Bringing Up Bates has sold me on one controversial conservative practice the family follows: courtships.
While I myself am in a relationship and will not personally be following the courtship practices, the idea of it has really grown on me, thanks to the Bates family. I’m a big believer that both the physical and the emotional elements of getting to know someone make for a successful long-term relationship. But not everyone is me, and the Bates family has proven with its string of successful couples that courtships can and do work for those who choose to follow that path.
At the end of Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4 of Bringing Up Bates, we gotten to see Nathan Bates enter into and explore a courtship with Ashley Salyer. During tonight’s episode, we sadly found out that the two had decided to part ways, but the way they both handled the relationship’s end was very impressive and motivating to see.
In a world where we often text one another to break up, Nathan and Ashley spent a lot of time thinking and praying on their future together and really searching to discover if they were the right match for one another. They had enough respect for one another that nothing about their relationship was flippant. They were getting to know each other for the purpose of finding a partner in life, and I think that’s something a lot of relationships have lost in the modern age.
It didn’t work out for Nathan and Ashley in the long run as husband and wife, but it did work out for them in the sense that they are both able to walk away from the relationship having grown as individuals better able to understand what they want in a partner. Plus, Nathan seemed confident that the two would remain friends and he described the breakup as amicable.
Maybe I’m just jaded by the Los Angeles state of mind, but I wish more 20-somethings, like myself, would take the time to slow down in dating. Of course there’s the get-to-know-you phase in all relationships, but what happens past that? There generally aren’t any rules for those of us thrown into the dating ring and we’re just hoping for the best possible outcome by finding someone to build a life with. But for the Bates family, there are guidelines that help them navigate the road to a long-term relationship. Their traditions encourage deep, emotional conversation and heartfelt respect for all parties involved that I think more relationships outside this particular conservative spectrum could use.