I'm in the "marrying" season of my life (everyone is getting married! What the what!), and I've had to learn to take my sister's advice: If they don't ask you for your opinion, don't give it, because if they do get (and stay) married, you'll forever be perceived as the "enemy to their love."
It's hard, because you love and care about these people and don't want to see them get hurt, but if you're really close and they're not asking, it's because they, for whatever reason, really don't want your opinion :(. So far I've found some friends don't want to ask for opinions because they already know the answer, but want to bury their heads in the sand to avoid it, so when you bring it up unsolicited, their reaction is to lash out, and stuff like this^ happens. Bad news bears all around :(.
For those of you who said you're worried your friends aren't being honest about your significant other, maybe sit down and look them straight in the eye and say, "No, for realsies. I really, REALLY want you to tell me honestly what you think, and I will not ditch you as a friend if I don't like what I hear - I promise." Sometimes friends just need the reassurance and the go-ahead :).
That's my plan, anyway, if I ever meet a dude I'm getting serious about!
@Faintly Macabre and @wee_ramekin Thank you both so much for your thoughtful and warmly respectful responses. No lie, I contemplated not even checking (it's never fun following a comment thread you've contributed to, only to discover there's like 10 people flaming you for the comment you really tried to make as gracious and genuinely contributive as possible o_0). But as usual, the Hairpin community didn't let me down, even if we didn't fully agree, and I think that's wonderful :).
To steal a quote from Ronald Reagan: "You can disagree without being disagreeable." Cheers, everyone! :)
Such an interesting article, and very interesting comments (although I can't say I've read >all< of them, as much as I want to! :).
Offering a different perspective, though, I'm a 23-year-old Christian virgin, as in, no oral, anal, or 'sex' sex, and no petting. I wasn't sexually abused as a child, I wasn't guilted or shamed about sex in my church or by my Christian parents, I've had plenty of offers of sex from guys (from dudes I was dating and dudes who were just looking for a one-night stand), I just got out of a year-long relationship with a healthy (emotionally, physically, and sexually [meaning he had no weird hang-ups or was unattracted to me, or I to him]) guy, and am just an overall healthy, happy, emotionally stable and red-blooded female ;).
So, what's my deal? From my perspective, I've been an active Christian since I was nine, and have really looked to God for help on a lot of things, and seen some absolutely horrendous things become absolutely spectacular through prayer and trying to handle the situation in a way that seemed God would encourage me to do (loving, peaceful, kind, merciful, wise, all that good stuff).
Then, when it comes to "rules" and things, I began to realize that a lot of God's "rules" made pretty good sense, and as I've gotten older, more and more of them make good sense, so I'm OK with following them.
I read somewhere (I couldn't find a reference though - sorry!) that the word we translate as "commandment" actually means "for your benefit," which I think sounds much more encouraging :). Like God was saying, "Hey, I love you all! Don't do these silly things, because they hurt you and they hurt others, OK? I'm telling you these things to make your life better, not burden you with ridiculous stuff to win my approval!"
I'm getting a bit off-topic. My point is, there are still some things that God has said are not "to our benefit" that frankly I still wrestle with as to "why" they're not OK. BUT, recently, the answer as to why sex outside of marriage was not OK became clearer to me, and I'm at peace with the answer. I could throw a lot of Christianese around that explains what Biblically healthy sex looks like (and it's the furthest thing from shame! It drives me crazy that the majority of churches don't celebrate sex! Orthodox Judaism really has a super healthy attitude about it, from what I've seen. I wish American Christians would take a similar approach :/), but then I'd sound like I was evangelizing, and I think that's disrespectful - I don't know any of you personally, and each one of you would have your own important, articulate, and legitimate questions about what I'd say, and a computer screen is waaaaaayyyyy too impersonal. So no worries, ladies - this is one Christian who isn't a "Holy Keyboard Warrior for JAY-ZUS!"
So instead of throwing out trite Christian sayings or irrelevant (to some of you) Bible verses, I'll just share what helped cement the idea in my head of, "OK, sex is meant to work within a context of a committed relationship. I get it now." Read the article below if you're interested. It's not Christian-based, from what I can tell, just straight-up science-y things in basic English: http://doctorlisalove.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/brain-research-into-the-healthy-unhealthy-impacts-of-sex-on-women-men/
There are so many different people on this forum with different perspectives and backgrounds, and I realize mine aren't popular, but I've always enjoyed how respectful and interesting the comments are, so I hope this doesn't cause an explosion. I'm sure some people who have been hurt by "Christians" and the church might disregard me, or others will want to ask questions about weird scriptures from Leviticus (I have a few answers to popular questions, but I mean a FEW), but I really don't mean to lob this out here as a way to start a religious war in the Hairpin comments. I hadn't noticed anyone offer a perspective like mine, and this is truly my way of contributing to the conversation.
That being said, I am sorry for any hurt feelings or arguments that might stem from this, especially to those of you who have been hurt by people who say they're Christians. We're not all bad, I promise :(.
Not to quote Dr. Phil, but I'm going to quote Dr. Phil:
"If he'll do it with you, he'll do it to you!"
Seriously, if you're cheating, it means you don't want to be with that person anymore (among probably many other things). So why go back to them? So you'll have a security blanket until you find the next person you can hand yourself off to, so there will be a seamless transition?
A Married Dude is right: Be single for awhile. Learn that the world doesn't end if you feel lonely for awhile.
I'm probably oversimplifying this, but those are the immediate thoughts I had reading that :/.
@olivebee Thank you for spreading the Good News about cookie butter, because that sounds positively stupendous! I Amazon'd it, and some girl was like, "Oh yeah, I used in in my Rice Krispies recipe with marshmallows, butter and cinnamon/sugar on the top."
I mean, what the what!
Aaahh, I live in the Texas hill country! Yes, to all Pinners, you must come to visit--it's absolutely gorgeous. I've also been to some anniversary party (10 years? 8?) of the Real Ale Brewing Co.
Such. Awesome. Beer.
(And the volunteers were, indeed, hilariously soused :)
And hello, by the way! I've lurked for maybe a year, and I guess a post about beer + Texas was what it took to finally draw me out :). Nice to meet y'all!