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The biblical, and hence Christian, benchmark for romantic appreciation and engagement is the Song of Songs.

Beyond that the Bible doesn't talk about boyfriend-girlfriend relationships - only betrothal (engagement) and marriage itself.

Of course, in the delightful event that you find yourselves steadily converging socially and emotionally after any hormonal high has abated, then the presupposition of transience can happily be discarded as you move to engagement.

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One can see these as a gently progressive and exploratory continuum of social interaction and deliberate choices, with acquaintance leading to faithfulness and finally commitment through evolving attachment.

Apart from ongoing faithful relationships with long-term potential, on the trajectory towards marriage, there is of course scope for more recreational encounters and social friendships where you simply hang out to enjoy one another as people.

The sexual buzz is there, but for any number of reasons the long-term prospect of anything more than friendship is not for the time being.

The 'down to earth' contents of this chapter should not be allowed to detract from the Song's spontaneity, nor its sensuous beauty and majesty.

Here we aim to flesh out some contemporary wisdom in relation to the love extolled in the Song and the progression towards an enduring one-flesh relationship.

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