Thoughts on NOT dating

by wantstoleave 29 Replies latest jw experiences

  • wantstoleave

    Just throwing some thoughts out there. Wondering if anyone feels the same as I do. You know, being brought up not being allowed to date until you were 'of marrying age'. Not being allowed to look at the opposite sex. Not knowing how to act around the opposite sex because you were taught it was wrong to be with them unless you were getting married. If caught talking to the opposite sex, everyone assumed you were dating, and from that point on even though only friends, you werent allowed to be seen together.

    I look back on how I was brought up and my parents were overly strict. I remember one time writing on my school diary 'I love.....' and my parents hauling me out of bed and yelling and screaming at me :( I was 13. My best friend at the time, a witness, had written the same thing. I wanted to be like her, to have that freedom of expression. Her parents let her think about boys etc. They joked around about it with her. Mine were opposite. I wasnt allowed to look at boys, or say they were good looking or anything.

    My friend was married by 18. I hear she's still happily married 11yrs later. Me, well I never knew how to act around boys. I married at 24, rather late in the 'witness scheme of things'. Until then I had to put up with the 'why arent you married' and 'whats wrong with you' or 'you do like men dont you?' type questions. Also the 'you better find a boyfriend soon or you'll be past your used by date'.

    Only the other day I said to my mum that I think the witness way of not letting younger ones date can actually hinder them when they do want to get married. If only young ones were allowed to get to know the opposite sex, hang out with them, do the typical teenage 'dating' thing, without thinking that it HAS to lead to marriage. The whole witness ideal of dating only to marry annoys me. Its such pressure.

    My parents wouldnt even let me hold my then fiances hand. We werent allowed to sit next to each other at meetings. My dad would say 'theres plenty of time for that once you're married'. In hindsight, I barely knew the man....and what followed was a rocky few years after that. Not all witness marriages end up like mine (divorce), but I do see alot of unhappy young married ones.

    Whats your experience? View? Thoughts?

  • DJK

    IMO, there is so much to discover, even non sexual, about a life long partner that can't be discovered in a chaperone type environment enforced by the JW culture. So a marriage is like signing a contract without reading the fine print.

    Realistically, there are discoveries that are not learned until after marriage even for non JWs who, having the opportunity, weren't honest and open during the dating period resulting in unhappy marriages and divorce.

    (caveat emptor)

  • tigeress

    an utterly warped way of thinking. So much for getting to know someone first. The JW way ensures that you have no idea who it is that you are marrying. i often wonder if that was the whole point? otherwise would anyone get married in the borg?

    For myself i find its just best to be yourself with the opposite sex, people respond and appreciate honestly and they seem to know when you are being genuine. I think a trap that alot of us EX JW's can fall into is imagening that the rest of the normal world will judge us and think as badly of us as the JW's did. However nothing could be further from the truth, people in the real world actauly don't think like that. They do not go around judging others, in fact they wouldn't dream of it.

    Anyway if you are thinking of leaving the JW's you will find this out for yourself. The only word of advice i would say is give yourself some time to come to terms with your new life and new way of thinking before you start dating. Find yourself first and then the rest, love etc will follow

  • wantstoleave

    I like that point you make, signing a contract without reading the fine print. Very true.

    The chaperone environment I suppose has its protections if you are intent on remaining pure until the wedding night. But besides that, it doesnt really serve any purpose, because there are eyes watching from every angle, and your every move. Those that are shy will find such an environment even more nerve racking knowing others are keeping a close watch. Plus I dont think you ever really see the 'true' person, because when you dont see them everyday, or only at meetings - they can always act their very best!

    They say you never really know a person until you live with them, and I believe that to be true. And non witness marriages dont often stand the test of time either, but at least in those relationships they've had the opportunity to get to know each other properly, be alone and not feel like a million eyes are watching their every

  • angel eyes
    angel eyes

    My hubby and i werent married when we were studying but we also werent living together, I think that if you really get on with someone and truly love them then living together first isnt needed. We listened to advice given and it worked,although as i say we werent already living together so that didnt change,but i never believed in living with someone before marriage anyway :) We studied and in our own time got baptised then got married.

  • wantstoleave

    Yes, I'm not sure I'm one for living together before marriage, though I don't think any less of anyone who does. I love the idea of marriage being a lifelong commitment, as being more than a piece of paper. But I think the rules surrounding getting to know your partner are too strict in the religion. Many take it to extremes, for instance my parents. Not letting us sit together or hold hands. We had to steal kisses when noone was looking - and we were engaged! I mean, that's just not right. Yet other witnesses sit with each other, kiss, hold hands and openly show affection from a few weeks after starting to court.

    Glad your situation worked for you Angel :)

  • angel eyes
    angel eyes

    Yh we were told couldnt hold hands lol in the end we had enough and spoke to an elder,asked where scriptually it said this....i wasnt letting any brother or sister start going beyond what is written and try to kill us spiritually by the immaturity. Yes we had a balance of course but please...some things were silly and the person/s needed to be told,and the elders did,they approached them and we were left to be :)

    Wantoleave you have a right of this screen you will see an envolope,click on it... things will work out hun :) they always do.x

  • wantstoleave

    Thanks Angel.... :)

  • bluecanary

    I was told that once you knew you wanted to marry the person, you should just get married right away rather than have a long engagement. I knew my ex-husband for less than five months before we were hitched. They do everything they can to rush you into a bad marriage, then make it next to impossible to get out of it.

  • Midget-Sasquatch


    You wouldn't believe how completely inept I am at all things dating! I can almost hear the other person saying stuff like: "God! I haven't had to deal with this kind of awkwardness since I was 16. I know 18 yr olds who are more suave." I was basically set back by about a decade. Although I have to admit that I can't blame all of my dating/intimacy blunders on the WTS.

    I'm naturally very shy and socially uneasy. I'm very comfortable alone and really like the solitude but I can't pretend to be a deep thinker thats need it.

    I doubt I would have ever put together a little black book envied by all my male acquaintances. I just know that I would have started dating a whole lot sooner and would have gotten experience that made me more confident and more astute at relationships so that MAYBE could have made my life happier than its been. All in all though, nothing stops us "slow coming to the game" to enjoy what may lie ahead.

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