Review of “Dating Like Airplanes”

As a cheerleader for abstinence and renewed abstinence, I get really excited when something or someone—an organization, a book, a curriculum, a speaker, a movement—comes along who champions a Christ-centered approach to dating and relationships. So I was thrilled at the opportunity to review Caleb Breakey’s latest book “Dating Like Airplanes”. I must admit my curious nature was piqued by the comparison of dating to airplanes. I know it’s been a while since I dated but airplanes?

The book’s cover ponders the question “why just fall in love when you can fly?” promising an alternative to the experience most people long for. I mean, who doesn’t want to fall in love, be totally and completely swept off your feet then live happily-ever-after? Falling is the easy part. Being swept off your feet isn’t hard either. It’s the happily-ever-after that trips us up. But Caleb points out how the “falling in love” that most people seek after isn’t what leads to the “happily-ever-after” that we assume automatically follows.

The theme of the book centers around discovering the meaning of and applying to our relationships this one statement:

     “flying is about giving your special other what he or she needs most instead of taking what you want now.”

Sounds simple, right? Just don’t be selfish. Duh. We’ve been working on that since kindergarten.

But it’s more than that. And it’s tougher than sharing the mega-sized Legos or taking turns at going down the slide. But the return is soooooooo much better than the gold star for playing well with others your parents hung on the refrigerator years ago.

With transparency and depth, Caleb shares his own experiences of falling and how he discovered a better way. Flying.

Here’s an excerpt from the book –
“When you fall, you’re out of control. There’s no slowing down. Nothing to hold on to. And no way to choose where you land—or crash. Gravity pulls you down, and your dominant thought is, Will I survive this?

When you fly, you have stability. There’s gliding and swooping. You’re at once carefree and precise. Flying is graceful, swift, and efficient. And when gravity pulls you down, your prevalent thought is, Where should I land?

             Flying still requires that you take a risk of the heart. But it’s a risk entirely different from that of falling.”

Caleb’s note at the beginning of the book is spot-on. He writes—

“So whether you’re years away from a relationship, invested in one right now, or feel as though you’re  too broken to ever try again, today is the day to rise to a love that’s greater than yourself.”

The truths shared in this book are for anyone and everyone, young or old, in a relationship now or looking toward future relationships. Those beginning the dating/relationship journey will likely save themselves untold grief by putting this advice into practice. But even days after I finished the book, examples of how my marriage could benefit from these principles continued to come to mind.

Check out “Dating Like Airplanes”. The special people in your life now—and in the future—will thank you!


10 thoughts on “Review of “Dating Like Airplanes”

  1. We were at a church small group when my husband told everyone that his love for me was like a smoke bomb (as opposed to fireworks). Instead of a big, beautiful spark that quickly died away, our love has grown in a billowy fog, more intense with each moment, a prolonged smolder. We still laugh about his analogy, and I got him smoke bombs for Valentine’s day that year, but it’s what your comment on airplanes made me think of.


  2. Sounds like a good book. I like the analogy. I’ll have to read it. Marriage is hard work and I’ve seen too many friends have their marriages fall apart. I feel like my husband and I have gotten over so many of those hurdles. But there’s always room for making our marriage better and better.

    Lisa, I love that – such a funny but sweet analogy. It actually reminds me of a scene from one of my Asian dramas: (starts around the 1:00 mark and goes to about 3:05.)


    • Marriage IS hard work–something the whole falling -in-love thing doesn’t prepare us for. A solid foundation based on truth as well as a willingness to stick with it are SO crucial. Thanks for sharing.


  3. My first thought was–you mean, we’re supposed to show up early to go through security, empty all waterbottles, and starve on peanuts?


  4. Beth, this is a great book I want to get for my 14-year old… never too early to start talking about this stuff.


    • Hannah will get a lot out of Caleb’s awesome advice. He met his wife when he was 14 and she was 11, and he draws from those experiences to develop his very passionate approach to relationships.


  5. Pingback: The Scriblerians | Looking back and moving forward

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