Struggling to Offer an Open House

I picked up Robert Farrar Capon's Bed and Board: Plain Talk About Marriage after reading Melanie's post on The Wine Dark Sea on "What has Beatrice to do with Bed?"  The quotes she assembled were easily enough to get me to order the book for myself.And I suspect they're a little more generally appealing than the quote I want to highlight from my reading, so perhaps you want to pop over chez elle first?I really liked Capon's book, and, if I'm ever lucky enough to be verging on getting engag … [Read more...]

“Safety” is a Piss-Poor Pitch for Chastity

A recent First Things post aimed to arm its readers with a positive case for chastity, one that could appeal to non-Christian friends.  But I struggled to find anything positive or invigorating in the sample arguments presented.  For example: A case at University of Houston may serve. According to a legal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, the facts aren’t unusual. One evening, after attending a UH event, a male student went to a nearby bar and met a female student for the first time. They … [Read more...]

Interviewing Eve Tushnet on Vocations of Love

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of doing a Q&A with Eve Tushnet, author of Gay and Catholic: Accepting My Sexuality, Finding Community, Living My Faith as part of her ongoing Patheos book club. I'll be writing my own review of the book soon, but, in the meantime, enjoy the video above, place an order for the book, and check out Eve's blog (especially the posts with "Book Extra" in the title).  … [Read more...]

Falling in Love with the World through the Eyes of the Beloved

There's an interesting piece of research going around on what makes relationships grow and deepen (versus fracture and wound).  John Gottman and Robert Levenson (the "Love Lab" researchers) were looking for the smallest kind of observational data that let them (fairly) reliably distinguish good relationships from bad.  Here's what they found had the most power to predict the success of a marriage over its first six years: Throughout the day, artners would make requests for connection, what G … [Read more...]

Writing Relationships into a Corner

Earlier this week, I was chatting with a friend about A.O. Scott's big piece on storytelling and the death of adulthood.  Scott discusses the tendency of male heroes to "light out for the Territory," escaping the feminized world of social expectations and perhaps a specific female person (be it mother or maiden).  While Huck stepped outside of society in order to critique it, men in modern stories, Scott claims, tend to be rebels in retreat; they've traded in Jim's raft for the stoner's c … [Read more...]

If Someone Put Me in Charge of Yenta-ing You All…

Prompted by our discussion of modern dating, PEG has offered his thoughts on how to build a better model for dating and discerning marriage: Frankly, what is needed is a way to connect people with similar goals. I did the hedonic thing in college and law school, and at the ripe old age of 21 found out that it was wrecking my soul, and desperately wanted to settle down, but there were no takers for that. It was only sheer random luck (a.k.a. the mighty grace of the Holy Spirit) that threw the … [Read more...]

Nice Guys and Casual Dates [Sequence Index]

In the Fall, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of... friendzoning?  In September 2014, several other bloggers and I wound up in a dialogue about friendship, romance, and the very rickety bridge that connects them. We talked about the why of the frustration behind, "But I'm a Nice Guy!" (not to mention the frustration that girls feel when they get hit by that phrase) and the societal shifts that may make it a lot harder to date and discern marriage."Why is it easier to ask out s … [Read more...]