Adventures in Dating

Yes! It finally happened! You finally get to go on a date with that guy or that girl. Soon you’ll be engaged and then you’ll be married and then you’ll have kids and then — hold on, let’s slow down. This is your first date. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There are a lot of things you don’t actually know about this person.

At this point you may know their favorite color and what month their birthday is in — maybe. You might know if they have siblings. You might know their favorite coffee order or whether or not they like Italian food. But as important as those things are, there are a lot of things more important that you still need to learn about them. And, even as you stand together at the altar to say your wedding vows (hopefully at least a year later), you won’t know this other person completely.

So what does it look like to enjoy the dating stage without jumping ahead to the married stage? How can you keep the healthy distance that will allow you to grow together at a slow enough pace that it doesn’t feel rushed for either of you? How do you stay out of the whirlwind of love that can so easily sweep you off your feet and put you in situations you never thought you’d be in?

Here are some ways to keep things slow in the beginning so neither of you do anything you’ll later regret:

Go on group dates.

Getting to know each other in a group of people where you can see how the other interacts with your friends and their friends, can tell you a lot more about a person than only hanging out with them one on one. Chances are they’re on their best behavior when they’re alone with you. Seeing them with their friends can help you see behind the guards they put up to who they’ll likely be when they’re comfortable with you. Being in a group can also slow down what you talk about with each other, and help the more intimate conversations take longer to come up, naturally slowing down the process.

Be cautious in how you talk to and about them.

Words have more power than we tend to give them credit for, and the sooner you start to call each other “the one for me” or say things like, “You are my world,” or even “I love you,” the closer you grow and the harder it can be to separate if it comes to that. That’s not to say you should go into new relationships expecting them to fail. But there is no harm in guarding your heart and your mind so you keep God at the center of your life.

Learn to be a communicator.

Communicate about all sorts of things, but especially talk about your expectations going into a relationship. What does that look like for you? What has that looked like in your family? What deep-rooted beliefs do you need to be ready to reconsider, because they clash with your significant other’s? Opening this line of communication early on can help save a lot of heartache later.

Congratulations on entering into dating life! If you have questions or you want to talk with a third party, please send us an email. We’d love to discuss these things with you more in-depth.