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Is Courtship in Crisis? (Part 3 of 3)

Last Updated: October 22, 2015

Luke Gilkerson
Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Your Brain on Porn and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Episode 162


Is Courtship in Crisis (Part 3)

For the last two weeks we’ve been interviewing Thomas Umstattd, Jr., author of Courtship in Crisis: The Case for Traditional Dating. For seven years Thomas ran the website PracticalCourtship.com, but eventually, after speaking with a lot of people trying to follow the so-called “courtship model,” he began to wonder if courtship is all its cracked up to be.

In today’s interview, he describes what “traditional dating” is and why he thinks its a better system.

Show Notes:

1:14 – If I want to be involved in my children’s romantic choices, why is traditional dating a good model?

4:13 – What is “traditional dating” exactly? What are the rules of engagement?

13:14 – What does parental involvement look like in a traditional dating model?

16:07 – Why is good parenting not very compatible with modern courtship?

18:16 – For someone wants to start practicing traditional dating, isn’t that hard to do if you’re surrounded by people who don’t hold that model?

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Leave a comment: What do you like about the “traditional dating” model? What do you dislike about it? Where does it have the potential to go wrong? Where could it be a help to singles?

  • Comments on: Is Courtship in Crisis? (Part 3 of 3)
    1. Michael

      Honestly, in today’s world, being with a woman for life is really not worth it. I know it sounds harsh to say this, but it is the truth. The picture on this article is so far away from the reality of women today that it is not even funny. Walk down to your local Walmart and go look at the reality. Women are huge. Go read the countless articles on the internet of where women blame men for everything under the sun. I know we want to believe all is well in America, but really it isn’t. Personally I blame feminism. It has created a toxic situation in this nation. Men can do no right and women are now never responsible for anything in life — not even themselves anymore.

      • Andrew

        So Michael, you say “women blame men for everything under the sun” then two sentences later you say “Personally I blame feminism”. So now you’re pointing the finger at those who you say don’t take responsibility because they are pointing the finger. See any problem with that?

      • I’m not sure why the “women are huge” comment is relevant. Even if it were true that every living woman on the planet was obese, why does that matter to a marriage being “worth it.” Do you honestly think the happiness of a relationship is based on a woman’s size?

        Since I know a lot of happy men married to wonderful women, I fail to see how your thoughts apply to relationships broadly.

        I encourage you to pick up a copy of The Good News About Marriage: Debunking Discouraging Myths about Marriage and Divorce. The book reveals some of the results of some extensive research about marriages in the United States, revealing how the actual divorce rate has never been nearly as high as 50%, that most marriages are happy, that the rate of divorce among those who regularly attend worship services is significantly less than the rate among those who do not, that most remarriages survive just fine, and most marriage problems are not caused by big-ticket items, and simple changes can make a big difference.

        Michael, I really think the picture you paint of marriage isn’t so bleak.

      • Micheal

        No Andrew, actually I do not because it is the truth. Feminism has caused that mindset in women. Women are now the victims of everything under the son. I will give you a prime example of the destructive nature of feminism. Women fell for feminism so much that women have literally killed more women via abortion than all the wars ever fought combined. Really think about this. That is how destructive and toxic feminism truly is.

        Sorry, it bothers you to hear the truth.

      • Michael if you want to talk about the overweight women you see at Walmart maybe you should also talk about the overweight men you see at Walmart. It isn’t just women that are increasing in numbers of being overweight. It is sad that many have a double standard where it is more acceptable for men vs. women to be overweight.

        One thing that porn has done is given many an unrealistic idea of what a woman should look like. Besides being air brushed it is common knowledge that many of the models in porn are close to being anorexic and thus then one expects to see regular women with this type of body type.

        Just some thoughts.

    2. Micheal

      Luke, yes, I do think body size has a ton to do with porn consumption. Correlate the rise in porn usage with two things a) the rise in feminism and b) the rise in weight. They directly correlate. I think that many men who go home to a woman who is out of shape are not happy. I am sure it is that way for women too. There are realities to happiness. (I am not talking about a few pounds overweight, but women now average what men used to average in the 1960s.)

      Do you honestly think people are going to tell you truthfully what goes on in their own homes? Heck, many people say they dont look at porn, yet porn web traffic paints a completely different story. People lie about their situations all the time. It is kind of like keeping up with the Jones’. People are simply very fake. Very very fake. They want to maintain the illusion of a stable, happy household. People simply want to out do each other.

      I am sure there are happy marriages but I am also sure it is much less than you claim. I know a ton of people stuck in marriages or they feel like they cant do any better. Many people are afraid of change. They rather stay with what is familiar than do something unfamiliar and risk it. They will live with misery OR they just remember what their spouse was like when they were young.

      Here is a good CNN article on this topic: http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/07/opinions/costello-marriage-millennials/

      The situation is much more bleak than you can imagine. Throw in the attitudes towards marriage, people getting out of shape, and feminism bashing males at every turn …… and NONE of this gets any better. In fact, it gets infinitely worse. I dont mean to be negative at all. Not at all. I WISH everyone could find the love of their life and die together in old age. It just isn’t reality and until we deal with reality, this situation gets worse. Denial is no longer an option. Feminism has crushed this country and the evidence is all around you. Feminism started out as a great idea, but it has morphed into something completely different than what was intended. We now have kids getting felony assault charges when they try to kiss a girl on dares in grade school. That is how bad it has gotten. What used to be handles with common sense has now become felony issues where boys are having their lives destroyed. Heck, in once school, a six year old girl claimed sexual harassment. The bible talks about traditional gender roles for a reason. It is the only way it all works. The only way.

      • Let me see if I can tackle some of the points you’re making specifically.

        1. “I think that many men who go home to a woman who is out of shape are not happy.” I’m sure that’s true for many men, but my question was about the way you universalized your comments. You act as if this is the norm when (1) many men and boys who use porn don’t “go home” to anybody at all, let alone a woman who is bigger than they’d like, and (2) current estimates say about two thirds of Americans are not obese.

        2. “I do think body size has a ton to do with porn consumption.” This comment just confuses me. This post isn’t addressing porn but dating norms. Maybe I missed something, but I was talking about the relevancy of body size to the actual topic your brought up: marriage not being “worth it.”

        3. “Heck, many people say they dont look at porn, yet porn web traffic paints a completely different story.” True, but not really relevant to what we’re talking about. No one here ever denied a lot of people are looking at porn. Our blog everywhere assumes this, but you seem to be under the impression we are denying this. And again, this podcast isn’t about porn.

        4. “I am sure there are happy marriages but I am also sure it is much less than you claim.” Yes, we could each claim to know plenty of examples of good and bad marriages. I was responding to your maxim: “in today’s world, being with a woman for life is really not worth it.” I was saying that many marriages are happy, which means marriage is, in fact, worth it for a lot of people. I’m merely pointing out the universal bleakness of your first comment isn’t warranted.

        5. “Feminism has crushed this country and the evidence is all around you.” I agree wholeheartedly that there are strands of feminism that I deplore, but I prefer not to paint in such broad strokes. That said, I consider myself ardently complementarian when it comes to gender roles and I firmly agree that the Bible’s wisdom on this is utterly lost in us in this nation. Getting more to the topic at hand for this podcast, are you trying to say that Thomas’ views of traditional dating are helpful or unhelpful in the society in which we live? Or are you saying it just doesn’t matter because you’ve given up on the idea that men can find good relationships regardless of dating methods?

    3. Nate

      Wow! This series has been amazing! This guy is saying exactly what I have come to realize after 27 years in a heavily courtship influenced culture. Courtship was a huge mistake. I should have started dating 8 years ago. Everything hee said was so true to my experience.

      • So glad you liked this, Nate!

    4. I have a blog where I have been critiquing courtship and the concept of “kissing dating goodbye” for quite a while. I am glad to see someone who originally promoted coursthip admitting its issues. Sadly so many who promote courtship/KDG won’t admit its problems but are quite vocal on “defects” they see with dating.

      With that said, one thing I didn’t hear mentioned as a contributor to the singleness epidemic is porn usage. Thus courtship I believe is a large factor to the singleness epidemic some say that th prevalence of easy access to online porn is another cause of this epidemic. They are both factors.

      It is ironic that this wasn’t mentioned in one of these 3 podcasts. Again quite glad to see someone questioning this.

    5. Ayobami

      Hey guys! You’re doing a great work over there, and may God continue to bless you and make you a blessing to the world.
      I’m sure we agree on the major issues, it’s only the peripheral issues we might view differently. The case of courtship and dating is one of those issues for me. I’ll write my thoughts concerning Thomas’ views someday soon.
      I’m actually posting this because I’d love to request that those in charge of this site work on making the podcasts easier to access and download. It would be really easy to follow the podcasts if they are arranged in order of their posting. I can’t even know when if a new podcast is on by simply visiting this site. I either have to run through every podcast page to check out for recent posts or get directed from facebook if I’m lucky enough to catch the post there.
      Please make access to latest podcast easier and obvious than it is now.
      P.S_ If the mistake is on my part, please put me through. Thanks…and God is blessing you guys! Amen!

      • So, you’re looking for some kind of archive page? Correct? Good idea. It is in our backlog to do.

        That said, for now try iTunes. Our latest 10 podcasts can be found there.

    6. Ayobami

      Great…. Thanks for the help, Luke!
      If you can just help me with one more. I lost my Covenant Eyes folder once, and since then I’ve been trying to find a particular podcast. The podcast is an interview with a man who recounted overhearing a conversation where a young guy was demanding that his girlfriend behave like the girls in porn. I think the man you interviewed finally convinced the girl otherwise. I’ve been meaning to download that fascinating podcast again.
      can you help with the title? I’d be grateful! Thanks once again.

    7. Ayobami

      Awesome! Thanks a bunch!

    8. Ayobami

      Oh my! This is so painful… I finally wrote my response to Thomas’ book only to see everything disappear before getting a chance to post it! :(
      well, I can only summarize my comment with this short lines:
      “Words and definitions have been really crucial in Thomas’ approach (and there have been lots of them). Every approach to marriage; either the ones that raise the fence, or the ones that lower or remove it, have their own weaknesses and ‘crisis’. My caution will be to those that propose the ‘lowering of the fence’, and it comes in the words of Chesterton. Before you remove a fence, pause long enough to find out why it was put there in the first place.
      Arguably, courtship has its crisis. However, the crises of dating will be chaotic at a different level.
      I believe Thomas’ approach is borne of good intentions. So I’ll wrap up by saying ideas can suggest paths into relationships, but only God can truely direct and sustain us.
      This is really does no justice to what I typed earlier… But I’ll take it that God wants to save someone the pain of reading that lenghty post. :)

      • Sorry about that. Did something glitch?

        Thanks for your thoughts on this!

    9. Ayobami

      It wasn’t a glitch. Human error on my part… Thanks.

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