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Taylor Swift’s Ex-Inspired Songs — Proof That Courting Is Smarter Than Dating?

Taylor Swift’s music video for her new song “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is finally out! Have you seen it?

If you’re a fan of Swift’s, you may know that, like this song, many of her previous songs were inspired by ex-boyfriends. For example, “Picture to Burn” was inspired by an unnamed ex, “Forever & Always” was written about Joe Jonas and “Dear John” was written about John Mayer. It’s not yet been revealed who this new song is about, but for such a young woman, Swift’s accumulated a pretty extensive collection of ex-boyfriends

And now she’s seeing Conor Kennedy.

For those ready to accuse me of judging Swift, this isn’t a post about Swift herself, but rather one that’s inspired by her dating record and follow-up songs. She usually has short relationships and they don’t tend to end well–many of the ex-boyfriend-inspired songs reflect negatively on the relationship.

My question is whether continuous dating is smart. I understand many people believe that dating is beneficial because you get an idea of what you want and don’t want in a partner. But if you know yourself, you don’t need to date to get that information. In fact, dating may negatively affect your ultimate relationship–your marriage.

Additionally, I can’t help but wonder if Swift’s songs are an indication that jumping into relationships are unwise. Should we use her as an example for why girls shouldn’t date, but rather, should court boys? And since girls shouldn’t be thinking about marriage so early in life, should they then not even be thinking about courting until later?

I recognize that many young girls feel they need a boyfriend. Maybe they’re lonely without one or feel left out because all their friends have one. But what the world dictates is seldom what Christ desires. And He is who we should be pleasing.

I believe if Swift waited for God to introduce her to her spouse, she would likely save herself a lot of heartache. If she focused on herself and being a follower of Christ, she would have more to offer her future spouse. But since she’s dated so much, and with guys who were not meant for her, I wonder if she’s set herself up to be hurt. And because of that hurt, she’s growing somewhat cynical.

Here’s a question to ponder. When Swift does eventually meet and marry a man, will she be afraid to trust because of past hurt? And will she ultimately create doubt in a relationship that would have been perfect had she remained untainted by disappointment and betrayal?

I believe that Swift’s dating career is a great example of why courting is smarter than dating.

Ladies, you are all amazing and you all deserve the best. Your future spouses also deserve the best. So I recommend you don’t date.

Focus on you and your walk with Christ, and when the time comes, God will present you with opportunity to court. It is possible. A great example is one of my role models, Tim Tebow. He doesn’t date. In fact, he keeps his mind off girls because his time for courting hasn’t come. Instead, he’s focused on his career and his walk with Christ.

What do you think? Should girls forego dating altogether and wait until it’s time to court?

Image: mtv.com

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61 Comments

  1. bbgirl2000

    Posted by bbgirl2000 on June 8, 2014 at 16:31

    Personally, Im not a Swifty fan. I respect her for the amazing person she is, but for her as an artist I just get annoyed. I always hated how ALL of her songs are about being perfect for, breaking up with, or lying on the cold hard ground because of….BOYS (especially since I can’t relate since Im single). If a million boys break up with you, maybe, just maybe you are doing something wrong. Maybe she writes these songs since she recognizes her mistakes and wants to share them with her fans. I just think she needs a break from boys

  2. 4Hprincess

    Posted by 4Hprincess on March 13, 2014 at 19:19

    If she didn’t have any ex’s she wouldn’t have a career in music. I personally like her and can relate.mShe is so sweet in real life though.

  3. Idreamofsouth

    Posted by Idreamofsouth on July 31, 2013 at 19:16

    I am personally not a fan of Taylor Swift anymore, although I used to be. I had a real problem whenever I debated the depth of her songwriting and her actions when dealing with the guys she has dated. A great example itself is in the song “We are Never Getting Back Together,” because Swift says in one of the lyrics, “(I was) falling for it, screaming that I’m right, and you run away to find your piece of mind with some indie record that’s much cooler than mine.” She, right there in her own words, is angry that a guy did not respond with hostility and rather, wanted to walk away from a potentially toxic situation. What’s wrong with being respectful to your girlfriend and not fighting with her? I also don’t like the treatment and harsh words she uses when describing her relationships. She purposely victimizes herself to look like a “sweet heart” and to make all of the guys she has dated into villains Can all of theses guys really have treated her that badly that she has to go and write a song about it. It is almost like she is dare I say “using” these guys for some (cheap) songwriting. What kind of role model is that to the young girls and teens who is her chief audience, one that promotes a form of revenge after a relationship has gone bad. Am I being to critical? Maybe not.

  4. jnw4994

    Posted by jnw4994 on February 26, 2013 at 13:46

    @olburrows–I totally agree with you. I do like some of T-Swift’s songs, but knowing that they majority of them are about her exes really bothers me. And just recently she broke up with Harry Styles from One Direction after not even dating a month. Now she has a song about him too. Personally I think its bad for the guys ’cause it’s like ‘great, we broke up but now she’s written a song about me’.

  5. Project Inspired

    Posted by Estefany on December 25, 2012 at 17:08

    I agree 100000000000% with you she’s been with 13 guys in like the past 3 years .. Now she’s going for Harry Styles from
    One Direction …… She just needs a new album

  6. LyndiMT

    Posted by LyndiMT on December 5, 2012 at 10:18

    I know many girls who have had twenty-four hour relationships that left them feeling heart broken and abandoned. Is it really worth it? I don’t think so. If you’re dating just for fun, there’s really no reason for it. I think girls should wait until they’re actually ready to think about marriage. If you’re way to young to think about getting married, then there is no reason to put yourself through a relationship that will undoubtably end with the heartbreak of either yourself or the boy you were dating.

  7. Project Inspired

    Posted by becky1000 on October 5, 2012 at 18:40

    Yes, courting is best for a Christian girl. It protects her heart and keeps her from having regrets to deal with. I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris is a good resource.

  8. Project Inspired

    Posted by taguas94 on September 11, 2012 at 16:02

    I think that girls should wait to court. I am eighteen and I have never dated before, but I believe that when you date before you are ready you are taking away from what you will ultimately have with your husband. I am waiting to court, because I do not want to give away part of my heart before I get married.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by butterscotch on September 11, 2012 at 18:52

      It’s a good plan, but what I personally don’t understand is, what exactly are you waiting for? When would you know it’s ok to stop waiting and start dating/courting? Because if we are supposed to wait to court, I feel like that’s saying the only possible time in your life you will meet “the one” is when you are a certain age, but like how would we know? Maybe we meet them when we are younger than that, and how long are we supposed to wait because we don’t know who the right guy is unless we give them a chance?

  9. angel101

    Posted by angel101 on September 10, 2012 at 11:28

    Yes I think girls shouldn’t date and wait to court because I’ve seen so many girls give themselves totally to guys and then a year or a few months later they break up. it’s just not worth it.

  10. singerdancer77

    Posted by singerdancer77 on September 10, 2012 at 08:34

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with dating. Remember all you wonderful people, its not the specific term “dating” that’s the issue, its that couples don’t put restrictions on themselves when they do date. I think, that if your respecting God with your dating relationships, than it is no different than courting. My parents “dated” and it has now been over twenty years. So please guys, don’t say that all dating is wrong, because it’s not. It’s how people handle it that is! I myself have never had a boyfriend, never been kissed, and I pray that when I do I will have a dating relationship that God will be proud of! (:

  11. Project Inspired

    Posted by Jesuslover2009 on September 9, 2012 at 20:18

    Nicole you are not the one to judge what others are doing i have been dating a guy for almost 4 years and i was 15 and he was 14 when we started dating and before him i dated a lot of guys and while i do wish i would have waited to meet him and all that i learned lessons that i would have never learned and maybe i would not have met my wonderful boyfriend soon-to-hubby in a couple years but at the same i was unsaved and God blessed me with an amazing guy and i do advise young girls to wait until they think they have met the one that God has provided for them sometimes it can be hard and if you have dated many boys then that is how God wrote out your story and God knows everything before we get here he knows when we will die he knows what will be doing in a couple years he knows what we are doing now and i truly do love God and i thank Him for bringing to such an amazing guy who loves me with an unconditional love 😀

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by ycast on September 19, 2012 at 17:36

      I just have something to mention about you saying that God knows everything and that’s how he wrote your story. Firstly, God does know everything, but he doesn’t necessarily set in stone what our futures are going to be (that’s what it felt like you were assuming when you mentioned that “if you have dated many boys then that is how God wrote out your story and God knows everything before we get here he knows when we will die he knows what will be doing in a couple years). God sets up a plan for our lives and puts situations and people in our lives that will help us get in the right path, but he does give us the liberty to make choices on whether to follow his plans or not. Although his plans may not always appear clear to us, he does gives us enough knowledge of good and evil or in choices that will be good and bad for us, through his Holy Scripture, to be able to make the choices that will keep us in his path. Yes, God knows the number of years he plans to let us live, but if we make bad decisions (like people who decide to be unhealthy, eat more/less than what is good for them, drink, smoke, and do drugs) we will shorten the life span or destroy the chances that God has given us. It just bothered me a little that what you said made it sound like God makes you date many boys and that is the way it is and God planned it that way and you can’t do anything at all about it (which sounds more like conformism), but actually your actions depend more on your decisions you make regarding the plans God has put in your life.

  12. Project Inspired

    Posted by butterscotch on September 9, 2012 at 19:13

    OK, so maybe I’m just being a little defensive because I freaking LOVE Taylor, but.. I have a few questions about one particular paragraph.
    “I believe if Swift waited for God to introduce her to her spouse, she would likely save herself a lot of heartache. . . because of that hurt, she’s growing somewhat cynical.”
    Firstly, I’m just wondering, how would one know a person is who God introduces to us as a spouse? When someone courts/dates a guy, we don’t know if he’s THE ONE, that’s why we court/date him. To find out, get to know him better, see if things work out. No one says “Hi, I just met you but I just know you’re my future husband, let’s get married.”
    Also, when Taylor falls in love, she falls headfirst fearless, so yes, I do believe she will be able to trust her husband. And I think Taylor is an amazing role model.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by IamLaura on September 10, 2012 at 12:01

      Thank you! I totally agree. The whole “wait for the right guy” is like, umm, how do you know who he is? The whole point of getting to know guys and maybe dating them, in my opinion, is to figure out who “the right guy” is. Of course, you have to be wise in how you go about dating, but to say that you should just court with “the right guy” is kind of weird to me.

  13. Project Inspired

    Posted by BeStillAndBreath98 on September 9, 2012 at 18:05

    Oh this has been bugging me since her song has came out.Who was this song about? Her ex(duh) jake gyllenhaal.I forgot she was dating him at one point! Well if taylor and this guy don’t work out then a new break-up song’s gonna come out about 7 months to a year later…

  14. Paris

    Posted by Paris on September 9, 2012 at 15:55

    Well written article!

  15. Project Inspired

    Posted by walkerkel on September 9, 2012 at 00:05

    Perfect! Then there’s minimal pressure, confusion, judgement and hurt – and you can still be friends even if you’re not a match! I love it. Why is this the first time I have heard of courting other than from fairy tales?! I wish the idea was a more obvious option for all young people.

  16. Project Inspired

    Posted by WannaBeAProverbs31Girl on September 8, 2012 at 19:22

    Thank you so much for posting this!!! One of my friend’s has been having a rough time this whole year because she want’s a boyfriend and there have been a few guys that seemed “nice” enough to be it, but I don’t know. I’ve never dated before, let alone courted, but I’ve had boys break my heart a few times, and by God’s grace the last one finally got me thinking that I shouldn’t be looking for a man right now when I’m not physically and spiritually mature enough for one. So right now I’m content with being single, I’m actually happy I am one (I’ve always been a fairytale love fanatic since I could remember and I’ve always wanted someone to love, so it’s a miracle that God has changed my attitude about it now)

    But like I said before, my friend isn’t. Her main goal this summer was literally to get a “boyfriend”. And I’m just worried about her. I mean we had a discussion last week how that she likes this boy in her youth group but she doesn’t wanna get closer to him because she doesn’t want youth group drama (like her youth leader or pastor “getting into her relationship and ask too personal questions about the whole thing”) But isn’t that what’s best for you? To have people you love and respect give you advice about it in a Christ-loving way; to keep you accountable when you’re slipping from what Jesus has planned for you? I don’t know why she wouldn’t want that, but really I don’t know where her relationship with Christ is at the moment.
    So I tried giving her hints and a lil bit of advise without directly telling her how she might be thinking against God’s will, but I didn’t know how to. I didn’t know what to say to make her realize her fault without feeling defensive and harden her heart about it. But now that I have read this article, I think I know now what to say, so thank you so much for taking the time to write this down here. Also I’m sorry for making this comment so long, I tend to talk (type) a lot. I’ll be surprised if you even read it all =x thanks!

  17. Project Inspired

    Posted by mstanley12 on September 8, 2012 at 18:42

    I didn’t finish reading the article because I was annoyed by the statement, “And since girls shouldn’t be thinking about marriage so early in life…” I’m sorry, Ms. Gaouette, but where did that come from? I know plenty of couples in my church who have been married for twenty years and married at eighteen and nineteen, after courting for a year or two.
    It’s God’s plan for us. Some are made to get married young, some are not. It’s not for our societal judgments and predispositions to decide.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Jesuslover2009 on September 9, 2012 at 20:22

      Thank you my current boyfriend and i are gonna get married with in the next like 2-4 years and we are only 17 and 18 years old

    • jessicarose

      Posted by jessicarose on September 9, 2012 at 17:44

      I do kind of agree with you. Although the article was good, but why use Taylor? She actually hasn’t dated as much as it seems to be. She just writes lots of songs about the same guy. She’s probably just as romantically involved as any celebrity. And she is definitely old enough to get married! And she awkways stays pure. But I do totally agree on the rest of the article I just don’t think using someone like Taylor Swift was the right choice!

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on September 8, 2012 at 21:31

      I don’t think that girls should be thinking of marriage so early in life, but if God brings someone into your life, that’s different. My point is that, without God intervening, a young girl shouldn’t be thinking about marriage. Her focus should be on strengthening her walk with Christ and becoming a better person for her future spouse. No need to be annoyed. This is my belief, but I recognize that not everyone will agree with me. God bless.

  18. Project Inspired

    Posted by misssproat on September 8, 2012 at 18:36

    Okay, how about a mid point between courting and dating? That’s how I view it. Because some people do show their true colors and its too late

  19. Project Inspired

    Posted by LacyPaste on September 8, 2012 at 16:20

    You have some good points…

    I love Taylor, she’s been a role model for me since I was 6. By role model, I mean to be kind and sweet and funny and pretty like she is.

    Sure, everyone goes through relationships and she got famous from writing songs about break ups and relationships. And its not true that ALL songs written by her are about them.

    I’m only 13 and I don’t want to date. And I probably won’t even be allowed to until at least 15. I think my parents said I could have a boyfriend – by choice, and if they approved! – at 13 or 14, but no actual dating until 15 or 16. And I’m glad!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Jesuslover2009 on September 9, 2012 at 20:27

      My advise to you is wait til god shows/brings you the right guy cause a lot of guys out there are the kind reel you in like a fish and then break up with you and move on to the next girl date someone in your church, best way to go 😀

  20. Project Inspired

    Posted by LoveGod4ever on September 8, 2012 at 12:59

    has there been an article on courtship? because im a little confused on it…

  21. Project Inspired

    Posted by ali101love on September 8, 2012 at 12:39

    …I feel the need to vent right now.. So i apologize ahead of time for this long post.

    I had made the decision a few years back that i definitely wanted to court, after reading Before You Meet Prince Charming by Sarah Mally. I heard a little about courtship before then, but not enough to decide FOR SURE that was how i would things(I did know for a long time though that i wanted to save my first kiss for my wedding day… That was always so special sounding to me!… My mom told me stories about people saving their whole heart for their future spouse ever since i was about 5..)..
    But i decided on that, with declaration that i would be happy even if it was not part of God’s plans for me to get married…. That i would be happiest with WHATEVER God’s plans are.. And i’d rather be following God will, and serving Him with all my heart, than chasing after things that won’t last.

    I knew so much about courtship, but my parents knew practically nothing… They were not ready to help me through one… And i wouldn’t have known how to involve them.
    I couldn’t even see just how important that would be!!…

    This year i got into the biggest mess of my whole life, and my heart has gone through much that still needs healing… I’m not the same as i was just a few months ago. And i know God can fully restore me, and make me even more into who He wants me to be, this is all part of that journey… But i’m still waiting on that.. And it’s probably the most painful thing i’ve gone through.

    I met this guy, and had known him for about a year(By October–i think.) before he accidentally texted me that he likes me, when he meant to send it to my sister… I get this text that’s all “..I like her…yatayatayata….” while i was talking to him about church or something, and i’m just all WHhaAAaaTt are you talking aboutO.o??….
    And i think he’s talking about some girl he knows that i don’t know, and trying to ask for advice or something… Despite my pretty-much-perfect-guarding-of-my-heart, something inside me sank… And i was suddenly confused about my heart.
    And certainly not ready for the shock that would come next when i got a text saying something like “Oh shoot! I meant to send that to your sister!.. Now you know i like you..”
    Paralyzed.

    I literally couldn’t move, for i don’t even know how long..!
    Eventually i was able to muster up just enough strength to run to my younger sister’s room to tell her what happened, but she already knew, and was talking to him about how he wants to marry me..
    And he wanted to speak with me, as he was terrified he just completely abolished our friendship with a wrong slip of his fingers.
    I felt like i was gonna have a heart attack!!….is this supposed to happen to a fifteen-and-a-half-year-old?..it was all out of place, out of time.
    I didn’t expect to face anything like that till i was older… I didn’t think anyone would approach me, hoping to marry me in the future, when i was still in the middle of highschool….!!!

    I was able to get on Facebook and tell him that i’ve been trying to guard my heart… Save it for my future husband.. And that i could not tell him whether i liked him back, cause i couldn’t even let myself know that… I didn’t let myself even think that way, was waiting for later to even figure that out.

    We talked a lot(…Like…..EVERY DAY….).. At church… Six Flags Magic Mountain trips.. Through texting and Facebook… And eventually courtship started being talked about, and he said he agreed with me.
    And my heart started to beat faster
    (My friend had once discouraged me once, saying she didn’t believe any guy would ever want to court.. And i knew she wasn’t correct about that, and i didn’t mind too much either cause it was part of my decision to wait for God’s plans.. And i knew He would work it out…. But, this incident gave me a spark of hope).

    By December i was infatuated. Didn’t know it, but i was.
    I gave up on guarding my heart.
    I couldn’t win that fight… And i did try.. Not hard enough though. I just gave up. And wound up convincing myself it was okay.
    I considered him to be my best friend, i started to get happy tears when i thought about him.. I wanted to marry him. And though i prayed that God would help me to keep my heart guarded, i didn’t do MY full part.
    And my guard started to crash down.
    People actually started to think we were dating… And that was extremely awkward….
    I thought he would be the greatest husband ever..!
    -He loved God, and seemed to be seeking Him more than other guys i knew… I mean, we talked about Him all the time!… God was the basis of our friendship, and almost all we talked about had to do with Him!..
    -We talked about our common interest in traveling…. Which, as an overly adventurous girl(with horrible wanderlust xD ), that was extremely attractive to me.
    -He was extremely resourceful, able to make money by reselling fishing gear on Ebay, and able to use what he has to make things that he needs..
    -He loved my family tons,
    -was fun to be around,
    -played the keyboard and enjoyed making music on Garageband,
    -he wasn’t one to argue about things, and seemed to agree easily, but still held strongly to what he believed.
    -He cared about me enough to ride his bike all the way across town just to hang out with me for a short time.
    -He seemed polite and respectful,
    -he was sweet with my siblings, and tolerated when they were rude.. Played with them.. Loved them.. I was excited that he was even remembered by my baby sister after she had only seen him once!..
    -When i would be going through things, he would usually direct me back to God and pray with me instead of giving me advice that others would give..
    -He was encouraging,
    -we were able to openly talk to each other,
    -and he would go out of his way to understand things about me…
    And i wanted to tell him all this.

    So i did.
    In Chinese.
    I sent him a coded Facebook message, basically telling him i’m falling in love with him and would be so very happy if it was God’s will that we’d get married..!
    ..He asked if it would be okay to translated, and i just quickly told him to do whatever he wants, cause i was about to go watch a movie with my family…
    The movie wasn’t enjoyable cause i was worried the whole time…..
    Well, he read it, and was shocked.. “Thought [i] would never say that”… But he was all happy and excited,
    and i was still pretty scared of whether that was a bad idea to tell him….
    He found out before my parents did…. I was scared to tell them, even though they told me they would be there for me, and i had promised my mom i would tell her… They knew even before i told them that he said he liked me that that was the truth, so they wanted to make sure i was doing alright… They wanted to support me in my strong desire they knew i had to be pure.

    We went from his plan to ask my Daddy if we could court this Summer, to going completely in over our heads in a relationship we didn’t mean to happen so soon nor in that way.

    It was WORSE than dating……. But we couldn’t even help it anymore cause we lost all sense in our “love” for each other…
    We became more and more able to talk about anything, to the point that there was NOTHING we thought we couldn’t say to each other. We told each other several times a day that we loved each other. We started holding hands, gave each other long hugs…it made me feel secure when i put my head on his shoulder.. We planned for the future, and i found myself thinking of him as “my husband”…Not “boyfriend”, “possible husband”, “future husband” or “Fiance”..But for some reason “my husband”. We claimed each other as our own..

    We talked all day, and sometimes even all night(Because of that, it felt like we had known each other for years..)… Which eventually my mom found out, so she took away my phone and i tried to get myself detached a bit, cause i could see everything was a mess….

    Pretty much from the beginning of the time i first told him i loved him..once i told him about how i want to save my first kiss for my wedding day(so my husband gets all of me..no broken pieces..No ruined “gift of a heart”)….he didn’t get it… And definitely didn’t like it!…
    He insisted that his heart NEEDS that…. That he doesn’t get the love he needs if i won’t kiss him… He struggled with that every day.
    And in May (The 22nd to be exact..), i gave in. I gave in to my feelings, and to what he wanted.. I was sick of hearing of the pain he said he felt that he couldn’t kiss me… And i was also so very overwhelmed by everything going on in me… So i gave him my first kiss.

    He didn’t want me to tell my parents cause he didn’t want them to “split us up”(Something he said about so much….one of his biggest fears).
    I went a while not telling them, but told him that i didn’t want to hide it from them… That i felt like i was losing my integrity by keeping it from them, cause it was such a HUUUUUUUUGGGGGEEE thing to me to save my first kiss!…. And everyone was still talking about how i wanted save myself for my husband till i’m married, even for my kiss… It was KILLINGGG me!!…. Truth matters to me more than just about anything… When it comes to being God’s daughter, i see being in His truth and love as the two most important aspects. If you live in God’s truth, knowing who He is and who He made YOU to be; and in His love, knowing how much He loves you and loving Him and others like that, and you live those things out…i think that’s what sets us apart most as belonging to God…
    And having this thing hidden from my parents made me feel like a lie. It made me feel fake… It made me feel like i was missing a huge piece of myself, and i just felt sick!…
    I begged him to be able to tell them… Told him my reasons.. And he was just terrified..! And eventually mad.

    I wanted to go WITH HIM to my parents, and tell them together, so he wouldn’t get in trouble for keeping it from them…… But that didn’t happen.

    One morning, i woe up to a text from him saying he told my mom… And he was just so blunt with telling her!.. I hate how he handled it…. He put a ton of assumption in it, telling Mommy he know that she will “break us up” cause we kissed.
    And she came into my room, absolutely shocked…!! I mean…… O.O How would she not be shocked??? The thing that made her and my dad trust me most in this situation was abolished..!….. The thing i was so very strong in was gone… And, well, he jumped to conclusions, and my mom didn’t like that..cause she wouldn’t have made us unable to ever see each other again, but how he handled that all made her kinda want to…

    It got worse.
    Cause especially after we kissed, we started talking to each other in a way that was NOT good AT ALL. Our conversations had gotten more self-focused, rather than God-centered.. And we had thoughts that we shared with each other that just made us wish BADLY that we were married…..

    His parents(They HATE my family…. For reasons like how i like to go around barefoot, how my family hasn’t visited the dentist for a while and don’t have heath insurance–expensive with the size of our family..–, and how we sometimes will go to Disneyland on school days.. I honestly don’t know if they’ve had any real reasons to dislike us… Maybe cause they felt like we were spending more time with their son than them… Seriously, they made me feel like i was living in a soap opera..!) discovered our emails and printed them out, called my parents and came stomping to our door to hand over a whole packet of emails between me and him……. Me and my parents talked for like, the whole week(Wasn’t allowed to talk to him at all during that week) about whether they should open the packet… I summed it up, but didn’t want them to read it cause i was so embarrassed by how stupid i acted… The thoughtless things said in the middle of the night…. That i regretted so much already without them in the hands of my mom and dad!!…. I BEGGED that they not read it, even saying i would rather never be allowed to talk to him again than for them to think of me in the foolish way the emails show…

    I had finally began to remove those things from my life, i was telling him i didn’t want to talk in that way anymore cause it just wasn’t appropriate.. I was turning from it, and was just gonna forget it all..but it just had to be found and brought to the attention of my parents………

    I decided that shows how much God really does care about integrity…. Especially when you ask Him for it……………

    We decided though that one day, when i get married, on the night before my wedding day, i get to burn the packet… Unread… If i don’t go back into any relationship like that, and keep myself pure..

    I started talking more to my dad(My mom too..but i hadn’t really ever talked to my dad about things like this, so this was kinda special..), we went out for sushi and tried to figure out what to do about all that had happened.. How i was feeling.. What i wanted, and what i thought i needed.. It was hard. And he didn’t really know what to do… He didn’t know how to handle all this… He didn’t know how to help.

    So eventually,(In the end of June, on the Friday and Saturday before my 16th birthday) my dad, mom and i FINALLY went to a courtship workshop. And all of us learned so much!… My dad learned what courtship looks like, how it’s mainly his responsibility, and was better equipped to handle this and future things for me and all my siblings… My mom learned how she needs to step down a little more to let him lead, how she truly CAN trust my dad in leading in the courtship stuff and how i need her and my dad BOTH for their support and help in evaluating a suitor.
    And i learned HOW to get their help.
    And we were able to start planning the way our family would do courtship…
    My dad cried… :’) He was so happy to get to be part of helping us through courtship…
    We learned how to partner in one of the biggest decisions anyone could ever make…!

    But despite all this, after the workshop was over, on my birthday i was BASHED with condemnation from Satan…. Condemnation in everything..with all this at the root..
    I didn’t feel loved, or worthy of love… And my siblings fought that day, which just made that ring true to me!..
    I felt unable, unworthy, unloved and completely unimportant… I was despising the day.. I was despising my birth. Despising the pain that i felt it it brought people.. I wished that someone would just smack me in the face and tell me all the things i was thinking…give me what i thought i deserved. I was holding back tears, with all my strength. But when i was told that i’m allowed to text the guy and thank him for the presents he sent in the mail, and he just responded with:

    “Yeah no problem.
    Happy birthday.
    I love you.”

    I broke.
    I don’t exactly no why… But because of everything else going through my mind, the lack of enthusiasm in it said to me that he doesn’t care… Which HURT coming from someone who’s “supposed to” love you……

    I hardened my heart that day… Though once i started crying my parents did well with comforting me, and reminding me of God’s love for me…telling me all that they didn’t even know i so badly needed to hear… I just still got so much hurt from that, and when i get hurt, i try to just not let it hurt me… Which turned into a very bitter, hard heart….

    Once i discovered that, God was able to start melting and healing my heart…. But it’s still in the process… I have other past things He needs to work on too… Stuff regarding my parents and their fights… And new fears of my future because of this and that combined…
    But i know He’s there, and helping me through… Purifying and steadying my heart… Making me new and whole again.

    I do wish though that my parents would have been involved in all the courtship stuff earlier though……!! I wouldn’t have gone through like, any of this……. I would have known things from their evaluation that it took a while to see for myself.. Like that he tends to be:
    Lazy, disrespectful to his parents(and mine), moved mostly by his feelings, not mindful of others when it involves how he feels, insecure, EXTREMELY dramatic and hateful of leading..for some things… And that he really doesn’t care. That he’s fine being that way….

    I can’t expect perfection from ANYBODY… But i need the person i marry to be stronger than me in some good key areas… I need for us both to be able to lift each other up.. I need us to be on the same page with our RELATIONSHIP with God… To both be STRONG in that….
    If my parents would have been involved i would have known that i wouldn’t actually want to marry him… That he wouldn’t be someone i could partner with for God’s plans in my life…
    I would have known that though he’s older than me, he knows less of where God is leading him than i do.. I know of possibilities for myself… I know some steps God has given me… And i know what i love to do..! But he doesn’t have a clue.. And therefore, how would i be able to trust his leading?… How would i be able to do anything God’s calling me to, especially when one of the things i’ve felt called to is on the other side of the globe and he doesn’t feel called at all there??…
    I also didn’t know that i would wind up mentoring him more than being able to respect him….. I didn’t want that.. If i would’ve married him, i either would have had to be the leader, or i would be living a very disfunctional life for me…

    I still have to deal with his drama… He still thinks we’re going to get married, though we’ve talked about how it won’t work…. And it’s just a crazy mess…. I’ve tried to get his FRIENDSHIP back, but all he does is keep bringing up marriage again…that’s when i just stop talking and hand control back to my dad… Who get asked whether we’re still friends, and gets thrown a ton of circular reasoning…

    I DO believe that once he gets past some of this, he’ll be a great husband for SOMEBODY… But i so so so so so SOOO shouldn’t have gone in over my head as i did…. It hurt him, and left us confused…. And i really do believe i loved him…. How it was handled from the start was not loving at all though… It was impatient. And how we talked overly-openly, that was not love….
    But i really did love him…….
    And i do love him still, just not romantically… I DON’T want to marry him, and WON’T change my mind about that… And, i really do need to get rid of any anger and unforgiveness i have against him..

    But yeah…

    My heart is a bit of a wreck… Because of all that, i’m less happy with if it’s not God’s will for me to get married… Yet, at the same time i don’t want to…. But i really want to…. -.- It’s really confusing….. And it just seems impossible sometimes…

    I just need to keep remembering that God knows what He’s doing, and that He has a plan for me….. And all this can somehow be turned around for His good.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by ycast on September 19, 2012 at 17:45

      Thank you for sharing your story with us PI girls. It really has gotten me on my guard because I was about to start getting emotionally involved with a guy friend of mine. However, your experience has opened my eyes. I am not spiritually ready for a substantial relationship with a male. This has me especially on my guard since I am going to enter college next year after I turn seventeen. Being close friends with few guys can lead to infatuation and I need to guard my heart like you said.

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by KelseyAyBee on January 22, 2013 at 13:41

        These stories are encouraging, and it’s so important to guard your heart. I’ve never seen it as hardening it, it’s just being smart about who you decide to give out chances to. I’ve been in a stupid non-Christian relationship which hurt, and I’ve also been in what I thought was going to be a Godly relationship which also came to an end and hurt. It’s okay to date as long as you know that what you put in determines how much it hurts in the end, which it most likely will in your teen years!

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by BeStillAndBreath98 on September 9, 2012 at 19:00

      wow. I was kind of like that but not as much. Haha yes another story.

      First let me tell you,I was the kindest girl in my whole class.Let people barrow my pencils,help with homework etc even got good grades while doing so.Pretty much if you needed someone to talk to softly or not yell at you I was that go-to girl haha.

      In 3rd grade this guy in my class had a huge crush on me (or so I think).You know how boys are right? They act “mean” to you but that means that they actually like you.

      Well I didn’t have interest in boys.I focused on school and nothing else (this was before I gave my life to Christ completely). This guy brought it tooo far.

      So pretty much he was sweet talking me.Giving me little lollipops or sweet poems.One time he tried to give me 2 dollars O_O (but I tried to give it back to him he said no so I gave it to a classmate lol).He was hugging me and trying to hold my hand etc.

      I wasn’t feeling that cause I could care less about boys at that time.Now.He tried to ask me out by note.I said no.All of a sudden it went down hill.He started giving other girls notes and candy and money,hugging etc.Looking at me while he was doing it.

      I felt bit jealous.Just a bit.I brushed it off and went back to my school work,rebuilding friendships etc.Now one week he went too far to a point where I broke down crying.He and his little “group” of practically all of the boys in class and he was the “leader”.

      They did everything for him.If someone messed with him he would ask one of his guys to talk mean to that person.He was kinda “protective” over me.Not in a healthy way.He would snap if I was talking to another guy classmate.I just wanted a blue color pencil! Now that day.Pretty much he was sending the oddest notes ever.

      Like “If I fall out of this chair i’m gonna slap you” and alot of things like that.His “friends” were laughing and saying they would do the same.(Even though I knew them too well and I know they wouldn’t do that.They don’t have a mean bone in their bodies also their moms wouldn’t allow that).

      He kept sending them and I reached my breaking point.I broke down crying.He was trying to say he was kidding and I said that’s not something to kid about! His “friends” looked really upset and a few of them hugged me or said sorry.(Don’t worry it was one of those one-arm hugs lol) And two other guys in my class,whenever he would make me “upset” they would always check up on me.Which I thought is what good guy friends do right?? And this one kid in my class (who had temper issues) looked kinda…odd when that whole thing happened.The break-down crying thing.

      He was writing all hard and giving him this nasty look.I was the only classmate he was nice to.Very soft spoken and a pretty nice guy cause I was soft-spoken and nice to him.(Wasn’t flirting okay,treated people the way I wanted to be treated.) I was the only person.He said everyone gets on his nerves etc.Now that I think about it,I can tell he liked me.He always smiled when I talked to him which was rare but eh whatever.

      Pretty much it took me 2 years to forgive him for doing that to me.Never in my life have I ever gone through that.Ever.Now i’m glad it did cause it truly did make me guard my heart for my future husband.And I focus on God.As one PI girl said “God,Dad,then boys” which is what I go with haha.

      LOL here’s the funny part.Last year in late oct. that guy I told you about (writing hard,nasty look etc etc) He actually said I was “one of those cute (he actually said good looking) girls from 3rd grade right? cause there was only like 2 of them lol (:” and was “flirting” with me the whole time we were talking!

      I kindly replied to all of them.Making sure I don’t say anything out of line,seriously that was my first flirting thing EVER so the first thing to do is reply flirting back. Nope I kept my cool (:

      Not too long right? lol

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Rae on September 8, 2012 at 18:30

      Oh, goodness. I could’ve written this story.

      I, like you, have been determined since I was fifteen that I would save my whole heart for my husband, whoever he might be. I was intent on guarding my heart, as you were.

      My junior year of college, I became friends with a guy from my school. Just friends, I wasn’t even interested in him romantically.

      But we became way too involved, just as friends. We talked constantly, and that was where I made my mistake.

      About a year of the constant talking, and friendship, he told me he’d fallen in love with me. Like you also, I was floored…the part of my woman’s heart that longs to be loved was floored. The problem is, he’s an atheist.

      I told him it could never work, but he claimed we could work through our religious differences and make it work. Instead of cutting off the relationship, I kept talking to him and tried to convince him further that it wouldn’t work.

      So he decided, to convince me that we were perfect for each other, to “woo” me. Talk mushy-like, lovey-dovey, whatever you want to call it. Talked about marriage, how he had designed five engagement rings, etc. And I pretended not to at first, but I loved it.

      Basically, this went on way too long, until we were both too emotionally engaged. At some point I had to realize that it was toxic, so I cut it off. It was way more complicated than I’m making it out to be, but for the sake of another long article I won’t go into that.

      I know exactly what you’re feeling…I still have emotional baggage from it. And this was all happening while my parents were divorcing and my grandmother was in the hospital with CHF. (This was around April and May of this year, by the way.)

      I’m still working through it myself…and attempting to heal. He and I are friends again, he’s gotten over it, but I’m still grieving.

      I grieve the loss of my first emotional experiences. I’ll never get them back. But I know God’s forgiven me, I just need to work on forgiving myself. It’s not the end of the world, though it seems to be. It’ll get better, I promise! It has for me, though it’ll take me a while to get over it.

      🙂

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by Rae on September 8, 2012 at 18:33

        Whoops, I mean my junior year of HIGH SCHOOL, not college. I’m not THAT old. Phew.

  22. Project Inspired

    Posted by KPetts on September 8, 2012 at 10:50

    I think dating would be fun if it’s with the right person. I have promised to wait and not give my heart away until God gives me the okay. When that time comes, I will be excited! Until then, I will wait! 🙂

  23. Project Inspired

    Posted by JennaBel on September 8, 2012 at 08:52

    I’m not sure if Taylor has had all the relationships that she’s seemingly had…. a lot of her songs are based on what she’s witnessed in her life with other relationships. But nonetheless, I think her songs really do capture the essence of how courting is much better than dating. We can really use her experience as a lesson to us all. 🙂

  24. justanothergirl

    Posted by justanothergirl on September 8, 2012 at 07:38

    Wow. . .her videos just get worse and worse!

  25. Project Inspired

    Posted by jjohnston on September 8, 2012 at 06:20

    T Swift does need to expand her horizons. What else does she care about in life, our world? About dating, what is she looking for? She’s young and she spends so much of her time on her career. Know she donates money but hope a nonprofit or some worthwhile institution where she lives approaches her and gets her personally contributing and perhaps rolling up her sleeves . . . .

  26. Project Inspired

    Posted by 247girlyattire on September 7, 2012 at 17:40

    Like HurricanMurphGirl, I don’t think there is much of a difference between the two. And if there is, people don’t know the difference.

  27. Project Inspired

    Posted by Nlacrosse124 on September 7, 2012 at 16:30

    So what your saying is, a girl shouldnt be with a boy until they feel the need to get married? That doesn’t make any sense. They’re shouldn’t be the need to court if you are mature enough to handle life and a boyfriend at the same time.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by ali101love on September 8, 2012 at 07:37

      That’s not what courting is… You are right that it would be stupid to just jump straight into marriage.
      Dating typically doesn’t last… And often times is very thoughtless even. Courtship is the decision to get to know someone who you already know has qualities you would like in a husband, without getting yourself attached prematurely. It’s not a straight out decision to marry the person, cause sometime that DOES NOT work out.. Courtship isn’t the promise of marriage, but a more affective way of keeping purity. Especially if you are keeping your parents involved.

      My family is gonna do it, and i’m so excited about it!..
      We recently went to a “courtship workshop” for training families(They focused mostly on the dad’s part of it) on what it is and how to do it. It was so great, cause i was pretty much the only one who knew about it, i decided on my own that i wanted to court but i didn’t have my family’s full support… And it was hard alone..(I accidentally got caught up in a relationship with a guy who i thought i would want to court/marry..it all happened WRONG, and ended badly..) I didn’t have anyone to remind me what my goal to save my heart for my husband looks like… Or to give outside-of-me evaluation of whoever i wind up having interest in…
      Now my dad is all excited about it too:).. And that makes me so glad! He even cried a little at the workshop… He didn’t know anything about courtship, but now he’s so happy to get to be a part of helping me, my 3 other sisters and brother through one of the biggest decisions of our life.

      At the workshop, the guy who was speaking said that if you have to end a courtship, that doesn’t mean that you failed, it actually is a success cause you found out whether the person was right for you, and the answer was no.
      The greater success would be to find the person who IS the one you’re going to marry. But courtship is just not about blindly marrying someone… The biggest goal in it is keeping yourself pure in every aspect. Body, mind and heart. And if the courtship is done right in that way, if it doesn’t work out it won’t be anywhere near as hurtful.

      Courtship is evaluation, partnership with parents(in a trust relationship on both sides–parents trusting their child, and their child trusting them) and guarding of purity.
      And done in different ways by different people.
      (I apologize for my long post O.o..)

      • Project Inspired

        Posted by ali101love on September 8, 2012 at 07:38

        You don’t court someone though that you could not see yourself marrying…..

  28. Project Inspired

    Posted by sunshinedaises on September 7, 2012 at 16:11

    I used to really like Taylor swift until I found out that not only was she dating Connor Kennedy (who is a senior in high school this year) but after having spent the week with him she couldn’t stand being away so she flew him out to be with her in Nashville. He should be in school right now, not living short term with his girlfriend.

  29. Project Inspired

    Posted by SaltoftheEarth on September 7, 2012 at 15:04

    I think that serious Christian women should not wait for a man to come sweep them off their feet or marry them or whatever. We, as Christians, should instead look to the Lord, and no, not pray FOR a husband, but instead, follow Christ and become a woman worth marrying. (I’m not against praying for your future husband, but there is a difference in praying for a husband in your future and praying for your future husband) I, as a girl who has never dated, have definitely struggled with this. I’ve prayed for a boyfriend in the past; I realize now that I was wrong. I’m not saying I have all the answers, but I know God does! I’m putting my trust in Him!!!!!

  30. Project Inspired

    Posted by haley_nicole_4_Christ on September 7, 2012 at 14:34

    Is there anything wrong with kissing? As long as it’s not…making out? When me and my boyfriend would go on a date (with a group of friends) he would drop me off at my doorstep just to have a moment when we could talk without anyone else hearing and I would peck him goodbye. Now what’s the problem in that? :\
    Also, I don’t think we have a right to be discussing Taylor Swift’s relationship/future marriage. We all talk about how much we hate it and how much we think it’s rude to talk about celebrities’ relationship(s)…so why is that suddenly okay on a Christian website? This is kind of starting to feel like a place where Christians get together to gossip…
    Feel free to reply! 😀

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Allison on September 8, 2012 at 19:08

      Like she said, She wasn’t JUDGING Taylor. She’s stating fact. its like saying if you study for a test, you’ll most likely succeed. If Taylor will wait for the right guy, she’ll probably find him a lot faster….And I think kissing isn’t really wrong, and neither is ‘making out’. but, Making out COULD also make one and/or both partners want something more if ya know what I mean.

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by medney on September 7, 2012 at 21:28

      I have chosen to save my first kiss for marriage but not because I think it’s a sin to kiss before your wedding.. For me its just that I want to gaurd my heart as much as possible.. And your first kiss is so special and precious.. And God convicted me that was somthing I needed to do.. And am not a part of a family who thinks this is normal it’s just something God convicted me of.. And so I think since here convicted me that I shouldn’t it would be a sin for me.. But not you since here didn’t convict you in that way… Does that make sense?

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Nlacrosse124 on September 7, 2012 at 16:32

      You make a good point:)

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by sunshinedaises on September 7, 2012 at 16:24

      I totally agree with you. I don’t think kissing is bad unless you’re making out. I kiss my boyfriend and he kisses me, and he says it’s so special, he says he forgets about everything and mind goes blank. And it’s the same for me, those moments are so special and sweet and innocent, how are they wrong? And I agree about the conversations about celebrities relationships. Instead of directly talking about it you could maybe say how sometimes when we’re in relationships we get so caught up in it we don’t realize choices we make are wrong or we don’t realize God may have a bigger plan for us, instead of naming the celeb. Also, it does at times seem almost like a Christian gossip mag. I joined hoping that it would be more of an upbeat site that was positive since our world is no negative anyways.

  31. Project Inspired

    Posted by on September 7, 2012 at 13:01

    Amen… Thank you, that is what I have been trying to tell my teen sisters while they were still in high school. I don’t follow celebrities, since they are a waste of my time and I don’t watch tv or watch music videos as much. I only watch Christlike videos such as Building 429, Kari Jobe, Laura Story and I had the opportunity to meet JJ Heller (What Love Really Means). Actually, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of Christian singers at the Rock the Lakes – Green Bay with Skillet, Flame ft. V. Rose, The Afters, The City Harmonic, and Micheal W. Smith. Being a write has it’s perks, but Tayler Swift…. I don’t know much about and I thank you all for letting me find out. 🙂

  32. Project Inspired

    Posted by Rae on September 7, 2012 at 12:58

    Finally! An romance-related article with some sense! I think casual dating is ridiculous and unnecessary, and totally out of God’s will, no matter what some may say. It’s hard to wait (I know, I’m 19 and having a hard time waiting!), but it’s all worth it in the end. Awesome article! 🙂

  33. Project Inspired

    Posted by ohsusanna on September 7, 2012 at 12:41

    I agree with this article 100%! Having a long line of casual relationships I think does ultimately effect your marriage relationship. I think the biggest difference in dating and courting can be adequately summed up in what I once read somewhere “Courtship is… dating with a purpose. Romance guided by wisdom”.

  34. Project Inspired

    Posted by cowgirl98 on September 7, 2012 at 10:55

    her video is cute :)i do like Taylor Swift but i also agree with you about her dating career. I think God is planning on her getting married to someone who will show her that she doesn’t have to be hurt and he’ll do whatever it takes to comfort her and heal the wounds from her previous relationships. and i do think that courting is better then datingfor many reasons. 🙂

  35. HurricaneMurphGirl

    Posted by HurricaneMurphGirl on September 7, 2012 at 10:43

    I don’t really see the difference between dating and courting. They seem to be very similar to me. However, I definitely agree about the waiting thing. I think it’s not really important or healthy to focus on guys at such a young age. Dating/courting should be reserved for people who are mature enough to handle it, and who are also at an age that looking for a spouse makes sense.
    I think you SHOULD develop friendships with guys, but until you’re older, it doesn’t need to get any deeper.

    • justanothergirl

      Posted by justanothergirl on September 8, 2012 at 07:42

      Courting is starting off with the intention of marriage. Not be alone together, be with family or other friends. Dating, from what I have seen, is just “hooking up” because you can, going on dates alone, putting yourself in bad situations. Stuff like that.

      • YoucatMarie

        Posted by YoucatMarie on September 9, 2012 at 11:23

        Another reason on why you should wait: it prevents the backstabbing at school when rumors roll around!

    • tmgaouette

      Posted by tmgaouette on September 7, 2012 at 11:59

      Briefly, dating is more of a social, intimate relationship, that may or may not lead to a marriage in the future, whereas courting is when two people are considering each other for marriage, so they’re getting to know each other more without being intimate. Check out our post: http://www.projectinspired.com/should-christians-date-part-i-the-difference-between-courting-and-dating/

    • Project Inspired

      Posted by Utsukushii on September 7, 2012 at 11:46

      Dating, in the world’s definition, involves the physical aspects of a relationship as well as the emotional. This includes, kissing, cuddling, hugging, sex, and even holding hands. In “dating”, the two persons involved with each other, do these things, and are alone together often. On a “date” a boy is alone with a girl. Courting, is when you spend time with the person you have an interest in, while always being chaperoned (a courting couple will make it a point not to be alone, where the physical aspects of a relationship will be more tempting), to figure out for yourselves if marriage is inevitable. And then, following marriage, the physical aspects are now appropriate, and the couple becomes closer. This, however, is my opinion, and I don’t wish to dictate your opinions. I hope this helps your confusion with dating and courting.

  36. olburrows

    Posted by olburrows on September 7, 2012 at 09:37

    Thank you for writing this! I agree with everything you said about T-Swift. I don’t even see why she dates! The same thing just happens! She breaks up with a guy or vice versa, and she writes a song about it. No offense, but it’s getting old!

  37. Project Inspired

    Posted by BeStillAndBreath98 on September 7, 2012 at 09:36

    Made some good points ((: