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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. Sometimes the “hanging out” leads to hooking up, sans dating, which is another uber-confusing side effect of the Faux Christian Dating cycle. 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?
It’s like arranged marriages where no one is making the arrangements, and it doesn’t seem to work very well. Here’s what I think it would require: Stop evaluating whether the guy who’s taken an interest in you is strong and tenderhearted enough to raise your future kids.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The truth is, different personalities need different approaches to relationships. My only problem comes, then, with how “Dating” gets compared to “Courtship” in such a flawed and negative way.
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. 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.