The Meet Cute is an authentic selection model fitting the Tingly Respect (Headship) structure.
Theme: Dating and the SMP
Reader’s Note: In this essay, the term “Selection Model” is used to mean a way for young singles who are interested in marriage to identify potential others.
Length: 2,400 words
Reading Time: 8 minutes
We’ve covered the Meet Cute phenomenon in several past posts.
- Σ Frame (Jack): On the Significance and Value of the Meet Cute Experience (2020-4-3)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Meet Cute Phenomenon (Scott’s Axiom) (2020-12-6)
- Σ Frame (Scott): The Recipe for a Meet Cute (2021-7-24)
- Σ Frame (Red Pill Apostle): The Meet Cute as a Positive Feedback Loop (2021-11-17)
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Meet Cute is not about “women chasing men” (2021-11-19)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Summary of the Meet Cute Phenomenon (2021-11-22)
Also, the Meet Cute is a fundamental part of A Volitional Model of Cascade Courtship (2021-11-15).
Scott wrote this about the Meet Cute experience,
A “meet cute” is the American, socially normative way that couples meet and it doesn’t matter if you are “Christian” or not. All efforts to combat it, to attack it, to change it on a massive scale have failed to date. Move to a commune, use Joshua Harris “kissed dating goodbye” methods, whatever–as soon as you tell THAT story to your friends, you are an oddball freakshow overly religious couple who don’t have a meet cute story. Ewwwwwww.
Now, this has implications that either…
Christianity in America has become so indistinguishable, even on this very important issue so as to make it irrelevant as force on earth.
There is some way to make Meet Cutes fit into a hybrid Christian model that is still God-honoring and holy (enough) to be pleasing to Him when He sees it.
We already know that the first option is true. However, this essay will hone in on Scott’s last sentence, and investigate whether the Meet Cute can serve as a Christian approach to dating/courtship/marriage.
First of all, let’s see if it actually fits the Christian mold.
A description of the Meet Cute as a Selection Model
Among Ed Hurst’s archives, I found what appears to be a description of a Meet Cute as a basic selection model. But that’s not all. Ed also described why it’s better for the woman to choose the man, and how that glorifies God. Ed is writing from a Christian viewpoint.
“Our men are conditioned to focus on the lust of the eyes and of the flesh. They are taught to pretend they aren’t paying attention to that, but I can promise you that pink Cadillacs and the glitzy cosmetic barn paint that they represent do not convey God’s way of projecting femininity. Just as manhood is not confined merely to muscles but morals, so womanhood is not enticing by cultural sexual attraction. Here’s a clue: It’s the male peacock who struts his stuff and the females who choose their mates. We have it backwards.
Men, you do not pick your woman. That’s because you have zero capability to choose wisely until way too late in life. She’s ready to make babies by the time you have your first clue where God might be leading you. Our society frowns on men waiting until they are ready and taking a young wife, and we have zero cultural background for a community mate selection system, so we are left with letting her choose her man. She is better equipped to work out where she fits best, so the men need to keep their focus of projecting moral dominance. If you pursue the gal, it’s virtually guaranteed you won’t lay hold of God’s best blessings in marriage. Make her choose you. She will let you know if she is ready to take you on. How that communication takes place is subject to a very wide range of variables. You may be the one to initiate all the conversation and social contacts, but it’s up to her make the first signals, however subtle they may be.
That’s how you glorify God; sex on that path can’t get any better in this life.”Radix Fidem: God’s Revelation on Sex (2014 October 21)
This confirms many of the conclusions we reached through our own discussions here about the Meet Cute, and were summarized in the post, On the Significance and Value of the Meet Cute Experience (2020-4-3).
Ontological Contexts of Meeting Someone
A previous post, “Biblical” Models of Courtship (2018-9-30) described three bare basic types of courtship models. These three types are briefly described below.
- “Love” – Passionate, blind, feral instincts: e.g. Jacob and Rachel, David and Bathsheba, Amnon and Tamar. Also, dates, ONS’s, hook-ups, etc. which develop into LTR’s might fall into this category.
- Arranged – The union is proscribed by parents, family, authorities, a decree, or by social customs, such as Judaic law: e.g. Jacob and Leah, Ruth, and Esther, Chinese filial piety, Indian match maker, etc.
- Contrived – God plays a direct or indirect part in bringing two people together. e.g. Isaac and Rebecca…
Ed has described three possible avenues towards a God-honoring marriage. He emphasizes that in all three systems, men need to retain their focus on projecting moral dominance (e.g. moral guidance based feedback). I have summarized these systems and added names as follows.
- Roman Holiday — Men can wait until they are ready (presumably in his mid-30s) and then take a younger wife. There are many benefits of this approach. One is that both are in their SMV peak and are likely to form a well-matched couple. Another is that it allows the man to choose freely as opposed to taking whatever comes along, or whatever he can get. The difficulty in implementing this approach is that it is not socially acceptable in the West.
- A community-based mate selection system — (Here, “community” could include, but not be limited to church.) I imagine this would resemble what we think of being an arranged marriage or modern courtship. But we might be able to come up with something that functions the same, but which has a different form.
- Meet Cute — Let natural feminine intuition and IOI’s determine the best pairings. The benefits of this approach have been discussed above.
Putting it All Together
Now let’s compare Ed’s three avenues towards Christian marriage with the three types of “Biblical” courtship models above. We find that…
- The Roman Holiday model strongly matches the Love model, but it could also be Arranged or Contrived.
- A community-based selection system could possibly involve more than one, or all three of the Biblical models (Love, Arranged, or Contrived). Of note, I imagine this system could be developed and modified to include many of the advantageous features of the others.
- A Meet Cute could also possibly involve more than one, or all three of the Biblical models (Love, Arranged, or Contrived).
Putting this all together, in total, that’s 9 different possibile ways that a Christian couple could meet and progress towards marriage! (Granted, some ways are more Christian than others.)
These 9 ways are…
- Roman Holiday + Love
- An Arranged Roman Holiday (e.g. the boss befriends you and introduces you to his daughter)
- A Roman Holiday Contrived by the Holy Spirit
- Finding love within a Community (through participating in community service or other group activities)
- Community Matchmaking
- God Contrives a meeting within a Community (e.g. meeting someone on a mission trip, serving together in the worship team, etc.)
- Have a Meet Cute by chance and fall in love (Scott’s normative description, and this would require one to be somewhat of a social butterfly)
- Arranged Meet Cute (most attempts would probably be a hit or miss)
- Have a Meet Cute that is orchestrated by God somehow.
This is just a list of the basic set ups, but the particular combinations, contexts, settings, and situations are practically endless. A marriage minded man would do well to put himself in places where he could avail of as many of these opportunities as possible.
Is a Meet Cute from God?
Only God can grant us a successful marriage. As Christians who believe in the sovereignty of God, if we believe that chance encounters are arranged, or orchestrated by God, then this presents a strong argument that avenues 7, 9, and possibly 8 in the last list are from God. IOW, a Meet Cute in any of these three contexts could be from God, given certain limits. Readers who find this conclusion controversial may disagree and discuss below in the comments, but I do think there is a strong case for this to be true. If true, then this vastly magnifies the importance of men learning to read IOIs!
In support of this proposition, Scott pointed out that even years later, a couple’s Meet Cute story takes on a mythological grandiosity, because women use it to determine the “authenticity” of the relationship.
“Wives care about the story of how you met, not husbands
It is the narrative filter they (and their envious single friends) use to decide if it is “true love”
The story itself holds a magical/mystical power over the legitimacy of the relationship. It must a sufficient amount of fateful-bumped-into-my-soulmate aura around it to be a true love story.”
It sounds confusing to men, but I wouldn’t be surprised if women truly believe that a “valid” Meet Cute is Contrived by God. It also makes me wonder whether a relationship will be socially “approved”, if a couple does not have a story worthy enough to convince others of their relationship’s “authenticity”.
Benefits of Using the Meet Cute as a Selection Model
Scott has counted several benefits of the Meet Cute. Perhaps the most sigificant benefit from a Christian perspective is that it forms an organic Tingly Respect relationship immediately from the get go. Because of the nature of the Tingly Respect model, the woman respects the man from her heart, and so there is little argument or resistance to the man’s authority from the woman, as compared to other Archetype models. In addition, she is enthusiastic about sexual relations too, which is healthy and proper. In other words, authentic Headship, which is of primary importance in forming a relationship that glorifies God and receives His abundant blessings over the union, comes naturally and spontaneously. This alone poses a strong justification for using the Meet Cute as a selection model.
Perhaps the best part of adopting the Meet Cute as a vehicle of selection is that it’s simple to do. All that men have to do is learn how to read IOIs and how to respond to them appropriately. Granted, this takes a bit of practice, but it does allow a man to depend on himself and on God to make things happen. He doesn’t have to depend so much on a Christian community and the efforts and good will of others, and this aspect may be crucial when considering the fallen age in which we live.
Problems with Using the Meet Cute as a Selection Model
In my experience, women are either hot to go, or not at all. And the ones who are hot for a man move pretty fast. By that I mean, once they decide on a man, they immediately proceed to have sexual relations. But if the man of their interest turns down their invitations to have sex, they tend to drop him immediately. So if men who are conscientiously marriage minded come across a woman like this, then this will be a source of intense temptation and frustration for him.
Now before we jump to the conclusion that women who move fast are just bad girls, we need to remember that this strong desire is exactly what qualifies her. Her heart felt passion is what makes the Meet Cute cute! As I’ve gotten older, and especially after taking the Red Pill, I’ve come to see that most women are like that, but only with certain men of course. Women have different preferences for different men, and if she’s feeling really hot for a particular guy, then she’ll move fast. (In today’s world, there isn’t much to stop them from acting on impulse.) So here, you’ll want to make sure that you are that certain man, and that she’s not just looking for sex with anyone.
Instead of feeling angry or disappointed that women are this way, we might do better to recognize that this is just how they are. We might even entertain the idea that God Himself created women to be c0ck crazy for (one) man. In response, men should attempt to get these women to think very seriously about marriage and preparing for the future.
I’m sure there are some women who don’t give off IOIs and don’t move fast. The best reason is because of inexperience, but it could also be because they are more self-aware, or more conscientious, or too proud to express their desire, or something else, but I think they are a minority. Some of these women might be better suited for marriage to certain men, but the Meet Cute model doesn’t really take them into account, and it’s really hard to identify them otherwise.
Before the turn of the century, the Meet Cute was the normative way that many couples got together. However, it was never considered to be a Christian approach to relationships and marriage. Perhaps now we should reconsider the Meet Cute as a very authentic, healthy, natural, and organic approach towards achieving a Christian marriage — one that is, by definition, characterized by Headship and God’s blessings of bonding, joy, peace, sanctification, and sexual fulfillment.
Scott said that he has adopted the Meet Cute as a courtship model for his own children. He wrote,
“I am leaning toward number two for my own kids. I am trying to make sure they have plenty of exposure to Christians of the opposite sex whose parents more or less agree with me about marriage and its purpose. We actually discuss this with our friends who kids around the same age as ours openly.”
- Radix Fidem: Dating and Courtship: Doing It All Wrong (2009-10-14)
- Σ Frame (Jack): Models of Courtship and Marital Structure (2018-10-03)
- Radix Fidem: Courtship and Longing (2019-3-4)
- Σ Frame (Lexet): Courtship and Power (2020-02-17)
- Σ Frame (Ed Hurst): Is Biblical Courtship Possible? (2020-2-19)
- Radix Fidem: Christian Marriage in Context (2020-2-26)
- Radix Fidem: Marriage: Path through the Shadows (2020-4-4)
- Σ Frame (Jack): A Volitional Model of Cascade Courtship (2021-11-15)