To date or not to date?

Christian dating sucks! (Can I get an amen?!)

I mean let’s start with the obvious problem – the church is 70% women, now I’m no maths expert but I’m pretty sure that means there are not enough men out there for all us ladies. Right off the bat we have to decide whether we will remain single, praying for the right Christian guy to come along, or to date non-Christians. Personally I’ve got no problem with the latter choice but that comes with a whole load of other issues.

Then there’s this culture in churches of marrying young – this is great if you find “The one” early on in life, but for the rest of it makes us feel like spinsters at the age of twenty-five. Despite the fact this is obviously not true – it can knock our confidence and often the pressure begins to set it – time is running out. Which it really is not! You are young, you are hot, and you have plenty of opportunities ahead of you to meet someone.

And let’s not forget this presumption in church that if you like someone, it means you want to marry them. There’s that lingering idea that if you ask someone out for a coffee it’s a potential life sentence – you are now committed and there’s no turning back. I don’t know about you but I find quite a lot of guys attractive, and I definitely don’t see myself marrying most of them. Asking someone out, dating, is the process of figuring out if there’s a connection between you; to get to know each other, looking to see if there’s a spark. If there isn’t anything there it should be a simple thing of ‘we tried but it’s not right’ or, if the date goes well, then go on another date – spend time with each other, talk, have fun, don’t stress about whether they’re the one you want to marry, just, are they someone you’d like to hang out with? And don’t get me started on women not making the first move – so many times I’ve been criticised for asking the guy out, or kissing him first, and though I really enjoy the guy taking that first step (confidence is attractive!), I’m not going to shy away from it either. Unless you haven’t realised, men and women are equal (even in the church) – it’s not fair to put all the pressure on the guy, they have the same fears and insecurities we do! So ladies if there’s someone who takes your eye – let him know! In the words of Jane Austen “There are few of us who are secure enough to be within love without proper encouragement”. And guys – that goes to you to – we are not mind readers – if you like us then make it obvious! If the feeling is not reciprocated then it can more easily be ‘put to bed’ and we can both move on – rather than the weeks or months of ‘do they like me? Or is just in my head?’

And what about online dating? If I’m honest I’ve had most of the apps at some point or another, Tinder, Bumble, Happn, and Christian Connection was the worst one – I got more creepy messages from this site than any of the others combined! And most of them were twenty years older than me. I felt so uncomfortable on this site and in the end I deleted it. I really don’t like the culture of swiping left or right on someone based purely on a handful of photos and maybe an adjective or two, but it works. Of course physical features shouldn’t be the most important part of a relationship but you can’t deny that attraction is vital – you can’t date someone you don’t fancy, and I am aware that you can’t tell until you meet the person, but you need to start somewhere! So don’t knock it till you try it! And of course Jesus told us to go and spread the word – it’s a great opportunity to tell people more about following Him, flirt to convert!

Obviously I’m no expert but if I had any advice to give my fellow singles it would be RELAX! Not being in a relationship is not the end of the world – though trust me I know it can hurt! But you need to learn to enjoy being single, and enjoy dating. Have fun getting to know new people, and reflect on what you’ve learned if it doesn’t work out. Just take it one crush at a time! Make the most of your single time – focus on your faith, your career, your friendships, travel! And don’t panic, you are more than enough just as you are, you don’t need a partner to make you whole – Jesus does that for you!

I would love to hear your thoughts on the Christian single life so please comment below!

 

Disclaimer: I am aware I haven’t spoken about the LGBTQ side of dating in a Christian environment – this is simply because, as a straight woman, I don’t know much about it, but I support everyone in their quest for love and it would be great to hear some of your stories about dating as well so please do get in touch!

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