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So what on earth were they doing that worked so well?Over dinner, my grandmother shared her story about what dating was like back in the 30s and 40s.They were not the Bible-reading, small-grouping, mission-tripping Christian young people common in evangelical churches today.And yet her community of friends all got married and then stayed married for decades and decades.
This telegraphed to everyone at school that she was “off the market” and that she had a “steady beau”.“If I had only gone out with 3 or 4 guys I wouldn’t have known what I wanted in a husband,” she said.It is not that her parents were uninvolved; it is that they played an advisory role, particularly as she entered high school and they relaxed the rules about not going steady.I am not convinced that anyone is ever truly ready to get married.Readiness can become a carrot on a stick, an ideal that can never be achieved.
So if she went out for soda with Bob on Tuesday, she had to go to a movie with Bill on Thursday before she could go to the school dance with Bob on Saturday. The lack of exclusivity kept the interactions fun and casual. How could a boy have a claim to her time, heart or body if she was going out with someone else later that week?