colonialism and indigenous rights?
7. Do you think capitalism is exploitative?
8. Can any human be illegal?
9. Do you support Muslim Americans and non-Muslim people from Islamic countries?
10. Does your allyship include disabled folks?”
WHY ASK WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF DATING?
My grandparents’ generation and those before them probably were more familiar with courtship as the means. But for my parents’ generation and for my own, we moved to dating in place of courtship. I will leave aside the question of whether that was a good move, because that is not the purpose of my article today.
Instead, I will point out the answer to the question of what is the purpose of dating was quite clear to two generations of folks, seemingly. Dating was (and still is) the socializing between a man and a woman to see if they could discern a vocation to marry one another. The man typically took the initiative with asking the woman out and paid for the flowers, meals and expenses. A man and a woman would get together for dinner, a movie, a walk in the park, etc. to spend time together.
Over time they decided whether they thought they had found someone worthy of Holy Matrimony. If all went well, eventually a proposal and a wedding followed. Then came babies and a lifetime together in love.
We are all familiar with this regular course of action. You do not need me to tell you it…
Well, that is unless you are of one of three camps.
THE WRONG ANSWER
For the extreme feminists like Witt, I can see how the romance of the dating game holds no appeal. These women hate men, and so to allow men to dote on them runs contrary to the narrative they recite to themselves. Any self-righteous, extreme feminist would not dare let a man hold open a door for her. That would mean she is seemingly inferior and needing his assistance. The whole paradigm holds no water in this view.
For these extreme feminists too, marriage has little appeal, as well. They have lied to themselves and come to think of marriage as a means to perpetuate the misogynist culture we supposed live in. They cannot accept that a wife is traditionally supposed to make a house a home, (gasp!) serve her husband, and even (God, forbid) raise some children.
These liberal lunatics think they have been wronged by their biology and reject the traditional view of the nature of womanhood. Ironically, in their quest to hate all things male, they seek to imitate them! That is, they reject the one thing they can do which men cannot (i.e., bear children), so as to engage in recreational sex with no parental responsibilities required.
The second group that needs a reminder of what is the purpose of dating remains this millennial generation. Social media has made us as a society less personally sociable and more depressed. Both sexes find it hard to socialize with one another, and instead prefer to live in virtual reality through computer screens and smart phones. They have not been provided a good example of marital witness either, given the high rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births rampant in our society.
The third group needing a reminder as to the point in dating is for those seeking merely “hookups” and one-night stands. They would answer that the point in dating is to decide whether to take the other person to bed that night. Here though, these folks need to be retold that what they seek (namely, love) they will never find in a promiscuous lifestyle. They yearn to give themselves away. Yet, giving themselves away night after night and to multiple partners leads not to happiness but to misery. This is not a healthy way to live and spiritually speaking, it leads to hell.
LET’S ANSWER WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF DATING
To conclude, we have already answered the question of what is the purpose of dating. The answer is that it is meant to be a means for men and women to discern whom they want to marry. Simple and straight forward.
Given the ends for which dating strives for: to match up men and women for marriage, consequences follow. Here are just a few, obvious examples.
1. Only those who are prepared for marriage ought to be dating.
Call me crazy, but it serves no one any good to waste another person’s time when you yourself are not prepared to enter into Holy Matrimony yourself. Those who are unprepared might include those still living in mom and dad’s basement, those too immature to be prepared to lay down one’s life for their spouse, and those men unprepared to provide for the financial wellbeing of his wife and subsequent children.
2. Given the physical attraction between the sexes, dating couples ought not to be alone together.
I know this idea is SO countercultural, but that does not make it bad advice. Men and women are physically attracted to each other. And when left alone together, such couples can end up having premarital sex. Given the fallout we have witnessed now since the ‘60s of the promiscuous lifestyle, you don’t need me to point out to you the ramifications of this behavior. You have likely witnessed it yourself. Save yourself for marriage. A few jokes from your bridal party at your wedding are worth enduring for the treasure that is knowing you saved yourself for your beloved.
3. Dating ought not to last for years.
Here is another novel idea. What is the purpose of dating, again? To discern whom you ought to marry. Therefore, a short dating period before engagement, of say no more than four months would be wise. Whoa, why would I say that? Just think about it.
You are spending time with this other person in a dating relationship so as to discern whether you wish to spend the rest of your life with him or her. If you cannot decide yes within a few months, it is best to just move on, rather than move in together like is so common these days. Why perpetuate the period of indecision? Why play house? Either you are ready to commit or you are not.
A prolonged dating period (and even a long engagement) opens the door to occasions of sin, namely of the sexual variety. Let’s just say there is a reason St. Paul said, “But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion” (1 Cor 7:9).
4. If you are not prepared to be a parent, don’t bother dating.
Again, the purpose of dating is to find a marriageable person of the opposite sex. We do this SO THAT we can get married. We do this SO THAT we might start a family together with children. I know this too is WAY outside mainstream thinking. But in reality, marriage is not a social construct centered on adults’ feelings. Rather, it is the avenue by which our human nature brings forward the next generation of children. If you don’t understand the requirement of marriage to be open to life, then you don’t have any business getting married.
So, what do you think?
Please leave your comments below.