We are at the end of this age and time is short. We do not know how short it is, but we know that we cannot tell ourselves as singles, "Well, I will just repent of this later." You do not know if you are going to be in a car accident today, or tomorrow and die before you have a chance to repent of anything that you have done wrong concerning dating. Luke here, in quoting Christ, is really sounding urgent. "lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life," [You could just put in there dating, romance or immorality.]
Present yourself well. Every girl has different preferences, or “types,” but don't worry too much about trying to wear all the latest trends. Dress appropriately for the situation - no sleeveless shirts at a martini bar, for example - and don't overdo it with the cologne. If you show up to a party dressed at your personal best and feeling confident, you'll act that way - and there's a good chance the girl you're trying to impress will forget she even has a type.
You singles—do not just sit and do nothing: expand your interests, improve your skills, and increase your knowledge while maintaining your personal relationship with God through prayer and Bible Study. If you are doing this, leave the rest up to God. Be patient while God prepares you and your future mate for marriage, and more importantly, for a place in His Kingdom.
In France however, there's no such thing as a dating columnist. I've been a semi-fluent French speaker since my youth, yet trying to share what I did perplexed most French, Belgian and Swiss folks I encountered. "On sort ensemble" is something you'd say in Quebec (loosely translated: "we go out together"), but no one said anything of the sort in France. "I give advice to people who go out together," kind of worked, but most people didn't understand how or why I had a job. This in turn confused me—I get thousands of emails every week with questions, wanting to know how to get a guy to call them back, whether or not a woman is interested, or if they should break up. I can rarely keep up.
If you're someone who wants to date for fun, we have some suggestions to help you get the most out of your dates. See if you can focus on enjoying life and drop any expectations you might have of your date. If you expect something from your date that they're not available for, you'll end up feeling disappointed. But if you show up with an open mind and remember that it's all just for fun, you'll probably both have a better time.
But what's the harm? Isn't this just entertainment? Well, let's see. Corporations spend billions of dollars every year on advertising. Why? Because they know that media affects behavior. Today's youth are the most marketed-to generation in the history of the world. Our kids are spending an estimated $200 billion a year on trinkets and toys and clothes and media. Marketing executives at MTV and other youth oriented media do not brag about how they know what kids want, but about how they have learned to manipulate the teenage mind. They are selling a "lifestyle" to our children that robs them of their innocence and their best futures, and capitalizes on the natural raging hormones that mark the teen years. Instead of helping channel that energy into worthwhile activities, the media fuels the flames in an effort to keep them tuned into the programming. These marketers are teaching our young girls that their lives are all about their sexual power and our young boys that life is all about who can be more crudely funny or irresponsible. Sexual activity is expected and has no consequences. Civility does not exist. The only brand of respect that's taught is a twisted brand of "self-respect."
Don't believe me? Log on to the Internet. According to the London School of Economics, nine out of ten children who go online, usually to do homework, will stumble across hardcore pornography. Let me repeat: 90% of children will fall victim to pornography in their own homes. And then there's intentional porn consumption by kids. Oh, children might pass around a pornographic Web address at school, but it's in the safety of their own homes—often in their own bedrooms—that they close the door and consume hours of pornography. Over 50% of kids who enter chat rooms—where conversation is often raunchy and racy—say they have given out personal information to complete strangers. Chat rooms and sites such as MySpace.com have become playgrounds for sexual predators, often luring kids to situations of abuse and even death. Online pornography is a more than $10 billion a year industry, working 24/7 to make porn addicts out of our kids, and too often succeeding.
Phone dating systems of about the same vintage, where customers call a common voice mail or phone-chat server at a common local phone number, and are connected with other (reputed) singles, and typically charged by the minute as if it were a long-distance call (often a very expensive one). A key problem of such systems was that they were hard to differentiate from a phone porn service or "phone sex" where female operators are paid to arouse male customers and have no intention of ever dating them.
In the twentieth century, dating was sometimes seen as a precursor to marriage but it could also be considered as an end-in-itself, that is, an informal social activity akin to friendship. It generally happened in that portion of a person's life before the age of marriage, but as marriage became less permanent with the advent of divorce, dating could happen at other times in peoples lives as well. People became more mobile. Rapidly developing technology played a huge role: new communication technology such as the telephone, Internet and text messaging enabled dates to be arranged without face-to-face contact. Cars extended the range of dating as well as enabled back-seat sexual exploration. In the mid-twentieth century, the advent of birth control as well as safer procedures for abortion changed the equation considerably, and there was less pressure to marry as a means for satisfying sexual urges. New types of relationships formed; it was possible for people to live together without marrying and without children. Information about human sexuality grew, and with it an acceptance of all types of sexual orientations is becoming more common. Today, the institution of dating continues to evolve at a rapid rate with new possibilities and choices opening up particularly through online dating.