Christian friendship to dating

While romantic love is typically the basis for marriage in our culture, non-Western marriages often involve two families engaging in investigations, negotiations, and contracts.

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Thus they are more likely to be disappointed when the friendship doesn’t “go” anywhere.

This “just friends” commitment-avoiding status produces some measure of intimacy and provides some emotional benefits that typically come with marriage—but without the responsibility marriage requires.

This approach reverses the proper order of things, which should involve getting to know someone and building a friendship before engaging in physical expressions of affection that should be reserved for committed relationships.

What are some constructive ways of building healthier, more God-honoring patterns of relating?

MORE IN INSPIRATION: The point of this roundtable is really for those of us who have traversed the minefield of romance before, to offer to you what we wish we would have known when we were your age.