My Questioning Queen,
You are correct to bring into doubt my authority to comment broadly and sweepingly about dating. And, I would never claim to be an expert at dating. I have tried and failed many times over, leaving a trail of broken hearts, my own among them.
If you look at the advice you can get from friends, family, pastors, authors, and humble bloggers, you quickly see that we have a noticeable void not just of relevant voices on singleness and dating, but a void of voices at all. We single people are a real demographic of amazing people who sometimes have more to offer the body of Christ than the married folk, but we have but few self-styled experts, and fewer true experts that can speak to us where we are with compassion and understanding. So few that most churches’ idea of a “singles ministry” is putting all of the single people in a room together once a week with coffee and pastries so they can meet someone to marry (commonly known as “find-a-spouse”). Christendom cannot ignore our demographic of disciples hungry for guidance and wisdom. But, if we need experts on dating, what makes an expert on dating?
If an expert is someone who has never failed, then only those who have never dated can be called experts. Yet, if they have never experienced dating, how can they be an expert on it?
If an expert is defined as someone who has succeeded, isn’t a successful dater someone who is married? But, if they are married, what right do they have to talk authoritatively on dating? I, for one, cannot STAND the self-righteous “oh-you-poor-single-person-whose-life-hasn’t-yet-begun-because-you-aren’t-married” tone of voice that the most sickeningly perfect young married couples have. This tone usually lasts until they have their first real fight, and then spend years trying to pretend that the Neverland they thought they found is real and still there. No, married people, while many have sage advice to offer, cannot be regarded as “experts” regardless of their good intentions; they are removed from the day-to-day scene of singleness and can only relate history.
But, if your definition of “expert” is someone who learns from their mistakes and keeps trying, I can write with confidence! I am so good at making dating mistakes I have thought long and hard about going professional in the sport. I may not be able to tell how to date correctly, but I can tell you how to do it wrong!
So, that is what I offer in these letters. Not the authoritative decrees of a self-styled expert (for I am not), but the broken confessions and long-contemplated musings of a fellow Christian in the trenches of the battlefield we call love (or hormones). My only claim to wisdom is my claim to learning from the many mistakes I have made. I share it with you for your perusal, but it is very likely wrong. I admit that, but I sincerely hope that the ideas and images I present in these words and ramblings bring solace to your misgivings or inspiration to your path.
Inexpertly, but willingly yours,
A Christian Guy