Look Before You Leap Into Dating!
#7 of the TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date, Somebody Asked Me, confronts the haphazard manner in which many of us approach dating.
- Somebody asked me, because they thought I was cute and nice
- I thought they were cute and nice and so I said, “Yes.”
- We started dating.
Bleh! Sounds like relationships on a middle-school level.
If you’re a follower of God’s word, you know it warns of the dangers of “casual sex” (and even those caught up in the hook-up culture find it unfulfilling). However, If you think about it…
You likely know far more people who suffer from the aftermath of casual dating (depression, shame, bitterness and insecurity) than you do those who suffer from the aftermath of casual sex (unplanned pregnancy, STIs).
In the interest of bringing some care to this casual conversation, I first offered a sample intentional date invite and then we began to dissect it. This week we’ll finish up that analysis. If you’re just now joining us, I encourage you to start at the beginning of this discussion.
To reiterate, I’m not suggesting anyone just copy this script. That would require little thought and effort, when my goal is to encourage the dating initiator to actually put quite a bit of thought and effort into their desire to date before making their desires known.
So before you leap into dating, let’s look at the remainder of our proposed dating (not marriage) proposal:
…but I’d like to get to know you on a deeper level to see if we might become more than that.
This is not saying, “God told me you’re ‘the one’ for me.”
In the first place, God would never say that, because He is “The One” for you. (He just told me to tell you that. See 1 King 11:1-11).
Secondly, even if you feel you have some kind of promise like that, you can trust God to bring it about instead of feeling like you have to “make it happen” (aka manipulate the outcome).
As for using the word, “might,” that’s no lack of faith. It’s an honest statement of the current reality. Every gift of God must be held in a open hand. (Phil 2:1-11)
I believe I’m a better person for having known you already.
I’m not saying this person should have already changed your entire world view, but that being around them has already made some positive difference in the way you see and engage the world.
Having clarified that, is this true of your love interest? It ought to be if you’re actually considering a serious relationship, otherwise why your desire to get closer? (I mean other than making out?)
We are called to love and care for those whom God places in our life, whether they make us better people or not. However, we are not called to date them. In fact, we’re strongly warned against close association with those who would lead us astray (2 Cor 6:14-18).
If you feel the same way about me…
Now that’s vulnerable, isn’t it?
You’re not just merely asking them if they’d be willing to go out with you. You’re not even asking them if they’re as attracted to you as you are to them. You’re asking them if they see the same meaningful potential in the relationship. And what a beautiful feeling to share!
More than mutual feelings of romantic intoxication, don’t you want to share the feeling that they’re good for you and you’re good for them?
Even cooler? This feeling won’t fade with time like physical chemistry – not if it’s based on the reality that the two of you spur one another on to become the persons you always hoped you would become. (Hebrews 10:22-24)
I’d like to suggest we discover where God might take our relationship from here.
This, my friend, is called “taking the lead” and it takes guts to do it. Again, there’s that word “might.” You’re admitting this is a risk for both of you, but that you’ve decided it’s a risk worth taking. (James 4:13-17)
I don’t expect you to answer right now, but once you’ve had some time to consider let me know your thoughts.
This is key. You’ve asked for agreement on a bigger proposal than just a date. It’s not marriage, but it’s more than a night.
Now it’s up to the invitee to respond. In the mean time, you should grab coffee or ice cream with a good friend. Let them remind you that you’ll be OK regardless of how your dating interest responds. You’re loved and secure.
To wrap up this topic, next week we’ll talk about that situation where you’re asked out by someone who you don’t want to go out with.
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
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!