But this is the reality many Orthodox Christians in North America and Europe today.
Some lucky few have relationships with parents or spiritual mentors that are close enough and mature enough to provide some guidance and advice in the search for a mate. Even if they do ask for advice or guidance from a priest or parent or other responsible person, many young people are merely seeking confirmation for what they already feel or think or lust for.
“Dating” is a cultural construct defined by popular culture, chiefly movies and TV.
Generally the only difference between dating and hanging out is that if you’re dating you are admitting that you are sexually attracted to one another—not the best way to begin a relationship that you hope will lead to the martyrdom of Orthodox Christian marriage.
Young people, my daughters included, often say that there are no good candidates among the Orthodox Christians they know. Often Orthodox Christian churches are small and choices are limited.
Single Orthodox Christians have no easy road before them, especially if they suspect that they will be married some day.
This allowance did not have in mind an Orthodox boy choosing a Baptist girl because she’s hot.
When we feel like things are going well, and nothing feels better than being in love, God drifts to the background, and we basically ignore God. However, marriage, as many have observed, is the remedy for falling in love.
Once a man and woman begin the hard work of sharing their lives together, God becomes much more important in their lives.
(I probably didn’t surprise anyone.) Good people are good people no matter where you find them.
Hang out with good people and you will become a better person.