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Author Topic: Orthodox Dating  (Read 1289 times) Average Rating: 0
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Branthony
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« on: February 24, 2014, 12:52:03 PM »

Hi, I am not sure this post is in the right place but what is the appropriate way to date as an Orthodox christian. I have found it hard to even find another Orthodox to date (I finally found a woman, 8 hours away but i found her), now we are dealing with the dating part of it. First thing I noticed was different is it is more like courting than dating in the modern since. we are looking for marrage, the dating isn't an end in it self. but during the limited time we get to spend face to face what is appropriate and what isn't. Obviously sex is out of the question but, how much can we do. Is holding hands off limits? hugging? Kissing on the cheek? Kissing on the mouth? I feel these are things that are hard to know in our society where people react as if your nuts because your not sleeping with your girlfriend. When we where last together, we did hold hands, hug, snuggle on the sofa and kiss on the cheek but we drew the line at kissing on the mouth. She is extremely modest (which I love), and wears a headscarf all the time, so there isn't much I have seen of her to inspire lust but despite that, 1) I know she is very beautiful physically and 2) with the "innocent" contact we did have it was difficult controlling the passions. Just looking to see if anyone else has any better ideas or thoughts on this topic. Dating seems to be a minefield, hard to find someone then hard to deal with everything once you do.
Thanks
Anthony-
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mabsoota
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« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 04:04:55 PM »

personally, i would avoid kissing on the mouth.
it often leads to more.

(source: am married)

also, i posted some advice here which may help:
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,56897.0.html

in our church, people are discouraged from kissing on the mouth, which may seem extreme, but actually is really sensible.
i have only been an orthodox Christian 5 years, but i keep hearing good advice all the time.
people are advised to treat their fiance(e) like their brother or sister, with all chastity.

edit:
and, seriously, have a chaperone!
you can chat together alone, but have someone in the next room and the door open.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 04:06:12 PM by mabsoota » Logged
Branthony
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« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 04:16:32 PM »

Thanks, my girlfriend and I agreed that mouth to mouth kissing was off limits before we had even held hands. We actually agreed that this would be off limits until we are married. The first time I will ever feel her lips on mine will be when the priest tells me to on our wedding day, I won't actually even see her hair before we get home after our wedding. I asked this question more so a discussion of appropriate orthodox daiting could be on here. This is a topic that is hard for any Christian but even more so for orthodox. What is to extreme and what is to far gone? Some books by monks say you shouldn't even hold hands and the world says you're weird if you don't sleep together. It can be hard, I figured I'd start this thread so we can help and encourage each other.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 04:18:02 PM »

Good luck with this. Make sure you want her, not the victory of having her. And hopefully it doesn't end in divorce, take your time to figure that part out, I would suggest.
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Branthony
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 04:22:45 PM »

 I am not a child and i know what i need and want there is no rush it's more of once you know what you want you get it don't wait around. I want to become a deacon so divorce isn't an option for me. I know it's a serious decision and I'm sure that she is the woman God has chosen for me and with a marrage built on faith we will make it. However thanks for your advice.
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2014, 04:29:28 PM »

If you think you know what you want, then you don't know what you want. And actually what you said in the last post is exactly why I would worry about a divorce. People are just self-assured (pride) and are gung-ho. And then finally, all the no-touching, all the waiting, all the expectation.. it is finally resolved and the marriage happens. And then... oh yeah, the grind of daily life. Now your life isn't about hopes and dreams and white dresses, now it's about reality. I knew a deacon who got a divorce, so they moved him to another parish. You will be able to keep your deacon dream alive I think. As for the marriage... well like I said above, good luck.
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2014, 04:40:16 PM »

In the old days they dealt with the "no kissing" thing pretty easily - short courtships!  If you both are of the same mind that divorce is impossible, just get married.  You can get divorced whether you date for decades or days.  My bro's homeboy dated a woman for seven years and was married eleven months before she devoured his savings account and started boinking some guy at the bar. Both my parents and my GF's parents dated months and have been married decades.  If you get divorced just make sure you have a good bit in savings and have contacts in a country that won't make you pay alimony.  A friend of a friend moved to Curacao.  He says it is grand.
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Branthony
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2014, 04:45:55 PM »

Wow i was with you right up to the alimony thing.
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mabsoota
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2014, 04:51:57 PM »

feel free not to take everything too seriously here.
some people get a bit hurt by life and get a bit sarcastic.

(i am serious unless i do a winky smiley)

oh, and marriage is just one part of a beautiful spiritual journey.
as you learn to be more tolerant (than you thought possible), God blesses you with patience and strength.
you can also receive these blessings through single life and through monasticism, when you do them for God.
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2014, 04:53:14 PM »

Did you find out what she thinks first? If you don't consider her feelings, you might as well just give up.
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2014, 04:53:49 PM »

I think it is healthy that you are attracted to her.

Have you met her parents, particularly her mom? She will likely become rather like her mom, so if you don't like her mom, you will need more time to really get to know her.

I like modesty too. I think it is great you found an Orthodox girl, but remember that you need more in common than just that.

May the Lord bless you in your courtship.
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Branthony
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2014, 04:59:43 PM »

Did you find out what she thinks first? If you don't consider her feelings, you might as well just give up.
We have talked about all aspects of our relationship and I make her feelings my priority.
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mabsoota
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2014, 05:12:20 PM »

well now it is great lent, so a great time to fast and pray together.
may God guide u
 Smiley

edit:
sorry forget you start next week, the coptic orthodox get very enthusiastic about fasting, like the ethiopians and eritreans!
happy cheesefare week and may God bless your main fast next week.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 05:14:09 PM by mabsoota » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2014, 05:19:11 PM »

In the old days they dealt with the "no kissing" thing pretty easily - short courtships! 

Doesn't work today if one doesn't live in a Amish-like strictly secluded community. Societies and their values have an impact on people. We don't act in a bubble even if we might have this or that religious conviction.
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2014, 08:54:35 PM »

My fiance and I spent time in groups and public while in Egypt. Now that I've come back, there is no chance to be alone due to distance however before that happened we made sure to spend a lot of time in mixed groups or just out and about. We don't kiss, we do hold hands and walk arm in arm the old-school way as well. There is also the no divorce issue between us and for this reason we are having a longer engagement, it has been 10mo. as of now and counting.

I'll second about the daily grind. Never live in a fantasy.
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« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2014, 12:25:18 PM »

In the old days they dealt with the "no kissing" thing pretty easily - short courtships! 

Doesn't work today if one doesn't live in a Amish-like strictly secluded community. Societies and their values have an impact on people. We don't act in a bubble even if we might have this or that religious conviction.

+1

I  have Christian friends from cultures where the families set up the couples, they never actually meet. It usually works where they live, but it becomes difficult over here in Europe.
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« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2014, 02:19:18 PM »

My dating life wasn't Orthodox, but we're happily married.  We dated for about a year, maybe a year and a half.
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« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2014, 10:09:15 AM »

In the old days they dealt with the "no kissing" thing pretty easily - short courtships! 

Doesn't work today if one doesn't live in a Amish-like strictly secluded community. Societies and their values have an impact on people. We don't act in a bubble even if we might have this or that religious conviction.

I backed my statement up with anecdotal evidence.   Tongue
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« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2014, 11:35:57 AM »

I really appreciate all the advice you folks have given me. the idea of this thread wasn't supposed to be people giving me advice on if I should or should not get married to my girlfriend. We are getting married, I am sure that this is the plan that God wants and rest comfortably in our decision. we are not however getting married tomorrow but more than likely some time in November. the point behind this thread was, however, to have an open discussion on appropriate Orthodox Christian dating. The things I was hoping to talk about is,
-What is appropriate to do on a date
-interfaith relationships
-how to keep your relationship centered on God
-how to keep out of the traps of temptation
-how to find other Orthodox singles (not wanting this to turn into a dating site, but maybe offer some help on how to find each other)
these are the things I was hoping to talk about, not about me. I'm honestly not important enough to have an entire thread dedicated to my self.

I can start out with one of these things. I do not think that an Orthodox Christian should date someone outside of Orthodoxy. I think even crossing from Eastern to Oriental would be a mistake. The purpose of dating should be to decided if you want to marry this person. even if your marrage would be a long way away you shouldn't waist each others time. What it seems a lot of folks do is what protestants call "missionary dating" (I used to be Southern Baptist). This in my opinion is a bad way to convert someone and also a bad way to start a relationship. If you aren't trying to convince them to convert then they are probably trying to convince you. Even if this isn't the case on either side, think about long term issues. What kind of church will your children go to, you may think it's obviously Orthodox, but they may feel it is obviously going there way. How much influence do you think the other parent will have on the faith of the child? a lot and an interfaith marrage can confuse a child, I have watched it happen in my own parish with one of our alter servers. I know it's difficult to find an orthodox man or woman (unless you go Greek) but it's worth the trouble, to prevent more trouble. that's my opinion at least. Also if you're a man and have any desire to progress in the church (i.e. Deacon or priest) you can't if your wife isn't Orthodox.
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« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2014, 11:40:17 AM »

In the old days they dealt with the "no kissing" thing pretty easily - short courtships! 

Doesn't work today if one doesn't live in a Amish-like strictly secluded community. Societies and their values have an impact on people. We don't act in a bubble even if we might have this or that religious conviction.

I backed my statement up with anecdotal evidence.   Tongue

Society in general was more religious and less individualistic when your and your gf's parents were young.
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« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2014, 02:04:31 PM »

In the old days they dealt with the "no kissing" thing pretty easily - short courtships! 

Doesn't work today if one doesn't live in a Amish-like strictly secluded community. Societies and their values have an impact on people. We don't act in a bubble even if we might have this or that religious conviction.

I backed my statement up with anecdotal evidence.   Tongue

Society in general was more religious and less individualistic when your and your gf's parents were young.

Can't argue with that!
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« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2014, 07:58:26 PM »


I can start out with one of these things. I do not think that an Orthodox Christian should date someone outside of Orthodoxy. I think even crossing from Eastern to Oriental would be a mistake. The purpose of dating should be to decided if you want to marry this person. even if your marrage would be a long way away you shouldn't waist each others time.

Interfaith relationships and marriage are a touchy subject. There are many on OC.net whose spouses are not Orthodox. I would guess however that most of them were married before converting to Orthodoxy. I can speak about interfaith relationships; I was Muslim when I met my Coptic fiance. We saw the good in each person and didn't base much off religion really. He did not ever try and convert me a la missionary dating, instead he set a very good example just by being who he is. I suppose when it comes to interfaith you really need to have a feel for the person and see if they are at least open minded, that is my 2 cents. An Orthodox person purposely picking a non-Orthodox who is closed minded about Orthodoxy is not ever going to be a good match. My fiance and I remind each other to go to Church when able, we pray together here and there (thanks, Skype!). I suppose meeting other singles would also involve Church activities or ethnic activities. Example, we have a Greek festival here. A majority of people attending are of course Greek Orthodox.
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« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2014, 08:33:27 PM »

Just an update for folks interested, Me and my girlfriend have set a month (haven't nailed down a date in the month yet) to get married. we are getting married in September of this year. If any of you have good ideas on where to order the stuff we need like crowns and the common cup and stuff please let me know. thanks
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« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2014, 08:51:24 PM »

Congratulations!   Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2014, 03:17:19 AM »

Hi, I am not sure this post is in the right place but what is the appropriate way to date as an Orthodox christian. I have found it hard to even find another Orthodox to date (I finally found a woman, 8 hours away but i found her), now we are dealing with the dating part of it. First thing I noticed was different is it is more like courting than dating in the modern since. we are looking for marrage, the dating isn't an end in it self. but during the limited time we get to spend face to face what is appropriate and what isn't. Obviously sex is out of the question but, how much can we do. Is holding hands off limits? hugging? Kissing on the cheek? Kissing on the mouth? I feel these are things that are hard to know in our society where people react as if your nuts because your not sleeping with your girlfriend. When we where last together, we did hold hands, hug, snuggle on the sofa and kiss on the cheek but we drew the line at kissing on the mouth. She is extremely modest (which I love), and wears a headscarf all the time, so there isn't much I have seen of her to inspire lust but despite that, 1) I know she is very beautiful physically and 2) with the "innocent" contact we did have it was difficult controlling the passions. Just looking to see if anyone else has any better ideas or thoughts on this topic. Dating seems to be a minefield, hard to find someone then hard to deal with everything once you do.
Thanks
Anthony-

WOW! Amazing! This is what we need more of WOW!! This is common, NORMAL every day for other religions but it's like Christianity won the lottery today!!

Anyhow, here's the answer:

-You may be alone together
-No touching at all. This even includes rubbing shoulders while walking or hugging goodbye.
-You can not get close enough to the person that you can feel their breath.

You can not discuss money or being financially secure for the future. If the woman goes on about money as important, this is not a good sign. I'm just being honest. Your marriage is a covenant and God will look after you. If you judge your future based on money or other factors, then you lack faith that God will look after you and the marriage might not be kosher. The woman should want the man who they love for being themselves instead of a concern for money and material things. This is not a good sign if this is the case.
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« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2014, 04:49:26 AM »

I come from a gypsy family and we abide by the rules of no sex before marrige and having another person we you at all times. It works in our cummunity.But some times they only meet once or twice before the wedding.And most gypsy are catholic or protasant .i am the only Orthodox in my family apart from my children.Maybe a problem when there are older as we marry within the family.But i beleve Jesus will find away.
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« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2014, 04:50:24 AM »

p.s I WILL PRAY FOR YOU AND GOD BLESS.
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« Reply #27 on: March 09, 2014, 05:47:36 AM »

I come from a gypsy family and we abide by the rules of no sex before marrige and having another person we you at all times. It works in our cummunity.But some times they only meet once or twice before the wedding.And most gypsy are catholic or protasant .i am the only Orthodox in my family apart from my children.Maybe a problem when there are older as we marry within the family.But i beleve Jesus will find away.

Is it forbidden to marry a non-gypsy? Even if the non-gypsy adopted gypsy way of life?
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« Reply #28 on: March 09, 2014, 03:13:47 PM »

crackles, I'm not sure if your statements where serious or joking. You certainly came across as being sarcastic and that is not helpful.  what the world sees as common and normal is not always what the church sees as right.
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« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2014, 03:15:39 PM »

No we can marry an outsider but it comes at a cost. You are not excepted properly within the community some even won't talk to you. The reason for this is we normally marry cousins. My sister married out side the community 10 years ago , she normally is not invited to family party s. The reason is gypsys have been classed as third class citizen in the country they live in.so they are very warey of outsiders. Hope it answers your question.
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« Reply #30 on: March 09, 2014, 11:29:15 PM »

crackles, I'm not sure if your statements where serious or joking. You certainly came across as being sarcastic and that is not helpful.  what the world sees as common and normal is not always what the church sees as right.

I don't think Cackles was joking.  Not that it matters. 
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« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2014, 05:49:54 AM »

No we can marry an outsider but it comes at a cost. You are not excepted properly within the community some even won't talk to you. The reason for this is we normally marry cousins. My sister married out side the community 10 years ago , she normally is not invited to family party s. The reason is gypsys have been classed as third class citizen in the country they live in.so they are very warey of outsiders. Hope it answers your question.

Thanks, that did answer my question. The situation seems really sad but probably not unlike any Western society few decades ago. My grandfather appalled his family by marrying someone below his social class.
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« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2014, 10:23:02 AM »

when i told my grandmother i was engaged to an east european, there was a grumpy silence...

then the brilliant man who is now mr. mabsoot charmed his way into her life to the extent that she even allowed him to invite his japanese friend to her house (they were considered worse than germans)!
that was after the wedding that she didn't attend because she was 'too old'.
she didn't quite stop being a racist before she died, but she did at least have the chance to reconsider some of her views.

as Christians, we have no reason to avoid marriage outside our ethnic and cultural group.
we just limit our choice to (ideally orthodox) Christians.
which gives us tens of millions of eligible people to marry from worldwide
 Smiley
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