(Chapter 9 is, word for word, the same in On Becoming A Man. I have therefore decided that 2 separate posts are unnecessary.)
You little whippersnappers like your secrets, don’t ya? And you like to be alone, so you can discuss your secrets. This can lead to you becoming, gasp, LOVERS!!!!
A love affair makes rapid progress when lovers spend time alone. It is pleasant to talk of plans for the future. Each lover likes to hear the other tell of his love. Then, as the conversation tends to dwell more and more on the possibility of marriage, they become almost impatient to think that the date of their marriage still lies a distance in the future. With this impatience comes the tempting question “Why should we wait so long to get married when we already know… that we were intended for each other?”
I’ve met teenagers like this. They’re annoying miserable little twits, until the inevitable breakup comes.
In any case, this chapter is full of advice similar to the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye (IKDG). Joshua Harris did not come up with his ideas all by himself. They were around decades before his book was published.
The young teenager is not yet ready for marriage
I completely agree.
Sometimes, However, young people will experience strong feelings that overwhelm their better judgement. They enjoy the thrill of being “in love.”
The wise way is for a friendship to be controlled in such a manner that it does not progress too fast.
Is he talking about “special friendship” or friendship in general? Not all friends will ever progress in that particular direction, you know.
There should be a chance to think serious thoughts as well as have pleasant times.
Ah, yes, the “serious” thoughts, like deciding to go to the same college, what they’re going to name their children, where they’re going to live… you know, serious courtship stuff.
I do not advocate protracted courtships, but of the two extremes, it is safer for a courtship to be prolonged than for it to terminate in a hasty marriage.
I have no idea what the author thinks is wrong with longer courtships. Perhaps the idea is to get them married quickly before they have happy sexy fun times?
The early teenage years are not the time to fall deeply in love. The late teens are also questionable, because you need to be financially secure and perhaps even finish college first. Whoa whoa whoa, we were talking about love. You’re talking about marriage. They’re not the same thing.
In matters of social conduct the American way provides that a young woman must wait to be courted. It is the young man who is supposed to be the aggressor in special friendships.
The author, here, is careful to use language like, “it’s the American way” or “society says.” This leaves it rather unclear whether or not Shryock would be ok with a woman making the first move. I’d guess not, but I’d also guess he’s covering his ass for when someone confronts him about it later.
Just as it is assumed that the young man is the aggressor in a special friendship, so it is also assumed that it is the young woman who determines how fast and how far the friendship will progress.
Men, you have the accelerator. Women, you have the break. It is your job to push back when a man goes too fast.
It’s a woman’s privilege to refuse a date or say yes or no when he proposes. Her privilege? No, it is her right.
It is more or less expected that once the young man has expressed his sincere admiration for his sweetheart, the friendship will progress as fast as she allows. A worthy young man will be sensible in such matters and will be cooperative in conducting the friendship properly.
I repeat ladies, you have the brake! But it’s the man’s job to listen to you when you slam it. I actually don’t have a problem with the latter part of that sentence, because consent is important and if a woman wants to go slower a man should listen to her. But what if it is the woman who uses the accelerator? What if the woman wants to go too fast? Where is the responsibility of the man, then? He doesn’t have a brake, so he just gets to blame her for crashing into a tree? Bullfuckingshit.
In any case, the more time lovers spend alone, the faster their relationship progresses. This is why it is wise to not let lovers spend time alone together. You see, teenagers don’t like being told what to do. They think their parents are out to ruin their fun, when nothing could be further from the truth. Your parents don’t distrust you, they are just attempting to help you avoid mistakes.
But you say, “Why isn’t it all right for us to be out alone? Most young couples go out alone and think nothing of it.”
That’s because there is no reason why you shouldn’t spend time alone with your significant other. Though I do dislike the “everyone else doesn’t have a problem” type of argument. This feels like a straw man argument to me, I’ve never heard anyone use this way of thinking outside of movies and books.
In the first place, even though one’s intentions are perfectly right and proper, there are biological responses in the personality of every normal teenage boy and girl that tend to take priority over good judgement and conservative intentions…but even in the cases of well meaning young people it is natural for solitary companionship to stimulate a mutual curiosity that tends to weaken good judgement and encourage an attitude of “Let’s get a little closer.”
You know what would actually help with that? Balance. If a couple is spending inordinate amounts of time alone together, I could see that being problematic. However, couples need some alone time in order to talk about serious things. If they learn to handle this alone time in moderation, they are less likely to let “biological responses” override good judgement.
All this, of course, assuming that giving in to one’s biological responses is a bad thing. I think it’s ok as long as there is consent.
But it is a natural human tendency for lovers to express their love not only in kind words and affectionate courtesies but also in fondling and physical closeness.
Ok. What’s wrong with that?
But these dictates of nature may lead beyond the experience of legitimate courtship.
What, pray tell, is legitimate courtship?
They [the dictates of nature] make attractive those relationships between male and female that properly find expression only between husband and wife.
And what type of expressions are those, exactly? Does the author mean hugging? Kissing? “Heavy Petting?” The language here is extremely vague and open to interpretation.
So when two lovers follow a plan of courtship that involves considerable solitude, they are setting the stage for intimacies that should properly be reserved for marriage itself.
This is why the Duggars use chaperones. Otherwise, J’girl and Boy might, gasp, HOLD HANDS before marriage!
The author then goes on to use the slippery slope argument. It starts with holding hands, then leads to kissing, then before you know it you’re having hot passionate sex involving toy bunnies and a whip. It’s all a progression, you understand.
But you ask, “Do you mean that I cannot even trust myself to behave when I’m alone with my sweetheart?” Yes, I mean just that; and I repeat, for the sake of emphasis, that nature’s promptings, when two young people are alone in each other’s company, may take precedence over good judgement.
I can see where the author’s coming from, but I’m not sure I agree. In any case, if you can’t trust yourself to just kiss your boyfriend and not have sex, you should be taking a hard look at why that is. Is it that the boy is slamming on the accelerator while not paying attention to the fact that you are trying to hit the break? Because that is a completely separate issue.
“What precautions can I take then,” you ask, “to make sure that nature does not prompt me to do things that I will later regret?”
It wasn’t my fault, Ma, nature prompted me to do it! Well. That’s a new one.
If you have noted carefully the above descriptions, you will understand that the possibility of excessive intimacy between a young man and a young woman centers on combinations of circumstances that provide 2 things: (1) freedom from observation by anybody else (2) conversation of a personal nature that leads up to physical expressions of affection.
Does anybody even know what Shryock means by #2? Because I don’t. The author goes on to say that lovers shouldn’t talk about things that are too personal.
Like what, exactly? Is saying, “I have a very personal problem with my father being a complete asshole” going to lead to happy sexy funtimes with my best friend? Because oh dear, that means I’ve had sex with like, 5 different people already. I’m really gonna have to learn not to talk about personal things with my best friends.
Then we come to the least convincing argument against teens having sex that I’ve ever heard.
It may be unfair, but it is true, nevertheless, that adults in general tend to assume that when a young man and a young woman spend any considerable amount of time alone in each other’s company, it must be for the purpose of indulging in physical expressions of affection. This assumption is the basis for a great deal of gossip.
Ladies, don’t spend too much time alone with a guy, because the weird and creepy adults might start gossiping about you! I personally never really cared if people said I was dating or having sex with a guy, because I knew I wasn’t and God knew I wasn’t and who else really mattered, so, this wouldn’t have really convinced me to stop spending time alone with my guyfriends.
In any case, the need for avoiding such gossip isn’t limited to teenagers, it also applies to the creepy adults who gossp about teenagers’ sexual habits.
When a married man calls at a home and finds a woman at home alone, his sense of propriety dictates that he not enter the house.
Because a man can’t trust himself to be alone for 5 minutes with a married woman while he waits for the husband to come home from work! He’d rather sit out on the porch in -20F weather and freeze to death! Because that’s what a Christian gentleman does!
A young person’s good name is a priceless possession. It is only by preserving a good reputation that a young person can be assured of genuine happiness in marriage and thus in later life.
Ladies, if you spend time alone with a man, creepy adults will gossip about you. This will somehow ruin happiness for the rest of your life! Yanno, I don’t even care anymore about the gossip that went around about me in high school. It does not affect my life in the least that everyone thought I was dating Aaron and Dave at the same time.
Sometimes young ladies allow men to do things to them because they want to be popular.
This unfortunate idea that popularity has to be bought by allowing physical intimacies is a subtle satanic deception.
I do agree that that is a terrible price to pay for popularity. I have no idea if high school popularity really works this way, as I wasn’t particularly popular. (I was as unpopular as you can be in a school of 250 people who literally live at the school.)
If that’s actually how one gets popular in high school, I’m really glad I was never one of the in crowd.
Any man who tells a girl she must get physical with him in order to be popular
is a monster indicates a desire for unwholesome companionship.
Having once achieved his unholy goal, such a young man will quickly lose interest in the young woman who has succumbed to his persuasion.
Ladies, if you let a man have sex with you, he’ll leave you. He got what he wanted, after all.
That line of reasoning is what I had pounded into my head growing up. I’m sure it’s true in some cases, but then, how do you explain the long term relationships unmarried couples have? They’re sleeping together, but the guy hasn’t abandoned the girl because she gave him what he wanted. I know I explained it by ignoring all of those people. It wasn’t until I acknowledged their existence that I began to realize that what I’d been taught all my life was probably a bunch of bullshit.
Your genuine happiness, both in the present and, more particularly, in the future, depends upon your taking reasonable measures to avoid those circumstances that would tempt you to indulge in physical expressions of affection or cause you to become the focus of unkind gossip.
Don’t get physical with a man. Your future happiness depends on it! Wow, what fear mongering. Frankly, if your 5 minutes in heaven with Phillip ten years ago in high school are affecting your marriage today, I think you’ve got major issues and should see a professional.
Fortunately this advice does not work a hardship. The best fun is wholesome fun.
Who decides which types of fun are wholesome? You’ve been incredibly vague about that. What if I think sex is wholesome fun, as long as both parties are consenting adults who take precautions to avoid STDs and unwanted pregnancy?