A Different Approach to Dating

dna-new approachMany believe a great date is about what you do; the activity; the experience. It’s about entertaining and impressing.

I used to believe that and would go to great lengths to put together some memorable moments.

Like the time my partner-in-double-dating, David, and I prepared a picnic dinner on the 50-yard line of the Baylor stadium. Our dates didn’t know where they were until we removed their blindfolds. Yes, we blindfolded them. After (sort of) kidnapping them at (plastic) knife point. (We knew them well enough already, so it wasn’t creepy.)

Or what about the time I planned a “surprise” epic gun battle in the intramural fields from which my date and I were to barely escape alive, by being whisked away in a black sedan to dinner and an evening with Jerry Seinfeld. (Sadly, I didn’t really know her that well and thus the shootout misfired, But Seinfeld was funny.)

Or forget about the dates I planned. How about the one where my date surprised me with a ride in a Jaguar to the airport where we boarded a private plane to our dinner destination in Austin?!?

All great memories, but those extravagant schemes never helped me get to know any of those girls better. So that’s all they are: great memories.

Perhaps you think that would be good enough for you, but sometime before you reach death’s door you are going to realize that life isn’t about experiences as much as it is about relationships, because experiences only make up where you’ve been, but relationships make up who you are.

If you can believe that, then you can see how a great date isn’t just two people having a good time together, but two people having a good time together as they get to know one another. This is why I believe, instead of entertaining or impressing each other, the purpose of dating should be about growing in intimacy.

Instead of memorable, I’d encourage you to shoot for meaningful. This will take less “strategery” than breaking into a football stadium, or staging a scene from Mission Impossible, but it will still take some planning.

It won’t take access to luxury cars or private planes. It won’t even require plastic knives or pop guns. Instead, it will require understanding what you want to get to know about your date (and what you want them to know about you), and then learning how to navigate your dating life in such a way to grow in that knowledge together.

There is a dangerous side to this approach to dating. It will call for far more vulnerability than shooting to entertain and impress. In fact, most people are too afraid to pursue intimacy, even in friendship much less dating. They’re content (and, frankly, quite used to) keeping things shallow.

The question you have to ask yourself is, how long do you want to keep entertaining and impressing your date while you keep them at a safe distance?

  • Until you can’t stand it anymore and have to break it off?
  • Until the engagement ring?
  • Until the wedding day?
  • Until death do you part?

I’m looking forward to getting into the important stuff you want to learn about your date as well as offering a little help in developing that kind of relationship. So keep on coming back each week during our continuing series on purpose-driven dating (click here for the next post in this series).

In the meantime though, if all of this intimacy stuff seems fairly foreign to you, please check out one or more of these past Date Night Advice posts:

This post is one in a series on Purpose-Driven Dating which we define as follows: Intentional time invested in one other person for the purpose of growing in intimacy that might lead to a life-giving, life-long marriage. Our current focus: …for the purpose of growing in intimacy… The series begins with this post.

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better?  And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!

 

Categories: …for the purpose of growing in intimacy…, DATING, Friends Don't Let Friends Date Dumb, Purpose-Driven Dating