Featured Life Relationships

8 Things I Learned About Christian Dating

Over the past year I’ve gone on dates with two really cool girls, their names are “none of your business,” and “not everything should be public on the internet.”
And I’m still single. Meaning, neither turned into a thing. But here’s what I’ve learned in the process.

8 Things I Learned About Christian Dating

1. You can’t have the possibility of a relationship without the possibility of rejection.

Both girls weren’t into me.

After my most recent rejection, I totally binged on chicken wings (extra hot sauce), thought through my whole dating theology at least five times, and called like four friends to tell me they love me.

Even though it didn’t end up working out, the possibility of a relationship was totally worth the risk of rejection.

2. Getting to know someone in the grownup world is really hard.

Do you know how hard it is to even make friends after college? In my context of San Francisco, it’s normal for good friends to see each other like once or twice a month.

That sucks.

Especially since I’m used to being a campus minister who eats with people for every single meal and sees my best friends every 2-3 days.

3. Direct communication clears the air.

DTRs (defining the relationships) are legit, people. Both girls really appreciated when I said, “Hey, here’s where I’m at…”

Call me old-fashioned, but I think the guy should be the one to initiate this conversation. Dudes, you gotta take the risk of holding your heart out there, getting vulnerable, and saying what you’re thinking. It serves the ladies.

4. It’s better if you’re friends first.

In Brianland, my ideal way to get a girlfriend is to be friends with her for a few years without either of us even thinking about the possibility of a relationship. Then we both magically start liking each other at the same time after recalling multitudes of pleasant memories from shared experiences with our group of friends.

This could’ve happened in my life in Flagstaff, but it won’t happen anytime soon in San Francisco.

Regardless, I still think a shared community is the best way to meet someone.

Because there’s too much pressure if you’re going on dates. You’re trying to make an impression, trying to figure out if you could be a couple, trying to hide your incessant need for words of affirmation. Ya know, stuff like that.

When you’re friends first, you see them without makeup on, when they’re tipsy and waxing poetic about God, or when they had a terrible day and they actually tell you about it. You see those mundane, boring, beautiful things that you experience in your closest friendships.

5. Facebook stalking doesn’t help you get to know someone.

I never thought I would be one of those crazy Facebook stalker people. But the second I started going on dates with a stranger, it was click click click.

You want the honest truth? Facebook doesn’t help you get to know someone. It just helps you get to know about someone.

It’s kinda like how you know everything about Kobe Bryant/Beyoncé/Famous Celebrity Person but you’ve never had a conversation with them.

It’s like that.

At best, you get ideas of stuff to talk about from stalking their profile without ever telling them you looked at their profile. At worst, you craft this fantasy that trickles into idolatry and you end up liking an idea instead of person.

6. Dating exposes your brokenness.

I didn’t know how insecure I was until I started dating.

“Am I a good enough Christian?”

“Am I good-looking enough?”

“OMG, she didn’t text me back and it’s been 45 minutes!”

“Was that question I asked stupid?”

“Why did she say that? Is she not interested anymore? AHHH!”

The beautiful part about this is you grow, you learn, you pray more, you pursue truth in the midst of lies, and you remember Who you belong to.

7. My identity in Christ is not dependent on my relationship status.

Adopted.

Loved.

Wanted.

Desired.

Son.

Friend.

Bride.

Disciple.

All of these things are true of you and me whether we’re single or married.

8. Honoring the girl is what’s most important.

When I asked the Lord if “none of your business” and I would work out, He told me to honor her. And that meant three things:

  1. Pray for her
  2. Communicate clearly
  3. Be myself so she actually gets to know me

He didn’t tell me how the relationship was going to end up, He told me how I could be a man during the process.

He’s amazing, isn’t He?

I’m grateful for the things that I’ve learned, but it’s time to take a break from the whole dating thing. At least for now.

My desire for intimacy, for companionship, and for Eve is still as strong as ever. But the pursuit of her is not what my life is all about. Nor will it ever be.

I’m already privileged to be amongst the redeemed in The Greatest Love Story Ever Told. Getting caught up in that bigger picture is more than worthy of my time and attention for a lifetime.

Then there’s that special Someone, the One who has captured my heart, the Lover I belong to whether I’m single or married. For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, I am His and He is mine, forever.

Flickr photo (cc) by Instant Vantage

Kona