Modern dating has ruined our view of marriage. This may seem like a bold statement, but it’s true. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. The Bible is fairly silent on the topic of dating because dating wasn’t culturally a “thing” when it was written. But marriage was definitely discussed. We are taught throughout Scripture that marriage was God’s idea. Man is supposed to leave his father and mother and become one flesh with his bride. Biblical marriage is for life. Husband and wife are called to humbly submit to God and serve one another in love. But modern dating has had a great impact on the Biblical view of marriage.
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Modern dating has taught us to over-analyze our relationships.
Essentially, every person we date is “auditioning.” We meet someone we find attractive. We ask them out on a date. And then we continue to date them as long as we still find them worthy of dating. Once a problem arises or we notice a “red flag” of some sort, the analyzing begins. We go to our friends and family to discuss our current relationship. Is it worth it to continue? We begin to dissect the person we are dating as if they are on trial. We over-analyze every flaw.
Yes, it’s good to notice red flags before you’re married. After all, most problems that come up during the dating process will undoubtedly get worse once you’re married. But when we begin to expect perfection from our mate… that’s an entirely different problem.
It’s a common joke in tv shows and movies where someone who’s afraid of commitment begins to analyze every guy or girl they’ve ever dated. They break up with them for superficial reasons like their ears are too big or they chew their food too loudly. We laugh at the joke, but if we’re being honest, we all know there’s a bit of truth to this. Because modern dating has allowed us to date lots of people in a short amount of time, it’s easy to treat dating like one big shopping trip. We are simply trying people on for size.
But if we take this attitude with us into marriage, we are in for some trouble. We begin to over-analyze our spouse and see them for their flaws instead of their strengths. We nitpick each and every way they don’t suit our needs, and this is a recipe for an unhappy marriage.
Modern dating teaches us to compare and contrast.
In the same way that we over-analyze our relationships, we learn how to compare and contrast people we’ve dated. We like how sweet and caring this person was or how adventurous that person was. We compare and contrast our current girlfriend or boyfriend with someone from our past. Can you see how this could become a bad thing for our marriages?
Not only do we compare our current relationships with past ones, but this could also translate into comparing our relationships with other people’s relationships. It becomes sort of a “grass is always greener on the other side” scenario. Having this attitude in marriage can be toxic and create a lot of problems.
So I will say it again. Modern dating has ruined our view of marriage because it trains us to see our significant other as someone we can replace. We create bad habits and attitudes instead of learning to work through our difficulties. And we learn to nitpick and criticize instead of seeing someone for their positive attributes.
This post is part of a three-part series on biblical dating. Be sure to check out part two (where we dive into two more reasons why modern dating has transformed our view of marriage) as well as the final post discussing what the Bible has to say about dating.
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.