Collin Klein’s wife Shalin Spani


  1. adam

    I’ve seen a few different articles on this couple, and a fair amount of commentary from folks who are completely baffled. As someone with similar beliefs, I will attempt to at least partially explain…

    First, I want to point out that, according to another article I read, they had been friends for a good while before they ever dated. They had gotten to know each other, and I think it’s fairly safe to say they knew each other fairly well if they both felt so confident that they wanted to get engaged and then married. So they did not go on what they officially called “a date” until they became engaged. This does not mean their relationship was completely devoid of the kinds of things that will build a lasting relationship. It does not even mean there wasn’t attraction/flirtation/etc. going on long before hand.

    So why didn’t they just start dating earlier? Why weren’t they “going out” long before they got engaged just like the proverbial “everybody else”? I can’t speak for them of course, but here are some reasons for bucking the general approach followed by most people in our society:

    1. Have you taken a look at the state of dating and marriage relationships in our society? Clearly there is quite a bit of room for improvement. We should think twice about thinking anyone is crazy for taking an approach that is quite a bit different.

    2. The way I see it, so many relationships crash and burn because our pop culture goes way over the top in encouraging people to dive in to romantic love (or lust) way too quickly. You like someone? They like you back? Great, congratulations, you now are (or at least ought to be) boyfriend and girlfriend. You get exclusive rights on each other. And, oh yeah, if you still feel the same way after three dates, it is time to have sex. With this kind of approach (even if you’re taking it slower than they do in the movies) the level of romantic and/or sexual attraction gets way ahead of the level of friendship and/or the level of commitment/loyalty to that person as an important person in your life.

    3. When you look at it like this, I would argue that taking a relationship to the exclusive, dating status is actually a very big step — that it ought to be thought of this way. Agreeing to exclusivity definitely has the tendency to increase the level of romantic attachment. Usually this is done simply because you find out you like each other and, hey, it’s just what people do. It feels great, and the new “dating” status usually amps those feelings up to soaring, amazing, wonderful levels. But meanwhile, you have very little idea whether this will be a good person for you to commit to in the long term.

    4. For these reasons, many Christians have chosen a different approach. There are as many variations as there are people who make this choice, but the general idea is to hold back — not repress, but hold back — the feelings of romantic and sexual attraction. It’s not about pretending those feelings don’t exist, but it is recognizing they can quickly get away from you if you don’t keep a good grip on the reigns. It is trying to lay a solid foundation of friendship, of knowing the good and bad about a person, of building trust and loyalty which hopefully can get out in front of the feelings of attraction before really turning them loose.

    5. So one major way to try to accomplish this is to postpone taking things to the exclusive “dating” status. In my opinion, this is the best way our society could improve upon the success rate of our romantic relationships. With the woman who is now my wife, we did not wait until we were engaged before we would “date”, but we did not really consider it to be “dating” until we were giving serious consideration to getting married. We knew how we felt about each other, and did stuff together, and maybe even some folks would have considered it to be more or less “dating”, but we intentionally did not want to make it totally exclusive before we had gotten to know each other better (that time period was about five months, give or take — perhaps it was a similar time period for Klein and Spani).

    6. The physical boundaries that Klein and others set for themselves is basically another tactic for accomplishing the same thing I have mentioned above — namely trying to make sure friendship/loyalty/etc. have a chance to get out ahead of the feelings of attraction. My wife and I did not wait until our wedding day for our first kiss, but we did give some consideration to that approach. We did not kiss before we had essentially already decided we wanted to get married.

    To sum up, a number of Christians have chosen a different approach to romantic relationships which is an attempt to build a relationship on a more solid and lasting foundation than mere feelings of attraction can provide

    On a slightly different topic, I want to touch on the whole “waiting until marriage for sex” concept. I often see comments from people who think even this is crazy. There are all kinds of things to be said about this, but one thing I think few people understand is that Christians generally believe sex to be a conjugal act. We believe that God created sex and intended it as a celebration of two people who have committed their lives to each other. Just as you can’t have a house-warming party before you have closed the deal on your house, you can’t have a conjugal act before you have made the vow. Not that this is the only reason for waiting until marriage, but if you want to understand those who do, you should understand this aspect of the Christian understanding of sex.

  2. Michael

    If I got it right, the author of the story found himself married to a different person than the one he lived with for five years, no? I mean, dude, the way you paint it, she gave you a few surprises AFTER you got married? I bet she gained 20 lbs., didn’t she? And her sex drive isn’t what it used to be? etc. And? Your marriage is still intact? Even though you’re still not sure it was the right call? .

    Guess what? About three quarters of people on planet Earth don’t have sex prior to marriage. I wonder how many of them get attacked for not hanging wet towels.

    Hey, dude. the guy is marrying his best friend. They’ll figure out the physical aspects of a relationship. They both got principals they live with, and that’s hard, you know? I mean, you couldn’t do that’ could you? So, you chose to justify your actions with words that make it all sound acceptable. Weak.

  3. Reedsport

    It’s all about values. What matters most to you. Towels on the floor? How about drugs,fidelity, Sunday church worship, how children will be raised…?

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