So your dating life is the Wal-Mart version of The Bachelor and you want to know what to do. Podcasts say this, songs say that, and somehow nothing seems to be helpful for exactly what you’re going through. We’ve got you. Well…God’s got you.
Contrary to popular belief, the Bible has a lot of wisdom when it comes to hanging out, dating, and locking it down. Whatever stage you’re in, there will always be questions you should talk through with biblical community. But we’ve put together a list we hope will help.
Here are 10 Dating Do’s and Don’ts:
1. Guys, do ask girls out.
Shoot your shot, men. God made you to lead (Ephesians 5:23). Find the godliest girl you know and ask her out.
a. Use the word “date.” Don’t say things like, “Do you want to hang out? Do you have plans this weekend? Watching a movie…wanna come over?” Clarity honors her. Bring clarity.
b. When you ask her out, have a plan and be specific about it. It shows thoughtfulness, leadership, and intention. “Can I take you on a date this Saturday night for dinner?” communicates to her that you aren’t flippant or acting on emotion, but that you’ve thought about it for a while.
c. Can you DM her? Sure. Is it best? Maybe not. We personally think she’ll respect you more if you man up and ask her in person. If you have to DM, ask for her number, then pick up the phone and call to ask her out.
d. All this means that you will HAVE to risk rejection. (Side-note: Ladies, remember that‘s hard!) Flex that courage muscle and risk rejection by asking her on a date. If you ask and you get rejected, WAY TO GO. You were man enough to risk it. Shake it off and move forward.
2. Girls, do say yes to dates.
Some of you are thinking, “Well, I would say yes if anyone asked me out.” And others of you are complaining about not getting asked out, when you really mean, “I just don’t like any of the guys who have asked me out.”
Be open and receptive. If he’s godly, he’s worth a shot. When you say yes to a date, you aren’t committing to marrying him. You’re committing to go on one date with him. After that one, assuming he asks you on another, you can assess whether or not you’d like to commit to a second date.
If he got hit by the “ugly stick” (kidding) but has great character—remember that you’re looking for someone to lead a family with you someday.
Pro-tip: Force him to clarify if he doesn’t provide clarity from the start. “Are you asking me on a date? Or to hang out as friends?” If it’s a date, say yes.
3. Do honor them.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
Leave them better than you found them. Communicate clearly each step of the way. Don’t ghost. Don’t lead anyone on. Be a decent human.
If you want to end it, say that clearly and tell them why. Don’t use cop-outs like, “It’s not you, it’s me” or “I’m just not ready” if you don’t mean them. Treat them how you want to be treated.
4. Do expect them to honor you.
As cheesy as this sounds—you’re worth it. Don’t stay in a relationship with someone who doesn’t honor you.
If you are a Christ-follower, God says you are:
Created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27)
Worthy of being pursued (Matthew 19:12-14)
Forgiven (Romans 8:1)
Adopted (Romans 8:15-17)
Secure (Romans 8:32)
Valued (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
Gifted (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)
Enough in Christ (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
Chosen (Ephesians 1:4)
Royalty (1 Peter 2:9)
A child of God (1 John 3:1)
Anyone who disagrees or doesn’t treat you that way is disrespecting both you and God. Don’t keep dating that person.
5. Do guard your heart.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
We’ve been there…Girls, you go on two dates and start picking out wedding dresses. Guys, you ask more of her emotionally than you should. Don’t take the relationship further than what you’ve both agreed upon and communicated.
6. Do date one person at a time.
Ladies, if someone asks you out and you’ve already said yes to a date with someone else, communicate that up front. Don’t be shady.
Men, you don’t need a cushion or a side piece. That’s confusing and selfish. If you’ve asked one girl out, don’t ask out another girl unless that relationship doesn’t go anywhere. You are training yourself now to either commit or not commit. Stop waiting for something better to come along.
7. Don’t date in isolation.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
If no other Christians know the details of your dating life, that’s sus…No matter who you are, you need people. You need community—a small group of other believers holding you accountable and speaking into your dating decisions. It’s never a good idea to just trust yourself.
8. Don’t have sex.
Proverbs 5:18-20 paints a picture of how sex is intoxicating. It’s like Beyoncé stole “Drunk In Love” straight from the mouth of King Solomon.
Plus, if you do have sex, you will get pregnant and die. (IYKYK…#meangirls.) But sex is more powerful than you know. You should date to evaluate if this is the person to spend the rest of your life with. Sex creates “drunk goggles” that you start seeing the relationship through. You will not be able to evaluate with sober judgment if you’re having sex. (And yes we also mean 2nd base, 3rd base, and “everything but...”)
9. Don’t date forever.
To the people who think it’s okay to date for 11 years…you’ve been dating as long as the age of kids in junior high. What are you waiting for? We’re not saying you should be hasty, but the relationship should steadily progress towards marriage. You aren’t setting either one of you up for success emotionally, spiritually, or physically if you’re dragging things on. If you aren’t in a place to get married in the next 18 months or sooner, it might not be best for you to start a relationship.
10. Don’t be afraid to exit.
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” (Proverbs 22:3)
Dating is a road that leads to a destination. And every mile you travel with them it gets harder to take the exit ramp. If you don’t want to go to the destination, stay off the road!
Don’t break up because you found one thing you don’t like, but be willing to break up when you need to. More on this here.
This season can be really fun, but we also know it’s weird, sometimes hard, and confusing. Job 42:2 says that none of God’s plans can be prevented. Whenever you get overwhelmed wondering what to do, seek wisdom from God’s Word and his people, remember that God’s in control, and focus first on the relationship that matters most—the one between you and Jesus. Because every other relationship is impacted by that one.