The Awkwardness of Christian Dating
Have you heard this story?
Christian Boy and Christian Girl decide to go out for coffee. They meet up, have a decent time, and then return to their respective homes, where their roommates ask, “How did it go?”
Christian Girl shrugs and replies, “He’s nice. We had fun, but I didn’t feel like there were any sparks. Maybe I should give it more time.”
Christian Boy tells his roommate, “She’s the one. I’m going to text her tonight and tell her how I’m feeling.”
Maybe the roles are reversed or things don’t move quite this quickly, but no matter how it plays out—Christian dating can be awkward. Many young Christian men and women don’t know how to act in a healthy dating situation.
Why do young ladies so often feel attracted to non-Christian guys? Because the girls can just be themselves! There is no pressure to perform or to behave a certain way, and in all likelihood, the young man across the table isn’t trying to judge her as potential “wife material.”
He isn’t sitting there and saying to himself, “Let’s see. She mentioned her niece twice, so she obviously likes kids—that’s good. But she’s talked about her job four times, so she might be overly career oriented.”
Applying pressure to your date and yourself doesn’t allow you to figure out what you’re truly feeling—and it doesn’t let you have fun with the person either.
Here are a few things to consider as you date in the Christian world.
Relax and Be Their Friend
As you’re getting to know someone, one of the most important things you can do is just be yourself and relax. Give your date the same opportunity without applying pressure for something more. Honor this person as a potential spouse—maybe yours but maybe someone else’s.
Focus on pursuing a good friendship rather than an exclusive romantic relationship. Friendship dating is a safe and meaningful way to get to know the opposite sex, and the expectation for friendship (rather than “This is my husband!” or “This is my wife!”) will save you a lot of heartache.
Hormones may push you to desire more from the relationship right away, but avoid this slope. Put aside the pressure to “find the one,” and remember a good friendship needs to be the purpose and healthy expectation in dating.
Have fun and trust what God is doing with you.
Date Someone Who Knows Who They Are
A lot of people don’t know who they are. Perhaps they’ve let their families, friends, heartache, or culture tell them what is important. The result is they know only a shadow of who they are, not the full picture.
In an article for Moral Revolution, Nathan Edwardson talks about the importance of knowing a man’s “real name,” who he actually is below the surface. He puts it like this:
In the book Song of Songs, the woman says to her lover, “Your name is like purified oil.” In the Hebrew language, the word for name is best translated to be etched. In this day, a name was much more than what people would call you. A name was your character, your virtue; your hidden life with God… A name spoke of a person’s core, the kind of person they are when no one is looking. She is saying to Solomon, “Your character is holy.”
It is really important to uncover the true character of the person you’re interested in. All of us are in the process of growing closer to God and getting healthier, so I’m not telling you, “Go find someone who is perfect.” But I am saying you don’t have to settle for someone who only acts like a follower of Jesus.
Date someone who knows who they are and who God is to them—someone who seeks Him and wants to know His ways.
Don’t Be in a Hurry
All of us know people who rushed into relationships and regretted it afterward. It wasn’t just that the relationships ended, but they ended badly. We are surrounded by the broken castles of relationships that didn’t work out because they were built too quickly and without a firm foundation.
It’s important to date the person long enough to really know who they are.
What do they love?
How do they respond in stressful situations?
Do they truly, thoroughly follow Jesus?
Do you share the same core values and life goals?
How do they treat their parents?
Questions like these can help you discern what your heart is thinking and how God is leading you.
Always remember your heavenly Father’s great love for you and that He has excellent plans for your future.
For more information on sex, marriage, and finding the person who is right for you, get a copy of Becoming the One by Salomé Roat. Click here to learn more.