As a Christian, whether you choose to date online or meet someone in person, dating can be difficult and frustrating. From setting the right pace in a relationship to knowing when to walk away, dating can cause stress, anxiety, and take the fun out of getting to know another person.
Trusting your faith and maintaining a strong relationship with God will help you in many different ways. First, you must remember that God has a plan for everyone. We may not always know exactly what that plan is, but you need to trust in that plan and not give up when the going gets tough.
Second, you need to take an honest look at who you are, your Christian faith, and what you want from a relationship. This will help you establish your goals, and it will also help you communicate what your wants and needs are when dating.
Third, you need to know when to slow down and take your time. A great, long-lasting, loving relationship does not evolve overnight. Solid relationships require two people to invest time and consideration for the wants and needs of the other, as well as to nurture positive qualities while accepting the negative qualities that both people bring to the relationship.
No one is perfect – but with a little patience and trust in God, you will find a person with the same values and faith in God that you have.
Use this Christian dating guide to help you when dating. You don't have to follow all of the guidelines steadfastly, but rather, use them to help you remain open and ready to enter into a great relationship with someone special.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things," 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
1: Consider Your Motivations For Dating
Before filling out an online dating profile or even accepting a date, consider your motivations for dating. Having a strong relationship with God (and enjoying a solid relationship with a partner) means being honest about the issues that compel you to seek out that partner.
Even though your biggest motivation to date may be to get married and start a family, additional motivators may include a need for companionship, understanding, love, attention, money, lust, social status, or to overcome feelings of loneliness and depression.
And while it's hard to admit that even though you try your best every day to live according to the teachings of God, sometimes you fail; maybe you want to find someone who understands this basic human flaw but who loves you regardless of your shortcomings.
By taking an honest assessment of what you want and need from a relationship, it allows you to find someone who can help meet those needs and wants.
Hopefully, if you meet someone who meets your wants and needs, maybe you will be motivated to meet their wants and needs too.
Also Read: List Of Best Christian Dating Sites Based On The Research.
2: Look Below The Surface
When dating in person or online, you can recognize certain indicators of a person living and acting within the parameters of their Christian faith. But just because they attend church regularly, they go to weekly Bible study, or they remain close to their family may not always mean they live every day as a Christian.
The only way to tell if a person is living their faith is to observe their actions:
Gauging one's Christian faith can prove difficult when dating online because, unfortunately, people lie easily online.
The only way to know for sure how dedicated a person is to their Christian faith is to ask questions – lots of questions that probe beyond where the person goes to church, or what their favorite, most inspiring Bible verse is.
In the end, you want to find a person who is equally as devout as you. You should try to find out if the person you date shares the same Christian values as you do early on in the relationship to avoid complications and negative feelings later on.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus," Philippians 4: 6-7
Also Check: How to Date as a Christian
3: Pray, Be Patient, And Remain Positive
Keep an open mind when dating online or in person. Remember that the first person you meet (especially if you want to get back into dating) might not be the one.
The fifth or sixth person you date might not be the one - it's okay to meet people, take some time to get to know them, and then realize the relationship isn't meant to be. Just don't let disappointment and frustration cause you to give up.
Maintain an updated dating profile and actively search through potential matches to find other people to date.
Maintaining a close relationship with God is crucial, especially when dating someone new. You should continuously pray for God's counsel and wisdom when exploring the world of dating.
Have faith that God will provide you the strength to get over disappointment and frustration when a relationship ends. If the relationship is wrong, then God will give you the courage to walk away. God will also give you the insight to know when the right person has entered your life.
Stay positive when dating someone new. Surround yourself with friends and family who know you and who can help guide you during this exciting journey.
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." – 1 Corinthians 10:13
4: Let Love Lead The Way, Not Lust
Human beings are far from perfect. We all have desires and fantasies. The key is to not act on them. If you want a long-lasting relationship with another person, you must first honor the word of God and his commandments.
Find the strength within to put aside lustful feelings to truly discover the many other qualities that make the person you date someone you want to spend the rest of your life with.
You should expect the same from the person you date. If both of you want to build a long-lasting relationship filled with trust, honesty, and fidelity, then both of you have to work together to move past lustful feelings and create a deeper spiritual connection.
To move past these lustful feelings, you should have some serious conversations about physical love as your relationship progresses. You and the person you date need to set boundaries concerning verbal communication (flirting) and physical contact.
Online flirting, while fun and exciting, could lead to heartbreak later on. If a person is flirty but seems disinterested in having real, meaningful conversations, they probably aren't serious about cultivating a deeper connection with you.
Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body," – 1 Corinthians 6:18-20
5: Evaluate And Reevaluate Physical Contact
When dating someone in person, there will be expectations of physical contact like a warm embrace, a sweet kiss, holding hands, sitting close side-by-side, and loving touches as you pass by one another. These low-key, playful, loving physical interactions help create stronger feelings of closeness and intimacy.
But if the person you're dating expects more than that, even after a few months of dating, you need to take a long, hard look at the relationship and your wants within it. Increased pressure to move forward in the relationship in a physical sense is never a good sign.
Don't succumb to this pressure. If the person refuses to consider or acknowledge your feelings, then you should let this person go.
Create healthy boundaries early on in the relationship to maintain expectations. Move through the relationship at a pace that feels comfortable for you.
6: Don't Overlook Friendship – It May Turn Into Love
Many people have the romantic notion of meeting someone special by accident or on a whim – like in the movies. But many times, a friendship can blossom into something beautiful and long-lasting if you and your friend feel it has reached a point where you are both willing to explore the possibilities.
It's important to remember that when you consider dating a friend, it's best not to rush into anything. Let the relationship unfold as naturally as possible. This could take time. Put your trust in God that this is his plan, and be patient.
Use the opportunity to learn more about their values, faith, humanity, humor, integrity, and character – you might just be surprised by how much you have in common.
You can take the friendship approach with people you meet online before meeting them in person. Becoming friends first allows you to get to know a person without all the pressures that come along with formal dating.
7: Maintain Your Purity
Follow God's teachings on purity, and God will never steer you in the wrong direction. The physical bond between a husband and a wife is sacred – it's also something you have to work on to achieve. Don't rush into marriage because of lustful feelings, but take time to allow the relationship to grow beforehand.
Make sure the person you choose to date is worthy of your physical being. Don't be fooled by unnecessary or social pressures to become physically involved. If a person is right for you, then they will also wait until the time is right, and always respect your decision.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken." – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
8: Ask Friends And Family For An Honest Opinion
Don't be afraid to ask your friends and family what they think of the person you date. Friends and family know you best, so they will be able to give insightful, honest answers. When dating, you may choose to overlook or genuinely not see the imperfections that other people will see, especially if you really like the person.
An unbiased opinion from a trusted loved one can help you avoid many problems down the road. Trust that God put these people in your life for a reason - one of those reasons is to help you navigate the dating world.
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. When wickedness comes, contempt comes also, and with dishonor comes disgrace. The words of a man's mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the righteous of justice…" – Proverbs 18:1-19:29
9: Ask Meaningful Questions
Getting to know someone, especially online, requires you to ask a ton of questions. After asking and answering all of those basic getting-to-know-you-questions, you should move the conversations along by asking more meaningful questions.
Show genuine interest by asking deeper questions. Hopefully, these Q&A sessions lead to meaningful conversations.
Remember that answering questions is a two-way street. If showing interest in a person, the person should reciprocate by showing interest in you.
Be wary of people who avoid asking questions – it's a sign that they may not want to know the real you.
Be wary of people who ask too many personal questions as well. Unfortunately, these people may have other motivations for getting to know you.
10: Introduce Yourself, Allow The Other Person To Introduce Themselves
This last piece of Christian dating advice is tricky but helpful if you want to have a meaningful relationship with someone you meet in person or online. Introduce yourself, but leave room for the other person to also introduce themselves. Getting to know another person is a gift from God - don’t throw this precious gift away by only focusing on your wants and needs.
Try not to monopolize the conversation by talking solely about your interests and life history. A great conversation requires a lot of give and take. Give an answer to a question, and then ask a new question, and listen to the other person’s response.
Be polite and wait until the person finishes speaking to respond. Give thoughtful answers, statements, and try to avoid criticism, especially when you first start dating. Keep it light in the beginning.
As your relationship unfolds, then you can start talking about more serious topics.
With time and practice, your dating skills will improve. Online dating has opened up a whole new world full of possibilities for those looking for someone special. As a Christian, you must keep in mind the values that are most important to you, and introduce those values upon first dating someone.
You may need to date a few people before finding a person who shares these values. And that's perfectly fine – just remember that it's all part of God's plan for you.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways,” - James 1:5-8