This article is part of the Infographics series.
Dating and Marriage in a Society of Now
Most people want to be married, at least some day. And the road to marriage—paved with seasons of singleness and seasons of dating—can be simultaneously exciting and treacherous. As Marshall Segal writes in his new book, Not Yet Married: The Pursuit of Joy in Singleness and Dating:
We live and date in a society of now. We can watch anything we want, anytime we want, anywhere we want. We can have any kind of food delivered to our front door in minutes. And we can “like,” flirt, and text from the safety and comfort of the crumb-filled couch in our bachelor pad.
The same selfishness and impatience are also the main ingredients in a tidal wave of premarital sex, leading more than half of us to give ourselves away before we even graduate high school. With a little computer-generated imagery, it all looks like unfenced and unfiltered freedom and adventure.
Unfortunately, Christians are not immune to these cultural influences. Segal continues:
As we look at dating, even in the church, we have to admit that too many of us have got it all wrong. We hurry to date as soon as we hit high school but wait to settle down and marry until after we’ve started our career and enjoyed some freedom. We come in and out of relationships like buying new shoes, slipping off anyone who begins to feel uncomfortable or inconvenient and then picking up whatever pair we like best the next day.
Most of the time we like the idea of saving ourselves sexually, but not in the most important moments. Meanwhile, the world is always inventing new and easier-to-use technology to help us give ourselves away too soon to someone we don’t even know. We love to be loved but aren’t completely sure we even know what love is.
In May 2017, we asked our readers questions about their views on dating and marriage, hoping to explore some of the trends Segal highlights in his book. In total, nearly 7,000 people filled out the survey, revealing some interesting insights into how we view (and pursue) marriage and dating today. Some of the results from that survey are presented in the following infographic.
Learn more about Marshall Segal's new book and watch the trailer at crossway.org/NotYetMarried.
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