Swing Your Partner Dosado (by Nick the Geek)

Like so many of my blogging buddies, I met Nick through Jon Acuff’s site, Stuff Christians Like. Unlike most of my friendships formed from commenting on SCL, my first reaction to Nick was this: He pissed me off. Why? Because Nick once called Oklahoma “home”, and as some folks from Oklahoma tend to do, he takes great joy in making fun of all things Texas. (Jealousy and whatnot.) While I’m not originally from Texas, there’s something about this place that gets into your heart and never leaves. So when someone makes fun of her, well, them’s fighting words! But here’s the thing – I can’t help but like Nick. He’s like the punky little brother I never had. And while I would happily wail on him any chance I could get, if someone were to attack him personally, I would be the first to defend him.

He is a youth pastor in parts unknown (I know where he lives, but that’s not for public consumption.) He is a husband, a father, a true geek, and a master of sarcasm and dry wit. Above all, he has a heart for people. Specifically, people who have yet to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. So, even though I will tease him mercilessly until my dying day, just between you and me, I think he’s pretty special. (Just don’t tell him I said that, because I will deny it.)

Here’s Nick on the dance of teen dating:

I doubt katdish will understand the amount of research I had to put into this post. Being from Texas, I assume she knows all about square dancing and what all the calls mean. I don’t know these things so I had to look them up.

Why was it so important to know about Square Dancing? Well, so I can understand the dating habits of teens.

It seems the most popular game right now in my Youth group is musical dating. As I began to study the changes in the couples, it seemed that they were following strange and mesmerizing patterns. The patterns felt familiar and then it occurred to me. Square Dancing!

Of course, there is some unknown caller commanding the teens to change partners and form new patterns. It is the only reasonable explanation for why a smart girl would start dating a guy that she hated just days before because of the way he treated her friend, and why she would blindly go through the dance moves until he switched to another corner with yet another girl.
Of course in square dancing the partners end up back together in the end, but with the rhythmic changes of the teen couples the end is only heart break until the next pairing is made.

While this particular dance is fascinating to watch it does concern me. My sister calls it “practicing for divorce.” I think she may be right. When we train our heart to be broken so readily then to be repaired by a new partner then we will rely on that training. Marriage is about opening your heart to someone and that means heartache and even heart break. If we have trained ourselves to find solace in others then we will complete the cycle.

I think this is one of the major reasons why marriages fail so readily in America.

Of course, the question arises, how do we deal with this dance?

For more from Nick, check out his blog, My Experiences as a Youth Pastor. Be sure to check out the Super Youth Pastor posts. Those are awesome.

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22 Responses to “Swing Your Partner Dosado (by Nick the Geek)”

  1. Helen June 10, 2009 at 1:19 am #

    Nyah, I beat you, nyah nyah, I'm fIIR-irst, cuz I'm so fA-ast..

    Nick, I dunno. I think that is why the olden days had chaperones…..And I had a daddy who wouldn't let me date until I was sixteen….and then gave me a curfew of before dark….sigh…..No solution is perfect.

    Still…..I am first comment, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah…

  2. Peter P June 10, 2009 at 1:29 am #

    >Aww Helen.. that's just hurtful.

    Moderator, can you please delete Helen's comment?

    Nick – Arranged marriages are the way to go. You've just confirmed it for me.

  3. Shark Bait June 10, 2009 at 3:44 am #

    >Most of the girls tell me I dance like a square, so I guess I'm still good to go.


  4. BeckeyZ June 10, 2009 at 5:54 am #

    >Oh man….I really don't want to think about this right now. I want to freeze time and keep my two little ones at (almost)7 and 8. They are perfect right now. Girls are still "icky" to the boy and boys are not even on the radar yet for the girl.

  5. Billy Coffey June 10, 2009 at 7:36 am #

    >I remember that dance. And I remember twirling and spinning and stumbling and wondering if I'd ever get the chance to step off the dance floor and just be still.

    It won't be long until my own children walk out and take their own turns. Part of growing up, I suppose. Not that I'll stand idly by. I'm planning on being that unknown caller, which is a task much easier to accomplish with a shotgun and GPS.

  6. Annie K June 10, 2009 at 8:00 am #

    >My first serious boyfriend in HS ended up being my husband. We divorced after 11 years, so unfortunately there are exceptions to the rule.

    But yes Nick, I'm not convinced our teens are learning anything about how to have a lasting relationship by going from one person to the other…

  7. sherri June 10, 2009 at 8:06 am #

    >My daddy wouldn't let me date until I was 16 either, so I sneaked around, like a good preacher's kid learns to do!

    But, while sneaking, I found my partner Big Al (who I'd had my eye on since I was 8 years old!)

    I never did like swinging from partner to partner. Not watching it or practicing it.

  8. Nick the Geek June 10, 2009 at 8:23 am #

    >First, let me say thanks to katdish for letting me guest post. I kinda pulled the ol' switcheroo on her and she was still really gracious about the whole thing.

    Second, Let me just warn people visiting my blog today that I have another red warning post up. I think it is important and relates pretty directly to this post so that's convenient, but if you want to read something without a warning that I think is a great post then visit Living in a world of dragons and finger paint.

    Now to the commenters.

    Helen, Just remember the last shall be first and you shall be last. Or something like that.

    Peter P, With 2 young girls I'm thinking the same thing. I don't know if I'm into trading livestock for them but possibly a nice motorcycle or something. Of course then I'd have to just give them away to marry of the boys so I guess in the end it doesn't matter so much to me … what cna you say "Traditioooooooon"

    SB, Way to be ahead of the game.

    BeckeyZ, I agree fully, I have two girls, almost 6 and 3, and I have two boys, just turned 5 and almost 1. I'm pretty happy with the spread right now.

    Billey Coffee, My father in law tried to put the fear of God into me when I was first dating my wife but he isn't intimidating so I found it funny. Now I am intimidating so I think I can pull it off. Plus I own multiple fire arms and know large empty plots of land that are available with no ties to myself.

    Annie K, There are exceptions to every rule, but I figure that if we stack the deck against us then we have nothing better to expect but if we stack the deck in our favor we can expect a better future and get it more often than not.

    Sherri, it is much easier to sneak around when you can walk under the radar so to speak. I think the dating game I'm seeing is worse than what you might have done though. It is crazy.

  9. katdish June 10, 2009 at 8:41 am #

    >The moderator will be out on the lake with all the crazy redneck drunks today, so she will be relying on her friends to shamelessly promote this post via twitter. But I would just like to say yay Helen! Miss me!

  10. JML June 10, 2009 at 9:08 am #

    >I "yell" at my kids for this kind of behavior too. I honestly don't think that most of them should be dating, because they don't quite get it! America does kinda look like a giant square dance of people though, doesn't it? I's depressing. . .

  11. Beth June 10, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    >Wait a minute, Nick, was that a Fiddler on the Roof reference? Impressive…

    And I think you bring up an excellent point here. It's hard to find a healthy teen dating relationship. I was a very good square-dancer as a teen. And I think one of the fundamental problems (for me at least…and probably many girls) is that we think a GUY will be the end all solution to all of life's problems. The thought process is this: "As long as I have HIM, as long as he loves me, well, things are great. And if I don't have a boyfriend, I'd better find one quick or I'll be alone forever and ever! Because I am not complete without one!" It doesn't matter how smart the girl is, she still buys into this lie. And so the girl gives away more of her heart, her mind, her body than she ever should before marriage. My heart just breaks for these girls. I was one, even though I was a Christian and "knew better". And it took a semester on a different continent away from everything I knew to push me to a place where I started to see that I was putting my dating relationships before God and the damage that was doing to myself, other people, and my effectiveness to serve Him. But thank God for his perfect Grace, right? He soon brought me this ex-square dancer with a very similar story… 😉

    But we are TERRIFIED about our kids dating someday. I'm not sure I can go through watching my kids make similar mistakes someday.

  12. Sarah Salter June 10, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    >Thank the Lord that I have stopped dancing! I'm now standing by the lemonade, waiting for another non-dancing lemonade-drinking guy to realize that he just can't live without me. 🙂

    Incidentally, I was also the pastor's kid (like Sherri)… But my parents trusted me so much that they didn't really restrict me. I could date who I wanted, when I wanted, and wear whatever I wanted while I was doing it…

    One of these days, I'm going to have kids and they're going to be just like me and I'm going to wish I hadn't been such a little rebel!! Y'all start praying for me now, please…

  13. Wendy June 10, 2009 at 11:24 am #

    >I'm with Billy on being the unknown caller when my daughter is of dating age. And though I'm sure my husband will be ready with his shotgun and GPS, I'm the real threat they'll have to worry about. I'll be wielding my Jesus frying pan.

  14. Marni June 10, 2009 at 11:31 am #

    >Since Katdish broke spades here, I gotta be honest now. Nick annoyed the snot out of me the first time I "met" him too. He made snarky cracks about DFW ariport, Dallas traffic and then (the deepest cut of all) the Dallas Cowboys. I left him a pissy message on SCL to retaliate. He didn't snark back and I decided to heart him. So now I do 🙂

    Nick, in all my years of working with youth, I never made that square dancing connection. It's all so clear now. Knowledge is power my friend, and I thank you for that.

    "Practicing for divorce" dude…that's golden. I'm stealing that. The royalty checks for that and "frigintastic" should start rolling in any day now.

  15. Nick the Geek June 10, 2009 at 12:03 pm #

    what you aren't going to toss in your 2 cents? PS I already apologized last night on twitter about my post on my blog today but I'm sorry and you're welcome all over again.

    I'm really thinking about talking to them about the whole "courting" thing instead of dating. At first I didn't really think it was that big a deal but as I spend more time with them and watching them I think they are really setting themselves up for failure.

    Yep fiddler on teh roof. I've been all over with my references today. I went for Edgar Allen Poe on twitter earlier. Anyways, yes that is a big huge part of the problem. Maybe even the root of it, though I'm not interested in the word root now after visiting the dentist …

    Sarah Salter,
    Well let me say that I am praying you find that right person. Also you don't ahve to have kids that are just like you were. Marry someone that was such a goody goody that it compensates for your rebellion.

    I wish my wife could be so intimidating … actually I don't becaus eI incure her wrath all the time and it's usually pretty cute. In fact one might say I get in trouble on purpose …

    Just remember I quoted my source for "practicing for divorce." Also, I still hate DFW and I'm flying through there with 4 kids next week. Seriously not lookign forward to that.

  16. jasonS June 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    >Yes, I'm the 16th commenter! Awesome! Gotta take joy in the small things.

    So I don't know what to do about this, but if someone figures it all out before my kids hit teenage years, please let me know.

  17. Marni June 10, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    >Nick, I'm a mere 25 mins from the airport.

    If you need me to come hang out, maybe take the kids off your hands and take them to Cinnabon while you and the Mrs. chill-ax, let a sista know…

  18. Joanne Sher June 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm #

    >Scary – I'm NOT ready to deal with this. Which is okay, cuz my kids are young. But this is an excellent reminder.

  19. Helen June 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    >Nick knows what I thought then, and he knows I changed my mind. We're cool….We are, right, Oh Geekmeister?

  20. Nick the Geek June 10, 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    >jasonS, You win the special 16th commenter prize. I'm not sure what the prize is since this is katdish's blog but congratulations.

    Marni, we have a 2.5 hour layover. With 4 kids that might be just enough time to get them there. our goal is to avoid anything sweet till 30 minutes before we see my in laws. [Evil Laugh] (also know as my normal laugh)

    Joanne Sher, You think this is scary then read what I posted on the past two days … actually don't.

    Helen, we might be cool about that but I'm still holding you responsible if that nerve dies. You shouldn't get on my nerves when they are already damaged.

  21. Candace Jean July 16 June 10, 2009 at 11:00 pm #

    >After all these comments (and being the last commenter) I had to go back again and see what the post was about. Oh yeah, now I remember.

    I watched my kids' hearts get broken over and over again in the square dance marathon they call teens-twenties. Nothing ever broke my heart more than when one of my kids' hearts was broken. Shouldn't there just be some square dance moves where it's ok to go out there and just dance alone? Free spirit? Acting like a lunatic but having a great time? Does one always need to dance with a partner?

    I guess this is why God made parents young. Having a teen today would be my death knell.

    I like Oklahoma too, Nick. Sent lots of tuition money down there.

  22. Nick the Geek June 11, 2009 at 11:34 am #

    Don't feel bad you aren't the last comment, see. Yeah there are a few people moving to their own rhythm until they bump into someone with the same rhythm. My sister is one. I'll write about "not the boyfriend" some day.

    PS, where exactly in OK did that tuition go?

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