dear Thinking of Dating,
Dating can be a new path which is fun and exciting, but few mention how it can also cause a lot of hurt and insecurities when it isn’t treaded carefully.
There are two areas I think you should take note of to determine how ready you are to date:
1. Your security in Christ
Jesus tells us to “love your neighbour as yourself” (Matt 22:39). So, if you do not know how to love yourself, loving another would prove more difficult than expected!
Loving yourself begins from the place of being secure in who God has made you to be. Because you are made by God, you are precious and significant, whether single or dating. It is important to find your security in Christ and not in someone else or in having a change in relationship status from single to dating.
Another factor in loving yourself stems from having a healthy view of self. I used to suffer from low self-esteem, deeming myself lousy and unable to measure up to the standards of others. It was a lie I believed and it was horrid. When we haven’t dealt with our insecurities, the person we date may very well be the crutch we lean on to bolster our sense of worth. The person you are dating does not make you more complete. You are complete in Christ.
2. Your purpose for dating
Knowing your purpose for dating would make it meaningful instead of something just to fill your time or make you feel better about yourself. I see dating as the journey toward finding a lifelong partner in marriage. It isn’t to be taken flippantly without consideration. It is about holding another person’s heart with gentleness and wisdom, knowing that they are of great worth.
This doesn’t mean that once you start dating someone, you need to end up marrying that person! Sometimes, dating helps you to refine yourself, and gives you greater clarity about the person you will eventually consider for marriage.
A final point: in the whole dating journey, it is so important to have a community of believers walking with you. Your leaders, parents, and close friends are there to cheer you on, to call out your blind spots, and support you along the way. So, I wouldn’t suggest starting a dating relationship without this support, and I won’t be too shy about letting others in on my dating journey. God made us for relationships!