Clarity is Charity

[DG: Updated, see below]

A female reader of my blog reached out to me recently about an experience she had with online dating. She had met a Christian guy online, and they had gotten to talking about marriage back and forth for a while- a number of months. It had been going well and was getting serious- they were all set to meet, an important step since they lived far apart. Then the guy went silent. She didn’t hear from him for a month. None of her responses were answered. There had been no warning that he was going silent either.

Eventually she finally heard back from him. His message was very short, amounting to basically three lines:

  • I’m not sure my future includes marriage
  • Besides, I’m really busy right now and can’t give you any time
  • But lets try and be friends anyways

I suppose that it goes without saying that she was somewhat upset by this response. To put it mildly. Not only had he rejected her, and not only had he refused to give any real reason, he also pulled a LJBF on her. She contacted me to try and understand what was going on. She genuinely didn’t understand. To be honest, neither did I.

His message was one that could only hurt her. It left most nearly everything up to her imagination, and her imagination took her dark places. I think that would be the case for most nearly any woman. She wondered if he had been playing with her all along, and pulled this stunt merely to mess with her. She wondered if he hadn’t found her attractive, and was merely using her for “relationship practice.” And of course, before she heard from him she wondered if something terrible had happened to him, and had worried greatly. I gathered from her that the guy in question had known she was at least somewhat emotionally attached to him. Apparently he even claimed to be considerate of women’s feelings. But his silence and his curt message refute his own assertions.

This brings me to the central point of my post- if you are a guy and reject a woman, you owe her the truth. Tell her enough so that she won’t have good reason to wonder if it is a trick or if there is something wrong for her. Perhaps she will anyways, but at that point it is on her, not you. Remember that woman is the weaker vessel, and act accordingly. Be considerate of their feelings- clarifying matters for them is an act of charity. Unless there is a solid legal reason not to tell her, you should do so. Yes, even if it is embarrassing or shameful. Be a man and bite the bullet. That answer this woman received came across to me as very passive-aggressive, and frankly as a bit unmanly. Don’t repeat that.

And while I’m at it, women owe men the truth as well. The present marriage marketplace is an utter mess. It won’t get any better if people employ rejections that lack all empathy for the other person. Tell other people as much as you can. It is the charitable thing to do.

Update: The woman in question contacted me, and provided a few clarifications (I had misunderstood and misinterpreted her a bit, plus her initial contact was on the shorter side).

1. They had been in touch for about two months- they had talked marriage but not to the point where she was expecting a proposition. Rather, she had thought that this guy was serious about exploring marriage.
2. She did not think it was a matter of attraction- I misinterpreted her when I thought that.
3. She had wanted to meet much sooner, but he had delayed a meeting.
4. She had done some basic background inquiry, and it seemed to back up that he was in fact a real person.

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76 Comments

Filed under Courtship, Marriage, Marriage Market Place, Masculinity, Women

76 responses to “Clarity is Charity

  1. Feminine But Not Feminist

    I know you think it’s stupid. This is what I’m talking about when I say you want to jump to the part where you don’t like to make people responsible for their choices.

    That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. And no, I don’t want to jump to the part that you incorrectly imagine that I don’t like. My whole point in commenting here is to defend the idea that people are responsible for their own choices.

    I talked about emotional intimacy. Intimacy is a choice. You have repeatedly conflated emotional intimacy with emotional connection; which is not a choice, and which does not demand a person make choices.

    That’s because I don’t see a difference between emotional intimacy and emotional connection – to me they are one in the same. Whether that’s a woman thing or an INFJ thing, I don’t know. Just like Deep Strength said in his comment about women in general: it is very difficult to establish an emotional connection with me, but once one has been established, it’s solid and not exactly easy to break (which you might call emotional intimacy). But to me there’s absolutely no difference.

    You state that skipping to the part where you say you don’t like to make people responsible for their choice–this conflation–was not your goal, and I don’t argue with that. It remains that you are doing it. Since no one is making you do so, then it must be because you want to; either out of unexamined error, or overwhelming desire for sin.

    If you think I’m doing that, then either I’m doing a very poor job of explaining my stance on this, you’re doing a very poor job of understanding what I’m trying to say, or both. I suspect both.

    For the record, I don’t think the guy in question is the only one to blame for the girl’s heartache here – she admitted that she should’ve been more careful about not getting so carried away so quickly. But that doesn’t cancel out the fact that he intentionally sought to establish emotional intimacy (word choice on purpose, just for you) with her, as evidenced by this part: “On the other hand, he also said things that made his own feelings quite clear” and a couple of other things mentioned in her comment (through Donal)… meaning he also has a responsibility for his own actions. All he had to do was to be upfront with her. That’s it. I really don’t see why that is such a bad thing to suggest, I really don’t.

    So it’s not pornography because it’s not recorded?

    And how exactly is this understanding established? Who has jurisprudence over the nature, establishment, and execution of this understanding?

    If you look up the definition for the word “pornography” then you’ll see references to various forms of media. One-on-one interaction between two people doesn’t count as pornography. If done under the wrong circumstances, it counts as fornication. You’re trying to stretch the definition of pornography to include a one-on-one interaction between two people who were getting to know each other with the possibility of marriage in mind and became close emotionally. That’s worthy of Stretch Armstrong.

  2. Feminine But Not Feminist

    Oops, I forgot to answer this:

    Who has jurisprudence over the nature, establishment, and execution of this understanding?

    I don’t know, but I’m going by the official definition, as looked up. I would think you should do the same.

  3. @FBNF

    If you look up the definition for the word “pornography” then you’ll see references to various forms of media. One-on-one interaction between two people doesn’t count as pornography.

    Are you aware that the Internet is media? I mean this very literally. Images and sounds are recorded, digitized, and transmitted via electricity and light, and then decoded on the other end. Even if I were watching a live webcam, it’s not actually live. “Live” is just a metaphor to explain that the media is being sent very fast; so fast that it is almost as if it were in life. But it’s not live. It’s media. Nothing on the Internet or broadcast is live.

    Next question: Suppose a married couple. If they make a sex tape solely for themselves and never to be seen by others, is that porn?

  4. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ Cane

    Are you aware that the Internet is media? I mean this very literally. Images and sounds are recorded, digitized, and transmitted via electricity and light, and then decoded on the other end. Even if I were watching a live webcam, it’s not actually live. “Live” is just a metaphor to explain that the media is being sent very fast; so fast that it is almost as if it were in life. But it’s not live. It’s media. Nothing on the Internet or broadcast is live.

    Yes, but the internet is also a means of communication, no different than talking to someone on the phone, texting, using WhatsApp, or in the case of writing emails – it’s no different than hand-writing a letter. I’m sure that back during WW2 (for example) when a man away at war and a woman back home would communicate via writing and mailing letters, that you wouldn’t consider that to be in any way related to porn. I’ve heard lovely stories about couples who had only just met right before the man would have to leave, and they got to know each other through their letters, then got married when the man got home, and had a loving and lasting marriage. The same could’ve potentially been said in the case of the subjects of this post. They used the internet as a means of communication because they are geographically far apart, until such time when they could talk face to face. Nothing wrong with that.

    Next question: Suppose a married couple. If they make a sex tape solely for themselves and never to be seen by others, is that porn?

    Yes. Watching a sex tape (even if it’s you) is watching from the outside looking in, rather than being an active participant as an act of love with the other person. Very big difference there. Outside looking in -vs- connecting with an actual person.

  5. I’ve heard lovely stories about couples who had only just met right before the man would have to leave, and they got to know each other through their letters, then got married when the man got home, and had a loving and lasting marriage.

    I actually know of at least one story like that. From what I recall, a man was writing his aunt and mentioned trouble finding a wife. The aunt lived very far away, and wrote back that she knew a young woman at church having trouble finding a husband. She got in touch with the young woman, who agreed to carry on a conversation with the man. So they corresponded for quite some time. Eventually the man decided to marry her. So he contacted the aunt, got the young woman’s dress size from her, purchased a wedding dress and rings, and traveled all the way to meet her. He proposed, and within a week or two they were married. Marriage lasted until their deaths.

    Heard this from one of the children. Of course, that was another era.

  6. mdavid

    DG, Of course, that was another era

    Yes, Yes, and Yes. Not applicable at all to today.

    Modern people should start to acknowledge it takes a community to do marriage right, and Western individualism only works with a strong culture holding things together, and that ship has sailed circa 1950. Without that community, beware. It will take a lot of luck and the odds are poor. Men and women below a 7 should seriously consider finding a community before risking modern marriage. Ideas have consequences.

    A story from David Friedman:

    Many years ago, sitting in an airport waiting for a flight from Bombay to Sydney, I got into a conversation with a woman waiting for the same flight. We ended up sitting next to each other. She was from a traditional south Indian family, flying out to Sydney to join her husband, a physician.

    Her marriage had been arranged for her by her parents. She was as intrigued by the odd marital institutions of my society as I was by those of hers.

    Most of us tend to assume that our society’s institutions are in most ways right and that other places, especially ones with arrangements more like those of our past, are simply backward societies whose inhabitants haven’t quite caught up, aren’t bright enough to see the obvious superiority of our way of doing things. But the woman I was talking with was obviously intelligent and well educated, a real person not a stick figure in a book or my imagination. It rapidly became clear that I did not have any conclusive arguments to show that pairing up people via romantic love worked better than doing it by arranged marriages. As it happened, she was happily married while my marriage had recently broken up

    I ended the conversation a good deal less certain that I was right and she was wrong.

  7. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ Donal

    Thank you for telling that story – it was beautiful. It’s always good to hear a success story when it comes to marriage, especially when pretty much every story you hear anymore is a bad one. Hearing the good ones brings hope.

    @ mdavid

    Yes, Yes, and Yes. Not applicable at all to today.

    I disagree. The only thing in Donal’s story that has anything to do with community is that the two people were “introduced” to each other by someone they both knew. Otherwise, it seems to have been all on the two of them to arrive at the decision to marry. There’s no reason people can’t still get started if they encounter each other on their own and make it happen. (I’m not diminishing having the help of others to get started, as I know it’s important for that to happen in terms of the sheer number of marriages that would result from it. I’m just saying it’s not absolutely vital to the success of the marriage to have had others help you get started).

    Beyond that, having a good community is important for the sake of the marriage itself, once you get there. (Since we’re in agreement about that part I won’t waste time talking about it).

  8. @ FBNF

    I disagree. The only thing in Donal’s story that has anything to do with community is that the two people were “introduced” to each other by someone they both knew. Otherwise, it seems to have been all on the two of them to arrive at the decision to marry. There’s no reason people can’t still get started if they encounter each other on their own and make it happen. (I’m not diminishing having the help of others to get started, as I know it’s important for that to happen in terms of the sheer number of marriages that would result from it. I’m just saying it’s not absolutely vital to the success of the marriage to have had others help you get started).

    I disagree. I think that a community is important not only for the marriage itself, but the process of getting into one. The courtship of that couple was influenced and in many ways determined by those around them. How the man acted, how the woman acted, all of that was shaped by their respective communities. The aunt connecting her nephew? Also shaped. It likely wasn’t mere happenstance- she probably had her eye out for that kind of thing. That particular attitude is again something shaped by the community.

    Where I am going at is this: marriage is all about the community. The community influences and shapes the whole process of marriage, from courtship to the honeymoon and beyond.

    Also, I wanted to point something out you said a while ago:

    And as a woman, I’m not going to marry a man that I have no emotional connection with, knowing that if I don’t have one before, then I won’t have one after. End of story. That is what I’ve “allied” myself with.

    You do realize that this is the whole “romantic approach to marriage”, right? You can replace “I have no emotional connection” with “I am in love,” and it really doesn’t change anything.

  9. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ Donal

    Fair enough on the community thing.

    You do realize that this is the whole “romantic approach to marriage”, right? You can replace “I have no emotional connection” with “I am in love,” and it really doesn’t change anything.

    No, not necessarily. “Emotional connection (or intimacy)” isn’t always synonymous with “being in love,” though the two coincide much of the time. I’ve felt strong emotional connections to people before without being “in love” with them.

    Though for the record, I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to be in love with the person you marry. I know it’s a bad idea to marry someone based *only* on the “high” feeling of being in love, since the feeling won’t be there every moment, and would be like building a house on sand. But I also think it’s a bad idea to marry someone that you *never* feel that way about. A good marriage needs a good mix of Agape, Phileo, *and Eros*, in my opinion. I wouldn’t want someone to marry me if he never feels that way about me. Plus, there’s a whole book in the Bible that talks quite a bit about it, so it can’t be a bad thing.

  10. @ FBNF

    Going to respond in a disjointed way.

    Plus, there’s a whole book in the Bible that talks quite a bit about it, so it can’t be a bad thing.

    Yes, but it makes that point about Eros *inside marriage.* Not out of it. In fact, I seem to recall a line or two about not awakening love too soon.

    Second, how much Eros before marriage is too much? Where is the line that you shouldn’t cross?

    That is a rhetorical question, as St. Paul seems to answer that in 1 Cor 7. When you are having trouble controlling yourself, that means you either need to marry or go separate ways.

    However, to go back more on topic, what would you define as “emotional connection?”

    Though for the record, I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to be in love with the person you marry.

    Ah, but that isn’t what was said. If anything was critiqued, it was the idea that you *needed* to be in love with you person you marry.

  11. mdavid

    FBNF a few offhand comments,

    1) I don’t support arranged marriages per se. I’m merely suggesting we have swung too far to individualism. Romance alone is not enough.

    2) There is no community today. So it’s moot. Look out for #1. Lower expectations. Panic is a reasonable approach. Romance is a sweet luxury for good times. This ain’t then. The institutions are dead. Marriage has never be riskier. Women are delaying. Men are flaking. Few chairs left. Think war bride.

    4) One could marry ANY quality person in good physical and moral shape. Like loving a child, love is not about choice, but about service.

  12. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ Donal

    I’ll be responding a little disjointed too….

    what would you define as “emotional connection?”

    A very difficult concept to adequately put into words, but here goes. That would include things like ~ having personalities that mesh well so that you can have plenty of things to talk about, and can talk with ease rather than force (important for communication within marriage). (I realize that might seem like it’s not about “emotional connection” from a man’s perspective, but it very much is from mine, especially since I’m not a very big talker offline). It could even go into being able to communicate without words, such as having good intuition between each other, like being able to read each other without words being spoken sometimes (though that can take some getting to know each other to develop). And, it means having a mutual sense of things like warmth, endearment, fondness, and affection between both people.

    Ah, but that isn’t what was said. If anything was critiqued, it was the idea that you *needed* to be in love with you person you marry.

    Ah, but I didn’t actually say that. 🙂 …. What I said was that I wouldn’t marry someone without having an emotional connection with him first. And I also said that I don’t equate “emotional connection” with “being in love.” I assume you are referring to this that I said: “But I also think it’s a bad idea to marry someone that you *never* feel that way about. A good marriage needs a good mix of Agape, Phileo, *and Eros*, in my opinion. I wouldn’t want someone to marry me if he never feels that way about me.” To elaborate on that, I must respond to this:

    Yes, but it makes that point about Eros *inside marriage.* Not out of it. In fact, I seem to recall a line or two about not awakening love too soon.

    Second, how much Eros before marriage is too much? Where is the line that you shouldn’t cross?

    That is a rhetorical question, as St. Paul seems to answer that in 1 Cor 7. When you are having trouble controlling yourself, that means you either need to marry or go separate ways.

    My thoughts on this mirror any manospherian man’s thoughts on a potential wife’s desire to have sex with him. While it’s not wrong for her (or him) to have the intense desire to do so even though they haven’t married yet, it would be wrong to let that desire carry through to fruition prior to the wedding night. And if she doesn’t have the desire to, then it should be a big red flag to him that she won’t be suddenly developing that desire and letting loose on him 😉 in the way that he wants/needs her to after getting married.

    Same thing with the “being in love” thing. The fact that there’s a line or two about not awakening love too soon means that there must be “in love” feelings brewing under the surface that must be held back. If there weren’t, then there would be no reason to advise against letting it awaken (ie, come to fruition) too soon, now would there? 😉

    So going back to this: “it was the idea that you *needed* to be in love with you person you marry”…. It’s not that I need the being in love with him (and him with me) to be carried all the way through to fruition prior to being willing to marry him. It’s that I need to know that he does have the feelings brewing, and that I do also. If there are no “in love”/Eros feeings to hold back, then they won’t suddenly appear after getting married, and the “Song” will never be sung… 😦

    @ mdavid

    I don’t support arranged marriages per se. I’m merely suggesting we have swung too far to individualism. Romance alone is not enough.

    Good to know. And I agree that romance alone is not enough. I even said so above. 🙂

    There is no community today. So it’s moot. Look out for #1. Lower expectations. Panic is a reasonable approach. Romance is a sweet luxury for good times. This ain’t then. The institutions are dead. Marriage has never be riskier. Women are delaying. Men are flaking. Few chairs left. Think war bride.

    Well, there must be *some* community remaining/straggling today, otherwise *nobody* would be getting married anymore. 😉 …. But I see what you’re saying (apart from the “think war bride” part. That one has me stumped).

    One could marry ANY quality person in good physical and moral shape. Like loving a child, love is not about choice, but about service.

    True. But that doesn’t necessarily mean every quality person in good physical and moral shape is a good match for each other. While it would make for a solid transactional and mutually beneficial arrangement (which I don’t see any problem with, and I know that’s part of what a marriage does), it may or may not be a spiritually fruitful, thriving and enjoyable companionship. That’s where checking for a good emotional connection and mutual desire for each other is needed.

  13. “One could marry ANY quality person in good physical and moral shape. Like loving a child, love is not about choice, but about service.”

    I do apologize Donal, but this is absolutely horrifying to me. I fell madly in love some 30 years ago and romance persists to this day. No, any good quality person certainly would not “do.”

    Love is not about choice? It certainly is, we make a choice to love every day and no it is not all about service and servitude. Loving a child is also a choice, which should be obvious because some people manage to not love them at all.

  14. mdavid

    IB, my quote not DG. Glad you disagree. Makes me more confident.

    FBNF, Well, there must be *some* community remaining/straggling today, otherwise *nobody* would be getting married anymore.

    Not true. I married with zero community (now double-digit family size). So one doesn’t need community but it’s 10x harder (e.g. LDS or Amish divorce rates are low). Although strong unified morals/doctrine (e.g. RC0 can replace community with the right partner.

    My anti “Jane Austin” point of how female obsession with romance since 1800 destroyed their own families/happiness is best summarized by looking at a crucifix. Following Jesus is about “faith working in charity”, not just the feeling of “love” (romance). The poor marriage rates and tiny family sizes of today are the literal creation this female obsession with romance over real love. The result? Below replacement rate (e.g. extinction) and terrible marriage rates. Women are getting what they deserve. Ideas have consequences.

  15. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ David

    Not true. I married with zero community (now double-digit family size). So one doesn’t need community but it’s 10x harder (e.g. LDS or Amish divorce rates are low). Although strong unified morals/doctrine (e.g. RC0 can replace community with the right partner.

    lol, I made this exact same argument already, and you’ve insisted that community is completely necessary for a marriage to be possible. What gives?

    My anti “Jane Austin” point of how female obsession with romance since 1800 destroyed their own families/happiness is best summarized by looking at a crucifix. Following Jesus is about “faith working in charity”, not just the feeling of “love” (romance). The poor marriage rates and tiny family sizes of today are the literal creation this female obsession with romance over real love. The result? Below replacement rate (e.g. extinction) and terrible marriage rates. Women are getting what they deserve. Ideas have consequences.

    Again, I totally agree that romance alone is not enough. You”re wasting your breath trying to convince me of something that I already agree with. However, if you’re trying to convince me that romantic love is not needed at all, then you are also wasting your breath because that’s not something I’ll ever be convinced of. I think it’s absolutely necessary to have the kind of real love you’re talking about where you do what needs to be done, where you sacrifice for the other, where you serve the other, etc. And it’s also necessary to have some romance in there.

    And no, a woman’s desire for romance didn’t start with Jane Austen or in the 1800s. It’s something innate, which only made Jane Austen’s stuff resonate with women who read her. If it wasn’t innate, it wouldn’t have resonated in the first place.

    There’s nothing wrong with romance. It’s only a problem when you expect romance to be the foundation of a marriage.

  16. mdavid

    FBNF, the war bride comment (men included here) means that unusual circumstances (war is analogy for social collapse circa 2015) makes courtship rare along with less desirable options. Thus, concessions should logically be made or extinction awaits. Your “good match” focus is a luxury. Good luck in a famine. Myself, I was more aggressive. And realistic.

  17. mdavid

    FBNF, And no, a woman’s desire for romance didn’t start with Jane Austen or in the 1800s. It’s something innate

    True. But it’s only with the extreme wealth of Western Europe women could indulge romance to pathological levels. The results are obvious. It’s like there is nothing wrong with men liking lots of cute girls. It’s in our DNA. But it’s best for men to never have the option. See: Tiger Woods.

  18. Mrs. C

    Romance, no doubt, is not something you can base a lifelong marriage on. The feelings that arise from romance can be addicting but to judge whether there is love left in the marriage if these aren’t present is a grave error that many can fall into.

    However, to deny that romantic feelings have anything to do with marriage is also an error. There are times when those feelings you felt when your love was new will resurface. They will resurface often when your intimate life is going well. These feelings are good and we can enjoy them when they come if we don’t base the relationship on trying to constantly chase after them or to give them more importance than they have. God created us to have emotion after all. Emotions do serve a purpose. They have to be submitted to the reason and the will and not allowed to rule the relationship. While romantic feelings aren’t love, I have read that romance is the handmaiden of love. It brings joy, fun and that certain spark to the relationship. It breaks the monotony.

    There is also marital friendship, not to be confused with ordinary friendship. This is where you desire and sacrifice for the good of the other and of the marriage. This is where you surrender the “self” for the sake of the relationship. This is where there is emotional intimacy born of shared life in common and bearing the ups and downs life throws at you. This marital friendship brings a sense of quiet satisfaction and well-being. Sacrifices are easier when they are done for the sake of the beloved. You want to do things to take care of your spouses needs.

    Lastly, there are times when you frankly don’t like each other very much. This is when there are no good feelings, marital friendship is strained and you stick it out by sheer will to honor your vows. While we hope that these times are few and far between and that they don’t last long, these are the times when sacrificial love is most painful. This is when we choose to give despite lack of good feelings and even when the other isn’t reciprocating at the moment. There is also holding onto the hope of regaining the friendship that has been hurt.

    Romantic feelings, marital friendship and painful sacrifice for the sake of love are ALL part of marriage. If you shun romance out of fear you or your partner will get addicted to the feelings, you will have mediocrity. If you shun marital friendship, you will have relentless “duty” with a sense of dryness. If you shun commitment when the going gets rough, you will destroy the marriage.

    FBNF is not wrong to desire an emotional attachment to someone before marriage as long as that’s not ALL she’s looking for and based on what she said, it’s not. No one wants to marry someone so uptight that they are emotionally distant and not able to form an emotional attachment. Emotions can be great motivators to act with love when we are seeking the good. They can also cause us to do evil or make wrong decisions when we are selfishly seeking to just “feel good” regardless of the morality of the action. We will experience pleasure and joy when we obtain or experience that which we love. This is good if we love and desire what is good. We wouldn’t want someone to not feel pleasure or joy when they are with us or to just coldly evaluate whether we will “do” as a life partner. This is a hindrance to intimacy. You need all three, emotion, reason and will, to make a really good marriage. Those who are emotionally distant usually have problems with trusting others. This can cause a lot of problems in marriage and while someone who is married to someone who has this problem can stick it out through duty and commitment to their vows, they will also experience insecurity and an awful lot of loneliness to boot. I would caution anyone, man or woman, who is looking for a spouse to think twice about anyone who checks all the boxes but who is emotionally distant or withdrawn. That would be a long row to hoe if you ended up married to them and they weren’t willing to let down their defenses and work on trust.

  19. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ Mrs C

    Thank you, that was a *fantastic* description of what I had in mind when I said that Agape, Phileo, and Eros are all necessary for a thriving marriage. 🙂

  20. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ mdavid

    True. But it’s only with the extreme wealth of Western Europe women could indulge romance to pathological levels. The results are obvious. It’s like there is nothing wrong with men liking lots of cute girls. It’s in our DNA. But it’s best for men to never have the option. See: Tiger Woods.

    I’m not advocating for pathological levels of romance. I’m advocating for healthy amounts of it. You and I are in agreement that romance isn’t the be all do all of marriage.

  21. Feminine But Not Feminist

    The woman who Donal wrote this post in regards to made some clarifications that effectively nullified some of the points made earlier in the thread. I’m curious why they aren’t being addressed by those who she corrected. Hmmm.

  22. Mrs. C

    @FBNF – You’re welcome. When any one of those types of love is missing in the marriage, then there will be problems of various degrees which add to the normal, everyday stresses and worries that crop up from outside the marriage. They might not always be deal breakers but they will limit the good, the true and the beautiful that us Catholics seek when we follow God and His Church.

  23. mdavid

    FBNF, our culture simply doesn’t have a problem with lack of romance. People today don’t have too much family focus, or worries about marriage happening too early, or a lack of concern with finding Eros. When that time comes, I’ll be first to denounce it. But today, it’s just a red herring to justify bad female behavior.

    To call for “moderation” on this issue, it’s like a glutton saying, “I must eat, dammit!”. Or a Canaanite, “We need more sex!”. Even as God erases Europe before our eyes with cultures who do have their romance under control, we cannot see the Jane Austen connection. But who cares? The world won’t notice the missing children of women holding out for romance. God already has a built-in plan for these women. Their sin is mortal. Calling St. Darwin.

  24. @DG

    Yes, but it makes that point about Eros *inside marriage.* Not out of it. In fact, I seem to recall a line or two about not awakening love too soon.

    Second, how much Eros before marriage is too much? Where is the line that you shouldn’t cross?

    Yes, this is it.

    @FBNF

    According to your rubric, husband and wives who write each other explicit love letters, or sext each other, are sinning. Yet, two people who meet in an elevator in the lobby, with enough emotional connection, do no harm to profess love for one another by the tenth floor! I can tell you that I have had hundreds or thousands of emotional connections to many women, but I am only to be intimate with my wife.

    I would like to redirect mdcvid’s caution against romance a bit. Romance is not always innocent. Flighty girls modern girls do get caught up in the romance of Jane Austen books, but the fact is that only among the poignant fools of Austen’s characters would we find a girl who made an “understanding” with a man she didn’t know in the flesh, and also without her family’s approval. Any understanding would be shown to have been reckless and incontinent; as it should be.

    I have been willfully misunderstood by you and IB to have implied that the man is innocent. That is not true. What’s true is the man is not here, and (as far as we know) isn’t operating under the delusion that she owes him something because they sinned against each other by playing house on the Internet.

  25. “I have been willfully misunderstood by you and IB to have implied that the man is innocent”

    Naturally, I disagree. Guilt or innocence in this case is completely irrelevant. Not everything in life must involve a guilty party who must be judged and condemned. What this man did was fail to live up to what should be his own code of honor and integrity, his own sense of responsibility. This behavior reflects poorly on him. Is this how he wants to perceive and define himself? Is this the kind of behavior that would be pleasing to Christ?

  26. Feminine But Not Feminist

    @ Cane

    According to your rubric, husband and wives who write each other explicit love letters, or sext each other, are sinning. Yet, two people who meet in an elevator in the lobby, with enough emotional connection, do no harm to profess love for one another by the tenth floor!

    NO, that is not at all according to my rubric! I explained as clearly as I know how to explain (twice!) what my “rubric” is. Since you don’t strike me as the type to intentionally twist my words around to suit you, I have to conclude that you aren’t understanding what I’m talking about.

    I have been willfully misunderstood by you and IB to have implied that the man is innocent. That is not true. What’s true is the man is not here, and (as far as we know) isn’t operating under the delusion that she owes him something because they sinned against each other by playing house on the Internet.

    I’m not “willfully” misunderstanding you. If I’m misunderstanding you then it’s because I’m misinterpreting you.

    It seems that you and I have been talking past each other for a while. Either we agree but are coming at it from different angles and just aren’t understanding what the other is trying to say, or we don’t agree and never will. Keeping this up would be pointless, so I’m bowing out now.

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