This is a question I received in a Facebook group. I want to give a few suggestions and recommendations to help singles to navigate through the challenges of dating in today’s society. As we know, there are many different avenues available to meet or connect with other singles. There is face-to-face dating, online dating, as well as a friend or family may introduce you to someone. Dating means you are gathering data to determine if the person is a potential mate. This data gathering process is only needed if you and the person is wanting a relationship.
I think the first steps is to define dating mean to you. Some singles may find themselves in a situation where they have recently met someone and was invited on a date to get acquainted. This type of event could be very platonic and never lead to any type of a relationship. I suggest singles go into this type of situation with a friendly and opened mind. Enjoy the opportunity to get to know someone new, and not read more into it than that. I suggest this type of date should include friends, or other couples. Invite the person to a group or family event to avoid the pressure of spending one-on-one time with someone you don’t know. If the person ask to see you again after that initial date, then that will let you know there may be an interest there. At that time you can determine if you are interested in them and want another date to learn more about them.
On the other hand, dating may be a situation, where you have passed the getting acquainted stage and you are seeing this person on a regular basis. Dating has become a weekly event and have been happening for an extended period of time. You have become very transparent and open in your conversations. Also, you have discussed plans for the relationship to be long-term and the end goal is to one day be married. I recommend this level of dating should be for the purpose of marriage. We do not want to become mentally and emotionally connected to someone who do not desire to be your spouse.
If you are at the stage of dating someone to one day marry, here are a few tips to help you to keep God first in your relationship. You don’t want to make a life changing decision based on any thing other than God’s will for you life concerning marriage.
- Define the relationship in the early stages. Ask key questions that are related to morals, values, spiritual, mental, emotional and physical needs. Where is the relationship going? What’s the goal of the relationship?
- Connect with a credible couple for accountability. You and your mate should be transparent with this couple, and trust the God in them to advise you in your relationship.
- Keep your flesh under control. Do not allow physical attraction and sex to be the foundation of your relationship. Sex will cloud your thinking and cause you the miss red flags. A marriage built solely on physical desires will not be able to endure the challenges that comes with marriage.
- Do not become distracted by other relationships. Stay focused on what God is saying to you about your relationship. Do not compare your situation to what you see others are doing. Let God be your guide.
- Do not build a relationship on potential. We can not change a person into what we want them to be. What you see, is what you get. Potential is possible, but change only happens if the person is willing to invest in themselves to make that change. If potential and possibility never happens, you subject yourself to a lifetime commitment with years of heartache, pain and disappointment. Only God can change the heart of a man.
If there are more questions about this subject, I will continue this blog at another time to further discuss techniques to solidify a healthy relationship. I hope this helps!