Keep Things Out in the Open (Part I)
To clarify what I mean, here’s how Webster’s defines the word “intimate”:
- belonging to or characterizing one’s deepest nature
- marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity
- marked by a warm friendship developing through long association
- suggesting informal warmth or privacy
- of a very personal or private nature
If you want to grow in this kind of intimacy, without the temptation of falling into the other kind of intimacy, you don’t want to be isolated. By that I mean: don’t put yourself (and your date) in a position where other people are not able to see you or reach you. In fact, don’t even take your date some place where you don’t expect to be seen often and/or without notice.
In our hyper-sexualized society, purity and privacy are often inversely related. The more isolated you are the more drawn you’ll be to engage in sexual intimacy. The more you stay out in the open, the less sexual tension you’ll have to fight.The fact is, you can have an intimate conversation (about life, family backgrounds, disappointments, hopes, lessons learned) in the corner of a coffee shop or on a park bench with kids playing nearby. Non-dating people do this all the time!
If you know your roommate won’t be home, that’s not the place to take your date (unless you want to get in trouble). Same thing with a parked car or any other secluded place.
I know, this could get awkward. You’re not going to be able to have your date over alone for dinner. You’re certainly not going to be able to travel alone together. DON’T WORRY! YOU’LL BE ABLE TO DO THAT AFTER MARRIAGE!
For now, if you love to cook together, invite another couple to keep you company. You love to hike in the mountains? Take some friends along. I think when you’re 60+ years old and are looking back over your life, the inconvenience of these sorts of adjustments will pale in comparison to the regret of falling into sin you never would have even considered if you had intentionally made the decision to NOT date isolated.
What a world we’ve made for ourselves where jumping into bed isn’t supposed to be awkward, but setting guidelines to make sure that doesn’t happen is.
Still, you might be thinking, “Hey MJ, what if you have some intense issues to discuss that might illicit emotions (other than romantic passion) which you don’t want to display in public – emotions like anger, anxiety or sorrow?” We’ll address that next weekend as we continue this bit of FMU Date Night Advice. Stay tuned until then… and keep things out in the open.
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!