It’s not that he’s just not that into you; it’s that the church is just not that into being human.
“I’ve only gone out with a couple of girls at church, and I won’t do it anymore,” says Luke*, a 40-year-old Christian man living in Southern California. “At this point, I’m happily resigned to not ask a girl out at church ever again.” As a single Christian woman, this isn’t exactly what I wanted to hear.
I’ve been attending Christian churches for a substantial chunk of my life, and it stands to reason that I’ve often thought I might meet my future husband there. It would be easier than meeting him at a bar, or a gym, or my workplace, wouldn’t it? At least at church I can presume that the men I’m surrounded by share my faith, and that we have similar beliefs and values in common.
However, as the years have passed by, the dates I’ve had with men at church have been rather few and far between. And I’m not the only woman who has found this to be true.
On a mission to find out why, I talked informally with a group of men from churches in New York City, and Los Angeles to chat about the pursuit of love, about Christian dating, and about why on earth they don’t want to date women who go to their church. Their answers were rather complex and revealed a whole host of issues I never would have considered.
Here is a little snapshot of what I learned from them over an evening of pizza and beer.
Reason #1: They’re worried about their reputations.
From a man’s perspective, pursuing women in that scenario is often a no-win situation. As Alex explained, if a guy were to attend a church for five years, and only pursue one girl per year, some might see that as being wimpy and tell him he needs to step it up, be more of a man! (This sounds somewhat familiar, doesn’t it?)
And as Alex points out, on the other hand, there’s always going to be that group of people who think, “‘That ‘Tom’ guy has had five girlfriends here at church—don’t go near him!’” In the meantime, “the fact that Tom has been at the church for over five years is completely ignored, and he is suddenly seen as a villain.”
Reason #2: Rather than giving them more options, dating girls at church actually gives them fewer options.