Category Archives: Pure/Purity

Playing House

Last night, I had dinner with a friend. We touched on a variety of topics, one of which was living -in and marriage.

Cohabitation/live-in is similar to playing house but without the integrity of marriage. Both parties are given the freedom to leave whenever they want since neither are bound by the responsibility and commitment of marriage.

He mentioned that he would want to live-in with the woman first before marrying her. From this set-up, he says that he would get an idea of who she was at home, her habits, compatibility in all areas of their personalities, tastes, likes, etc.

All valid points.

But notice that his argument focuses on the “Me” part. How can you explain to someone that relationships most especially marriage is never about the “me”, it’s always about the other person?

He mentions that there are more divorces in Christian marriages. He even smirked a bit when I mentioned that I know of a couple who shared their first kiss on the altar. He actually thought it was hilarious!

During the discussion, I could not find the right words to explain that marriage and love is a decision. It is never about trial and error, as what cohabitation espouses. You own that decision and never back out from it. Marriage was designed by the Lord to protect both parties. Men and women have specific roles in marriage which the cohabitation set-up will never define. Cohabitation is always the easiest, more convenient and practical way; marriage requires you to put in the hard work. And if both people are psychologically mature for marriage, they would focus less on self-gratification but more on serving their partners.

Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect. Women are more likely to view cohabitation as a step toward marriage, while men are more likely to see it as a way to test a relationship or postpone commitment, and this gender asymmetry is associated with negative interactions and lower levels of commitment even after the relationship progresses to marriage.”

And here’s the BOMB: “One thing men and women do agree on, however, is that their standards for a live-in partner are lower than they are for a spouse.” (Source: New York Times)

Ouch.

But whether we like it or not, cohabitation is here to stay.

The author finally adds: “I am not for or against living together, but I am for young adults knowing that, far from safeguarding against divorce and unhappiness, moving in with someone can increase your chances of making a mistake — or of spending too much time on a mistake. A mentor of mine used to say, “The best time to work on someone’s marriage is before he or she has one,” and in our era, that may mean before cohabitation.

After my dinner with this friend, I called up one of my girl friends and mentioned my questions, she simply said: “As human beings, we want to feel loved and SECURE in our relationships. The live in set-up can never give the woman (and man) that”.

She adds: “For people who think otherwise are fooling themselves. It is a defense mechanism and their ego talking. We all want stability and security. If your live in situation doesn’t work, and then you jump to the next relationship, it will be a never ending cycle, till your wasted away and your best years given to a variety of people who never imagined you worthy to be called their spouse”.

Love and security: Such simple words that hold so much gravity in a human being’s psyche. Marriage was designed to be a testament of that love and security.

If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently.
You shield it and protect it.
You never abuse it.
You don’t expose it to the elements.
You don’t make it common or ordinary.
If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new.
It becomes special because you have made it so,
and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.

Managing Expectations

Recently, I had the chance to chat up some girl friends over dinner. One was married, the other, single. Similar to most women, we swapped stories on what’s new with each other’s lives.

A good friend of mine opened up that she may have become too close for comfort with this particular fellow that it was not healthy anymore. One thing led to another and eventually, the guy said “I am not the best person to have a relationship with” (all this after bedding her, of course).

My friend could not comprehend the fellow. He did not come from a tumultuous relationship, nor did he have a traumatic childhood. So what was his excuse?

To put it delicately, he just wanted to sleep with her. That was it. All that bonding time and effort he put in was a strategy to get to know her emotionally and eventually “prey” on that vulnerability.

Admittedly, my friend agreed that because they spent so much time together, the sexual tension was too much. Hence, the “mistake”.

I asked my married friend what advise she would give us single gals given my friend’s dilemma.

Ladies, brace yourselves. Don’t take the following items as gospel but there is some truth to it given we are in the day and age where women are making themselves too available these days or fall in love too eagerly (and for all the wrong reasons):

1. When you pay for the meal, it means you put your foot down that you are only friends. This is best used if you want to clear the hazy waters of “just being friends”. This strategy will set the stage. It not only a.) Saves the embarrassment of fighting over the tab but it’s also a good test to see if he is b.) A gentleman, c.) A tight-wad, d.) if he’s that into you to actually pay for your meal. (Personally, I have used this strategy so many times and it has not failed me yet.) If he insists to pay for your meal, then that’s good. However, this does not answer letter D. So this is the best time to ask him about it. Be honest and clear from the very beginning.

2. If he wants to get to know you, he will ask you out directly. It should come straight from his mouth. Let him make that move. You are colleagues not chums. There should be no grey areas. This can only be achieved if you clear everything from the start. Besides, direct, old fashioned “Would you like to have dinner with me?” is a good thing.

My friend shared that the guy mentioned he didn’t like the term ‘Ligaw’ because it put too much pressure on the guy to put their best foot forward. Instead he wanted to treat his lady-like to things that were more casual. I was irked by this line. Reason is, if he can’t put in the effort, he never will. Translation: “She’s not worth it”. This lack of effort scream laziness and seriously a huge turn off in character. Would you want to be with someone who thinks like that? Something to chew on, ladies.

3. Dating is supposed to be fun! If you’re playing the field, see as much people as you can. The good, decent and working kind of course. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (no pun intended).

4. If you are indeed seeing other people, do let him know. Reason: it will keep him on his toes. Let the best man win, I say!

5. Learn to manage expectations. You can’t expect things from him, when from the very beginning, as the woman, you failed to establish boundaries and set expectations yourself.

My friend is an accomplished woman, intelligent, beautiful and kind. Yet there are so many women like her making the same mistakes with the same old farts.

If you feel that the above suggestions don’t work for you, just keep in mind to always “guard your heart with all vigilance for out of it flow the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23.) Now that verse is dating in a nutshell 🙂

The Other Face of Marital Rape

I just read over the news that Filipina actress Sunshine Cruz pressed charges against husband Cesar Montano for abuse, one of which is marital rape. I’ve also discovered that both are Christians.

Marital rape in a Christian home? I am beyond shocked.

Marital rape can happen in a variety of ways, some not even through physical force but through the twisted use of religion.

I’m sure you know where I am going at here.

You know what sickens me most? Using religion as a form of psychological control. There are so many stories of false teachers (cults, etc.), even lay people, who deliberately twist scripture to gain an advantage in whatever circumstance they have. They take scripture out of context to prey on trusting victims and con them off their money, sense of dignity, self-respect, you name it.

In the Book of Ephesians, there is this line that states “Wives submit to your husbands” (verse 22).

For the longest time, this line has bothered me. Scripture was supposed to protect both parties and not only cater to the male demographic. Some misinformed males jump right in on that verse and think that they can get away with anything at home.

For everybody’s information, and thanks to fellow blogger Dan Lacich, marriage is not so scary given that both man and woman are informed of the complete verse. Read and digest carefully, folks:

Wives and Husbands

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.

After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesian 5:21-33)

So, wives (and wives-to-be), let me tell you this: The man is to care and love your body as he is supposed to care and love his. You are to be “without stain, wrinkle, blemish, but holy and blameless”. There are no exceptions.

Once, I heard a Christian guy mention something as a joke: “Woman, submit!” (similar to that of a trainer who teaches his dog to sit, stay or play dead). Also, another married friend mentioned to me that she doesn’t say no to her husband because it’s “not allowed”. So she gives in even if she doesn’t feel like doing it.

Being misinformed or not really knowing what scripture says can be dangerous. The mere thought of it makes me want to throw up.

The thing with marriage is that everything is a gamble. You will never know what your potential spouse’s character is like unless both of you live under one roof.

So what is the gauge? Are there any red flags single women should be looking at to protect themselves?

Personally, temperament has been one for me. Find out how he gets angry. Ask yourself, is he domineering? Controlling? Test him. Push him once in a while and get a reaction from him. If you have to date him for years, do so! It’s best to be informed and knowledgeable of what you’re getting into than regret everything in the end.

Besides, don’t you think your life and future is worth the careful “choosing”?

Other than that tip, I’m all ears.

Recommended reads:
He uses RELIGION on you
Provocative Christian Verses: Wives Submit!
Marital Rape, a controversial issue

Dating Tips from the Pros

I just came from a seminar earlier and wondered how appropriate my line of work was and how perfect it was to be used in practical things such as dating!

Yes, you read it right: dating.

Just recently, I was invited by two gentlemen for dinner. Both single and eligible bachelors.

Being unattached and with no real ‘responsibilities’, the invitations were a no-brainer for me. However, as my week progressed, both of them cancelled for one very understandable reason: work.

I just can’t help but laugh at the irony.

The irony here is that I have dated and have had so many relationships in the past that it would only be reasonable that I have men figured out by now and the dating scene as well. Boy, was I wrong!

From the Christian perspective, it just dawned on me that I am a complete noob when it comes to dating! How funny is that!

In the seminar, the person I was seated next to was a husband and father of two. While on the way home, I had the pleasure of talking to a single, 27 y/o male friend. For fun, I intereviewed them on the topic of dating.

(Take note: I get both the experience and wisdom of a Christian husband and father while at the same time, the input of a single guy on his own road to finding real love.)

This is the best interview I’ve ever had in my journalism career 😉

Miss Tolentino: What makes you want to date a woman?

Happily Married Guy: When you do ‘prospecting’ (a term in insurance we financial nuts use), I really need to know her background. When I first started dating my wife, I really had to meet her family. I wanted to see for myself what kind of a daughter and sister she was. If there was trouble at home, etc. I needed to know that. Her family life was important to me.

Miss Tolentino: How do you know if the guy is interested in you in the long term?

Happily Married Guy: You will know if the person is sincere when his intentions are clean. He wants to get to know you first. Which is why I needed to find out who she was at home. I needed to meet her folks. Also, the man should never resort to anything physical because that will mess things up. The same goes with the ladies.

Miss Tolentino: What if a guy who invited and planned your date cancelled it (for whatever reason)? Should I take him seriously next time?

Happily Single Guy: Give him the benefit of the doubt. He may be going through something personal. It’s highly unlikely that a man who invited the woman will cancel. The girl, yes. But the guy? I don’t think so. There must be a very good reason why. Don’t jump to any conclusions just yet.

Miss Tolentino: How do you handle break-ups?

Happily Single Guy: It’s easy to just call your friends, go to a club, have drinks and hit on girls. This time in my life it was going to be different. My ex-girlfriend told me that she never felt we were growing as a couple. So I deliberately attended self-development programs and activities. I attended toast masters, bible study, volunteered, etc. I wanted to be productive. I wanted to prove to her (and myself) that I was serious about ‘growing’. (But ofcourse, later did I know that her dumping me was not my fault at all. She was seeing other guys on the side.)

Miss Tolentino: That must have been a blow.

Happily Single Guy: I was supposed to propose to her on year 3 of our 4 year relationship. I prayed to God that if nothing goes wrong, I would propose. But it happened. I guess it was a blessing that it happened. Otherwise I would have to live with that kind of baggage. She cheated on me twice. You are who you are. The problem was never with me all along, although that’s what she made me feel most of the time.

Miss Tolentino: What is going on with her now?

Happily Single Guy: She’s still the same person, unfortunately. “You are who you are”. When we get the chance to talk, I don’t ask about personal things (who she’s seeing, etc.). It’s none of my business, the same thing she has no business in mine.

Miss Tolentino: How are you now?

Happily Single Guy: I have forgiven her. I don’t know why forgiveness was so easy, but it was.

Miss Tolentino: Do you like anyone at the moment?

Happily Single Guy: As a matter of fact, I do. But I am carefully taking my time on this one. I’ve asked her the hard questions (her faith, etc.) and so far, she’s doing okay in that area. However, she’s a bit of a fan girl. She has so many friends on social networks, its crazy. She flirts and messages celebrities through her twitter account. But I’m taking it in stride. It could be a phase, I don’t know. Which is why
I haven’t asked her out yet. I’m still enjoying our friendship. If the time comes that I ask anybody out, could be her or not, that will be the defining moment.

Miss Tolentino: What qualities are you looking for in a woman?

Happily Single Guy: She has to be her own person. Her own woman. She is complete and happy on her own. Getting a good-looking and financially secure partner is just a bonus. The only thing she will be looking for in a potential partner is loyalty, that’s it.