It’s Not That Complicated: Chapter One

It’s Not That Complicated: Chapter One February 8, 2016

itsnotthatcomplicatedby Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows and Kids Collide

The title of this chapter is “The Relationship Mindfield: What Makes Guy-Girl Relationships So Complicated” and begins with the definition of the meme “It’s Complicated” from Facebook relationship statuses.

Overall Themes:

  • Relationships have always been hard, and will end terribly most of the time.
    • “The playing field has descended into a chaos of hazy communication, confusing expectations, unclear boundaries, non-existent accountability, and aimless direction where the only thing we can be sure of is the pain. “ (pg 8)
      • Makes a girl feel confident about a dating relationship, doesn’t it?
    • “No other season of life introduces a world of such intense and volatile relationships – or such high stakes – to such an inexperienced demographics.  We believe that women make most of their biggest mistakes during this window of life, between 13 and the 30s – and that most of them involve the opposite sex.”  (pg 8)
      • Mistakes are most common when starting a new skill set.  Since the desire and ability to start a romantic relationship begins in the teens, that does make mistakes likely – and also means that 26 years later most women will have figured out the basics well enough to make romantic relationships easier.
    • “Ashley believed for years that Bradley was going to marry her and is now reeling from his announcement that he’s engaged to a friend of hers.  Jessie felt unnoticed and neglected by boys until she met Omar online, who’s now trying to convince her to run away from home to be with him.  Tiffany became afraid that her high standards for a husband were keeping her unmarried, so now she’s “getting practical” in a relationship with a guy she knows might not be a Christian.  Candie and Jacob knew that they weren’t old enough to get married, but let their relationship intensify to the point where their parents had to step in and put an end to it for their children’s safety.  Esther can’t believe she’s still not married at 28 while other, “less pure” girls have been snatched up, and is starting to feel twinges of bitterness against God for this “reward” for her patience.  Kate had been Eric’s best friend for three years and was sure the “next step” was coming any day, until he mentioned offhandedly in one of their heart-to-heart talks, “I don’t see myself in a relationship anytime soon…”(pg. 9)
      • I have a mental image of Anna Sofia and Elizabeth curled up chummily on the couch writing out every bad relationship their friends have ever had with that glee that is strangely present in every CP book.
      • None of these anecdotes are dangerous situations when they are examined calmly.  Ashley and Kate found out a relationship didn’t go where they wanted it to.  Jessie hasn’t run away with Omar – and “running away” would only be an issue if she was a minor.  Esther feels hurt that she’s not married yet while Tiffany decided she wanted to get married rather than twiddling her fingers while waiting for Prince Charming.   Candie and Jacob will eventually be old enough to marry given time.  None of these things are unusual or going to cause long-term problems for anyone.
  • We are victims of Big Romance-Feminism-Interwebs!
    • “Every year, billions of dollars are spent on messing with our heads.  Feeding women’s appetite for romance is a very lucrative industry and we’re a gluttonous audience.  (pg. 9)
      • Remind me to add more “romance purveyors” to my stock portfolio…. 😛
    • “Girls used to have a lot more protection and help through these problems than they do today.  Fathers and brothers used to provide screening and kept scoundrels on the right end of a Remington.”  (pg. 10)
      • There’s never been a legal right to threaten to shoot guys because they want to date your daughter or sister.
    • “Today, co-ed relationships stalk us everywhere.  Young ladies used to face young men at social function.  Now, the swains follow us home, and into the privacy of our rooms, popping up on our computer screens or cell phones, wanting to chat at all hours of the day and night.  And this time, there are no parents or brothers around to tell us when someone is pushing his limits, and when we are courting disaster. (pg. 10)
      • Oh, yeah!  Three co-ed relationships jumped out at me tonight when I got out of the car.  I had to hit them with my cricket bat.
      • Interesting fact: Electronic devices have power buttons.  If you don’t want to talk, turn them off.
      • Girls may be too stupid to know when a guy is pushing his limits.  Women aren’t. 
      • When I read this to my husband, he replied sadly, “This is what happens when you teach women to read.” I would not be surprised if that sentiment appeared somewhere in a Botkins book.
  • We are amazingly educated and hip at the same time!
    • “Long before Facebook coined it as an official relationship status, every generation had its own way of saying “It’s complicated.”  As Shakespeare put it, back in the 1500’s, “O! How this spring of love resembleth the uncertain glory of an April day!” A great deal of what we call Western Civilization was made up (as anyone who has ventured into classic literature or opera will observe) of people using the arts to agonize over the complexity “(pg. 7)
      • The Botkin Sisters have intellectual name-dropping down to an art.  I have to be impressed by pulling Shakespeare, “classic literature” and opera all in one paragraph.  Of course, the fact that Shakespeare and opera were the soap operas of their day seems to be lost on them.
    • Scenarios like these [referring to the paragraph about Ashley, Jessie etc.] aren’t just the stuff of novels, Greek tragedies, chick flicks and comedies with heartless titles like Much Ado About Nothing.” (pg. 9)
      • This was the sentence that made me really wonder how many of the items they’ve named-dropped the Botkin Sisters have actually read.  The paragraph they referred to has nothing in common with Oedipus Rex, Antigone, The Trojan Women, or Medea.  I will happily rescind that comment if  someone can find a Greek tragedy that revolves around teenagers having a minor heartbreak, but I’m not holding my breath.  Much Ado About Nothing is one of my favorite works of Shakespeare and the title is a great description of how Claudio goes bat-shit crazy and dumps Hero at the altar because he saw a servant having sex with a woman and called her “Hero” rather than her actual name.  I’ll concede the generic “novel” category, but “chick flicks” have more meat than those scenarios.
    • And even if we shrink-wrap ourselves away from the risk of relationships, safety and freedom from pain are not possible in a world where we ourselves are stained with sin.  After all, “The only place outside of Heaven where you can be safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love,” writes C.S. Lewis, “is Hell.”
      • That is NOT what that quote means.
  • Because Bible!
    • But God doesn’t leave us to figure out what’s right and wrong for ourselves.  He’s has left us a handbook – His Word – packed with principles that answer even the most specific and personal questions about the most specific Bradleys and Omars.  We just need to open up that handbook and figure out how its principles apply to us and our boy situations.”  (pg. 11)
      • I’ve always hated Bibles that are branded to certain groups like “The Message” or “The Bible for Married Women” or “The Bible for Cattle Farmers who live in the Midwest and Own Fruit!”(The last one is sarcastic….kind of….) I find them condescending because it implies that various subgroups can’t figure out the Bible without special help.  This section feels like “The Bible for Worried, Unmarried Girls”. 
      • This launches into ~3 pages of Bible references that could easily be summed up by “be nice to others.”
On the positive side,
  • The reading level in this book is slightly higher than the Pearls.  There are very few syntax or spelling errors.
  • In an effort to make this book accessible to anyone in the CP world, the Botkins become so vague that no one could base a plan of action off this book.
  • Reading “Preparing to Be a Help Meet” made me feel like I needed brain bleach.  This book is so scattered, so vapid and so unintentionally ironic that I end up laughing through most of the chapter.
On the negative side,
  • There are 12 more chapters.



Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide She is also an very valuable source of scientific information for us here at NLQ. Mel is also blessed with the ability to look at the issues of Quiverfull with a rational mind and break them down to their most basic of elements.


If this is your first time visiting NLQ please read our Welcome page and our Comment Policy!

Copyright notice: If you use any content from NLQ, including any of our research or Quoting Quiverfull quotes, please give us credit and a link back to this site. All original content is owned by No Longer Quivering and

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement by Kathryn Joyce

13:24 – A Story of Faith and Obsession by M Dolon Hickmon

Browse Our Archives