Don’t Date Like a Dummy

Whether you have found dating to be a tad daunting or whether your dating life is a complete disaster, I pose this question: Would you like to thrive throughout your dating experience?

Truth is, I merely survived the dating process. I emerged with an amazing wife who, after 20+ years, is still my best friend, but I made many missteps. Ridiculous missteps that would have never been made had I examined and understood the motives which drove me to date.

I believe you can thrive in your dating experience if you understand and commit to avoiding these ten dating blunders. But it’s going to take more than one quick post to do that. That’s why I spent the majority of last year walking through the TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date in our Date Night Advice (DNA) blog.

Now, here for the first time, I share all ten in one post, with hyperlinks for each dumb reason, so you can drill down and understand the motives of which you suspect you might be guilty.

#10: Because I Can
Some date just because they can. They’re old enough, they’re smart enough, and dog-gone-it people will go out with them. However, the right question is never, “Can I,” but “Should I?” The three posts in this series address the dangers of both a liberal perspective (I can do whatever I want) and legalistic perspective (I can do whatever I want as long as I complete the proper paperwork with the correct TPS cover sheet) on dating.

#9: Everyone’s Doing It
No they aren’t. Of course we all know this intellectually, but it doesn’t feel like it emotionally. I explain why that is in this two-part series, as well as investigate why we are so prone to follow the crowd in the first place.

#8: Just for Fun
Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE FUN! Especially in dating. However, can we be perfectly honest? No one dates “just for fun.” If you just want to have fun with other people you hang out and have fun. You don’t call it a date. I learned this the hard way, so that you don’t have to… at least not after you read this three-parter.

#7: Somebody Asked Me
They did? Congratulations! But do you know why they asked you? Again, there are always motives for dating, or we’d just call it chillin’ like a villain. We cover a lot of ground in this five-part series, including both how to extend and receive a dating invite in a way that’s both intentional and sincere.

#6: I’m Curious
This approach treats dating like a scientific experiment. But the chemicals of romance are pretty powerful compounds to play with. That’s why, in three posts, I encourage you to satisfy your curiosity by pursuing solid friendships which hold the potential for romantic love to blossom, instead of continuing to date until you experience some magic movie-scene moment.

#5: Status
When I dated for status only my close friends knew. Now, thanks to Facetagram and Twitterest,  you can date for status and let the whole blooming world know. Over two posts we uncover the fallout of dating for both the “in a relationship” or “married” status.

#4: Belonging
When I was dating, I deeply longed to be accepted, validated, chosen. But this is an identity-killer, when it’s your motive for dating. Especially since belonging isn’t something you feel until you believe it. That means someone else can’t really make you feel like you belong even if you do. Does your heart ache to belong to another heart? PLEASE read at least the first of these three posts.

#3: Romance
Yes. I know. This doesn’t make sense. Romance is supposed to be what dating is all about. Unfortunately since romantic feelings are chemically induced, this motivation basically turns dating into a way of getting your next high. Does this sound like a healthy way to find a life partner? We talk about that in this three-part series.

#2: Sexual Intercourse
Five of the posts in this series wound up being our five MOST READ posts of last year. For a rundown of each post you’ll want to check out the post, Intercourse: It’s Not Just a City in Pennsylvania. You may very well not view sex in the same way again. And that’s probably a good thing.

#1: To Find Love
Again, like romance, this seems like an OBVIOUS reason TO date. Not a dumb one. However, in this three-parter we present three key truths about love that may very well set you free from needing to find love and learn how to live in the security of the love you already have.

I’m not saying that if you follow these guidelines everything will work out for you, but I am saying violating these principles will cost you something. Probably more than you think. So enjoy browsing these posts and then go out and enjoy your dating life!

Know someone else who might benefit from this series? Send them a link to this post. Raised any further questions? Ask them in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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: DATING, Learn from My Mistakes, TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date
  • Tiffany

    That’s true that dating should not be to find love. God created us with a healthy desire for love, but that desire can only be fulfilled through Him. Living in confidence of this is hard, but I believe that when we understand how God loves us, we can understand how to love and accept love from one another.

    • Thanks for continuing the conversation, Tiffany! God bless you!

  • ZekeMastadon

    I see so many women and men using others because they worship romance. They don’t know how to love each other. They get caught up in “feelings” and “attraction,” and don’t know that love is far more than that…its really depressing. Worse yet, with the invent of online dating, they go on websites and lower their standards, swiping right, and right. It’s a meat market (literally). It makes people think others are mere objects to use for the purpose of feeling better about themselves. I have yet to see one actual successful relationship from that (and stats don’t lie- the failure rate is upwards of 60%). Women take their cues from trash-shows like Sex in the City and think that is how you build a successful relationship. Its not. Men have the clear advantage nowadays and its only growing worse. If only women realized they DON’T need someone else to live, survive, or have a successful life. You shouldn’t date because you are desperate, you should go out with someone who notices you in your natural habitat, likes you for WHO you are (not what they think you can do in bed or fantasize about), etc. Not just some picture on a screen, but your character. Women should work on their character….but most are just chasing boys. Men also need to realize a lot of women out there just see a paycheck to mooch off of if they get close enough to you. That is sad and pathetic.

    But the truth is- you don’t have to be part of the chaos and idiocy that is modern relationships. Not everyone wants this garbage where people are grossly sexualized and seen as a tool. People are human beings and should be loved for who they are- as God intended, not as a tool for your sex drive, not as a tool so you feel better about your “status,” not because your “eggs” or your “sperm” are getting old and you selfishly think having children will make you or someone else happy, not because you are poor and want to just be a housewife— nope….

    Be the person you would want to date…and if you are fortunate enough to meet someone who appreciates you for who you are (in real life—not on the online meat market–which is designed AS a meat market- its really not a place people should be looking for “love-” because by default your reasons are wrong) and wants to actually go through life with you and base your relationship on friendship first- then maybe you have something. Otherwise you start something on the wrong foot and for the wrong reasons…and its no wonder in the Americanized romanticized hyper sexualized garbage world we have such high rates of divorce. Love is not sex. There is no such thing as love at first sight- lust for sure, but not love.

    Character is what matters. If someone can take the time out to be friends with you, grow with you, and want to be with you when you are old and unattractive in a mutually respectful relationship where Christ is its center (see that character thing), then you can marry them. And you know what? That type of relationship would work.

    This is probably rare- but its better than the suffering and misery that comes from being on the meat-market, lying to yourself, using others, and idolizing “romance,” over everything else.

    Oh and you are ok if you are single! There isn’t anything wrong with that!!!! You can be a 100% normal and fulfilled person while you are single. This is the biggest problem in both churches and also around the world today- thinking you are “less than” people in relationships, or that you HAVE to be in one- this is what causes chaos, stupidity, and declining values/compromises. Being single doesn’t mean you are pathetic, couldn’t get a date, or are unattractive, or unloved by others. The myths that are perpetuated in the media, by friends, by family, are false.

    You also are not made to “breed” necessarily. Nothing in the New Testament teaches that whatsoever. Paul actually says being single is a good thing because you can do work for Christ at a greater level. Just think about that.

    Some people want to leap into dating and marriage for the wrong reasons (like being horny) its foolish. Marriage is something that should be looked at as holy and a sacrament. Its not designed to make you ‘happy’ but holy. Its going to be difficult, its going to have days that are awful where you will probably want to strangle your spouse or throw a plate at them. Its not all daisies and Disney. Its hard and painstaking work, even if the person you marry seems “perfect” and has great character, it takes God to keep your marriage together. Are you 100% for God or do you live for yourself prior to dating, prior to going into marriage? If not, stop and fix yourself before you add another person in the mix- or you will end up hurting them or yourself.

    Women- drop the vanity act, the sillyness, the idolization of romance, and realize being single isn’t the end of the world. Its unattractive, its desperate, and its ungodly. Grow character and righteousness- be kind, patience, and above all- have self control.

    Men- grow up! Get a job, quit fiddydiddling in your parent’s basements, go to school, finish your degrees, so at the very least you can afford rent if you get married one day…and quit chasing women based on looks and not character, or because you are horny. Grow your character, have honor, steadfastness, patience, and self control- now that is truly attractive.

    • Whew! YOU WIN the award for “Longest Comment on our Page Ever that Wasn’t just a Bitter Rant!” (smile)

      Seriously, great thoughts here. Thanks for adding to the conversation! My favorite thing you said:

      “Its going to be difficult, its going to have days that are awful where
      you will probably want to strangle your spouse or throw a plate at
      them. Its not all daisies and Disney. Its hard and painstaking work,
      even if the person you marry seems “perfect” and has great character, it
      takes God to keep your marriage together.”

      “Its not all daisies and Disney.” CLASSIC line, ZekeMastadon! Got your own blog?