Ok, friends — let’s be real for a second. Christian dating can be the worst.
A few years ago when I was a student at a ministry school, someone asked me, “If you had two minutes to stand up in front of the whole class, what would you talk about?”
I immediately responded, “Relationships.”
I couldn’t handle how…weird it seemed being in an environment with 1,400 people in the same room everyday, with the majority of them being young and single.
It’s not weird that there were young and single people. It’s how everyone acted that bothered me.
I grew up with two older brothers, and the majority of my friends for the most part of my life were all male. So you can imagine how I felt when I would ask guys to hang out and they immediately felt the need to clarify that we were just friends (Uh, duh, we’re friends, which is why I want to hang out ?).
It legit felt as though every single person would instantly size up anyone they met,
“Hm, they’re cute. I wonder what are they called to? No, way! Me, too. That guy talks to me everyday… I wonder if he likes me…” “Oh wow, this guy asked me to coffee? I should probably say no. I don’t like him like that.”“Oh, Him. Yeah, he’s already had coffee dates with like four girls here. Who does he think he is?”
People take things way too seriously, way too fast, and it usually starts in people’s minds.
Anyways, I could probs rant for way too long about how annoying it can be dating in Christian culture. My guess is, if you are reading this, then you already know exactly what I am talking about.
First things first when it comes to dating as a Christian
- Chill out. Just because you are going to coffee with someone does not mean they want to marry you. They might not even like you — maybe they heard good things about you from a friend and they are keen to see for themselves. You do not have to know how you feel about someone before going on a date with them. That’s the whole. Flipping. Point.
- Remember that they are a human, a Child of God, and that they have a lot to offer. One thing that makes me so mad about Christian dating culture is that people think they suddenly have a right to de-humanize someone and start picking apart their every feature and flaw. I could never date that guy because ______. Or have you noticed that _____? I’m not saying you don’t have a right to an opinion or that you shouldn’t have standards — set those suckers high. What I am saying is that when someone asks you out, go out with them and hear their story! It’s not going to be wasted time because we serve the same God, and who he made that person to be is going to be incredible. Whether you guys are compatible is a different story, but you don’t have to be weird or make it weird.
- Have fun. Stop spending the first date listening to what the other is saying and making it try and fit into your own checklist. Seriously. Actually listen to them, get to know them, and have a good time.
- No matter what, leave the person better than you found them. Seriously, with how er, um, interesting it can be dating in the Christian world. Thank that person for their time. I once dated someone for a couple months, and at the end of it when I was going to tell them that I wanted it to end, that person spent 15 minutes telling me how amazing I was, that I should never settle, and that I raised the bar for their future relationships. I left the break-up feeling better about myself then when I walked in. It honestly surprised me so much, but that should be a norm for us as Christians.
- Don’t drag it on or try and make something work that won’t. This may sound awful, but I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to try and make something work that I know won’t. I try and convince myself that “They are a good person, love Jesus, we have fun…etc” and that I can make it work. That’s just making it worse for you and them the best thing you can do is be honest with yourself and honest with them. Communication is a beautiful thing.
- Don’t settle. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you about dating, what He thinks about who you are going out with. Because my hope is, that you are following where Jesus is leading you. And let’s be real, if you trust Him to lead you in every other area in life, why wouldn’t He lead you in who you date? If He’s worth trusting, then He is worth TRUSTING in all of it. Yes, that includes the timeline.
I am passionate about relationships. They take communication, intentionality, perseverance and a whole lotta grace. Spend time with the Holy Spirit, ask Him to show you the people around you through His eyes, with His perspective and not our own. Start thinking about others more and yourself less, and I guarantee that will change how you date as well.My hope and prayer is that we would see a shift in our generation when it comes not only to dating as Christians, but relationships as a whole.Let’s learn to love well, the ones that make it easy to love, and especially those who don’t.