Your Pre-Dating Checklist

You’re not dating currently?

Cool.

Me either, because even though cultural mores have changed considerably since I married my precious wife, Julie, (almost 25 years ago) it’s still generally frowned upon to date other people while you’re married.

However, I’m assuming you’re not dating because you are not married.

And still I say, “Awesome,” because…


There are three questions you want to wrestle with seriously BEFORE you date.


Sadly, despite their critical nature, these are questions most never bother to think about, much less answer. And that’s why we have things like sexting, teen pregnancy, hooking up, cohabitation, delayed marriage, and divorce.

That’s why I’m wanting to talk to you right now, while you’re not dating, when two things should be true about you:

  1. You don’t have a snot-load of love chemicals filling your brain, inhibiting clear thinking
  2. You don’t have a romantic relationship to defend, preventing honest reflection

Ready for those three questions? Ready or not, here they come.

#1: What are your motives for dating?

“The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water, but a man of understanding will draw it out.” – Proverbs 20:5 (ESV)

Have you ever thought about how important your motives are? As I point out in this MAN2MAN memo on our FMUniversity YouTube channel:

Motives are funny things, because they are powerful enough to move us to action, and yet obscure enough that many times we don’t recognize their influence! They’re like the rudder of a ship… Though tiny and hidden beneath the surface of the water they direct the entire vessel either toward its destination or into oblivion.

In the same way the wrong motives almost always lead to the wrong outcomes. Unless you’re Curious George and you have the man with the big yellow hat come in after you and fix everything.

So if you want to keep from needlessly hurting both yourself and the people you go out with, you need to get to the bottom of why it is you want to date.”

Any idea what your motives for wanting to date might be? Begin with this post featuring the TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date and make sure none of your motives are on this list.

#2: Do you have a vision for dating?

“Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.” – Proverbs 29:18 (ESV)

“Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint.” Wow, that kinda sounds like our contemporary dating culture, does it not?

In contrast, any successful endeavor of significance begins with a clear and compelling vision. Without vision…

  • Countries like the United States of America or South Sudan would never have been founded
  • Inventions like the electric light bulb or the internet would never have been created
  • Ministries like the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association or Covenant Eyes would have never have been launched
  • Companies like Apple or The Walt Disney Company would never have been incorporated

Of course you can accomplish simple feats without a vision. For instance you can…

  • Turn off your alarm
  • Make toast
  • Check the weather
  • Call your mom
  • Use the bathroom

And you can accomplish all of that before you leave home in the morning.

But how do you want to approach dating? Like you wanted to form a partnership with the potential to change your life (and maybe the world)? Or like you just wanted to, as the kids say, “Netflix and chill“?

Not sure what a vision for your dating life might look like? Say no more! Check out this post here proffering not one, not two, but ten different perspectives for dating.

#3: Are you ready to date?

“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” – Proverbs 15:22 (ESV)

If most enter dating without any sense of purpose or clarity of vision, perhaps it should come as no surprise that many don’t seriously entertain the question of preparedness.

Then again, most still have grand dreams about finding the mythological creature known as “the one.”

How about you? When you think about it honestly, do you discover you have some pretty big aspirations for what this “one” and your relationship with them might mean to you, your happiness and your future?

Then consider this: what if “the one” is expecting you to meet all of their deepest desires for a soul mate?

Are you ready for that?

Whether you think you are or not, I encourage you to check out this post featuring the first three of six prerequisites for Romance 101. In fact, I urge you not to begin your journey of dating until you grasp and are growing in all six.

Trust me, whenever you meet “the one,” they will thank you for taking this advice.

Speaking of, what if “the one” also reads this post? Maybe they’re doing so right now at the same time you are! Like it was meant to be!

Then what if you met them tomorrow?

Sounds like you have a lot of reading to do! So be sure to read the posts hyperlinked above. And check out our Hot Topic page dedicated to healthy relationships at this link.





DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship 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. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better?  And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!

Categories: DATING