1. “Breaking Up is Hard to Do – Especially in the Orthodox World.” (Jewcy, Rachel Delia Benaim, July 2014)

I recently finished reading Cut Me Loose, Leah Vincent’s memoir of her time in the ultra-Orthodox community, her subsequent shunning and eventual breakout. Benaim, the author of this piece comes from a Modern Orthodox background, but many of the reactions she faced after she broke off her engagement reminded me of Vincent’s romantic struggles. In the close-knit Orthodox community, Benaim’s broken engagement stigmatized her, and she had to rise above the judgment of her community.

2. “The Secret Life of Marrieds: She Was a Virgin, He Was a Porn Addict.” (Cosmopolitan, Jane Marie, July 2014)

Stacie and Chuck met on eHarmony and saved their first kiss (let alone sex) for marriage. They discuss the distance, the differences in their previous dating experiences, their expectations and struggles in this interview.

3. “I Was a Female ‘Nice Guy.’” (Buzzfeed, Dianna Anderson, July 2014)

In relationships based on Christian “purity culture,” the woman is pursued and the man is the pursuer. But Anderson found that waiting for the men in her life to notice her as more than a friend made her resentful and bitter.

4. “Author Katie Heaney on Friendship, Feminism, and Lessons Learned from Not Dating.” (Religion News Service, Chris Stedman, March 2014)

There are many interviews with Heaney about her lauded memoir, Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date. I chose to list Stedman’s because he is the Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community; I knew he would make a point to ask about Heaney’s religious background. So much is made of mainstream religious fundamentalism’s rejection of modern dating culture; I wondered what Heaney, an agnostic, would have to say on the subject. Her perspective and decisions are, unsurprisingly, complex and articulate.

Photo: Biblioarchives