We do people a disservice by assuming that everyone fits into the marriage mold. "Dating" as it is currently practiced in much of the world does not exist among Muslims.
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The Bible does not talk about dating; nevertheless, there are many passages which help us anyway. Especially read the final chapters of Ezra and of Nehemiah. 2 Corinthians 6 (unequal yoking) relates to sharing relationships of idolatry with unbelievers'and by way of extension, to any close alliance with an outsider. This is simply may not be possible in some cases: where one partner is excessively immature; or the husband may travel 11 months of the year; or partners are divided on central matters of the faith (such as how one becomes a Christian). Dating outside the faith, therefore, is a very, very bad idea.
Analogy: there are no scriptures on smoking, but there are principles which enable us to intelligently address the issue. Still, if someone (in violation of the scriptures) decides to marry outside the faith, there is no "easy out"; he/she must remain dedicated to the spouse.
It should be taken as seriously as any other major decision in life--with prayer, careful investigation and family involvement.
First of all, Muslim youth develop very close friendships with their same-sex peers.
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