Welcome to Purpose-Driven Dating

dna-purpose drivenI want to start off this week’s Date Night Advice (DNA) with the vision cast in last week’s post. If the following paragraph inspires you, you won’t want to miss any part of this series:

“What if your dating life could reflect the reality that you were born to make friends more than to make out?

What if dating became, once again, a step into maturity? And what if it could be that, and still be fun? Even better…”


“What if dating could be a truly meaningful, life-enriching experience, instead of some sort of minefield you had to tip-toe through hoping to reach the other side alive. With a mate. One you actually wound up still liking on your 50th anniversary?”


Is it possible? We think so!

But every successful journey requires two things:

  1. Setting the right destination for the future
  2. Taking the right step in the present

And so, in developing what we call purpose-driven dating, we took into account both of those critical elements. We also wanted to address the unique challenges of both the dating and courtship paradigms.

Setting the Right Destination for the Future

Perhaps, the most common shortcoming of dating, as it is portrayed in pop culture (and subsequently practiced by the people in the culture), is a lack of purpose or intentionality.

I believe this stems largely from a confusion as to where a serious relationship is supposed to be headed, assuming a serious relationship actually materializes, and assuming that when it does you can actually recognize it.


How can you be intentional about dating if you don’t know what your intent is? How can you be purposeful if you don’t have a point?


Is it marriage? Is it starting a family? And if both, which comes first? Is the objective  moving in together or simply gauging (and enjoying) romantic attraction and/or sexual compatibility? Or is the whole goal just to get to the second date?

We address the TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date in a previous DNA series. If you haven’t yet read that, this post which summarizes all ten was the 2nd most viewed post in 2014.

But for now, can we all agree that, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re unlikely to get there? And can we then agree that reaching a desired destination within a desired time frame is; for lack of a better word: desirable?

If so, I think you’ll find purpose-driven dating will help you set that destination.

Taking the Right Step in the Present

Surely the most common charge leveled against courtship is legalism. However, there are so many different versions of courtship out there, I’m not sure this is a fair assessment. What some people mean by “courtship” is certainly a draconian system of control, but what other people mean by “courtship” is; ahhh; well; dating. Meanwhile, most courtshippers are following a process that lies somewhere between those two poles.

Having said that, there is another temptation I find more common with courtship. (Yes, I know, there’s not supposed to be any temptation with courtship, but indulge me.)

The real problem lies is placing too much focus on the future, resulting in a compulsion to micromanage the relationship in the present. But…


Relationships were never meant to be micromanaged. They weren’t meant to be managed at all. They were meant to be entered into and lived and grown in.


Unfortunately, that’s harder than it sounds, but you can’t enjoy the journey if you believe contentment lies only at the end of the road. Or the end of the aisle, as the case may be.

If you’re picking up on what I’m laying down, I can’t wait for you to see how purpose-driven dating can set you free to live in the moment.

So What is Purpose-Driven Dating?

It’s pretty simple. Here ya go:

Purpose-Driven Dating: intentional time invested in one other person for the purpose of growing in intimacy that might lead to a life-giving, life-long marriage.

Over the next few weeks we’ll flesh out this definition, but for now let us know how it hits you? More specifically, what questions does it raise for you?

I know every good blog post is supposed to ask for your opinion at the end, but I’m encouraging you not to judge this definition until we’ve had a chance to fill in the details.

Well. What are you waiting for? Click here for the next post in this Purpose-Driven Dating series!


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, Friends Don't Let Friends Date Dumb, Purpose-Driven Dating
  • Sharon

    I like you’re saying about living in the moment and enjoying the journey…about enjoying the friendship without expectations. Love this “relationships were never meant to be micromanaged. They weren’t meant to be managed at all. They were meant to be entered into and lived and grown in.” A lot of wisdom in that. Look forward to how you expand on this.

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Sharon! Glad it makes sense in a area of life where there seems to be so much cloudiness.