Let’s talk about dating.
Imagine dating as the wildest rollercoaster you’ve ever ridden at a theme park. Depending on your taste for thrill, you were either very reluctant OR you were thoroughly excited. You might be somewhere in between, filled with both a healthy sense of hesitation and excitement.
Now imagine your experience once you’re on the ride. It slowly cranks up an incline before it descends and ascends into twists and turns, dips and whips that toss your body in all directions. You’re either screaming, laughing or a little bit of both. You may have your hands in the air or grasping, for dear life, to the bar keeping your secure.
That’s the same experience with dating. You enjoy it or you hate it, depending on who you are. There are some, like me, who are somewhere in the middle.
My approach to dating has changed over the years. Before I was a Christian (and honestly, a little while after) I met men wherever I was. Whether at a coffee shop, grocery store, party, concert, or on the bus (true story). I tried online dating once but found that more daunting than simply meeting a man I liked while out and about. Dating was carefree, fun and I did it with no intention of settling down.
Dating became less fun and more stressful shortly after learning about the Christian approach to it. Christian dating culture is, in general, averse to singleness (especially in your late 20s to 30s). The practice of dating for marriage as well as the Christian goal to be married before 25 left me overwhelmed and comparing myself with every girl that was “chosen” over me.
With a new goal to be married by 24, I approached Christian dating in my early twenties with a scarcity mindset and a view of God as a genie that needed to be appeased in order to answer my prayer for marriage.
After a season of taking matters into my own hands, dating ALL the wrong men, and facing one unexpected blow to my heart after another, I chose to face God and He helped me see the true condition of my heart toward Him. I realized that I didn’t trust God with this area of my life because I didn’t believe he wanted the best for me in dating and eventually marriage.
I worshipped my idea of marriage and put it on a pedestal in place of God. I believed that marriage would make me feel complete, bring me happiness, and improve my overall quality of life. Seeing other people date and eventually get married made me believe that God knew I wasn’t good enough to be chosen and that’s why He held out on me.
Fear and doubt in God’s love for me are why I took things into my own hands. Although the disappointment and heartbreak I faced in dating was by my own hands. God tried to close doors and even gave signs why guys I pursued (which wasn’t my job in the first place) weren’t His best for me.
I was so insecure that I would try to mold myself to be who I thought a man wanted me to be. But that was far from God’s vision of the woman He wanted me to be—a woman that is wild at heart, confident, outspoken, humble, and so many other amazing qualities I never knew I could possess. And for that woman, God had a special man who would treasure the valuable traits He was lovingly instilling in me.
Once I grew tired of fighting God’s will, and not waiting for His timing, the only mind left to change was mine. The Bible says God never changes. It was an unchangeable God that renewed my mind around singleness, dating, and marriage.
God showed me the immense value of singlehood. Singlehood is no less than marriage nor is marriage better than singlehood. Both are wonderful seasons of life that bring their own unique challenges and benefits.
I am currently dating to be in a serious relationship that leads to marriage AND I have fun. I love getting to know people, even if I know they’re not who I want to be with. I have my preferences but hold the majority of them loosely because we are all human and none of us will ever fully measure up to what another person wants. I try to date from a place of abundance not scarcity. I rarely ask ‘where are all the good Christian men?’ because I know that God will bring them my way, at the right time.
What’s more important is that I know that God is even more invested in my dating life than I am. He wants a man that will treat me like the princess that I am and care for me beyond what I could imagine. He wants me to partner with a man to carry out the amazing things He’s called the both of us to do for His glory.
Our dating life is very important to God because we’re choosing the person that we will walk our faith lives with until death do us part.