Monday, January 31, 2011

Fairy Tale Romance - The Way Forward?

Part 5 of 5
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
So how do we proceed? Probably the best way would be to scarp our whole system and start from scratch. But a tradition exists and cannot be overthrown in a day, and we must make the best of it.

 I am not sure our present system of courtship is ideal. We start entwining ourselves to the opposite sex at 14 and marry at 26. Perhaps we should not practice pairing and separating. Perhaps we should date only when we’re ready to marry. Couples that are together for years will break up because neither was ready to marry; they are torn asunder by circumstance. This rending of souls is destructive and painful; it may, at least in part, contributes to the loss of romance that we presently observe. Drawing close to another soul is a fearful thing, and we mustn’t do it but with the utmost caution and compassion.

But draw close we must! Some are truly called to lifelong chastity. But I don’t think there are many. For the rest of us, there is but one way: the dangerous way. We may travel down the road slowly or quickly; we may delay the journey for a time. However we do it, it is the road we must travel. We cannot love another person without vulnerability. There is no love without sacrifice, and the first thing that must be sacrificed is safety. Consider again CS Lewis’ words:
We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as a way in which they should break, so be it. What I know about love and believe about love and giving ones heart began in this.
The way forward is a dangerous jungle. And we have, by our failures, made it even more dangerous. There are many places where we can leave our travelling companion alone in the darkness of the jungle. We have many injuries from past failed expeditions. But though we limp, and though the danger is perhaps greater than it has ever been, we must brave the jungle if we are to reach El Dorado. We can splint broken limbs before we begin, and try to prepare ourselves for traps ahead. 

Men: Man up! Live in integrity and be true to your word, even commitments uttered while drunk on wine from Eros. Realize that you can skirt around the edge of the jungle all you want, keeping your options open. But with nothing ventured, nothing can be gained. It is only when you begin to give your heart to another that any real progress can be made. Forgive those women who abandoned you in the jungle, and then gird up your loins to go back in!

Women: bandage your wounds! Stop the hemorrhaging from fresh wounds, but do remember to clean out the old ones. Do not rub the mud of lies into your wounds! Remember that you are beautiful in the eyes of God! Forgive those men who made you feel otherwise and thus burn away the gangrene; you will need all of your emotional limbs for a successful expedition. Be very careful not to trust an unreliable partner, but be equally careful not to reject a reliable one; a trustworthy companion is necessary, and both errors will lead to failure.

Together, I hope that we can rekindle the flames of Romance! I pray that Eros would rise again to serve as a guide, leading men and women to Agape! Oh that Man would again be bold, and in time, would make trustworthy promises to Woman! Oh that Woman, the Crown of God’s creation, would again be strong in herself, able to draw Man into her sweet embrace! Oh that Man and Woman would experience the wonderful falling into place, that eucatastrophe, that we read about in the fairy tales!

1. 28/28 days; 2. 360/360 minutes; 3. 4/4 weeks


  1. "Be very careful not to trust an unreliable partner, but be equally careful not to reject a reliable one; a trustworthy companion is necessary, and both errors will lead to failure." Well put and very wise.

  2. Thank you! We've been studying error types on medical tests in my statistics class. Type I, false positive and Type II, false negative. But mentioning that, in addition to confirming my identity as "Nerd" (with a capital 'N'), would have broken the flow.

  3. I am currently taking a break from my own statistics homework and am dying of laughter at you David and your translation of Type I and II error into matters of the heart. You definitely deserve the capital "N" but I love it!