In the Christian church, at least the churches I’ve been a part of, it sometimes feels like there is a race to the altar among the 20-something year olds. When you have friends who are dating and you begin to feel ‘of age’ for marriage, it’s too easy to become obsessed with who your spouse will be and when you will get married. And this isn’t just the case for women…men think this way too.
And even when you do date someone, it’s a huge deal because you’re in a small community (called church), and everyone sees what you do, or don’t do. So though you’re only interested in trying to find out if you’re interested, everyone thinks marriage is on the horizon because you asked a girl out to coffee. Annoying.
With this type of attention and scrutiny, it’s hard not to make dating more serious than it needs to be. So even though dating with marriage as the end goal is a good thing, I still don’t think you have to be so serious about dating. Let me explain…
If you like someone, or think you like someone, then don’t jump 1, 2, or 7 years down the road in your thinking. Let your futuristic thoughts about that person go as far as next week not next year.
- Think…Can I be friends with this person? Not Can I live with this person in a 900 sq. ft. apartment?
- It’s actually a good thing to learn how to become friends with a person, let that friendship progress to a dating relationship, find out that person isn’t right for you, then end the dating relationship, while still trying to maintain the friendship.
- I hope this doesn’t happen to you constantly, but it shouldn’t be avoided like the plague.
You can take dating seriously, but hold your expectations loosely.
- If you truly feel ready for marriage, then dating is going to be serious. That’s ok. But don’t be so serious about it that you’re constantly wondering if you could marry that person rather than if you could be great friends with that person.
- Hold your expectations loosely – if it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be.
Ever heard the saying, “First things first?” Well, first is dating. If you’re too serious when you’ve just begun dating, or better yet, only gone on that first date, then you’ll feel unnecessary pressure and confused about the relationship. Slow down in your heart and in your mind, and get to know that person first.
Keep on getting to know that person until you decide you want to commit forever or you don’t.