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Invernessity

I noticed that Kelly Bates has described the relationship between her 18 year old daugher Alyssa, and 23 year old John Webster, the son of a Congressman who is a Bates family friend, as "Special Friends." Kelly explicitedly denied that Alyssa and John are courting, but she did say that they are spending time together to get to know each other and develop a friendship. I am unfamiliar with the term "special friends" and wondered how this differs from "courting." I was wondering if anyone can clarify this situation for me. Thank you.

 

To clarify briefly, what I specifically wanted to know is about the term "special friends" versus the term "courting?" Thank you.

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Depressed
tabitha2

Kelly bates thinks their is strong potential for john asking to court Alyssa in the not to distant future AD and as he is a great catch they are helping it along I would guess.

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Meh
formergothardite

I guess after the horrible public failed courtship that one of their sons had, they are keeping it all pretty hushed up until things are more sure. It is easier to drop a "special friendship" than a courtship.

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Syd+Marky

Ha-It sounds like the fundie version of "friends with benefits."

I would think a "special friendship" would be one where chaperones are needed even though they aren't courting.

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NoneandDoneinCali

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Jeebus specifically forebade "friendships" of any kind between the opposite sexes due to the possibility of defrauding?

Just FYI, I had a "special friend" through much of my early twenties, and the Bateses would NOT have approved of it, though we spent much time worshiping and in "sweet fellowship" lol. Is there a pervert smiley??

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Invernessity

Thanks for the insights. I have followed "fundies" for many years now and never heard this term before. In agreement with the post above, I also thought friendships between two teenagers of the oposite sex were essentially prohibited.

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kpmom

Maybe it's like what Nathan and Melanie Maxwell did.

Their families didn't know each other very well, so they decided to spend time together getting to know each other before the actual courtiing began. I don't mean the young people spending time together, I mean the entire families.

I know what you're thinking. How romantic! :romance-heartsfade:

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mockingbird
Kelly bates thinks their is strong potential for john asking to court Alyssa in the not to distant future AD and as he is a great catch they are helping it along I would guess.

Yeah, that's kind-of what I thought. I suppose male/female friendships are kind-of frowned upon among fundies because it leads to teh sex so I honestly think it's just that the parents are allowing them to be friends... because they might end up courting. Which is kind-of sad, really.

It kind-of reminds me of a couple I know, who were friends and knew they liked each other, but waited a long time to start dating. One of them felt like it would be a bigger commitment because they were already so close, and wasn't ready for that right away. They were also not interested in dating someone they wouldn't like to marry, and weren't willing to risk their friendship until they figured out whether they could really see themselves with that person. (They both dated in the past and had exes, but just viewed dating as only a means to find a marriage partner vs. being for fun, etc.) So they were kind-of in an "in-between", not in a relationship but not looking for anyone else stage for awhile and that reminded me of what the Bateses have set up here with Alyssa and John?

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ThatSnark

Oh FFS. Why must they artificially create the normal progression of two people becoming a couple? Pre-pre-courting? I understand, respect, and appreciate that these folks are not doing the meeting-twice-before-the-wedding rush job. But why not just say, "We'd like our children to get to know other interesting young people, with the hope that someday they'll discover their future mate among their friends." Simple as that. Why the awkward formal stages? Why set up expectations and run into "failed courtships" and pieces of hearts all over the internet? The Bates are better than most, but in general, the Courtship Crowd just makes me shake my head.

Ugh. Fundies.

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DistantStar

I read "special friendship" in my interpretation of fundie-dom as two people of the same sex who are from outward appearance just friends but are actually far more but are unable to be open about it. Just sayin'. Nothing to do with opposite-sex courting.

Bwahaha.

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Odd1Out

They have to know everyone is going to assume they are courting if they put pictures of them together on a date night type blog post. I don't get all their steps to courting either.

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revengeforwanda
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Jeebus specifically forebade "friendships" of any kind between the opposite sexes due to the possibility of defrauding?

Just FYI, I had a "special friend" through much of my early twenties, and the Bateses would NOT have approved of it, though we spent much time worshiping and in "sweet fellowship" lol. Is there a pervert smiley??

Same here. ;) My "special friend" was a born-again who was conflicted between his overriding desire to finally kiss a girl (at age twenty-six) and lose his virginity, and everything that his evangelical, whackadoodle church told him was wrong with normal, healthy sexuality. The Lord laid it upon my heart to "minister" to him as a special project, heathen that I am. Maybe the Lord will lay it upon my heart to write Kelly and praise her for encouraging sweet fellowship among special friends?

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ladyamylynn
I noticed that Kelly Bates has described the relationship between her 18 year old daugher Alyssa, and 23 year old John Webster, the son of a Congressman who is a Bates family friend, as "Special Friends." Kelly explicitedly denied that Alyssa and John are courting, but she did say that they are spending time together to get to know each other and develop a friendship. I am unfamiliar with the term "special friends" and wondered how this differs from "courting." I was wondering if anyone can clarify this situation for me. Thank you.

To clarify briefly, what I specifically wanted to know is about the term "special friends" versus the term "courting?" Thank you.

Dating. That's all it is. John and Alyssa are dating. They have a romantic attraction to one another, and have chosen to spend time together getting to know each other better with hopes that the relationship will proceed to marriage. Like what millions and millions of other people around the planet are also doing, right now. Literally.

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bananacat

It's exactly like dating except different because shut up that's why.

As a side note, does anyone find the age difference slightly unsettling? 5 years is nothing for adults, but I sure as hell changed a lot between 18 and 23.

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RosyDaisy

These fundies and their courting/dating rituals make me dizzy :confusion-seeingstars:

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Guest

I think that they're only not courting because of her age. They might be courting in all but name, but the parents don't want her to commit to a courtship until she's a bit older. Maybe they're waiting for her 19th or 20th birthday, then they'll have a short courtship and then get engaged.

Edited because I thought Alyssa was already 19. She turned 18 in November. She's a youngin'

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slowdivestellar
It's exactly like dating except different because shut up that's why.

As a side note, does anyone find the age difference slightly unsettling? 5 years is nothing for adults, but I sure as hell changed a lot between 18 and 23.

I just think it's a big difference for them because of the sheltered lifestyle. The women (although many of them still seem like teenage girls) are basically swooped up, married off, and forced to listen to their headship for the rest of their lives. Usually the fundie wives start having babies soon after marriage, which is bad for the ones who start young and have more fertile years. My boyfriend and I started dating when I was 18 and he was 25; that was three years ago. I joke about the age difference once in a while, but the relationship has been really respectful and great. I can't really imagine Alyssa having the same experience though.

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Buzzard

I will laugh hysterically as boob and michelle try and smile through their teeth if a bates child gets married to a "political" family before they manage to sell off one of theirs.

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lilith

I think they are courting by Bates standards, but cause Allyssa's guy is from a less crazily fundie family there isn't an official courtship, but he's way too good a catch for Gil to forbid it just cause he isn't jumping through the Gothard prescribed hoops.

Also, cause he's from a somewhat prominent family with a political reputation to protect, I don't see anything being announced until engagement.

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Ralar
I think that they're only not courting because of her age. They might be courting in all but name, but the parents don't want her to commit to a courtship until she's a bit older. Maybe they're waiting for her 19th or 20th birthday, then they'll have a short courtship and then get engaged.

Edited because I thought Alyssa was already 19. She turned 18 in November. She's a youngin'

So if all goes according to plan god's will, they'll "date with a purpose" for about 18 months, court for a month, get engaged around her 20th birthday, and get married in Jan. 2015.

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ILoveJellybeans

Theyre just dating then?

Thats fine. Cant they just say it though, or does it not count as dating if they refer to it by any other name?

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Carla Bruni

The big question I'm not seeing an answer to yet, ladies, is... is there handsex?! :wink-penguin:

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Guest

It doesn't look like they're touching each other, other than maybe shoulder to shoulder (or shoulder to elbow in their case- haha!). It doesn't really look like Erin and Chad hold hands either. I really wonder what the Bates' "touching rules" are and if they've evolved along with their opinion of courtship. Maybe they'll be able to *gasp* hug face to face before they're married! Wouldn't that be a scandal??

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Chibi Author

Shoulder sex?

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love2scrap

Shoulder sex HA!!! What if my parents don't let me even touch shoulders with a guy, is that air sex?

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