by Garner Ted Armstrong
... KEY to Success or Failure In Marriage!
What's really wrong with marriage today IS COURTSHIP.
Too many are discovering they should not have married AFTER marriage — instead of before.
Marrying the wrong person can be sheer hell on earth, to hear the victims describe it. Lack of preparation for marriage, lack of understanding the sobering responsibilities of marriage, coupled with marrying too young are leading causes of divorce, according to sociologists.
It's about time young people learned HOW TO DATE — learned what right dating IS, and what to LOOK for in a potential mate.
Why This Book Was Written
DIVORCE is admission of defeat. It's a public statement of failure. It's nuptial bankruptcy — a sex sellout. Divorce is commonplace. Court sanctioned, politically, religiously and socially acceptable, in most cases. But divorce isn't happy.
The "wrong partner" supposedly causes divorce. Until the modern era of open sex talk, and the exploitation of sex, divorce was the end result of "mental cruelty." "Sexual incompatability" is also often given as a reason for legal separation, too.
Divorce proves something is seriously wrong in too many marriages. No one marries "just to get a divorce," in spite of the brave smiles through tears; the emancipated woman over 40 who bounces into her friends' homes with the announcement of how "free" she feels; the piano — bar sentiment over cocktails of "the second time around."
Like setting up a business or planning a career, marriage is a truly big step in life, not entered into very casually.
But when one flippantly says "at least one divorce is good for you," don't you believe it!
They're just whistling in the dark — trying to justify, even to themselves, what was in reality an emotional and mental trauma — and probably an economic disaster, too.
This book speaks frankly about how to date: with whom, how often? What about going steady? Should the girl pay her own way? How late should young people stay out? What about necking? How far should they go? What about dating the member of another race? What about age differences? If they feel they're "really in love," are intimacies more allowable? What if their parents don't approve? What about religion?
It's time our young people were told the truth about these questions, and a whole host of others. Here, then, is the sometimes shocking, sometimes amusing, and always frank truth about the lost art of dating — and preparation for marriage!
Marriage, Divorce and Morality
"AT EIGHTEEN Maureen is a tall blond ... she has a warm, dimpled smile and a disarming air of innocence.
"But at eighteen, Maureen is a bitter statistic in the nation's scoreboard of teen-age marriages ... she is today on the threshold of divorce. 'That marriage was a farce' is a terse summation of "the biggest mistake I ever made."
"Reflecting upon the jigsaw puzzle of the events that led to marriage too soon, a reckoning too late, she said: 'We met at this part-time job I had. He was twenty-three, and head of the department. All the girls, even the engaged ones, used to coo over him and say, "Oh, he's nice." One day he asked me out. Three weeks later he asked me to marry him.
" 'Me? I never had any responsibility at home. Mother washed my clothes, ironed my clothes, laid out my clothes, even bought my clothes. Still does. To this day I don't do anything.
" 'The day after the wedding I knew it was a mistake. As time went by it only got worse. Nothing was the way it was supposed to be. He wouldn't give me money. He pushed me from one dingy furnished room to another.
"'And there were so many bills! I never knew what it was like. You know you live with your family — they pay for everything. Then, suddenly, you're faced with bills. You're on your back. And they are getting court orders. It was just too much!
" 'It was all so different from the way I'd pictured it. I don't know exactly how it is supposed to be, but more fun different. And he seemed so different before I married him ... this man on the outside, so big and good-looking and nice. But so afraid on the inside, so chicken, afraid of his mother, his father-afraid of everything. He was a baby, really, a child. And he called me immature....
" 'The worst thing that happened to me was I learned to hate. I never hated anyone before. I don't even like the word. But I hate that man. And somehow, with all the troubles I've been through, I'm empty. Everything is gone out of me.
"'Next time I'll look for someone more mature.'" (From the New York World Telegram, December 11, 1963.)
What a tragedy!
Yet, this story could be told over and over — thousands of times.
The Staggering Statistics
Every fifty-six seconds there is another American divorce. That's about one thousand, three hundred fifty divorces every day.
Each year over one million, eight hundred thousand eager, hopeful couples get married. Between one in three and one in four become divorced. In the Los Angeles area the figure is one in two! In Los Angeles County, 1966, there were over forty-one thousand domestic relations cases including suits for divorce, annulment and separate maintenance. In the same time there were only fifty-three thousand marriages. That is almost one marriage for one divorce, annulment or separation.
The United States divorce rate is four to six times that of Canada, Belgium, Norway and the Netherlands. It's three to three and one-half times that of France.
Meanwhile, Australians have their divorce problems, too. In that country, there is one divorce per hour! Britain had forty thousand marriages end in 1965. That's four times the figure of prewar days.
“STEP RIGHT UP — GET MARRIED, GET DIVORCED!"-Legal offices south of United States border hawk their services. The existence of such establishments reveals the sad state of the marriage union — as multiple thousands of couples jump into the merry-goround of marriage and then divorce. (See next page)
The Tragedy Mounts
In the last ten years nine million men and women in the United States have been divorced, and there are nearly six million children under eighteen whose parents have been divorced. No other civilization comes even close to the United States divorce statistics. Even the most conservative statisticians estimate that one out of every four of the current year's rapturous brides will wind up in the divorce court.
Behind these statistics are human beings, whole families whose lives have become distorted, twisted, wretched things. Little children crying "Mommie-don't leave me." Boys and girls wondering what their choice will be when they are asked with which parent they would rather live. Teenagers without homes, youths living with "foster parents" or thrown into institutions.
You need to understand the basic reasons for divorce, to understand the underlying causes of unhappy marriages, and to know how you can AVOID marrying the wrong person. And you-teen-agers and young people-contemplating marriage. What kind of a chance do you think you have for a happy marriage? Well, read the statistics-they are available by the ton. And they don't paint a very happy picture.
Are Housewives Happy?
Parade Magazine took a nationwide sampling on the question: "Is the American Housewife Happy?" Although there were many exceptions, the general answer was No!
Some very revealing facts have been brought to light by recent studies of representative groups all over the world.
For instance, it was found in London, England, that vast percentages of supposedly "happily married people" would very readily SWAP PARTNERS, and great percentages of these married people openly admitted they would not marry their present mates again.
One major factor was the high incidence of YOUNGER MARRIAGES taking place in the world today.
Divorce occurs six times more often among those who marry under the age of twenty-one than among the twentyone-plus brides and grooms. Another major contributing factor in the high teen-age divorce rate was, according to one authority, that over forty percent were forced into marriage as a result of premarital pregnancy.
Another great problem was simply that husbands and wives could not communicate.
Hugo A. Bordeaux, a director of a marriage counseling service, said, "All over America, husbands and wives cannot talk to each other. This, I am convinced, is our NUMBER ONE marriage problem."
An institute of Family Relations in Los Angeles listed sexual maladjustment as the leading cause of marital discord. One study of five hundred consecutive unsuccessful marriages found all but one placed the blame on sex.
An internationally conducted UNESCO poll recently revealed that sixty percent of American and European married women felt deceived, frustrated, unhappy and dissatisfied mainly, they believed-because no one really understood them! Another survey found almost ninety out of one hundred divorce cases statistically proved that people are head over heels in debt.
As you can see, the answers as to why marriages fail are varied — and every one of them actually APPLIES.
Young Marriages Today
Today-believe it or not-forty percent of the brides in the United States are between fifteen and eighteen years of age. In half the cases, the parties had known each other less than a year!
Why did they get married? What happened to them after they were married?
Of all these teen-age marriages, forty percent HAD to occur. You see, the girls were already pregnant. Fifty percent of teen-age marriages ended in divorce within five years. And a large percentage of the rest simply lived with their misery.
A domestic relations court judge spoke out very strongly on teen-age marriages.
"Teen-age marriage has almost NO POSSIBILITY of succeeding. Ninety percent are total failures. Two people, who are immature and emotionally unstable, one often pregnant, are thrust into a society where pressures on them are as great as on their parents."
One hundred teen-age unwed mothers were studied in Connecticut from their first pregnancies in 1959. In this survey, ninety-five of the mothers continued to have up to FIVE illegitimate children each. Only nine became married.
Since 1943, illegitimate births have risen sharply. Now, over three hundred thousand known illegitimate babies are born in the United States each year. That means one out of twelve children are illegitimate. Some forty-seven percent of these illegitimate babies are born to girls UNDER TWENTY!
On top of that are the wretched statistics of venereal disease. The American Medical Association estimated that every day some fifteen hundred U.S. teen-agers and young adults are infected with syphilis, gonorrhea or both. Of course very few cases are reported. Even so 500,000 cases in the U.S. and 160,000 cases in Britain are reported yearly!
Then there is the problem of "working mothers." Believe it or not! Today about one third of all workers are women. That is about twenty-five million single and married women. Some thirty-five percent of American mothers are now holding down jobs. That means almost ten million children have mothers that aren't home.
Are Today's Teens Really Worse?
THIS book is not to accuse — but to help. It is not to point a finger, but to point the way. It is not to shed doubt, but light and truth. And one point of truth is, like it or not, that the average teen-ager today is "worse" as a measure of COMPARISON with his counterpart of a couple of generations ago-worse in his place in the crime statistics, the venereal disease records, the campus riots, the illegitimacies, the runaways, and the blatant disregard for every constituted authority.
There are many, many exceptions.
But not near enough.
The Basic Formula is Sex
SEX is the reason for all this.
Teen age is the discovery of sex. Adolescence, puberty the beginning awareness of one's self and of other people — is all part of the natural human process of becoming sex conscious.
At this time of life, and actually long before, discerning, loving parents should have been teaching their children the true meaning of sex — it's proper place in marriage -and the absolute FACTS that it is a SACRED and WHOLESOME thing with NO feelings of guilt attached when confined to marriage. Children should be taught that there are true SPIRITUAL values to sex and absolute, living, spiritual LAWS attached to it which exact a fearsome penalty when they're broken.
But how can parents who DO NOT KNOW these things be expected to teach their children?
And how can pastors who do NOT KNOW THESE THINGS be expected to teach parents how to teach their children?
Very few teen-agers, even in this age vaunting its "frankness" on such matters, are taught the really essential knowledge they MUST have on the subject of sex! Much of what they learn is from the traditional "gutter," meaning from others as ignorant as themselves.
In the clinical atmosphere of classes on anatomy and biology, they learn much of the purely physiological aspect of f sex.
But they are not taught the deep emotional, psychological and spiritual truths about sex. They are not taught this by their parents, their ministers, or their teachers.
Let's face the truth! The sum total of "sex knowledge" possessed by MOST teen-agers came from other teens, from movies, television, books and magazines — many of them bordering on pornography!
It's no wonder, then, that millions of young girls have given in to modern trends, and decided chastity is "old fashioned," and "unpopular." The insistent voice of church, home, and society has finally convinced young people.
They are eager listeners to the "anything goes — so long as you're not caught" philosophy of many a modern philosopher. The only trouble is, when they tell their stories of tragedy at about age 30, it seems like the hard knocks of life really do "catch" them in their promiscuity.
We like to convince ourselves out-and-out fornication is NOT the motive of most teen-agers in dating practices. And there are surely many where this is not the direct motive. But whether we admit it or not, or like it or not, it IS the goal-the objective — in MUCH of modern dating.
Even where actual attempts toward premarital intimacies are absent, the basic desires in dating: what to wear, where to go, what to do, and when to get home, are motivated by sex consciousness. Many a girl somehow wants to APPEAR as "sexy" to others — even though she may be pristine in character. Many a fellow brags about his "exploits" when in actuality he is shy around girls, and still a virgin.
So be mature enough to admit a few things.
Admit to yourself that teen songs, teen customs, teen dating habits are largely SEX ORIENTED. And then find out whether this is RIGHT or not.
To those who are determined to FOLLOW, like sheep, wherever blind leaders tread-this book will have little meaning. But to those whose minds are open, and who are willing to test, by the fruits, the new dating habits, it will be of inestimable value.
Dating, after all, leads to marriage.
Something is hideously wrong with vast percentages of our marriages. It follows that wrong dating practices produced wrong mating — and wrong mating produces unhappiness, wretchedness, distorted and rejected children, and a plethora of other social evils, including murder-suicide, economic disaster, homosexuality, repression, rejection, dementia praecox, aberrations, and like as not, night sweats and fits.
The right mate can mean the fulfillment of hopes and dreams. It can mean the REAL joys of marriage, only romantically hinted at in nostalgic and wistful songs, torrid novels, and suggestive magazine articles. It can mean real THRILLS, and true FULFILLMENT.
More — it can mean sharing the most rewarding experiences life can provide — and coming to know the meaning of life itself, and the purpose in life, by finding the true meaning of marriage!
lt is more than a casual social notion that there is something "holy" in matrimony.
It's the truth.
Many of today's teens resent being told they are "worse" than their elders were.
They cite the flapper era; prohibition and gangsterism, and other sensationalized stories about early American impedimenta. But these were not indications of the total teens of the day. Simple surveys of those bygone teens now turned elderly would prove that point.
Times HAVE changed. People have changed, too. Human nature is the same, but the traditional barriers to licentious, permissive behavior -the home, the school, and the church have sidestepped their responsibilities. They have failed our youth, which is the most precious natural resource of any nation.
Today's teen HABITS are worse, even though individual teen-agers are still the same kind of human beings they always were. The proof of that comparison is found in the vast number of wrecked teen lives; the suicide rates (second only to accidents as cause of death among college-age students), the divorce rates, the illegitimacy rates, the venereal disease rates, the crime rates.
There is a vicious trend evidenced today among teen-agers -a trend epitomized by one word more than any other contempt. Teens are contemptuous of their parents, teachers, policemen, and much of the rest of society., There are reasons for their contempt of course, even obvious and causal ones but two wrongs never made a right.
Like sheep, most teen-agers follow the current TREND. The haircuts, clothing styles, modes of speech, and even sex practices are all part of the "belonging" to the wave of the present being a "part" of the new sub-culture.
Yes, like it or not, today's teens are, in a comparative sense "worse" than their elders were. They're not any more basically evil; no more humanly worse-but the combined forces of permissive society, lax churches, double-standard parents, and a frightening world have produced an environment in which the same human nature is manifesting itself in more harmful ways! And teens, unfortunately, are suffering most of the harm.
The Teen Influence
Few people stop to realize to what extent the teen-agers dominate the world picture.
Isaiah foretold this day. Here is a portion of the prophecy: Speaking of our people-TODAY-in these very last days — God says: "And I will make boys their princes [Moffatt translates it, "I will make mere lads their leaders"], and babes shall rule over them ... the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the base fellow to the honorable.... My people-children are their oppressors ... the daughters of Zion are haughty" (Isa. 3:4-16 RSV)" Moffatt continues in verse 16: "holding their heads high as they walk, and ogling with their eyes, walking with their mincing steps ...." And this latter expression, about ogling eyes, when properly translated, actually refers to painted eyes — makeup on the face, and sensuous manner of walking to arouse boys.
Now look at the facts!
WHY do so many radio stations turn to a "rock-and-roll" format today? Because the rating agencies will show that they have the highest "ratings" — that is, the largest listening audience. But WHO is listening? Nearly altogether those in the lower or middle teens. But the rating agencies do not show the time-buyer WHO is listening-only how many! So Big Business, and local "little business" spend millions of dollars for radio time on the stations with the "highest ratings."
But then, they say that these youths pretty well dominate the nation's consumer SPENDING!
WHO determines what is "popular music" today? The "teens." Even the radio stations who do not go to rock-androll, in the main, play what is called "popular" music. But is it MUSIC? Or is it a moan, a groan, a wail, a dirge, and a screech?
Ten-, twelve-, fifteen-year-old little girls did not go virtually INSANE, over mop-haired, wild-eyed, degenerate-looking weirdos pounding out jungle rhythms in outlandish dress, fifty years ago.
Adolescents determine dancing trends, motion picture themes, radio formats, and even advertisements and most fields of entertainment!
What many do not realize is that this teen-age influence on the whole society is a predominantly sexual influence. There is much more intense preoccupation with sex during these years than in later maturity.
Therefore SEX became the basic formula for motion pictures-along with crime, including murder.
In the past twenty or thirty years teen-agers have come to recognize that there are advantages in organization and numbers. Actually it started back in the 20's, with the sheiks, the flappers, and the Charlestonites. Then came jitterbugs, bobby-soxers, and then actual sex clubs and gangs. In Britain, there were the Teddy-boys, succeeded by the "Mods" (Moderns), and the "Rockers" (Rock-and-Rollers).
In many communities, police and citizens alike have been shocked at the exposure of existing "non-virgin clubs." Many disguised themselves as "teen-agers' social clubs." They played "sexual games." In some clubs, partners were drawn by lot. Club rules required illicit relations not less frequently than once a week. Girl members were initiated by sacrificing their virginity in a "ceremony" witnessed by all members.
There have been teen-age drinking-and-sex parties. Many such girls expressed the attitude that there was nothing wrong with illicit or promiscuous sex.
There are facts and statistics on teen-age immorality and juvenile delinquency to fill this entire book many times over.
But WHY? What is the cause?
Take one typical example. A 19-year-old boy had been in a certain town only six months. He named to police eleven girls with whom he had engaged in illicit sex. Many from "the best" families. "You can 'make' almost any girl in town, on your first date," he said. In this particular scandal, which got into the newspapers, revealed facts were significant.
Of all involved, not one had received any formal sex education-boys or girls. Every boy had engaged in premarital sex before age 15. Not one was close to either father or mother. The police chief exclaimed that it was too bad he was unable to take a horsewhip to the neglectful parents!
One of the mothers whitewashed herself of blame, saying: "You can't blame me for Janie's predicament! Why, you can rest assured she never learned a thing about sex in my house. The word was never even so much as mentioned!"
Authority for Morals?
Today, educators, religionists, psychologists, sociologists and others generally proclaim complete freedom to do as one pleases — that is the new religion.
Listen to a Senior Editor for Look magazine: "We are witnessing the death of the old morality .... Conditions are changing so fast that the established moral guidelines have been yanked from our hands. No single authority rules our conduct. No church lays down the moral law for all .... We are heading into danger. We are in the midst of a moral crisis — because the great majority of Americans, who want to try to live moral lives, no longer can be certain what is right and what is wrong.... We are groping, painfully and often blindly, for new standards that will enable us to live morally and decently." (Emphasis added.)
What is meant, here, is that people now want to adopt a moral standard which calls fornication, adultery, homosexuality "moral." They want Society to approve and adopt a standard which enables them to be promiscuous, unfaithful, or perverted-and have it accepted as living morally and decently. But to continue, the Look Senior Editor said:
"The experts feel strongly that we cannot turn back to earlier, more rigid behavior patterns.... We must find a new moral code that will fit the need of the society we live in."
Such philosophical drivel sounds terribly ATTRACTIVE to teen-agers!
It's the same old dodge used from time immemorial; "Since people just NATURALLY tend to be contemptuous of the laws let's CHANGE THE LAWS to suit the people!" This, religion has done; and this is what the "new moralists" are attempting to do.
The tragedy is that millions of teens are gobbling up literature openly advocating exploratory and experimental sex every day. The bookshop's shelves bulge with exciting titles for teens — from outright pornography to the more subtle forms of erotic novels.
The high school classroom, and the college discussion group have become open forums for sex talk. It all falls on very willing ears.
And when youngish clerics, speaking to all-girl audiences (for what personal motives one can only guess), teach from the pulpit that NO illicit sex is "bad" — IS IT ANY WONDER teen sex standards have changed drastically?
The kids quote their peers.
And the peers (incidentally, statistics prove some of the "peers" are "queers") say there is NO AUTHORITY for morals.
Teen-Agers Need Factual Instruction
It is not exactly a paradox that millions of teen-agers have had considerable sex experience, and yet possess little sexual knowledge. It is largely because of ignorance-or right instruction in the right manner at the right time-that adolescents seek to satisfy curiosity by experience. And, of course, they are "sheep," and when it becomes a trend-when "it's being done"-human nature wants "to belong." So they go with the crowd-and parents know nothing of it.
Even when growing children and adolescents do receive some formal sex education, it is always presented from the physical, the material, and therefore the sensual approach.
If teen-agers had been properly taught what they needed to know about sex, from the very first and second years of their lives, by informed and loving parents, the frightful tragedies of teen-age and premarital sex would have been reduced to the barest minimum.
Today, if you tell a teen-ager that "necking" is WRONGthat it ought never to be indulged in-that it is a definite SIN-that it robs their future marriage of much of its possible joys, delights, and blissful happiness — the young man or woman will probably look at you rather pityingly, wondering how you could be so naive!
He would probably reverse the truth and exclaim, "Oh you poor, poor ignorant soul! Why, where have you been, that you don't know the facts of life yet? WHY DON'T YOU GROW UP? This is the twentieth century!"
Actually, it is the adolescent who is naive, ignorant, and untaught in the TRUTH about the facts of life!
In our affluent age, the automobile, and the opportunities it affords, can be singled out as one of the most important contributors to the relaxing of youthful morals.
Police records indicate that the desire to take a "joyride" in a car leads to whopping percentages of teen-age auto theft.
Today, while family incomes have risen, morals have dropped. Automobiles have become mobile bedrooms; a little home away from home and the attention of parents, where every form of illicit intimacy can be shared.
The proof of the pudding is, of course, in the eating.
And the rising numbers of unwed mothers (and fathers!), hasty "shotgun" marriages, and the resultant divorces and wretched lives for both parents and unwanted children presents a sour sampling of the proof as to whether back seat romance really pays off in the long run.
Dark roads, drive-in theaters, or the family garage have become parking places for millions of our youth — and, incidentally, areas for crime of opportunity by perverts, sadists, rapists, murderers and drug addicts.
As the American youth, together with his counterpart around the world, has experienced new mobility and freedom; a free-wheeling, free-spending, wildly abandoned youth has plunged into the swinging new age of sex, pot (marijuana) and the pill with almost intensive dedication; often openly flaunting their new freedoms in, often as not, obscene and defiant fashion.
The automobile became not only a status symbol for youth-but the absolute requirement. It provided the basis for a whole new youthful culture — beginning with the old jalopy era, with rumble seats, mud flaps, fox tails on the antenna, and painted signs on the sides, _to the hot rod era of the late forties and early fifties, to the status symbol of the foreign import, or sporty American model; the automobile has been part and parcel of the shifting patterns of youthful behavior.
Not only do some youths so desperately desire an automobile that they steal one, but in several instances, murder was the result of denial of the family automobile.
But are the fruits of these new freedoms GOOD?
What are the actual results of all the new youthful affluence and mobility?
A large portion of the divorce statistics must be cited first.
Because, you see, thousands of the shotgun marriages began in the back seats of cars.
The whole dating patterns of modern Americans have been formed and shaped around the automobile.
To be without a car, or fairly regular access to one, has become regarded, in middle and upper income families, as virtual social disaster to a teen.
Most high schools provide driver's education courses for teen-agers, and all states provide learner's permits and licensing at about the 15-to 16-year-old age group.
But is this really good?
It's a fact of life.
But is it good?
An automobile is a source of power. It's a potential weapon of death and destruction that can be profoundly horrifying. It's also a serious menace to life and health as an air polluting monster, gulping prodigious amounts of oxygen, and spewing hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and other poisons into the air.
Even now, many fledgling plans are under way to avert further use of fossil fuels in the internal combustion engine and warnings speak of total urban disaster unless the automobile is either limited in numbers, or totally changed in methods of propulsion.
Anyone who would have seriously challenged the automobile as either a practical necessity or a sane luxury in the past two decades would have been sadly regarded as a weirdo, or a religious nut.
But the facts are now crushing in on us.
The automobile is a lethal weapon, with which Americans have been killing each other and themselves at a rate horrifyingly above the combined death rates of all our wars.
The daily kill statistics of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam never kept up with the killed and maimed rate of the automobile.
And the first cause of death among youths is accidents.
You very probably know of several, and very likely at least one or two among your family and friends, who have died or been permanently mangled in a grinding automobile crash.
So look at the whole picture.
Are young people of 16 really mature enough to be trusted with a car?
The kill statistics indicate a resounding, statistical "No!"
The youthful ones scream an indignant "YES!"
You were once 16. Maybe you are right now. Maybe you will be in two birthdays.
At about age 16, an automobile is an altogether lovely, exciting, powerful, glamorous, opportunity-filled possession that can be a virtual glazed-eyed obsession to a youth. The desire to burn rubber on takeoff, to wheel around corners at ridiculous speeds, to swoop over the crest of steep hills, whip around slow moving trucks, and screech out of drive-ins in a cloud of dust and candy wrappers, to the craning necks of dutifully impressed buddies in other cars, is an overwhelming temptation to most youngsters.
Just "driving around" to "see what's happening" in the favored teen-age hangouts is an obsessive sport that is like drug addiction, even to normal and mostly wholesome youths who wouldn't think of sampling a little pot.
And most of their parents go along with it.
Some parents are bullied into it. But most just permit it because it's done-it's the "thing," and others do it. Many a 16-year old in an affluent family is handed an automobile as his first important toy.
Most youngsters today wouldn't know HOW to date without an automobile as the central means to a date.
Where would they go? How would they get there? What could they do? And-how could they neck in private and comfort?
But it's about time discerning parents took a searching look at the real facts of teens and automobiles; not only from a safety standpoint, but from a moral one. It's time the car was controlled. It's time it was recognized as a means of practical locomotion, and not thought of as a person's second most precious possession outside his home, or his wife.
It's time discerning teens recognized the potential danger in wild rides — or in long sessions parked. Time they considered the end result of these things.
It's time more of them began exercising the character to deny themselves certain modern luxuries, if they recognize the potential for possible physical injury, or death; and the potential for a shattered life because of intimacies granted in the seat of an automobile.
Some will think me an out-of-date, terribly droll person for suggesting that automobiles should be controlled.
Yet, serious government authorities scream about gun laws and controls — recognizing them as lethal weapons used by murderers and assassins.
No one screams too loudly at controlling the use of automobiles among the age group most represented in both the accident statistics and the illegitimacy columns.
The screech of tires braked to sudden stop, the tooting of a familiar horn, and the vision of happy, flushed face, shining eyes and tossing hair as daughter blurts out a hasty "Goodbye Dad" on her way to Dad knows not where — all this has become as normal and natural as ice cream sundaes and cherry pie to American families.
And so has divorce, resulting from hasty, unplanned, unintended weddings.
Are you a teen-ager? Do you have a pretty severe case of "automania"? Are you truly adult enough to make your own decisions?
Remember, MOST teen-agers whose lives were either snuffed out in a smashing instant, or whose marriages were the legalized result of back-seat intimacies, DID NOT HAVE OPPORTUNITY TO READ THOUGHTS LIKE THESE.
It’s your life, of course.
The "steady" date is almost on a par with the automobile as a teen status symbol. It's just custom.
A few years ago, the going steady custom was followed by a vast percentage of senior high-school students and collegians. Youngsters' magazines, comics, motion pictures like "Corlis Archer" and the like showed steady dating to be the "in" thing of the day.
But soon, even Junior High School students were practicing it-with full parental approval (grudging, maybe, but approval nevertheless). Today, even little children of 11 and 12 are known to have "dates" and be considered as the "steady" couple.
But it's done. Parents have been unwitting hosts to evil social pressures that have tried to make mere children so sexconscious they begin thinking of girl and boyfriends in the tenderest years of grammar school.
The entertainment media are no help to combat it. The clothing styles radically altered from World War I and into our modern Space Age by combining forces to create of the little toddler a little "man" complete with suit and necktie, and make of the little girl a sex symbol. When most children would be totally unaware of any feelings of sex, or either excitement or guilt over such feelings; and play together at softball, kickball, or just jump rope — a gullible and permissive society has contrived to force-feed its youth on sex awareness almost faster than it can teach the children to read.
Should youngsters pair off that way?
Is it good? Again — what are the ultimate RESULTS, in most cases, of the teen-age practice of "going steady?"
The reasons for going steady are important contributors to the results.
And most say they do it for reasons of security, or because it's just "easier" or because "others do it." Economically, it's much easier for a boy to speak frankly of his financial condition, and expect a steady girl to share in costs. Fine.
But finances aren't all he usually speaks frankly of.
And it's not all he expects her to share in.
Not that she doesn't usually expect that this would be so.
In a "Teen-age Mail" column of a leading newspaper, the writer said, "Some time ago when I conducted a national poll on teens going steady, 72 percent of the girls and 74 percent of the boys answered 'yes' to the following question: 'Do you think dating only one person leads to more physical intimacy [fornication] than dating more than one?'"
They weren't asked whether they approved of the practice -but rather their opinion about whether it occurred. But put the two factors of the automobile and steady dating TOGETHER, and you have ready-made spawning ground for illegitimacy, frustrated, confused sex lives, hasty marriages, and a host of other social evils; without even mentioning venereal disease and increasing homosexuality among both sexes.
Going steady may be "convenient" because the boy can always expect a date, and not have to ask for one. It may be easier, because he can dress and act more casually than he might in trying to impress a new girl. It may be the custom — and it may be defended by the majority who do it.
But to either a fellow or a girl who truly wants to learn the RIGHT KIND of dating, for the RIGHT purpose, with wholesome and good results, it will become obvious that going steady is NOT GOOD. It's merely another example of modem permissiveness — and a type of society-sanctioned pre-engagement betrothal — a kind of accepted living together, where, like as not, the couple actually see more of each other through the week than do their own parents. And such relationships have proved to be disastrous in about 90 percent of all cases!
Fun is fun. And what IS fun? Fun is when it's still fun tomorrow — and next week — and next year. Fun is still fun to tell your children about. ALL about.
But if it isn't fun tomorrow; or next year; or to tell your children about — then it's not "fun." It's something else, entirely.
Is "NECKING" Wrong?
Why repeat all the shocking statistics already quoted?
The wrecked lives, illegitimate children, deformed babies, and ruptured homes are wretched testimony that modern dating habits are NOT PAYING OFF!
NECKING means various personal sex intimacies. It includes kissing, pawing, and much worse — depending on the interpretation individual teen-agers give it.
It is sensually arousing-FAR more to the boy than to the girl — and has been the DIRECT reason for many a case of rape. It is not only wrong in the sight of your Creator, who gives you every breath you breathe-but it is WRONG PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY, AND EMOTIONALLY!
Necking belongs in marriage! It is the first part of the right kind of lovemaking between a husband and wife — honorable, just, and good -and, when done in marriage, and out of a motive of real love — it's FUN.
How can necking be damaging physically? In many harmful ways. First, it's the method by which colds, flu, and all sorts of more serious illnesses are transmitted. It can, shockingly, be the method by which venereal disease is transmitted! Without explaining all the physiological aspects of it-it is also physically harmful because of the RESULTS of necking, which may include physically harmful sex HABITS!
How is it harmful mentally?
Simply because it creates LUST in the mind-causes the senses to be dulled, thinking only of passion, lust, and sensuality — and causes increased incidence of daydreaming! It takes away one's concentration from constructive, wholesome things-and therefore can become the primary reason for LACK OF STUDY and POOR GRADES. That's mental damage.
How is it harmful emotionally?
In many ways. First, it creates a false emotion — by pushing lust and sensuality into the forefront and true feelings of concern and respect into the background. This is true in many cases where "necking" is the "EXPECTED" thing to do — even when any normal physical attraction may be absent.
Secondly, it SEARS the normal, wholesome emotions one SHOULD eventually experience in marriage by creating a FALSE emotion with perhaps a whole series of individuals where no real depth of mature feeling is present!
It is no wonder one noted individual said "Marriage is like a dull meal, with the dessert first." This is because of the modern practice of "necking" and sex intimacies BEFORE marriage! Without realizing it, he was emphasizing the fact that young people are busily depriving themselves of the real romance, the excitement, thrills, joys and FUN of marriage by WRECKING their chances before marriage. They are SEARING their emotions and senses — becoming calloused where they should be tender emotionally, spiritually and mentally — to the point where there is nothing left for them in marriage.
The heavy "petters" and habitual "neckers" of the teen sub-culture are busily DESTROYING their chances for any real mystery, anticipation, discovery-in marriage! They're busily RUINING their sex lives by breaking the living laws the Creator set in motion to protect and preserve them.
"Necking" belongs IN MARRIAGE! It's GOOD, then. It's FUN, then. And it's RIGHTEOUS — and has the Creator God's FULL APPROVAL! Done outside of marriage, it's equal to stealing, lying, and murder! Those aren't the views of "sociologists," incidentally — but the LAWS of God!
The Great Delusion Modern Romance!
BELIEVE it or not, it is utterly impossible to fall in love. A "fall" is an accident. And love should most definitely NOT be accidental!
It would require several chapters to begin to survey the avalanche of false propaganda which has been foisted upon many an unsuspecting generation about "falling in love." So many dozens of our songs, our motion pictures, our novels and magazine articles, and a tremendous amount of our conversation involving the whole situation between the sexes, dating, and romance involve the idea of "falling in love."
It's supposed to be an indefinable something like "being twitterpated," or feeling those icy fingers running up and down your spine, as you may glance "across a crowded room" at that someone who could become a "stranger in the night." You will, you are sagely assured, "know at a glance" when you "fall in love."
But somewhere, somehow, the entertainment media have confused their spelling. Today, "lust" is spelled with an l-o-v-e, instead of l-u-s-t.
Because the kind of "love" into which most people "fall," is not love, but lust. It is desire for intimacies and sexual experience with one another; a desire to be seen in each other's company, to "have" or "possess" the other person but that most assuredly is NOT LOVE!
Love is an outgoing attitude of concern for the one being loved.
Love is giving; it is sharing; it is a feeling of ADMIRATION and RESPECT for the qualities of character in the other individual, and not just hot-cheeked lust while clutching hands in a darkened motion picture theater!
It's about time an adult society, and all teen-agers, learned that love is something which must be grown into.
To truly LOVE-a person needs to want to share: to share life's experiences, thrills and joys — to share sorrow and trouble, to share success or failure, to share sickness and health. How many times in your life have you seen a completely wonderful sunset, or experienced a sensational thrill, or made a deep observation concerning wildlife or something in your environment, and wished you had someone who could thoroughly understand and SHARE the moment with you?
How many times have you yearned for someone to deeply understand your innermost longings and desires? How many times have you been irritated over a particular political, social, racial, or religious situation and desperately desired to get your point across to someone — someone with whom you could SHARE your own personal feelings?
When you find such a person who is completely compatible, who is a balancing factor who helps you not only appraise your own actions and ideas, but complements and helps balance those actions and ideas by added actions and ideas of his or her own — then you may be, if all other factors are equal, headed toward a feeling of genuine LOVE.
But very obviously, if we are only mature enough to admit it, NO ONE, not in all the history of this world, has ever "fallen in love" at first sight!
But how many youngsters have ever been TAUGHT what love IS by their parents?
How many people can even give a DEFINITION for it? "Love" has been the subject of volumes and volumes of poetry, short stories, lengthy novels, scripts for plays and motion pictures — and television serials. The idea of "falling in love" is such a part of modern social consciousness it pervades practically everything people say, think, and do.
Behind it all is the insistent voice of entertainment and the mass media — even including advertising.
Some of the most famous "love stories" of all time were NOT stories about real, true love — but accounts of sensuality and sexual conquest! To state such a basic truth here is to invite apoplectic screams of indignation from many, I know — like attacking apple pie, sports, or motherhood. The truth usually hurts.
Think of the "feelings" youngsters are assured they will experience, via the fast-selling songs of our modern eras. Their hearts beat faster, their hearts grow "tipsy" in them, or "down, down, down" they go, in some sort of weird "spin." Songs assure them their hearts will be "aflame with such a burning desire" — that it's all "magic," and that they say (no one ever seems to identify who "they" are) that "falling in love is wonderful."
And so "love" is defined as "groovy," "cool," "exciting," and a plethora of pulsating, powerful, heady sensations. It's like a disease-with symptoms such as: loss of appetite, dizziness, calf-sick near-nausea, double or blurred vision, breathlessness, sleeplessness, and dozens of other subtle physical and psychological phenomena.
That isn't love!
But you have been led to believe it is by all the songs you sing, the movies you watch, the magazines you read. That's infatuation, desire, lust, curiosity, excitement, physical attraction. But it isn't love. Does it upset you a little bit to hear that about the songs you may be singing? Well, that doesn't change the truth.
And you need to face it.
And "so they lived happily ever after" makes good nursery rhyme copy — but like finding out about Santa Claus — young people become soon aware (but usually too late) of the fact that it SELDOM HAPPENS. It certainly doesn't happen by the accident of "falling in love." Which after all, simply isn't real love.
Love is not frenzied. Love is not emotional in that sense, though emotion is certainly connected with it. Love is primarily an outgoing concern! Love is a deep regard, respect, and a desire to give and to share with the one being loved. True love is totally give-not get.
Those Songs We Sing
Music is a tremendous force. And your teen-agers are being affected by it as they listen to it, dance to it, cry to it, moan to it. Oh yes, you hear all kinds of songs about love. "I want to hold your hand; I just can't stand it because you left me; I got tears in my ears from lying on my back in my bed, crying over you."
And there are all those songs — about the wailing, weeping, jilted individual. "She done left me for another" — there must be five hundred and twenty thousand of them. They all sound alike. They're all built around the exact same tune. The weeping, wailing, nasal, forlorn sound of the tinkling of guitars and banjos of these poor heartbroken cowboys, whose chaps are frayed and hearts are torn.
His girl has "done left him fer another." It's another Saturday night honky tonk romance that suddenly blew up in his face. Now, he is "crying in his beer," as the expression goes.
Look At The Words
Teen-agers-listen to some of the words of the songs you sing and listen to. Parents — YOU LISTEN to some of the songs your teen-agers are hearing.
Have you ever investigated some of the words of the songs you sing? Have you ever thought about what some of them mean?
For one example, there is a song with a very catchy tune and melody. It has a powerful message.
"Strangers in the night," one popular song began, "exchanging glances." It is talking about two people, who never laid eyes on each other before.
Now, mind you, they never saw each other before. But they are wondering what the chances were they would be sharing "love" — that term is used in the song — "before the night was through." Even before the dawn of morning, they're going to be sharing "love."
The song continues: "Something in your eyes was so inviting." As the record plays, the teen-agers are dancing away — and they are being told unconsciously that something in somebody's glance at night was so inviting, and something in a smile was so exciting, and something in a heart just told this other person: "I must have you."
The song continues about "strangers in the night," two lonely people who were, just up to a moment ago, totally lonely. But "when we said our first hello," the song says "little did we know that love was just a glance away, a warm embracing dance," just a little distance away, "ever since that night" they had been together, and they were lovers at first sight. Now they were going to stay in love for ever and ever. It turned out "so right" for these "strangers that met in the night."
Now, that's just some FANCIFUL DREAM that could NEVER take place. But that is the type of copy making up the music that people hum and sing.
Infatuation Is Powerful
That doesn't mean romantic "love," infatuation, lustor whatever you like to call it-isn't powerful. It does attract.
This childish infatuation has been called by a famous playwright as the most insane, the most illusive and the most transient of all passions. Oh, can it ever send your brain reeling.
The first time the little kid in the fifth grade has the girl wink at him. Or maybe she hits him with a spit wad and then passes him a note that says, "I like you." He walks out on a cloud. That happens in grammar school every day.
Parents encourage it. They think it's cute. Or, they think it's necessary. Teachers encourage it. Psychologists encourage it. It's a trend in the western world.
This adolescent infatuation is a powerful, heady wine to youngsters. It's status to "have a girl friend" in the tenderest years, even before junior high school, these days.
And oh, the emotional trauma! The hot cheeks, pounding heart, mooning daydreams — the penciled doodle-marks during study hall, and the secreted little notes across the room-the sly glances, and the wink. The sheer idiocy of tender teen-age sex consciousness has destroyed many a promising career by launching a girl-struck young boy on a floating cloud of juvenile imagination. He conjures up every combined movie, book and television romance he's seen, and lives them all, vicariously. He imagines himself in dozens of exciting, romantic situations — dreams about the day-long date on a lonely beach, with their transistor radio, soft drinks, and her in that "itsy bitsy, teeny-weeny yellow bikini." Staring transfixed, he'll while away hours of precious time in his classes, only half aware of what's happening around him-because he's "twitterpated" or "in love" (of the puppy variety).
Most parents don't even CONCERN themselves that this happens as a daily struggle with their children. And, of course, many APPROVE.
Nostalgic mothers can't see why "a little romance" can't be a part of their tender children's lives. They like to conveniently FORGET their own past mistakes, and see the whole gamut of teen-age emotions in a pink cloud of "Hollywoodized" vanity-stressing its supposed "harmlessness."
Think again, mothers. You probably never really KNEW the effect a young, blossoming girl can have on a young boy of 14 or 15. You probably never knew the half-sick, totally preoccupied, glazed-eyed daydreams your own winks and shy glances of yesteryear created.
And all this is good? Millions of parents would argue so. The fact that it does as much to dull the mind, and destroy the education as almost anything; plus the heightened possibility of the habit of autoeroticism (masturbation), does not occur to these hopelessly naive ones.
But it SHOULD BE KNOWN. The direct connection between the mentally and physically DAMAGING habit of masturbation and early teen-age "romance" should be exposed and made PLAIN to parents who are not afraid of the truth. Today, as a further mark of the hideous proportions of the "new morality," some libertine doctors have said autoeroticism is not harmful.
But it is directly CONDEMNED in the Bible-and listed as a SIN! Those who are "abusers of themselves" are lumped together with other deviates, fornicators, and sinners of every stripe.
Yes, sadly, too few parents take an active interest in the really tremendous drives and compulsions placed upon their children in early school years. They just don't TALK to their children about their school lives. They don't make it their business to FIND OUT about their desires, hopes, dreams, or emotional entanglements.
And so the teen-agers are left to fend for themselves. Struggling to act like adults when they are neither physically or mentally adult, many teen-agers develop habits, personality traits, and even postures which mark them for the rest of their lives.
A self-conscious kid with pimples can grow into a hunchback as his normal height develops, simply from his continual attempts to shrink into the woodwork to keep from being noticed. And a struggling teen who earnestly desires approval and admiration from others will compromise himself in almost anything-morals included-to gain that approval!
He'll shoplift, and hand gifts to others, just to be thought as "tough" and "experienced." He'll lie, make cutting remarks against his parents and teachers, and seem to "reject" society, if he thinks it will make him one of the "in" gang, accepted by others.
Further, he'll indulge in petty infatuations, girl-conscious daydreams, and attempt to "have a girl friend" because others are doing it! It becomes STATUS. It's the "in" or "out of sight" thing to Do. Others do it-so why shouldn't he?
Believe it or not-if youthful "romance" were NOT the generally accepted standard, and if dating at early teen-age, including "going steady" were NOT BEING DONE by the majority — many others would not do it.
They would play together; enjoy the company and companionship of members of the opposite sex without the undue emphasis on SEX CONSCIOUSNESS that is FORCE-FED them from society!
Many a young fellow has literally felt FORCED to "date," and "have a girl friend" when he would rather be concentrating on basketball, or football, or his studies.
It's time we looked into what the teens say, themselves, about each other-and about dating and romance.
What's Happening Today?
Ask young girls what they think about young boys. They'll say, "Cool," or "Groovy, man," or "Like good-looking" or "Smooth dresser," or "Exciting"-or "In." Now, a few years ago, you had to be "way out." Then you had to be "Mr. InBetween." But not today. You have to be "in." Does that make sense? Of course not.
But do teen-agers consider some other qualities? Like being a good wage earner, intelligent, solid, stable, full of wisdom, having plenty of knowledge, being a good provider'well generally not. As a matter of fact, a lot of these teen-agers wouldn't know how to spell some of these words at the age of which they observe that this boy is good-looking.
It's no wonder many think, "Marriage is a dull meal with the dessert first."
Now, any marriage based upon the unsound notions of romance of our western world, will probably turn out to be exactly like that.
A Dr. William Hollister of Birmingham, Alabama, said something that deserves repeating. He says, "You don't fall in love, you CLIMB UP to love." That certainly is true. Love is an outgoing concern, a love that desires to give, to serve the object of one's affections, to share, to give of one's self. That love is entirely outgoing. That love is selfless. But lust, infatuation, physical attraction, romantic fluff love-that's all incoming. That's all wanting to get, to grasp, and to have, and to take for one's self!
All too many marriages are based upon lust. They are based upon sheer infatuation.
A Battery of "Love Quacks"
It's not just the songwriters who are at fault-it's the religious people, the psychologists, doctors, and sociologists.
Here's a quote from the book, Love, Sex and the Teenager. It's written by Dr. R. L. Lorand, a leading psychotherapist and psychoanalyst. The book is fully endorsed by other "authorities" and readily available in print.
Notice what the author tells teen-agers and PARENTS: The author asks this question for teen-agers. "’How do I know if I'm in love?'"
The answer is: "Being in love is above all things stimulating and exhilarating. The natural tendency to greatly overestimate the beloved is what makes people say that love is blind. The person you are in love with is the greatest and most divine person in the world. And the fact that this extraordinary, HEAVENSENT CREATURE loves you makes you feel like a very special person yourself. Boys feel that no feat is too difficult, girls feel that no sacrifice is great enough to prove their love. One's heart is open, the world is paradise and EVERYTHING is possible. LOVERS ARE LUNATICS is just another way of saying you're usually slightly out of your mind when you're in love the most delicious form of insanity 'known to man."
"In a sense, one's ego stops functioning. It temporarily CEASES TO JUDGE REALITY with any degree of accuracy. Your beloved is an angel, you feel like a king or queen, and you're sure that the greatest obstacles will crumble before your determination. The mere presence of the one you love keeps you ecstatically happy. All of your mentality and your emotions are wrapped around the other person.
"When you are apart he is always still with you in your thoughts, and in your mind you relive every word and every carress, savoring them over and over again as you put the steamiron in the refrigerator and the bread in the broom closet.
"Love may come gradually, as when friendships ripen into love. It may erupt suddenly, after a short acquaintance. And there IS SUCH A THING as love at first sight" (pp. 161-162).
There you have it!
With advice like that, most young couples simply rush into marriage — without thinking of the consequences. Their heads are swimming with idyllic ideas of romance-that never come to pass in reality.
Why do most people get married? And on what basis are these marriages consummated?
"'Most people get married to satisfy their own selfish desires,' said Dr. Murray Cayley, Conciliation Counsellor in Rochester, New York. 'Sociologists expect that within the first five years of married life, 90% of all marriages end in the courts, or the couples wonder if their marriage was right,' he declared. 'How can we expect more when most marriages are not really based on unselfish love?'"
What's WRONG With Modern Dating?
IN A RECENT survey of dating practices boys were asked what they liked in the girls they dated. The answers were revealing.
Boys liked girls who could carry on a good conversation, for one thing. And, surprisingly enough, (or is it, in this time of changing roles and identities?) they wanted the GIRLS to make the final choice in deciding where to go! They didn't like girls who kept asking what time it was during the last half of the evening, nor girls with bad complexions, poor figures, or out-ofdate clothing.
They didn't specify what they meant by stylish clothingand, in today's weird variations, it would probably depend on each individual. One might be chagrined to find his date in a knit suit, and another might be horribly put out if she showed up in anything more than a mini or "micro" skirt.
They, like the girls, didn't want their dates talking about other dates.
Also, they didn't want girls who collected items, like souvenirs from their cars, or the ash trays from the restaurant, or book matches from all their stops.
They complained about their pockets being used as catchalls for girl's scarves, shoes, lipsticks, cigarettes, earrings or other items of apparel.
And they wanted girls who were attractive to other men as well as to themselves — girls who weren't "gushy" with anybody-and who didn't keep them waiting.
They even threw in the fact that they wanted girls who could easily adapt to new surroundings and new circumstances. Presumably, this was veiled reference to dark lanes, lonely beaches, mountain roads, late hours, wild parties, and "following the lead" of the couple in the back seat. That is, if all the answers had been thoroughly honest.
They wanted girls who were "smooth," "cool," and practiced in the social customs. What social customs? They didn't say.
Does this list of boyish likes and desires tell you anything special? Look at the girls' dating likes further! They're all UTTERLY SELFISH.
Each partner wanted to date the one who gave the other the LEAST PROBLEMS in GETTING what he wanted out of the date.
What Girls Look For In a Date
Perhaps many of the girls questioned gave only the aboveboard, expected answers-but many were quite candid. They began by talking of some of the more innocuous dating requirements. Girls did not want last-minute dates-didn't want to be treated so casually that the last-minute boy seemed to be saying, "I can have a date with you any time I'm ready" or, “You're the third one I've asked."
Obviously too, girls want time for preparation of their hair and clothing-and time to clear things with their folks and friends. Another, more subtle reason is that a girl has time to think about the whole situation thoroughly, and, if she feels there is sufficient reason to back out, she has time to do so graciously without being accused of leaving the boy no other alternative.
Girls questioned said they wanted their dates to arrive on time — and to be dressed appropriately — neatly and cleanly! Surprisingly, though the teen "image" seems to be the long hair, sloppy clothes, and bad complexions, honest girls will tell you they far prefer seeing fellows with neatly trimmed hair, clean, neat clothing, and healthy, radiant faces! Those who say they LIKE their boyfriends to look like beatniks and freaks are kidding themselves — and living in pretense.
Some of the rules the girls felt should be observed were having their dates avoid talking about other dates they had been on. Many times, they observed, the boy would seem determined to spend the whole evening lauding and praising some other girl, or commenting on what a wild time he had with someone else!
Girls liked being with men who took them to nice places (though they generally said the most expensive ones were not necessary), and dates who noticed and complimented them on their appearance.
They also wanted dates from boys who didn't brag, were not loud talkers, and who included the girl in decisions about the evening's plans. They didn't like boys who sounded their horns to announce that they were waiting outside.
They wanted their fellows to be "cool," "smooth," "exciting," and "popular." They preferred interesting personalities to good looks, but wanted a combination of both-and would usually choose a date with a quiet, clean-looking type over the athletic, loud-talking, big spender.
In all their dating desires, the girls were evidencing one overall trait-that of total selfishness.
Notice one thing! No one said ONE WORD about whether the fellow was "trustworthy," "faithful," "moral," "honest," or had any particular quality of CHARACTER!
How he LOOKED was important. How he DRESSED was important. When he arrived was important — as was what he talked about, and where they went. WHO he was was of some minor importance-but WHAT he was did not seem to seriously matter.
Obviously, the broad, general samplings of girlish opinion do not speak for the total teens on the dating subject. No one mentioned bad breath, unpolished shoes, a broken-down automobile, or whether the fellow had the sniffles — even though all of these may be minor irritants from time to time.
But then, neither did they specify any particular limits on intimacies; whether they would allow themselves to be kissed, or otherwise handled.
We'll discuss what others have frankly said about sexual conduct a little later.
Modern dating, as practiced by most youngsters today, is one of the most thoroughly SELFISH institutions in all society! Most people on dates think only of THEMSELVES — of their own pleasures and experiences — not on constructive thoughts of sharing and giving in an UPbuilding sense.
But remember one thing, girls. That fellow who arrives on time, dresses neatly, looks "cool," and asks you where you want to go may be a TERRIFIC partner on a one-night stand for dinner and the movies. He may also be a potential wife-beater or child molester, or habitual drunk. Or queer.
Look over what the girls and boys said they "wanted" in a date again, and you'll see an obvious pattern.
None of those questioned seemed bothered by what kind of a date they should be — but only what kind of a date they wanted from someone else. All their desires were selfish ones, and most of them were matters of appearance and minor conduct.
They seemed to studiously avoid the subject of sex. But other surveys will show sex consciousness, and standards of conduct; such as whether a girl allows herself to be kissed on the first date; questions about prolonged necking, heavy petting, or "going all the way," ARE very much on the minds of teen-agers when it comes to dating.
Almost no one seemed to wonder about the intelligence of their partner, or about their physical condition. No one voiced any concern about whether the partner was of a certain racial background, or from a certain religion. No one seemed to fear a partner with mental problems, or violent race hatreds. Nor did any say anything about honesty, integrity, loyalty, faithfulness, dedication, principle, chastity, or high moral standards!
No one seemed to care what kind of family background was represented, or even express interest in meeting other members of the same family.
And so here we have youngsters who eagerly jump into relationships which CAN LEAD TO MARRIAGE (by either accident or design!!) but with ABSOLUTELY NO THOUGHT OR PREPARATION TOWARD MARRIAGE!
No one is trying to say every date is something that leads toward marriage.
But let's face it-all marriages are preceded by "dating" of some kind or another — and, eventually, some dating DOES lead to marriage!
Actually, proper dating SHOULD lead to marriage — and should be the very BEST method to find the RIGHT mate for life, and to insure a wonderfully HAPPY and LASTING marriage!
That kind of dating, however, is not the completely selfish, sex-conscious, "good times" type of dating that is teen custom today.
A Classic Example
In a letter we received recently, a distraught mother told the shabby details of the final OUTCOME of the wrong kind of dating practices in her own son's case.
"I'm desperate. I'm sick from worry," she wrote to us, "ever since I remember, I have had a rough time, and I could fill a book with it, but I won't. I'll just start from about two years ago. This is my immediate worry, and I mean worry!
"My son, at 16 quit school. I tried every way I could to keep him from it. He never liked school and was always behind. So, when the day arrived, he quit and went to work. He's a good kid, he's not lazy. And by the time he was 17, he had found a little girl and talked his dad into signing for him to get married. It was not a case of having to, by the way, he just wanted to.
"A year later, he had a son. Now this was a big expense to a kid with no insurance and no job. Three months later the baby had to have surgery. Also, my son. Three in the hospital is quite a bill all in one year. We stripped ourselves trying to help them out. We have sold, lost and mortgaged everything we worked hard for, for 30 years, and we didn't have much to start with. I am in a mess of debts on account of it, and worse off than I was in the depression.
"One thing led to another with them. One bad break on top of another. To raise some quick money for rent, food, and so on, my son sold a couple of things that were not even paid for yet, thinking he would still be able, with that additional money to keep up with the payments. But it got worse all the time, and so finally he was put in jail.
"They don't have any money. He doesn't have a job. They're expecting another baby in a month. Their rent is overdue, and they're expecting to be put out tonight.
"No way to go to the hospital when the time comes, and no one to go to. Don't know where they're going to sleep. I lost my home. We wound up in a small trailer, and I've got a 14year-old son to raise and educate yet, and I can't make it if this worry and dread is not removed. I have fought a losing battle."
But is this just an isolated, sad story that belongs on some television "Mr. Anthony" type sob story?
No, not at all — but a very real example probably not too much unlike a few examples you know about, personally. Not all young fellows who marry hastily and too young end up in jail for sale of furniture not their own -but entirely too many of them end up in horrible debt, trying to hold down a boring, physically exhausting manual labor job, or signing a military dependence form while they kiss a tearful young pregnant wife goodbye!
This woman's son SHOULD still be in school — finding out what kind of occupation he's best fitted for, and what will interest him the most, so he can be a real success! He should have a few years hard effort to find out WHAT HE IS, and where he's going, and to accumulate enough of this world's goods to really make a start in life. He should have had the kind of teaching that would have inspired him to finish at least the essentials in high school before quitting his education, and to find some challenging and rewarding vocation which was not only financially rewarding, but one that would be mentally and emotionally stimulating that he could really GIVE himself to.
Had he been thinking of a future son-of a FAMILY of his own, and thinking stable, mature thoughts for the FUTURE, he would have done very differently.
But like so many millions of others, he thought of fun, frolic, and sex. But the fun was soon over, and the sex led to huge bills and unwanted children, and his attempts to solve the dilemma landed him in jail and broke up the whole financial structure of those dear to him.
A pity. A pity he couldn't have read this book first. A pity someone couldn't have told him. Of course, the churches could have. The parents could have. But no one did.
What's Wrong With Dating?
Think about the whole dating picture as it really is, today. Teen crime is rampant-teen-age marriages are up; teenage drug use is climbing alarmingly in many city areas. Venereal disease is epidemic, and illegitimacies are ranked as the number one health "problem" of teen-agers by many doctors.
Out of it all emerges a picture of unhappy, frustrated young people.
The spectre of a world trembling on the brink of nuclear oblivion scares them. The possibility of dying in a useless war for limited, largely useless objectives disgusts and frightens them. The hypocrisy of government leaders; double standards of businessmen; double lives of parents disgusts them-"turns them off."
To find anyone who will listen to them — REALLY listen and more than that, who truly understands their personal feelings — most teens have to talk to other teens like themselves.
Parents appear to be painfully tolerant of them; disdainful toward their very real and highly personal emotions "bothered" whenever they don't docily and quietly fit a wellestablished pattern.
Teachers seem to talk down to them, and adult society, in general, seems to be too busy in its own material pursuits to be more than mildly disturbed by their teen activities and customs.
For several important recent social reasons, teen-age has become a fantastically publicized, highly specialized, terribly sensationalized inner sanctum of refuge for teen-agers; a kind of exclusivist limbo of life into which adults dare not venture, and of which teens are hugely jealous.
All the manifestations of teen-age are the true case histories of what teens do together. The whole dating picture in the western world is the chronicle of teen-agers seeking answers, understanding, warmth, companionship, excitement, thrills and "fun" with each other. Much of this is not truly their fault. It is the responsibility of the home, the church and the school. Talk to most teens and you'll find varying degrees of rejection toward these traditional shapers of morality and human conduct.
In summary, then, teen-age dating is not only what teens have wanted to do-it is what most of them have been forced to do because of circumstances.
Teen-agers are FAR more candid, honest and frank with each other (when they're not "putting their best foot forward," bragging, exaggerating or lying, of course-which is not to accuse, but to honestly admit that many do) than they are with parents, teachers and clerics.
But irrespective of causes, most teen-age dating today is WRONG dating, with the wrong person, in the wrong place, for the wrong purpose, at the wrong time.
The fruits of that wrong dating are all around us.
Now see what kind of dating is really right!
The Art of Dating
WHAT about dating? What do you EXPECT to gain from dating? Why do you date? And what is a "date?"
Most people today simply do not date for the right reasons. They have no conception of what dating is supposed to accomplish.
A date is, after all, a day marked off on a calendar. As applied to teen "togetherness" Ws a spoken contract to meet together for some specific purpose.
It could just as easily be called "meeting," or "contracting," or "calendaring" as dating-but social customs prevail. Trouble is, dating has degenerated into a state of merely "being together" for most teen-agers-the simple practice of spending time with each other. What they DO, and HOW they do itwhere they go, and with whom — and WHY they go thereall have become totally secondary to the mere expediency of BEING TOGETHER.
Dating leads to marriage.
But marriage is NOT for children. And teen age, believe it or not, furiously resent it or not, is TOO YOUNG FOR MARRIAGE. The facts prove it.
So — revolutionary as it may sound to younger ears — the KIND OF DATING most teens indulge in today SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN AT ALL!
No! I didn't say teens should not be together, play together, talk together, share moments of life together. I said the KIND of dating indulged in by MOST!
Young people ought to have free access to other people their same age. But that access should be for wholesome, broadening social purposes and for upbuilding, constructive, educational, recreational and enjoyable purposes that are STILL FUN next month, and next year!
As "old-fashioned" as it may sound to many young teenagers whose parents have already abandoned them into the subculture of teens — there is NEVER a need for two young people to be in an automobile on a "date" AWAY from others, from their parents, or from members of a group! I repeat, NEVER a need! There are "reasons" and "excuses" — but no true and socially/spiritually defensible NEED!
But there is a definite need for a wide variety of social contacts for every person as he grows toward maturity. To become a truly balanced and outgoing personality — a much wider variety, not only of social contacts, but of the right kind of activities, should be encouraged for teen-agers.
Teen-age Dating Should Not Be "Romantic"
Dating should be a fresh, wholesome, constructive activity that is intellectually stimulating and physically UPbuilding.
That means a whole new approach to dating.
It means taking a look at group activities, such as skating, tennis, volleyball, golfing, horseback riding, square dancing, or a barbecue and a sing-along. It means a completely fresh approach to dating. Instead of thinking of the "opportunities" for immoral and DANGEROUSLY HARMFUL intimacies while lying around the beach with practically nothing on; or in the darkened movie theater, drive-in, or parked car-it means thinking of out-of-doors, refreshing, and uplifting events.
It means thinking of enjoying the sharing of clean and wholesome ideas and sharing fun, frolic and laughter-sharing a sunny afternoon on a bridle path, or on a tennis court, or relaxing after a hamburger around the warm glow of red coals as evening comes on and singing favorite tunes. It also means a pleasant "thank you-it was lots of fun" and cordial goodbyes -and not prolonged and breathless attempts at sexual experiences by trying to kiss and paw one another!
It means DATING WITH A TENDER CONSCIENCE!
Why should wholesome activities with members of the opposite sex have "romantic" overtones? They shouldn't. It only leads to frustrations, to the brokenhearted "breakup" of the former "steady" couple — the jealousies and hot-faced embarrassment when someone else is seen talking intimately to "your" girl, and to secretly imagined amorous events. But it DOES NOT lead to happiness. It DOES NOT lead to wholesome attitudes, balanced mind, good health, and a happy marriage!
Where Parents "Fit" in the Dating Picture
And why not have FAMILY activities, where groups of youngsters can enjoy the company of each other with one of the families or more present? After all, if you're dating for honest and clean purposes — what have you got to hide?
Suffice it to say most families have already reached such a state of BREAKDOWN, that either the teen-agers could not stand the thought of other teens even meeting their parents (what a rotten shame!) or the parents could not stand the thought of having any of the "friends" of their own child in their home!
But we can't take all the space in this book lamenting the horrible state of too many homes.
Actually, the family activity-where teen-agers are invited along on an outing, and where there is NOT always a "pairing off" between the sexes, but even unequal numbers of both sexes present in family cookouts, short trips, or recreational activities — is the one very BEST form of "dating" which ought to be a standard practice.
In this way, the youngsters learn to act the SAME WAY around their friends as around their parents. They don't "put their best foot forward" in the sense of "pretending" to be this or that type they learned from a motion picture. The parents would be quick to sense embarrassment in them, or strange talk or actions. Conversely, the teen-agers learn to be with the parents of their friends, without self-consciousness or any feelings of "guilt."
All teen-agers go through agonized stages of being "embarrassed" by their parents.
This is a sad commentary on the whole structure of family life in the western world. But it's absolutely true. Teen-agers by the millions DEPLORE the every move of their own fathers and mothers — resenting their physical appearance and being ashamed of their job, the type homes they live in, their personal habits, their speech, and even their race!
But a family that had always followed the practice of encouraging their children to have friends into the home would be given a very fine chance of never experiencing any alienation or embarrassment from their children.
Children OUGHT to admire, respect and deeply love their parents.
Their parents OUGHT to be worthy and deserve the admiration, respect, and deep love of their children. Sadly, this is only a rarity in our societies today.
But for many families, it is not too late. It is STILL not too late to change for many of them-if they only will. In the RIGHT KIND of dating, parents definitely FIT.
It is the WRONG kind of dating when youngsters feel they MUST escape the eyes and ears of their own parents dating for wrong motives and in a wrong attitude. And it leads to wrecked lives.
To say teen-agers must always be "chaperoned" calls up visions of the "watchdog" watching them — and says they cannot be trusted. But to ignorantly assume they MUST be off by themselves in unsupervised activity is a far worse situation.
The term "chaperoned" is perhaps a poor one to use. It connotes a person whose sole activity is to supervise and WATCH the actions of the ones involved in the dating. But wholesome group activities with one or more families involved is never chaperoning. After all, they're a PART of the activity — right there in the pool, or in the sing-along, or at the barbeque, or on the tennis court, with their children.
The Art of Dating
If we were all farmers, our children could have the wonderfully refreshing and constructive opportunity to get to know each other in neighborhood gatherings, quilting parties, planting times or the harvest season. They could learn to know each other as they learn to know about life, about growing things and about God.
They could be sharing in their discoveries of wildlife, musical talents, harness mending, or sewing. Unfortunately-which is putting it mildly-we are not all farmers.
So our children must create off times artificial reasons to share one another's company. By the simple necessity of neighbors helping one another, small farmers would find it natural, and inescapable, that their youngsters would be growing up in an environment of normal, fresh, casual relationships with members of the opposite sex.
They would not be "shoved" at one another by mindless parents who believe it's a shame if their tender 11-yearolds doesn’t know how to bob up and down (they call it dancing now) or hold hands in a theater with their girlfriends.
If families did take an active, loving interest, not only in their own teen-agers, but in their children's friends, they would quickly find their sons and daughters responding wholeheartedly. They would discover their children WANT that kind of activity-and they WANT their parents to be interested in them, and in their friends.
What is the Purpose of Dating?
As I mentioned dating will, at the right age, and at the right time, lead to marriage.
Secondly, dating is necessary for personality development. There is something to what psychologists tell us about the shy boy and wallflower girl-both of whom have stunted personalities and lack personal charm.
But you don't learn charm playing spin the bottle. You don't develop your personality in the back seat of a car, parked in a dark roadside. You don't learn to converse about important things stretched out across a seat in a movie house.
The type of dating that DOES develop personality is the kind where many people can get together, play together, talk together.
Dating is also useful for having plain, down-to-earthfun. But not the kind of fun that ends up in a premarital pregnancy or marriage to the wrong person. It's the kind of wholesome fun that is fun today, tomorrow and forever.
Why don't you ask yourself what your plans are in life. What do you expect out of dating? What are your intentions concerning marriage?
Are you aware of the seriousness of it? Are you preparing for the responsibilities of it? It's about time you asked yourself questions of that nature if you're a teen-ager, and you wonder what your life is going to be like.
There isn't a person who doesn't think about who he is going to marry, when it will happen, where this person is. Yes, it is a great blessing. It is something to look forward to — AT THE RIGHT TIME!
But too many people throw away a happy future for a one-night fling. They get thrown together in dates, as immature teen-agers. As a lark, they get involved, maybe sexually. Perhaps they get married. And their whole lives are usually wrecked from that moment on.
You know, there are some mistakes that you can't do much about. If a young girl loses her virginity, it's lost. No matter how much she wishes she still was a virgin as she comes to herself in later years-it's just too late.
And you fellows, once you get married at 18, and if a child comes along at 19-or probably sooner (if you get the point) — there goes that education you needed. You may earn enough to survive. But what a pity — when you could have done so much more with yourself.
This thing of dating is mighty important. And parents must guide their young children BEFORE the youngsters are ready to understand what life is about. It's a real crime for parents to push their children into the kind of dating they do — when they should be doing everything to KEEP their children from such unwholesome situations.
Hints on Dating
Quickly then, let's get a few hints on right dating. You shouldn't date the same girl over and over again. Spread yourself around. Date as many different girls or boys as possible-of all different personalities. Don't think that every date has to be some Hollywood romance. Date girls or boys who are intelligent, talented, sensible and competent — thinking individuals. Date people with alert, educated, thinking PARENTS. Date individuals of high moral standards. Avoid people of the opposite sex that are the beatniks, the sickniks, weirdos, oddballs, goofoffs, hot rodders. They might appear to be the "in" crowd. So you're not "popular" in high school. Wait two years. Look at the crowd you knew-premarital pregnancies, separation, venereal disease, miserable marriages. But let time pass, you'll find they were "way out" — out of fun, out of a job, and out of luck. Have the courage to buck the crowd. Ask the boy or girl over to your PARENTS' home for a date-and not in front of the TV set. They don't like that kind of a date? Well, forget them! One of the Proverbs says iron sharpens iron. The people you hang around with are going to build you up or drag you down. Don't let yourself be dragged down. And you parents — watch whom your children are around with. Be cognizant where your children are. And you teen-agers COOPERATE WITH your parents. Don't think you know it all about dating. Seek your parents' counsel about dating. Remember, they've lived a whole lot longer than you. It's simple to date properly-if you remember the purpose of dating is not for marriage or romance until you are old enough. It's to develop personality and cultivate feminine or masculine fellowship.
Avoid Wrong Dating
When you date from the right point of view, you know a date in a parked car, in the smoke-filled balcony of a movie, or sprawled out over a blanket on a beach is NOT a wholesome date for you. It's going to get you into trouble. When you know the purpose of dating — you'll know what kind of individual to avoid. You don't want to date the long-haired freak; you won't listen to the smooth talker who wants to "get" something from you; you won't be deceived by a loose girl.
You'll watch what comes into your mind. Hollywood fluff, false advertising about romance, the weird surf-board set, jangling music, dancing the frug, watusi, or whatever-isn't for you! You don't want that type of date.
You don't want a necking date. You turn off the jangling, odd, weird, sensual music on the radio. You don't go to movies that get your mind on sex or romance.
Does that sound "way out" or perhaps a bit old-fashioned?
But how can it be "old-fashioned?" After all, no one has ever DONE it before! The right kind of dating has been RARELY practiced! Actually, if you're willing to try it, you'll be conducting the most forward-looking, "new" fashioned kind of date anywhere around!
Too few people have ever recaptured the true values in dating, and learning to know members of the opposite sex. So don't think we're advocating a return to the horse and buggy era, and the "spooning" of yesteryear — people didn't date the right way nearly so often then as you might think-but at least, the broken homes, teen-age crime, illegitimacy, venereal disease, drug abuse and forced marriage picture was drastically different.
And why call the right kind of date "old-fashioned" and reject it before you've tried it? Doesn't a stimulating, intellectually rewarding, wholesome date sound like FUN to you?
Don't accept any date that's going to drag you down. If you're the only one in the block, the only one in the school, the only one in the crowd — DATE CONSTRUCTIVELY! Maybe you need to find new friends.
Get the picture? Realize the purpose in dating. Avoid the pitfall of wrong dating.
But what about marriage? There is a time when you should be ready for marriage. What should you look for in a mate? Most people never give any thought to this. They just fall into marriage and wake up the next morning regretting the mistake they made.
There are DEFINITE KEYS to selecting a mate. There is a definite age when you should be thinking about getting married. In the following chapters we discuss some of the most vital principles regarding this little-understood subject.
Educating the Whole Man
It's about time someone stands up and tells some of our youth about the education of the WHOLE MAN, the development of character, the forming of willpower, the rounding out of the whole personality, the development of moral strength, of honesty, of integrity.
Teen-agers need to realize that life doesn't consist solely of some romantic social whirl that ends in a premature marriage.
It's about time our clergy stood up and thundered out the laws of God on the subject, and showed the teachings of Christ who said, in the Sermon on the Mount, not only that you should not commit adultery, but also that even lusting is a sin.
It's about time educators, instead of giving way before the demands of the freedom marchers, began to stand up and talk about the results of immorality in no uncertain terms-the broken lives, the wretched minds, the hideous mistakes that are being made today.
It's about time someone began telling our youth that there are hidden, unseen, spiritual laws which, if they are obeyed, are going to result in tremendous dividends and blessings.
EVENTUALLY, dating can and should lead to marriage. But it should lead to the right marriage at the right time.
It has been substantiated time and again that what's wrong with most marriages is the courtship that led to the marriage. Dating customs need to be totally altered!
Here, then, are seven major keys to right dating! Each one of these, considered separately, OUGHT to be a fundamental part of each young person's KNOWLEDGE. Naturally, you're not considering whether or not a certain person would be a "good mate" when you're sitting next to them in a sing-along at about age 17.
But when of college age, and when marriage is a definite possibility in the very few years ahead-each of these vital principles should be carefully considered.
So read them thoroughly-and use them as everyday, practical helps in your life!
First Law: PHYSICAL HEALTH
Teen-age complexions can be problems. But the long-range considerations of basic health are more important than a case of acne or temporary pimples; even if these are the cause of many a full-bloomed inferiority complex.
In dating, important, vital health considerations prevail. I know, personally, many, many couples who are outwardly healthy, normal, robust, and nice looking. But they can't have children. Why? No one knows. But they just can't. So remember, there are enough UNSEEN health problems in this day and age that can be terribly disappointing later in life, without casually passing over the obvious, discernible ones. The RH factor has resulted in terrible disappointments to many an expectant father and mother, and many, many deformities and deaths. Believe it or not, the diseases of mankind are becoming so diversified and nearly "man-made" that by the time serious dating is FIRST CONSIDERED it would be wise to find out about blood types BEFORE any romance occurs!
That's making it all sound rather clinical. But read on.
Today, more than one third of American adults suffer from arthritis. That's about thirty-three out of every one hundred adult civilians. Now, does that mean in two to three to five to ten years your mate is going to be hobbling around, barely able to walk or to be pushed in a wheelchair, or unable to write or unable to perform simple household tasks, complaining of aches and pains in the joints?
One in four Americans will ultimately be struck by cancer!
That's a prediction of the American Cancer Society. It is said that one American will die of cancer EVERY TWO MINUTES next year. If the present rate continues, fifty million Americans eventually will become victims of cancer. It will strike two out of three families.
Approximately 500,000 people DIE of heart disease each year!
Sterility is increasing by leaps and bounds. Perhaps it's "in" not to have children. But many couples CAN'T HAVE children. Venereal disease is reaching epidemic proportions.
And that's just a smattering. Our people are sick, sick, sick. You probably know several people in your immediate circle of friends and relatives who have a disease or have had an operation.
Now, what about pure physical health? Are his teeth his own? Does she wear a hair piece? Do they exercise? Have ear problems? Eye problems?
This doesn't even include mental diseases-where today one in ten needs psychiatric help.
Maybe this person you're interested in is healthy today. But maybe he's going to get into an automobile accident or come back from the Vietnam war a hopeless paraplegic.
Face the Problem
Today, the world is subject to strontium-90, DDT, chemical preservatives, smog residues, tars and nicotine-and a host of other impurities.
We pop pills, take injections, gulp down drugs until it's a wonder we can live at all. Deformed babies are born at an alarming rate that's increasing.
But somehow, our teen-agers NEVER seem to think about it. Nor, apparently, do a lot of parents. When romance is on the mind, reality goes out the window.
Cattle raisers at an auction can look at stock and tell you what kind of calves they're going to get. They're pretty selective about it because they know their livelihood is at stake. They know that a certain kind of cow is going to produce a definite type of calf. But teen-agers and young people can't seem to tell much about their prospective mate except that he or she is "way out," "Mr. In-Between," or "in" or "out of sight"-whichever is the current word for someone who is supposed to be "cool."
Think of the Future
What's going to happen to your prospective mate in fifteen years? Is the wife going to become horribly fat, sloppy and unattractive? You'd better look at her mother. Is your husband going to end up as a little, wizened, dry, country philosopher? You'd better take a good, long, look at his father.
You can't find out these things by deciding that he or she is a smooth dresser and a good looker.
What are his ideas about foods? What about diet, health and exercise? Does he like sports? What about his weight? Does he or she take an interest in learning about the RIGHT KINDS of foods? Not a food fanatic-and there are thosebut one who is soundly concerned about what he pops into his mouth and gulps down. Most people today don't know and don't care to know the first thing about diet.
That cute teen-ager who drinks soda pop, eats french fries, hamburgers — who maybe doesn't like vegetables, milk, fruit and good lean meat-is going to have health problems and maybe even a fatal disease if she continues. But it seems the boyfriend isn't too concerned.
What about it?
What is your prospective wife going to feed you? Are you going to live on TV dinners and coffee? If so, it's going to affect your health. Does she have enough get-up-and-go to learn about diet, shop judiciously and take the time to cook you wholesome meals?
But doing the watusi or frug, watching a movie, or parking in a car isn't going to tell you anything of this sort about the girl.
Discuss and Watch
If you want to find out the physical health of an individual, you've got to get to know him or her. Discuss things such as exercise. Find out whether he or she smokes. It's been proven that smoking has a lot to do with causing certain kinds of cancer. Most people don't want to believe it. But that doesn't alter the facts.
Don't take any of these quickly stated suggestions lightly!
The "love conquers all" vision of young people-who may see themselves valiantly holding the hand of their sick or injured loved one in a pretended interlude is not sufficient to survive the long-term disappointments and frustrations of marrying one who is physically unfit.
We can only hint at some of the more horrifying aspects of poor health, such as venereal disease (and the fact that it can be and is spread through HOMOSEXUAL CONTACT!) and the possibility of deformed children. No one wants to marry under a cloud of doubt! Then why date BLINDLY? The female problems among average women in the western world today are RIFE! Literally millions of women experience strange irregularities in menstrual cycles — and the rising rate of deformed children is a chilling specter for the future!
So don't take physical health lightly. A flabby, chalkywhite, unhealthy-looking woman can experience terrible troubles in childbirth. Marriage is SERIOUS. It's for ADULTS. It's FROM NOW ON! Planning toward marriage has plenty of practical aspects as well as the romantic overtones. The purpose of this book is not to deprive anyone of the joys and thrills of love and romance-but to PROMOTE MORE OF IT FOR LONGER PERIODS OF TIME IN RIGHT MARRIAGES!
Mental and Emotional Health
WHAT about the mental and emotional stability of the boy or girl you think you'd like to marry?
Is he optimistic-or a cynic? Is he easy to get along with-or will he be a tyrant? Will she be a loud-mouthed virago? Is this potential lifetime partner free from excessive tension, fear and anxiety? Or is he an emotional and mental wreck?
Does he or she get angry-fly off the handle? Is he an actual or potential compulsive gambler, child molester, drug addict, murderer?
You need to consider these things very deeply.
But how many teen-agers, young people or prospective marriage partners ever think about these things? Sadly, very few EVER DO-until it's too late.
Most think only how "in" or "cool" or sharp this or that person is. Of how romantic it is to be with so and so. Or how "sexy" such and such a girl looks.
Second Law: MENTAL HEALTH
The second major consideration, mental and emotional health, is directly related to physical health.
The world has more than its quota of weirdos, homosexuals, neurotics, psychotics, child molesters, and mentally unbalanced people.
The American Medical Association has declared mental illness-in all its forms-one of America's most pressing problems!
Teen-agers at the rate of one out of ten boys-and probably girls-have mental aberrations. Now, not all of them need to be in mental institutions in a straitjacket. But a lot of them need a lot of help.
They can't find the nerve to get a job, they stammer when conversing, and generally feel inferior about everything. A lot of others easily fly off the handle — and could KILL someone before they realized what was happening. It occurs all the time. Just read your newspaper.
Many others have odd ideas, idiosyncrasies, moodiness. You would be dumbfounded to find out that huge numbers of people have tremendous problems.
On the basis of present trends, one in twelve Americans will spend part of their lives in a mental institution. That means every twelfth person (as a national average) you know or date.
The many health hazards around us are the subject for dozens of books and periodicals — and our overcrowded hospitals, beleaguered psychiatrists and tired nurses speak of the massive problems of physical and mental debilities. What with alcoholism (growing alarmingly), drug usage, and just everyday pill swallowing, practically every person you meet seems to be using depressants or stimulants of some sort — and usually habitually.
So mental health is a MAJOR consideration. Here is some sound advice on how to approach the problem as you date.
Here are two young people in a parked car. Their parents don't know where they are or with whom. They don't really know very much about each other. Either one of them could be mentally unsound.
But they feel that they'll "just die" if they can't marry each other.
What kind of a rude awakening is it going to be for these two young people who go skipping down the aisle to get married and say, "I do," when they find out just a little later that the mate they thought "fate had created them for" turns out to be a child molester, a homosexual, a lesbian, a rapist, a murderer, a wife beater, a neurotic, or a hopeless psychotic.
You say, it won't happen to you?
How do you KNOW?
There's only one way. Take your time. Don't rush into marriage. Be sure you get to know this person. See him or her in all conceivable types of situations. That means over a LONG SPAN of time, so that you've had opportunity to thoroughly discuss all types of subjects.
What are their attitudes toward their parents? Are they secretive? Does this young man that you think has such a "kooky hairdo" hate his father? Does he or she have some WEIRD IDEAS about religion, diet? Is the person going to be too much of an introvert to even find a job?
A lot of mental quirks can run in families. Does this prospective mate have an aunt, a sister, a brother, or a parent who has been confined to a mental institution?
You can't answer these most important questions by immediately allowing intimacies in a parked car. How he dances, or dresses, or kisses, won't tell you a thing about his deepest personal beliefs and attitudes.
So when you date-don't date the traditional way! Don't sit hunched over in the motion picture theater, allowing your mind to be swept along the usual channels of violence and sex, while learning nothing about the person next to you! It's a rare thing to find a movie that is REALLY, in God's sight, fit to watch, anyway! And let's not be naive! Thousands of wrecked lives -premarital sexual experience and pregnancies — have been started while two young people sat clutching hands or pawing one another in a movie theater, living vicariously the near-pornographic scenes being shown in modern films! The girl somehow attributes all the marvelous qualities of the hero to HER DATE. And he vicariously sees a little of the sexy actress in his arms!
If you want a really happy life, healthy children, peaceful sleep and robust health — then dating in darkened automobiles and movie theaters is not for you.
Find out about your friends. Come to know their mindknow their likes and dislikes and how they react to trying situations. Obviously, you can't come to know any of these things in a no-conversation, selfish, sex-conscious date.
Think Before You Marry
A real good surfer may wind up a psychotic. A smooth dresser may end up a neurotic pill-swallower. A smooth dancer may end up a sexual deviate.
Wouldn't it be better to find out before you marry?
Pat Boone cited an example in a Ladies' Home Journal article entitled "Marriage Magic." He said, "GET ACQUAINTED."
"If you're hasty, you may find yourself quaking at the altar like the bride whose mother found her weeping bitterly before the wedding, and said to her, 'My dear, this is not the time to cry. Why, the day I was married was the happiest day of my life."
“ But that was different,' sobbed the girl, 'You married Dad; and I'm marrying a COMPLETE STRANGER. “
That's about the way it goes today. People marry for silly things that don't amount to anything. You'd better test the caliber of your love. If it wilts in the spring of courtship, it certainly isn't going to be kept alive by marriage.
You need to take the time and be sure. Date with your eyes wide open. Realize the kind of world we live in. Don't "fall in love" -which you can't really do, but grow to love the right person at the right time!
Be sure anyone you even begin to possibly think of as a marriage partner is sound mentally and emotionally.
Heredity and Environment
THE third principle in selecting a mate is heredity and environment. This is a most important consideration.
Contrary to what many feel, you CANNOT change a person's heredity. If a person has a certain level of intelligencethat's all he has. That's nothing to be ashamed of. But it should be recognized and CONSIDERED in choosing a mate.
Generally, the man should certainly be equal to and slightly higher in overall intelligence than the woman he is to marry. If he is not, there are going to be severe problems in the marriage.
If the woman has a stronger personality, or is more intelligent than the man, he simply will not be able to properly assume his responsibility as head of the home.
Third Law: Heredity and Environment
Think about it men!
Do you want to marry a woman who is more intelligent than you? How about you women? Suppose you have the potential to be a college graduate. But your future husband would flunk out as a freshman. Will you be able to look up to him, respect him, rely on him for making important decisions?
These heredity hurdles can be overcome if one truly loves the other with a deep, outgoing concern. But if the problem isn't there, you don't have to worry about overcoming it.
You need to consider race, color, height, shape, weight, stature. Suppose you're barely five feet. Do you want to marry a six-foot woman? This happens.
Are you a 115-pound man? Certainly you don't want to marry a 160-pound woman. Now, maybe at 18 she isn't 160. But look at her grandmother and mother. If they are rather large, maybe that chic 18-year-old will blossom out in a few years too.
Get to know the parents!
What stock do they come from? What have they accomplished? Are they ignorant? Do they hate education? Are they heavy drinkers? Is there hereditary weakness? Does your family have the SAME weakness?
Most cattle ranchers are a whole lot more careful about their livestock than some parents are about the people they let their children marry-or that their children decide they want to marry.
Parents! Again, I admonish you. Get to know the people your children want to marry. Keep them from making a mistake.
Consider the problems inherent in mixed marriages. Today, there is an insidious "one-world" doctrine. Men are trying to get the races together-to obliterate the differences between them.
It is not racism to realize there are many basic differences between the races. If people could only wash their minds of feelings of racial inferiority or superiority — racism — and come to realize that there ARE basic strengths and weaknesses among the races!
We think of these basic differences in our everyday living. It is not racism to acknowledge that people realize the Germans are a hard-working, "efficient" people! We think of the French people as being more carefree, and happy-go-lucky, and "sexy." On the other hand, we speak of the "industrious" Japanese, the "inscrutable" Chinese, the "slow-moving, patient" Russians, and the "stubborn and imperturbable" British.
We speak of the "volatile" Latins, the "unpredictable" Arabs, and the "shrewd" Jews. We acknowledge the characteristics which have made so many Irishmen into policemenand the special proclivities for music and laughter of many Negro races.
Time was, in the not too distant past, when all joke books were generally divided up into ethnic sections. The collection of jokes would reflect the obvious racial characteristics of each of the individual ethnic groups. There were no racist overtones in these jokes-just a simple appreciation and humorous enjoyment of the various and differing characteristics of the races. Sadly, people have grown so utterly hypersensitive today that ethnic jokes are more of a wild danger sign to most people than they are a humorous commentary on basic ethnic differences.
But ethnic differences DO EXIST! Let me illustrate it this way: On a trip to Central and South America back in 1954, I was told a story about the fantastic influence being made in Central and South American business by West German industrialists. The story that was being told in business circles went something like this: "Down here in South America, when we ask an Englishman about his product, he immediately launches into a speech about why his product is superior. When we ask a Frenchman, he does not answer us. When we ask an American, he sends us a huge, colorful catalog. When we ask a German, two Germans promptly show up and ask us 'where do we put it?'"
In this simple businessman's tale is captured some of the basic ethnic differences in these few races mentioned.
And these differences should be understood, and carefully considered in the dating practices of young people.
The United States of America, and in a growing sense, much of the rest of the world, has become a virtual "melting pot" for the races. In the United States are many minority groups. In MOST cases, these minority and ethnic groups prefer to keep fairly to themselves, marrying among themselves, and retaining their own ethnic characteristics.
So THINK about ethnic differences. This is not to say that the average marriage will be contracted between two people of such OBVIOUS ethnic differences so as to include basic skin color (although there is an increasing incidence of miscegenation today!), but to say that even among the brown, yellow, black, and white communities, there are many more subtle differences which, nevertheless, will be VERY important when considering marriage.
Many of these differences can be decidely social, as well as racial and ethnic. Many of the minority groups in the United States have a completely different social environment, which shapes and forms their attitudes. Coming from a different part of a big city, with a completely different ethnic background, will automatically result in a completely different attitude, character, and point of view in an individual person. Two people of widely varying background, and slightly different ethnic origins can, of course, make a successful marriage in some individual cases. But this is not USUALLY the case.
So you should be aware of these things, knowledgeable of them, and carefully consider both the heredity and the environment of any prospective mate.
And always remember, that EACH ONE of these seven major keys to dating should be carefully considered BEFORE the "heart" is involved — not after!
What About the Environment?
Think about the education, travel, experience, religion, politics, and the social, and cultural level of your prospective mate. Analyze these things. Keep both eyes wide open. Don't be swayed by "romance," before you have opportunity to think about these essential points!
What kind of language does he or she use? Can he hold down a job? Is she educated to be a homemaker? What kind of environment will both of you live in? Does he want to live in a crowded downtown flat? Maybe he doesn't. But will he ever afford anything better?
There are many other things to consider such as voice, accent, part of the country from which the individual came, his relatives, tastes, dress, etc.
But the point is be sure of the background and breeding of the individual you plan to marry. Be sure both of you are COMPATIBLE socially, culturally, mentally, and personality wise (more details later).
Think of size, weight, height, race, color and language. Be sure there are no hereditary diseases that may crop up in your children. Are you going to let romance or sex cause a hasty, ill-thought-out marriage that brings malformed, disease-ridden children into the world?
Think of these things before you marry. Don't make a permanent mistake!
How do you tell one human being from another-besides the way he looks? Simply by noting the way he IS-that is, his personality!
Find out about those particular traits, little ways, mannerisms, perhaps peculiarities of voice, expression, ideas, thoughts, opinions, experiences, heredity — everything that makes up an individual.
People move other people by their personalities. It is said that personality-personal magnetism-is more important than even intelligence and organizational ability for success in business.
It certainly is very vital in many fields.
Fourth Law: Personality
Do you feel ill at ease with someone?
It's because of personality differences. You've heard of the old cliche, "birds of a feather flock together." People tend toward social groups. Fraternities are made up of people of like qualities, of same interests — people who communicate with each other easily.
Perhaps the best way to know if you are of a compatible personality with another is to know if you can COMMUNICATE with each other.
In a book called How to Marry Someone You Can Live With All Your Life, Dr. Leland Glover said, "Intimate, friendly, and prolonged communication between a husband and a wife tends to weld them together whereas a decided decline in t is type of communication tends to break up existing attachments.
"Partners who are going steady can, and should assess their ability to COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY. Studies reveal that couples who communicate well during courtship generally continue this wholesome pattern in marriage, while those who communicate poorly but get married anyway continue this negative relationship after the wedding” (p. 50).
But what does the average teen-age date consist of? Necking in a parked car. Stuffing down popcorn during a movie. Riding around in cars. Wild parties with gyrating "dances," drinking, and maybe dope and sex.
How can you find out what kind of a personality your prospective mate has? How can you know how well you get along with someone you BARELY KNOW?
An individual marries the wrong person. Then he tries to REMAKE that person into an image of what he thinks he wants. Or some marry people to satisfy some deep emotional need of their OWN-without considering whether the whole personality makeup of the individual they are marrying would complement them.
The Biggest Problem in Marriage
As a result, they cannot communicate as a married couple. This inability of two people to communicate is one of the biggest single problems in marriage. It is cited as such by those who are involved in marital problems.
"It has been my experience that in at least 90% of all divorce cases, the reason for the termination of the marriage, if it had to be resolved in one phrase, would be 'lack of communication.' ... I have always made it a practice to determine the initial cause of the marital problems. It would seem that from little and perhaps even indefinable disputes or misunderstandings, great problems grow ....
"It is my feeling that this INABILITY OF TWO PEOPLE TO COMMUNICATE gives rise to what may become a sexual problem and the sexual problem is then presented to the attorney as grounds for the pending divorce. It would then become apparent that, in fact, the sexual question is not the cause of the divorce [as some propound], but merely a symptom of the emotional problems that had preceded it." (By Jack J. Rosenthal, an attorney who has practiced for almost 15 years and has handled a substantial number of divorce cases, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles Times, December 6, 1966.)
But communication has to do with personality. If both the parties' interests, goals, desires, are the same then they CAN communicate. If they are complemented intellectually, if they understand each other, have things in common-then they should be able to communicate.
Personality is one of seven principles! So you could have complementary personalities and still remain aloof that's true. But it is one important aspect and should be deeply considered before any marriage is contemplated.
Are You Prepared to Know?
But teen-agers simply are not prepared to know who they should marry. The whole dating pattern of modem teens militates AGAINST them finding out if the personality of the person they have "fallen" for, will complement theirs.
Teen-agers! You are still in the formative years! A person's outlook and personality are not fully shaped until on into the mid twenties and later. Needs, standards and outlooks change.
Most people who are getting married simply DO NOT KNOW what their partners are like. In the Life series of September 15, 1961, the article, "Modem Courtship — the Great Illusion," this shocking state of affairs was described:
"Numerous sociologists have pointed out that the desire of young people to be popular during the dating period often leads them into a considerable amount of OUTRIGHT DECEIT. They are on their best behavior, try to hide any disagreeable qualities they think they may have, and sometimes pretend to be entirely different from what they really are....
"But nobody can continue to practice the deception successfully in a marriage that involves 24 hours a day of contact for a lifetime .... It is a good idea to see a prospective mate in as many situations as possible, particularly difficult and unglamorous ones, and to study his family and friends, which often tell more about a person than he ever reveals himself ....
"THE STAKES ARE VERY HIGH. Choosing the wrong person [one marriage counselor has written], can mean 'life with an invalid, a neurotic or a lifelong enemy — or it can mean (tragic) divorce.' "
Know Before Marriage
Marriage is no time to START developing interests in common. You should have found out long before you even thought about marriage if you had any similar interests.
Ask yourself: "Can I marry this person as he is-without trying to change his personality? Do I really have no reservations about the way he is? His or her habits don't bother me? Or hobbies, interests, values, goals generally do not vary?" No one is perfect. But everyone should be able to feel he has married just the PERFECT mate for HIM!
One important principle: The man ought to have a stronger, more dominant (not domineering) personality than the woman. If not, she is going to have a difficult time learning to respect his judgment and leadership.
WHAT do you know about the religious beliefs of the person you're marrying? Perhaps you think it doesn't matter.
Let's analyze it.
Fifth Law: Religion
Maybe the person you're planning to marry has some strange or odd ideas about things. Maybe he's riddled with superstitions. What does he think about the "immortal soul" or heaven or hell-or anything?
Maybe you're religious — you come from the "Bible belt.'' But your mate couldn't care less. In what religion does your future husband or wife insist on training the children?
What about your prospective mate's moral standards? Does he or she believe in God or the Bible?
To give you an idea of some of the religious beliefs and morality floating around today, we quote the comments teenagers gave in a panel discussion on sexual conduct.
Personal Morality Today
They were asked: "What holds you back [from immoral conduct]? Or does anything?" (Answers):
"'That's a good question,' pondered one teen.
"'I couldn't say,' replied a second ....
" ' ... the idea of God and concepts of religion,' commented another youth, 'don't tend to be real things. They aren't something you can look at face to face. They're just kind of nebulous. In many cases, the reality can be too overwhelming."
" 'The biggest problem is, how can you know absolute truth-about sex or anything else. It's so nebulous and so far away,' worried one of the girls....
" 'You have to come back to the fact that we don't know absolute law,' said another boy ....
"'There aren't any specific standards, like on the first date you only hold hands or on the second or fifth date, or whatever, you can kiss him,' answered a girl. ...
"'You set the standards for yourself, kind of playing it by ear at the moment,' said another girl. ...
" 'I am sure I know and see quite a few people of our age who are very immoral-by my standard,' commented a senior boy. 'But who's to judge what is right and wrong? I believe there is an absolute truth. But I'm not saying I know it.' " (From an article entitled, "The BIG Question for Teens: Morality," in Today's Health, May 1965.)
Now, how would you like to marry someone with THESE ATTITUDES, "No specific standards?" Does that mean he or she condones homosexuality, trading wives and child molestation? Probably not — but how can you be sure? These hazy teenage guesses about morality and religion could lead toward some serious problems later! No one wants to marry a potentially unfaithful mate!
Where IS God?
What about God? Does your mate believe in Him? Or does it matter?
The question "IS GOD DEAD?" was asked recently of some high school students in Oregon. Here were some of the answers:
(1) Boy: "Personally, I think God is dead because I haven't had anything or anyone prove to me He's alive."
(2) Boy: "It depends. Perhaps God was never alive to begin with. Of course, for many centuries now the concept of God has been 'alive' in people's minds; however, whether or not God has actually ever been alive is debatable.''
(3) Boy: "I believe religion is on an individual basis. For me, a 'personal' God is dead. I think there is a Supreme Being, but I'm inclined to think He is divorced from the affairs of mankind.''
(4) Girl: "No, I don't think God is dead. I think your conscience will tell you whether or not He is dead. For most people, God can be 'felt' in their conscience.''
(5) Girl: "As long as there are people in the world who hope for good to come of a situation, I believe there must be a God.''
(6)Boy: "I believe that God is dead. God was created by man with all His grandeurs at some period when man was in jeopardy (needed security). Presently man feels his sovereignty and worth, for man is directing his arrogance in all directions, not just to his inferiors. He has the ability to do whatever he wants. Therefore, man feels that he does not need a God.''
Such is the vague, unreal guesswork concerning religion of many teens. Others have strong convictions toward this or that "faith.'' But how many have actually PROVED, carefully, any particular religious doctrine or philosophy?
Precious few. Mostly, we tend to just accept what others around us believe — be it a certain religion, or rejection of all religion, or a type of "don't care-ism" that seems mostly prevalent today.
But these teens were merely parroting what others had told them. They were mostly repeating what "liberal" teachers had said, or what other teen-agers said.
Remember this! The traditional morals-shapers — the home, the church, and the school-have largely disappeared from society as an effective force in instilling strong convictions and beliefs.
Moral barriers have toppled — as has religious faith. Teen-agers have begun looking to many of the ultra-liberal (and sometimes Communist-activist) teachings as their "authority" for various wrong conduct. Whether the Helen Gurley Brown book on Sex and the Single Girl which openly advocates that it is a "myth" that a girl cannot be sexually happy "outside" or before marriage; or the "A little pot never hurt anybody" idea spawned by Dr. Timothy Leary — teens delight in quoting a whole new generation of "authorities" instead of believing what their parents and teachers have said.
Religion and morals are inseparable.
Of course, you may fancy yourself a "free thinker" type. Maybe you feel there ARE no "absolutes" which ought to regulate moral conduct. But look at it this way. When it comes time to marry-do you want to marry a licentious, promiscuous woman? Or man? Do you wish to marry one who has had experience with "only" three or four other people? What if they are close friends of yours-of your own crowd? What would married life be like when you're always meeting and seeing people who "knew" your mate before YOU did?
To carry it further, do you wish to marry a virgin?
In opinion samplings, you'll find the MAJORITY DO! But virginity is becoming a rarity today! And herein lies a great deal of the hypocrisy of the "line" handed many a trusting young girl who thought she was "in love." The thoughts the fellow presents to you during the ecstatic moment and his private convictions about the kind of girl he wants to MARRY may be vastly different!
Listen to this shocking commentary, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, December, 1966:
" 'Why shouldn't my boyfriend and I be able to have intimate relations if we-between the two of us — have decided it's what we want to do?' asked an attractive ... university coed with long auburn hair.
"She was one of dozens of students and college officials interviewed in a [Cleveland] Plain Dealer examination of the so-called Sexual Revolution on the campuses . . .
"'The new morality is that it's ALL RIGHT TO SLEEP WITH SOMEONE YOU LOVE,' observed [another] coed. 'I know of some girls who are taking birth control pills,' she said. 'I suppose it's all right if they're not promiscuous and have relations only with the fellow they're going with.' ..." (Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 1966.)
These juvenile reasonings don't take into account the feelings of these same people only months or years later when the PRESENT "relationship" has broken up, and now they're married! Later feelings of guilt — or the discovery of an unfaithful mate AFTER marriage has directly contributed to THOUSANDS of fighting, squabbling divorces, and even to murder! When living moral laws are broken — they BREAK YOU!
So think carefully about religion, and morality! And at least be honest with yourself! While you're reading this book, you're not having to put on a front, or appear to be chic, worldly wise, and "experienced." You don't need to impress anyone right now — at this moment.
Do you want to know the sweetness of marrying someone whose very FIRST real experience in REAL LOVE is with you, and you alone? Think about it.
And if you do — then does that potential mate deserve the same kind of treatment?
Well then — it IS worth "saving" your love for marriage, isn't-it? After all — it's YOUR life. It's YOUR happiness we're talking about, not just living up to an "image" that someone else expects of you!
Is The Bible Important?
You can prove God exists, and you can PROVE the Bible is His inspired Word.
Have you ever looked into it? Probably not!
Let's face it! Right now, there are two alternatives. Either there does exist a living God of Supreme mind and total power, who very soon will step in and interfere in the affairs of this world, and SAVE HUMANITY from itself, or else the result of extinction will soon occur.
There is no other alternative.
You may blind your eyes to existing facts and trends and say, "Aw come on! I can't see what's so wrong with this world or it doesn't matter what I believe-NOTHING'S going to happen."
This world has ignored the God that created it.
You can PROVE that the Living God exists! We continually offer that proof in the free booklet, Does God Exist? You can get a copy. It's free of charge.
You can PROVE that the Scriptures of the Holy Bible are the inspired revelation of that Supreme God to mankind! We continually offer that proof, in the free booklet, The Proof of the Bible.
In it, one is quoted, saying He is God Almighty, and He, then, in writings dated around 600 to 750 years before Christ names every sizeable city and nation on earth and foretells what would have happened to each by our time, now, in this 20th Century A. D.!
He foretold that the then greatest nation on the earth, Egypt, would be reduced to a minor nation, never again ruled by a native prince! THAT HAPPENED!
He foretold the rise and fall of Babylon, the world's first real Empire, and its succession by Persia, Greece and Rome. THAT HAPPENED!
The two greatest cities were Babylon, political capital and Tyre, the commercial capital. Both were to be destroyed, and never rebuilt. THAT HAPPENED!
Sidon was to be filled with bloodshed through the centuries -destroyed, then rebuilt; destroyed, then rebuilt, repeatedly yet, in this way, surviving. THAT HAPPENED!
Ashkelon and Ekron were to be destroyed, and never rebuilt. THAT HAPPENED!
And on and on it goes. Could the writers, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Amos, Hosea, and the others — mortal human men — have been able to foretell all these events and MAKE THEM — every one-happen?
The same One who foretold every one of these events accurately, also foretold TODAY'S world conditions and trendsand gives us the advance news of the outcome to take place in the very next few years — in our time.
Not too many people today believe in that God. Very few are real Christians or know what it means to be a Christian.
You can find out. We have an article, entitled "What Is a Real Christian?" You need to read and study it.
Don't think for a moment religious feelings are not important considerations in dating, and planning toward marriage. Parents pulling and tugging at children because of different religious convictions; mates fighting, arguing, and literally breaking up homes because of religion; these have happened. If you'll think about it — you'll probably realize you already know this is true — because you have probably known of several such cases in your own experience.
So think about it carefully. If you marry through LUST and ATTRACTION, and then later discover terrible religious BIAS in a person, you will have deep problems for years to come! There are too many extremes possible. You could marry a person with strong religion — even to the point of religious bigotry and prejudice, or you could marry an ultra-liberal with NO ideas on spirituality and morality. Either extreme is a mistake. If you marry a person whose MIND IS OPEN on questions of religion and morality — who is willing to PROVE what he has not previously proved; is willing to listen to all points of view without prejudice, and then PROVE WHAT IS THE TRUTH, you have found a rare one, indeed!
Many homes have been shattered due to violent religious intolerance. Never pretend religion is unimportant to you, because it is a major factor in marriage.
HAVE you heard such expressions as "They were madly in love," "He sure is crazy about her," "Are they ever moonstruck"? Chances are you have. No doubt you thought: "Are they ever in love!"
Believe it or not-the chances are, they WEREN'T really in love.
They were romantically attracted to each other, perhaps deeply infatuated with each other. But in love? Probably not!
In this chapter we want to talk about one of the most misunderstood of all topics, that of, romantic attraction. We've already discussed it in terms of how this world views it, but is romantic attraction love? Is it wrong? What part does it play in courtship.
Sixth Law: Romantic Attraction
What does it mean to be in love — in relationship to romantic attraction?
Let's make it plain by citing two extremes.
A man may meet a woman who is so voluptuous and physically attractive that she makes him think of just one thingthe desire to get her into his arms and press her close to him in sensuous embrace. The sight of her makes him want to POSSESS — to have and to hold.
No man should EVER CONFUSE that attraction with love.
Then there is the opposite extreme.
A man can know a woman whom he admires, respects very highly. She may even be a beautiful woman. He may even enjoy her company-at least occasionally. He dates her once in a while — he feels he would just as soon put his arms around a cold iron lamp post and try to embrace it. She is a very fine person — he certainly holds her in highest respect and esteem — but there is no physical attraction.
That is the other extreme-and that is NOT love, but merely respect.
What Is True Love?
True love is outgoing concern. It is not, necessarily, wholly outgoing, devoid of a normal and right feeling of desire. She must be physically attractivebut without being sensually arousing. She does not make him think of sex, physically. Even as God's GREAT and general command respecting humans is that we shall love our neighbors AS ourselves, so true love is that union of outgoing concern for the one loved AND her desirability to him.
True love does not produce sex arousal at sight.
Pure love involves respect, admiration, an unselfish concern for HER happiness and welfare, COMBINED with complete compatibility mentally, socially, culturally, and complete physical desirability. The girl is attractive, altogether LOVELY and physically desirable in that normal way that is NOT sensuous, and does not bring on thoughts of sex as such.
He cares for her in a way he does not for any other. He wants to be with her-in her company. She is the ONE he wants to talk things over with, to share his problems as well as his successes and triumphs. And he is so concerned for her welfare and happiness that he wants to protect her, provide for her, be always kind and gentle to her and considerate of her. He feels LOVE for her, not lust. He wants to share with her his struggles, his interests, his life. And SHE is the one he wants to be the mother of his children.
THAT is the LOVE that ought to be marital love.
The same thing applies to girls — but from their vantage point. A girl should want the man she really loves to hold her in his arms. He certainly should be attractive to her. But idle immature, romantic ideas that here is some perfect prince charming that is going to make every moment of her life one great ride on a fluffy cloud does NOT constitute true love.
Real life simply isn't that way!
What Life Is About
Yes, it has its romantic moments-its candlelight dinners, its scintillating trips, its ecstasies. But let's fill in the rest of the picture to get reality.
The wife is going to have to wash the clothes, do the dishes, change the baby. Does this mean a woman's life is dull? No, no-that isn't the point.
All these things ought to give a woman great joy. But they WON'T if she feels her EVERY MOMENT must be a pink cloud affair.
And you men — marriage is NOT sex. You're still going to have to sleep one-third of your life, work one-third of the day, eat, wash, drive, study, read, talk to your wife and a whole lot else.
Do you get the point?
"One and Only?"
Then there's the idea of "the one and only." This is another fantasy! If you "fell" for someone, it just happened that you and this other person of the opposite sex happened to be in the same place and at the same time and ran into each other.
As Dr. Clifford R. Adams said in a Ladies Home Journal article, "When 'love' develops suddenly or within a few dates, it is almost always infatuation. Real love is a developing relationship, not an abrupt awakening.
"Physical attraction is essential, and without it there can be no genuine love between man and woman. But to conclude that mutual sexual feeling guarantees love, assures a good marriage, is to INVITE DISASTER.
"Realistic love depends upon the couple's companionship, the values and interest they share, and what they want from life and marriage. This is the nonsexual side of love and the one that is often minimized or ignored in infatuation.
"Infatuation is idealized sexual attraction: it is romantic, glamorous, thrilling, and has a desperate air about it. But genuine love is not hasty; it is affectionate, tender and considerate and it is focused around the welfare of the loved one. It is unselfish and understanding. It is social and outgoing, it compromises and cooperates. But infatuation is possessive, demanding, urgent, unreasonable and self-centered."
Wise words those. They hit the nail on the head.
Love Develops Gradually
As I mentioned, love develops gradually as you get to know the other person. Secondly, love is an outgoing concern. If you're the smitten one soaked in your own misery as you "moon," you've got a giant case of self-centered infatuation. If you think this person you're supposedly in love with is perfect, you DON'T KNOW ENOUGH about that person to marry him or her. Jealousy is not a sign of true love. Of course, there will be some desire to protect and keep for yourself — to win — the one you love. But hate-filled, fear-riddled jealousy that you may lose this person is selfish possessiveness.
Now, this rather contradicts most of the Hollywood movies, the novels, the plays, the magazines where you read about this sort of thing. But it shows how far we've strayed from the real truth about our ideas of romantic attraction.
Taken in its balanced position, we see that, to really be in love, a person must be romantically attracted to another. But this doesn't mean he has a sensuous desire, a moonstruck romantic feeling, hate-filled jealousy or an empty-headed idea that the other person is the height of perfection. Romantic attraction has its crucial part-but really a minor part in the whole courtship situation. Certainly without it, there can probably be little real marital love. But it is only a small part of the huge base that forms a solid basis for marriage.
SUPPOSE you're planning to get married. Or, if you're not, or are married, put yourself in the position of one who is getting married. Imagine this couple, now. They've been dating for some time. They think they are in love. They want to get married.
Who would you say is or should be MOST QUALIFIED to know whether they should get married to each other? The boy? No! How about the girl? No, wrong again.
Who is the most qualified on this earth –or should be to know if those two young people are right for each other?
THE PARENTS OF THE YOUNG MAN AND WOMAN.
Seventh Law: Seek Counsel
Now, I know this sounds rather shocking, old-fashioned and perhaps authoritarian. Kids today don't want their parents to tell them what to do. But most marriages today are failures. Doesn't that prove something is rather drastically wrong with teen-agers' and young people's decisions?
In an article which appeared in Life magazine and was reprinted in part in the December, 1961 Reader's Digest, a well-known authority on the subject, Ernest Havemann stated the problem:
"American parents permit and even encourage their children to select their mates in just about the WORST OF ALL POSSIBLE WAYS.
"Despite our knowledge that one-fourth of all brides wind up in the divorce courts, we still cling fondly to the notion that we are the most romantic nation on the face of the earth. It is generally believed in the United States to be a LAW OF NATURE that young men and women should have full rein to meet in school, at dances and on street corners; to pair off on unchaperoned dates and fall in love, and then rush to the altar with or without parental approval."
There it is!
Perhaps some of you teen-agers don't like to hear this. It's still a fact, nevertheless. And who is responsible? You parents are. Parents have shirked their responsibility and allowed their children to date and marry whomever they choose.
Parents Are Responsible
Parents need to assume their responsibility. Children need to look to their parents for wise counsel and help. The article quoted above continued, talking about this modern form of courtship.
"Actually, this kind of courtship is something very new, and like other innovations it does not necessarily represent pure progress ... the arranged marriage, planned by parents, was one of the first customs adopted by those who began to rise in the world. By the 1890's it was estimated that nine out of ten European marriages were based on practical considerations ... the arranged marriage is still the rule in many parts of Europe, Latin America and the Orient.
"To Americans, the arranged marriage has a BAD NAME. We weep for all the poor girls forced into marriage against their will. Yet, Dr. David Mac, executive director of the American Association of Marriage Counselors notes ... that many of these victims of the arranged marriage have not seemed to mind it at all."
These girls who have had much parental help actually felt sorry for American girls. They felt, as one Chinese girl, that "finding her a husband was her PARENTS' SACRED DUTY." She felt secure-trusting her parents to make the wise decision for her.
As this article brought out, finding the right mate is simply too difficult and important a task for a young teen-ager. But today, children think they know more than their parents. This is a lawless age-an age where people do what they please.
You Need Advice!
Today, advertisers sell the "image," not the product. Political figures try to create an "image" before the public through press secretaries — while political opponents speak caustically of the "real" person.
Take automobiles. On television commercials, you may see just a glittering corner of a bumper, a cloud of dust, swirling leaves, blinding sun rays on shining metal, and flying blond hair; accompanied by jangling rock and roll music. Advertising men talk freely and openly about this. They speak of selling the desire for the product — NOT of selling the product itself.
For instance, you don't hear, in ANY television commercials (with the exception of Volkswagen or another compact), about gas mileage. The kind of suspension, the type steering, the various safety features, are not discussed.
You aren't told how conveniently the spare tire is located, and the ease with which it may be changed, or about emergency lighting devices, flares, or an auxiliary can of gasoline. Nothing said about location of rear view mirror (some make center passengers in the front seat sick), or fuse terminals, or how simple the repairs will be.
But in buying an automobile, YOU NEED TO KNOW THESE THINGS, and many more. Usually, a smart automobile buyer will want permission to have a mechanic known to him check out the car thoroughly (ESPECIALLY if it's a used one). He'll want to know about the mileage, the tire wear, the last major repairs. Has it ever been in a wreck?
It won't stretch anyone's imagination to draw an analogy here about dating.
Obviously, you ought to know all you can about the one you're attracted to. Certainly PARENTS primarily and secondarily relatives and friends are the ones who should be able to give wise counsel concerning a prospective mate.
It's an everlasting shame that MANY young people literally take more time, gather more advice, and choose more carefully when buying a car than in selecting a mate for life!
Advertisers know most people are "impulse buyers." So they advertise to encourage that buying IMPULSE. They play on people's LUSTS and DESIRES. Usually, they manage to display a great deal of the human female form in doing so thus combining the lust of the flesh with the lust for material possessions!
And IT SELLS!
People Do buy impulsively!
And, tragically, they marry impulsively, too! But marriage is SERIOUS business-and it's from now on. It is not something to be entered into based on just your own judgment! You need to seek the counsel of older married people (not a young couple just recently married, or married only a few years, who have their OWN problems to combat)-and MOST ESPECIALLY the counsel of your parents!
You need the advice of an impartial onlooker — who knows exactly the type of person you are. After all, you are your parents' daughter or son. You've heard the expression, "Like mother, like daughter," or "Like father, like son," or "He's a chip off the old block."
Studies show that sons will generally be in the same type of occupation bracket as their fathers, will probably look like them, think like them, have the basic same interests, the same outlook on life, the same social graces — and on and on it goes.
You've lived with your parents for many, many years. They know you like a book. Well, aren't they qualified to KNOW with whom you would be happily married?
I realize the breakdown in the home will make this ideal condition practically impossible. Most homes have virtually no communication between parents and children except the routine, necessary, material talk-"It's time to get up-time to eat breakfast-time to go to school."
When parents are unhappy, perhaps divorced, or on the verge of one — they're not going to be taking the time to patiently talk over their children's problems.
Most parents don't seem to know how to encourage their children to share their innermost thoughts with them. Usually, parents tend to unconsciously alienate their children by a series of mistakes. Most teens have come to feel they can't "talk anything over" with their parents for a number of reasons. Usually, they feel it's because their parents are only half listening to them-and then will only smile knowingly, being painfully "tolerant" toward their children, instead of truly understanding the depth of their feelings.
On the other hand, most teens do not know how really fresh and vivid are the memories of teen-age in their own parents' minds; and make the mistake of assuming their parents cannot understand their feelings. It isn't because they can't, as a rule, but because they're not interested.
If you still have younger children, and want to avoid the pitfalls of having your children feel toward you as strangers, then write for our free booklet, The Plain Truth About Child Rearing.
Any parent who has been able to keep the confidence of his children will find them eager to share their hopes and dreams — eager to talk about their friends.
But how many parents try to USE their children as projections of their own vanity? How many fathers are just SURE their sons MUST excel in the same sports they did? Mothers who "live their lives over again" in dressing, and sending off their daughters into social events?
Parents need our two booklets on MARRIAGE. One, entitled, Why MARRIAGE!-Soon Obsolete? shows the huge morals revolution of our time, and what it's doing to marriage. The other, Your MARRIAGE Can be Happy, gives practical, workable laws on happy marriage.
But regardless as to past mistakes, teen-agers, you CAN gain sound and far-reaching advice and counsel from your parents. Even a father who is no longer living with your mother has learned some bitter lessons that could help YOU avoid making the same mistakes.
So whether you have a happy, "ideal" homelife or notyou'll find your own parents the source of wise counsel when it comes time to think about marriage.
Seek God's Wisdom
Remember that marriage was designed and created by the Ever-Living, All-Wise GOD.
The Eternal God is working out His greatest and grandest purpose here below. That purpose is symbolized by the human family. It shows us what God is-a spirit family. It is the model on which society is based.
Real marital love is the type of Christ's LOVE for His Church, and our love for Christ.
God Almighty is the source of LIFE, and of LOVE. Human love and sexual expression in marriage are the symbols and physical counterparts of the real source of physical life and marital love.
These are holy, righteous, and sacred things. The marriage and family relationships; are GOD-PLANE relationships, which God shares with humans, and humans only!
This world has been deceived into cheapening the marriage state. Most people simply do not marry for the right reasons. Too many marriages are rendered unhappy by wrong attitudes. Most people marry for selfish purposes. They think only of what they can GET from the other. They want to extract gratification, pleasure, money, security, or something for SELF from the mate.
True outgoing concern and love is usually lacking.
If you are unmarried, follow these living inexorable LAWS -seek God's guidance in the selection of a mate when the right time comes. Trust the living God. "Houses and riches are the inheritance-of-fathers, and a prudent WIFE is from the Lord" (Prov. 19:14).
But how many believe that today?
The wisest counsel you can possibly seek is the counsel of a great Spirit Being Who does exist. You have direct access to Him. You should CERTAINLY PRAY about the choice of your marriage partner!
Pray about your dating habits, that they will be done according to the laws of God. Remember these keys. Follow them. Don't slip up. Be sure you are dating the right persons-in the right attitude. Trust God to lead you to the right one.
Where Is Romance?
But is there any "fun" and "romance" in following all these laws and rules?
You bet there is!
As a matter of fact, following these vital keys to right dating will produce REAL romance. Romance is an unfortunate word, perhaps -stemming from the term "To Romanize" or to "do as the Romans do" which anciently meant degenerate.
But the thrills, excitements, and anticipations of youth -the joys of coming to deeply love someone, and sharing many wonderful experiences together — are NOT denied by following these rules — but rather GUARANTEED.
The cheap, shabby wrestling match in the back seat is an inferior, wretched pot of lentils compared with the right kind of wholesome dating outlined in this book.
And necking is NOT "romance." It is actually BREAKING one of the ten commandments — and will BREAK the ones indulging in it, eventually.
But the right, wholesome, RIGHTEOUS expressions of love, when one has finally come to the right age for marriage, after preparation for marriage, and finding the right mate — THIS is real "romance."
Too few people in this world have really experienced true love. Too few have come to experience the deeply rewarding emotional and SPIRITUAL side of marriage, and have settled for the physical side, only.
No — these rules of dating will never deprive you of fun and frolic- from excitement and joy. They will produce it.
So again — remember. You're not "obligated" to anyone, just because you've read this dating book. You don't need to put on a front for anyone in your own private thoughts. Is there anything you've read that you really disagree with? Can you prove any of these positive suggestions wrong? Probably, you've already made some mistakes in your dating habits. Maybe even some fairly serious ones. But it's not too late to CORRECT those mistakes. God is a FORGIVING God when we repent. He's a MERCIFUL Heavenly Father who wants our happiness and success!
It's not too late for you! Whether you are a parent, or younger teen-ager looking toward the finest years of your life — it's not too late to begin living the RIGHT WAY. The way that will bring you the greatest happiness and joy, and result in the smallest amount of embarrassment, pain, and frustration!
And remember, too. Finding the right mate is only a PART of life. How TO LIVE with that mate in marriage is the next major step.
Would you like our two free booklets on marriage? If you do, write in for them by title, Why Marriage! Soon Obsolete? and Your Marriage Can Be Happy! One of them shows you the VERY FIRST recorded marriage-and why it failed! Write for them now — before you forget.