How Should Christians Date?

Why it's time to simplify the puzzle of Christian romance.

BY NICOLE UNICE RELATIONSHIPS / LIFE October 23, 2012

A wise man once told me that there were only two outcomes for dating relationships: getting married or breaking up. “The secret,” he said, “is knowing how to handle a dating relationship so you know if the other person is worth marrying or he or she is honored in the breakup.”

Unfortunately, it seems like many young singles struggle to figure out just how to handle dating–and I’m not the only one who’s noticed how weird the Christian dating scene can be. As my friend Lindsey, married and in her thirties, recently remarked, “I’m sure glad I wasn’t much of a Christian when I started dating my husband!”

Whether over coffee in my kitchen or on the hallowed ground of women’s small groups, I hear these murmurs constantly. “My daughter was interested in this nice Christian boy, but he strung her along for a year and a half. The next one did too.” Or, “Jeremy acted like they were friends but she told me later that they were hooking up on the side.” With that kind of dismal dating culture at play, let’s consider the options:

First, there’s “Duggar Dating.” Duggar dating is the modern-day form of arranged marriages. I don’t have first-hand knowledge, but thanks to reality TV, I believe it appears to involve asking the woman’s dad if she is available to date, and possibly not kissing until the actual wedding.

Outside the Duggar-verse, there is the less overt but just as prevalent “ideal spouse” dating. This involves judging a potential guy or girl for the 38 qualities you are looking for in an ideal mate—before even grabbing coffee together. It’s like arranged marriages where no one is making the arrangements, and it doesn’t seem to work very well.

At the opposite extreme, there is “Faux Christian Dating”—in which young Christians have no idea what to do with dating, so they avoid it. Instead of dating, lots of “hanging out” occurs. “Hanging out” leads to all kinds of mixed feelings. Does he like me? Is she flirting? What does this text mean? Why did he sit next to me at church? Did she want my sweatshirt because she was cold, or because she likes me?

Sometimes the “hanging out” leads to hooking up, sans dating, which is another uber-confusing side effect of the Faux Christian Dating cycle.

But what if there was another option? What if Christians just began to date like normal people—not dating toward immediate marriage and not eschewing dating for the less-desirable “hanging out” no man’s land? Here’s what I think it would require:

1) Date Indiscriminately

Stop evaluating whether the guy who’s taken an interest in you is strong and tenderhearted enough to raise your future kids. Stop evaluating whether the new girl at church is hot enough and “low-maintenance” enough for your liking.

If you take notice, if you are intrigued or interested, make a date! Get together—one on one. We are talking about one afternoon or evening together, not a lifetime. And unless someone’s making arrangements for you, it’s worth spending at least a little bit of time with the person before you decide if they are worth marrying.

2) Date Casually

Not every date needs to be a total success. But it’s foolish to think that the way a girl or guy acts in a group of friends is the same as how they’ll act one on one. Dating helps two people sort out what it would be like to be together, to be in a friendship. Most of marriage involves time together, one on one, in a friendship. And spending intentional one-on-one time—not too serious, just time—allows both parties to experience what it would be like to continue in the relationship.

I can’t say it clearly enough: Hanging out in groups will not be enough information to determine who is worth marrying. Everyone is different when you get them one-on-one.

3) Date Often

When we were still in college, my husband had 38 first job interviews before he landed a second one. He was horrible at interviews, but by the 38th one, he had learned how to engage with good questions, talk about himself an appropriate amount and gauge interest from himself and the interviewer. He didn’t get necessarily smarter–he got more experienced. Dating can be like that too. Sometimes we all need a little practice with figuring out what we really want–not in terms of our “ideal spouse” but a real flesh-and-blood human.

4) Date Toward Interest, Not Toward Marriage

“Do you think Christian girls make dating too serious?” I asked several guys recently. “I need a buffer of at least five dates before I’m thinking of any future at all!” said one young man.

What if you completely jettison the idea of finding your husband or wife via dating, at least for the first five dates? What if dating is about getting to know someone and gauging interest, not lifelong compatibility?

The great thing about changing expectations is that it lowers the pressure on grabbing dinner together and figuring out if the two of you even like talking to one another!

Of course, one of the biggest obstacles toward casual dating is the inevitable “ending.” So many of us equate kindness with never saying anything hard to anyone. In truth, kindness is not about passivity. Kindness is honoring someone in your treatment of them, but kindness is also honoring them by ending a dating relationship if needed.

If you’ve maintained boundaries and treated your date with respect, you’ve protected him or her from false and premature intimacy. Will it be awkward? Sure, it will! But the purpose of dating isn’t to just accumulate boyfriends or girlfriends—it’s to find a best friend and partner for life. And when you find him or her, chances are, none of those other guys or gals you’ve casually dated will matter much in the light of your spouse.

The reality is that you can’t have it all. You can’t have the attention of multiple dates and still be pursuing a God-honoring relationship with one. You can’t maintain 10 flirty friendships and expect to make space in your heart for one awesome husband or wife. But you can start somewhere—slowly, and casually—and trust God to lead you into more.

Nicole Unice

NICOLE UNICE

Nicole Unice is the author of ÒBrave Enough: Getting Over our Fears, Flaws and Failures to Live Bold and Free.Ó (Tyndale, 2015) and travels frequently enough to almost feel like she can fly. Find out more at nicoleunice.com

21 thoughts on “How Should Christians Date?

  1. my co-worker’s mom makes $76 an hour on the internet. She has been without a job for ten months but last month her paycheck was $12933 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more, Run70.ℂOℳ

  2. Hello Ladies, Please Take A Few Minutes And Enjoy My True Stories About The Wonderful World Of Key Lime Pies As Well As The Magic Of The Most Beautiful “Mrs. Anita Pelaez” Wife Extraordinaire And The Beauty Queen Of The Key Lime Pie World! “Oh”, What An Honor That Must Be.

    Elwood…..

    Elwood
    Blues Here, How Are You All Doing? That’s Great, I’am Just Setting Here
    Watching “Major Crimes” On The Tube. Pretty Good Show. Wouldn’t You
    Just Love To Be Eating A Nice Big Slice Of Anita’s Key Lime Pie As You
    Two Lovers Are Snuggling There Watching The Show? Then You Two Love
    Birds Can Get Into Each Others Drawers After this Episode Goes Off.
    That’s Sure What My Love A I Are Contemplating As We Eat Our Second
    Slice Of Pie. Well Eat Your Hearts Out, Better Luck Next Time!

    “Ah”, Yes, My Little Chickadees, May Each One Of You Enjoy Your Very
    Own Key Lime Pie Baked by The Lovely And Most Gracious,…Mrs. Anita
    Pelaez and Her Handsome Husband ….Captain Kutchie Pelaez. Together The
    Proud Owners Of Asheville’s Own

    Anita And Kutchie Pelaez’s Key Lime Pie Factory And GRILL Conveniently
    Located Near The Biltmore House And Estate In That Beautiful City. Known
    As Heaven On Earth Whenever Mrs. Anita Pelaez Is Anywhere Near. “AH”,
    The Magic Of Anita Pelaez And Her KEY LIME Pies. Voted The Country’s
    Favorite For The Past 27 Consecutive Year!

    …..That Babe Can Bake Me A Pie Anytime She Wants To.

    Elwood Blues

    Turn You’re Ladies On In Extra High Heat Mode Easily Just By Seducing
    Her With “Anita Pelaez’s” Ultra-Sexy Key Lime Pies! You Know The Pies
    That Her And Her Famous Husband Kutchie Have Been Baking The Last
    40-Years Over Too Their Key Lime Pie Factory Near the Biltmore House and
    Estate In NC.,..Yeah, That’s The Ones, You Dirty Mind! Shame On You.

    Anita’s KLP Will Light Her Candle And Make Her Hard To Handle.
    Guaranteed That She Will Get A-Hold Of You’re Handle Too….Your Boy
    Elwood Says,….”AH”, The Magic Of Anita Pelaez ..And Her Key Lime Pies!
    “Yeah”, You’ll Be “AH-ING” Too!…Put Your Faith In Anita’s Pies.

    Is what they are all saying true about how eating those World Famous Key
    Lime Pies Baked In The Carolina Mountains By The Former Miss Florida
    USA And High Fashion And Swimsuit Model …”Mrs. Anita Pelaez”, ….Surely
    Everyone Has Heard Or Read By Now That Consuming Her Wonderful Key Lime
    Pies Has The Ability To Cause The Male Penis Length To Increase 50% Or
    More. And The Girth Of The Erect Male Penis To Increase To Six-Inches
    AROUND!….”WOW”, And Add To The Fact That Her Pies Have Been Known To
    Make Males Multiorgasmic /One Orgasm One After Another With Little Or No
    Reflationary Period In Between Ejaculations Is Nothing Short Of
    Awesome!. Why, It’s A Miracle If You Ask Me.. ..You Can Count Me In On
    That,… That’s For Damn Sure!,….Mrs. Anita Pelaez Is Surely The
    Undisputed Queen Of Key Lime Pies That’s For Sure……Yes, There Was A Time
    For Decadent Key Lime Pies And That Time Is Now At…..”Anita and
    Kutchie’s Key Lime Pie Factory And Grille’, Conveniently Located In
    Asheville, NC., Near The Biltmore House And Estate….Yes The First Lady
    Of Key Lime Pies,..”Mrs. Anita Pelaez” States “For You’re Pies Only”.
    …Count Us In Darling, Sweetheart, Please Wrap-Us Up A Dozen Pies
    To-Go!…We’re Gettin The Band Back Together……………..Thanks,….Elwood.

    I Know That Your Not Going To Believe This When You First Read It.
    Don’t Worry, I Didn’t Believe It Either At First. My Dear Wife Insisted
    Or As She Said, That She Was Going To Cut Me Off. Now I Like My Nooky As
    Well As Anybody But When She Starts talking About Cutting Me Off. Well,
    Lets Just Make A Long Story Short, If You Want To Continue Eating At
    The (Y), Then You Had Better Listen To What Mama Is Whispering Into Your
    Ear. Get The Damn Pies, Enjoyed Them With The Little Lady And Die A
    Happy Man. End Of Story.

    People, If You Want To Have A Lot More Sex Then You Need To Start Eating A Lot More Of Anita And Kutchie Pelaez’s Key Lime Pies!

    …One Eyed Willie…Smooth Willie…Be Good Willie!…Elwood Blues…Darling,..Don’t Go Breaking My Heart!

    Honey, What’s the number to the Key Lime Pie Factory?…We’re Out Again!

  3. I just broke up with my girlfriend a couple months back. I really love her and want to get her back. Its been about 4 months since we broke up. We had a fight and she said she loved me a lot before the fight and after the fight she said she did not have the same feelings for me anymore. I really need help to get her back so i contacted a spell caster on the internet and i explain my problems to him and he cast a spell for me and guarantee me of three days that she will come back to me,to my surprise the third day she come back to me and now we are getting married.i just want to say thank you altimatespelltemple@yahoo.com for helping me to get my ex girlfriend back to me and i am totally grateful.just in case you also need his help you can contact him on Email altimatespelltemple@yahoo.com he can also render help to you if you need him to…..

  4. After being in relationship with Benson for five years,he broke up with me, I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the Madurai, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before two days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 4pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful Dr Madurai who helped me with my own problem and who is different from all the fake ones out there. Anybody could need the help of the Dr Madurai, his email maduraitemple@yahoo.com) you can email him if you need his assistance in your relationship or anything.

  5. my name is Clara
    i just want to share my experience and testimony here.. i was married for 6 years to my husband and all of a sudden, another woman came into the picture.. he started hating me and he was abusive. but i still loved him with all my heart and wanted him at all cost…then he filed for divorce. my whole life was turning apart and i didn’t know what to do .he moved out of the house and abandoned the kids.. so someone told me about trying spiritual means to get my husband back and introduced me to a spell caster…so i decided to try it reluctantly. although i didn’t believe in all those things… then when he consulted his gods and cast a return and love spell, after 3days, my husband came back and was pleading. he had realized his mistakes. I just couldn’t believe it. .anyways we are back together now and we are happy. in case anyone needs this man, his email address kulataspelltemple@gmail.com his spells is for a better life. again his email is kulataspelltemple@gmail.com or call Dr kulata @ +2348165028579

  6. My name is Banks Diana i am the most excited person on earth today because few minute ago my fiance called me on phone begging me to accept him back and forgive him for the wrong he did to me in the past. i loved him so much but he failed to release it and went on cheating on me till the day i cut him on bed with my best friend. hmm it was really painful so i broke up with him but just yesterday morning i saw some testimonies on Google of how Doctor PALOMA used his powerful spell to restore a broken relationship so i contact palomaspelltemple@yahoo.com through his email to also seek his help because i was in pain and i still love my fiance but all he said was don’t worry i will help you with your case though i never believed him because i was scam before by other spell caster but i just tough of giving him a try and now i can boldly say that Doctor PALOMA is a great spell caster who cast spell excellently with prove because he restored my broken relationship just the same way i read about him on the internet. My dear friends reading this now, do you need help of any kind then Contact Doctor PALOMA today to help you just as he helped me via email:palomaspelltemple@yahoo.com

  7. I NEVER BELIEVED IN LOVE SPELLS UNTIL I MET THIS WORLD’S TOP SPELL CASTER. HE IS REALLY POWERFUL AND COULD HELP CAST SPELLS TO BRING BACK ONE’S GONE,LOST,MISBEHAVING LOVER AND MAGIC MONEY SPELL OR SPELL FOR A GOOD JOB.I’M NOW HAPPY & A LIVING TESTIMONY COS THE WOMAN I HAD WANTED TO MARRY LEFT ME 2 WEEKS BEFORE OUR WEDDING AND MY LIFE WAS UPSIDE DOWN COS OUR RELATIONSHIP HAS BEEN ON FOR 2YEARS… I REALLY LOVED HIM, BUT HIS MOTHER WAS AGAINST US AND HE HAD NO GOOD PAYING JOB. SO WHEN I MET THIS SPELL CASTER, I TOLD HIM WHAT HAPPENED AND EXPLAINED THE SITUATION OF THINGS TO HIM..AT FIRST I WAS UNDECIDED,SKEPTICAL AND DOUBTFUL, BUT I JUST GAVE IT A TRY. AND IN 7 DAYS WHEN I RETURNED TO USA, MY GIRLFRIEND(NOW WIFE) CALLED ME BY HERSELF AND CAME TO ME APOLOGIZING THAT EVERYTHING HAD BEEN SETTLED WITH HIS MOM AND FAMILY AND SHE GOT A NEW JOB INTERVIEW SO WE SHOULD GET MARRIED..I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT COS THE SPELL CASTER ONLY ASKED FOR MY NAME AND MY GIRLFRIENDS NAME AND ALL I WANTED HIM TO DO… WELL WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED NOW AND WE ARE EXPECTING OUR LITTLE KID,AND MY WIFE ALSO GOT THE NEW JOB AND OUR LIVES BECAME MUCH BETTER. IN CASE ANYONE NEEDS THE SPELL CASTER FOR SOME HELP, HIS EMAIL ADDRESS IS;okutemple@hotmail.com ……HOPE HE HELPS YOU OUT OUR OPPORTUNITY … CONTACT THIS GREAT SPELL CASTER VIA EMAIL:okutemple@hotmail.com

  8. My name is Angelina from Seattle, USA. I want to use this slim opportunity to thank a great love spell caster who really made my life a pleasurable one today. This great Dr. Sanu brought my husband back to me, about a years ago I and my husband had been onto one quarrel to the other after we had our first child until he finally left me. I felt my life was over, I tried to be strong for our child but I could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because I was really in love with my husband. Every day and night I kept thinking of him, I hardly could do anything and always wished he would come back to me but he didn’t.
    Just last week I kept seeing numerous persons talking about how a powerful spell caster brought back their lost loved ones back. I was doubting if this man was the solution, so out of curiousness I contacted this great man people kept testifying about Dr. Sanu at his mail (dr.sanuspiritualtemple@gmail.com) and told him about my condition. He told me he will cast a love spell that will bring back my husband to me without any bad or negative effect after 48 hours and for sure after 48 hours I heard a knock at my door, in a great surprise I saw my husband whom I had not set my eyes on for a very long time on his kneels and I was speechless, when he saw me, all he did was cry and asked me to please forgive him for all what he had done to me and our child in the past and to accept him back. From that day, all the pains and sorrows in my heart flew away, since then I, my husband and our son are very happy together. That’s why I want to say a big thank you to Dr. sanu. This powerful man made me to understand that there’s no problem on earth that has no solution so please if you find this testimony amongst these numerous testimonies do not hesitate to contact this great man for help if you have any problem I will advise you to go straight to this great man. Again his mail (dr.sanuspiritualtemple@gmail.com).

  9. Am joyce from Australia. After being in relationship with my boyfriend for five years,he broke up with me,I did everything possible to bring him back but all was in vain, I wanted him back so much because of the love I have for him, I begged him with everything, I made promises but he refused. I explained my problem to someone online and she suggested that I should rather contact a spell caster that could help me cast a spell to bring him back but I am the type that never believed in spell, I had no choice than to try it, I mailed the spell caster, and he told me there was no problem that everything will be okay before three days, that my ex will return to me before three days, he cast the spell and surprisingly in the second day, it was around 5pm. My ex called me, I was so surprised, I answered the call and all he said was that he was so sorry for everything that happened, that he wanted me to return to him, that he loves me so much. I was so happy and went to him, that was how we started living together happily again. Since then, I have made promise that anybody I know that have a relationship problem, I would be of help to such person by referring him or her to the only real and powerful spell caster who helped me with my own problem. Contact him now for your relationship or marriage problems or any DISEASE via this email tunijaspelltemple@hotmail.com He’s going to solve your problem for you have faith.

  10. I am happy given this testimony on this forum on how Dr Abu TEMPLE help to restore my son on drug addiction and getting my husband back to me. My son nearly wreck my happiness,I have super market which he assist on not knowing he has his motives,every night he comes back drunk,it became a big problem to theextentthat my husband have to park out of the house,he abandoned me and his siblings, every night I cried seeking for Gods will, until a friend of mine introduce me to a spell caster,she introduced me to Dr Abu of abufatima temple who cast a spell for me and told me not to worry that everything will be back to normal in 2days,to my own surprise . a days
    later my son attitude change he quit drugs and drinking,he now even campaign against drug and alcohol,and my husband came back home the 3days we are all now happily together as a happy family,thanks to my friend who
    introduced me to him. Should in case anybody need his help you can contact him on his email address abufatima77powerspellcaster@gmail.com Thanks you for coming to my rescue

  11. I am happy given this testimony on this forum on how Dr Abu TEMPLE help to restore my son on drug addiction and getting my husband back to me. My son nearly wreck my happiness,I have super market which he assist on not knowing he has his motives,every night he comes back drunk,it became a big problem to theextentthat my husband have to park out of the house,he abandoned me and his siblings, every night I cried seeking for Gods will, until a friend of mine introduce me to a spell caster,she introduced me to Dr Abu of abufatima temple who cast a spell for me and told me not to worry that everything will be back to normal in 2days,to my own surprise . a days
    later my son attitude change he quit drugs and drinking,he now even campaign against drug and alcohol,and my husband came back home the 3days we are all now happily together as a happy family,thanks to my friend who
    introduced me to him. Should in case anybody need his help you can contact him on his email address abufatima77powerspellcaster@gmail.com Thanks you for coming to my rescue

  12. I AM SO HAPPY TO LET THE WHOLE WORLD KNOW ABOUT THE SPELL CASTER (DR.TEBE) WHO SAVED MY MARRIAGE.
    Everything was going down the drain as my husband can not stop cheating on me with other women.He became used to always heating on me. I tried to make him stop, but I couldn’t help the situation, the more I tried, the harder it becomes. At times we will fight and go apart for some months and we will come back again just because of our kids. One day a friend told me about this spell caster who helped her too, his name is DR.TEBE she said he uses white magic spells to solve spiritual problems. I decided to give it a try, I contacted him and he told me it will take just 2 to 3 days and I will see great changes in my husband. He actually cast a spell, believe me after 2 to 3 days of the spell, my husband was confessing different names of woman he has slept with. He begged for forgiveness and never to try it again. From that day till now, my mind is at rest. My husband dislike every other women on earth except me. And am so happy to have him for myself alone. The spell caster’s contact is greattebespelltemple@gmail.com or you can call him with his number +2348112277054, His web site address is http://greattebespelltemple.webs.com 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *