One of the things Josh has harped on in recent blog entries is the complicated approach some of us (especially Josh and I) have taken to guy/girl relationships. Those of you who are newer to HSA probably have not read Josh's previous posts on this subject, so I'd like to invite you to read his blog entry explaining his previous policy not to have girls on his HSA friends list.
Here is an excerpt from his entry:
|This is the primary reason I’ve drawn a line when it comes to talking with girls privately online or singling them out by adding them to my friends list. I want to not only protect my own emotional purity, but I also want to protect theirs as well. |
Anyway, this is one case where the internet has brought about some interesting challenges because I do not think it is wrong at all for a guy and girl to talk face to face or “publicly.” The thing about internet communications that complicates things so much is the fact that one can never know exactly how they are being perceived by the person on the other computer.
Josh isn't the only one who had this policy, though. I used to have the same policy. My experience with message boards began at the end of 2000, just a year after I had discovered the joys of internet access. I found Joshua Harris's Message Board (not New Attitude, but a message board that lasted only a few months). People on there discussed many of the same topics we discuss here and, not surprisingly, several of those people became couples (later marrying and having children) after "meeting" on this message board.
I joined several other internet forums (conservative, Christian, co-ed) and observed the same phenomenon. I had no idea how my parents would feel about an "internet relationship," so I took the easy way out and refused to have any one-on-one contact with guys. I was simply doing online what I had practiced in person - avoiding "available" members of the opposite sex as much as possible.
During this time, I also obsessed over how the whole betrothal process might work. I spent many hours thinking about it, reading about it, and writing about it. Most of what I wrote is posted here.
My policies when I was younger can be best summed up with this list:
|1. I don’t flirt. As a matter of fact, I try not to be too enthusiastic or outgoing with men. My reasons are based on Scripture, which I will share later. |
2. I dress modestly. This has more to do with courtship than one might think, because it is a reflection of my heart in whether or not it is pure.
3. I don’t spend much time on one-on-one interaction with guys who are not related to me unless I have a good reason that I feel my parents would approve. On-line, this means that I don’t generally e-mail or IM guys, simply because of where it could lead emotionally. On a face-to-face basis, I am careful still.
4. I will wait to pursue romance until my parents have Okayed it. Again, I have Scriptural reasons, but have time limitations that are keeping me from mentioning all of them at the moment.
5. I will find out where a guy is headed in life before getting involved with him.
So there you have it: Josh and I both had rather strict ideals for how to interact with people offline as well as online. And, honestly, neither of us ever planned on meeting their future spouse online. As you can see, I took proactive measures to avoid that. Maybe reading some of this will help you see why it was such amazing irony that we ended up marrying each other.
And one more thing before I close this entry...you know how Josh was talking about people writing their love stories? Well...
To be continued...