These suggestions are as follows: drop that “faux spouse” who refuses to commit to you; follow the Golden Rule of dating (treating the person you’re dating as you would want someone else to treat your future spouse); don’t date until you are at a place in life where friendship can naturally develop into a flourishing, exclusive relationship; don’t kiss until you’re engaged—or even the day of the wedding; set patterns of faithfulness and self-control that will guide you through dating and marital life; observe how the friend in whom you are interested resolves disagreements, shows forgiveness, and handles disappointments and frustrations; before engagement, address general concerns about previous sexual experience. While “enjoying” the seeming benefits of emotional attachments, unmarried couples— though friends—may be avoiding the hard work of deepened commitment, but to their own harm.A guy and a girl who aren’t officially dating may send texts to each other during the wee hours of the night, “chat” extensively over Facebook, or “hang out” with each other on their i Phones or i Pads.Maybe they’ll call each other “BFFs” and watch movies or have dinner together, but they do so in a detached way—as though their sexual identity doesn’t matter.All the while, lines of propriety get blurred, resulting in unhealthy and often unintended emotional attachments.For instance, I'd never recommend that a modern woman do as I did. In the mid-1990s, when I was seeing the man who became my husband, we talked on landline phones late at night (when rates dropped from 25 cents per minute to 10 cents), sent just a handful of e-mails (seemed impersonal), and never texted (weren't pagers mostly just for drug dealers back then?
Romantic feelings often run high in the beginning of a relationship.
Online dating doesn't correct the well-documented imbalance of devout Christian women (abundant supply) to like-hearted men (a paucity), but it at least widens the net for Christians seeking partners.
It would be foolish, however, to preserve the dating practices of an earlier era, even as an attempt to avoid these dangers. Like work, house construction, and child-rearing, dating is a cultural practice that humans reinvent and adapt to different ...
Basically, the question seems to be how exactly single Christians should relate to members of the opposite sex in that large and awkward zone between "we've never met" and a deliberate dating or courting relationship. I won't repeat the full history lesson here, as several Boundless authors have already discussed it (Joshua Rogers most recently, in his excellent piece "Your Friendgirl Deserves Better").
Essentially, the historical reality is that until 30 or 40 years ago, long, intimate friendships between men and women in which each served as the other's emotional confidante, relationship adviser and "best buddy" were far less common than they are today.