I’ve been thinking a lot recently about all the people I know who begin dating relationships only to have them fail miserably. Of course you’re only going to have that one meant-for-each-other relationship that ends in marriage, but that doesn’t mean that every relationship before that has to be a complete and utter disaster.
Here’s just 5 questions I would challenge you to ask yourself before dating. I learned these the hard way, and I can’t promise these will ensure a pain-free relationship, but answering them honestly really helped me to know whether I was or wasn’t heading into a dating fiasco.
Is God #1?
When God is not #1 in my life (and yes, there have been times that’s happened), I end up looking to other people and things to fulfill all the desires of my heart that only God can fill.
People are broken and material things and experiences are empty in comparison to the God of universe whose love is bigger and better than anything. With Him as your #1 beloved, you won’t put unrealistic pressure on a significant other to be “everything” to you. Because they can’t be anyway.
Are you seeking attention?
During my Tinder days, yeah… that was all about attention seeking. I was lonely, bored, and not feeling great about myself. So I sought dating relationships from that place of low self-esteem and sure enough, none of my relationships went well. I was willing to settle for any man who would give me attention and in the process I let my standards go, making excuses because above all else, I only wanted to be loved. The problem is I was getting too serious with guys who didn’t know how to truly love in the first place.
Love is about setting yourself aside, making sacrifices for the other person, and working on your relationship together. If you’re only focused on you and making yourself feel good, you’re not ready for a relationship. Self-centeredness has no place in true, sacrificial love.
Will this person help you grow or hold you back?
If you’re seeking to become a better, healthier, holier you… then you better be with someone who wants the same for their own life and for you. Dating someone who is lazy, unmotivated, and unwilling to challenge or be challenged, will only hold you back. Dating means spending a lot of time and energy on one person and if that person doesn’t have the same goals as you… they’re not worth your time.
Do you know what your boundaries are?
Here’s the thing I realized really, really quickly… if I wasn’t comfortable talking about purity and physical boundaries at 2pm in the afternoon with a guy, then I sure as heck wasn’t going to be comfortable talking about it at 11pm in the middle of a kiss.
I made it a rule to tell guys on the first date what my boundaries were. It was a little awkward, but mostly it forced me to be honest, assertive, and confident in communicating how I expected to be treated. But before I could communicate it… I had to know and believe in what I wanted.
Do you have unrealistic expectations for a relationship?
Imperfect people make for imperfect relationships. There will be farting, and bad breath, and grumpy days, and acne, and fights that could be avoided if everyone was a perfect communicator. These things are normal and I’ve learned it’s best to enter into a relationship with the expectation that things will not be perfect.
We will have to say sorry. We will have to learn to forgive and let go of wrongs. We will have to be patient with each other. We will have to learn the other’s wants, needs, and how to communicate well. And all these things will be worth the work! Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by putting unrealistic expectations on a dating relationship.
Know that I’m praying for you! You are so loved.
You Are Enough
Don’t ever forget that okay? You are beautiful and precious and deserve good things — and I can’t tell you that enough! Look I even dedicated a side-bar-box-thing to it. God has a plan and a purpose for your life and He died and rose again because He wants to spend forever with you! Okay, read on. Important reminder over.
Join the Tribe
Get a monthly email with my favorite blog posts, updates, and fun little things from me!
Love & Relationships
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11
I needed to hear that if I wanted to have a healthy, happy relationship with a man, I needed to become that kind of person myself.
I don’t have all the answers, but if you ever feel stuck in communication with someone you care about, here are the phrases, questions, and words that work for us.
I feel like I should hide the good things of my life away. Keep them in my little apartment and in my heart so they can’t be seen. But “that can’t be healthy” I’ve had to tell myself as I process this conundrum.