Ryan Davis, Staff Writer
Let me first begin by saying, I am in no way some relationship virtuoso. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. But I guess I could say I’m sort of a virtuoso in trying and learning from my relationship endeavors. Some attempts failed and most have not turned out exactly as intended, but I guess you got to learn somehow.
It’s all about experiences, right? And, in my defense I mean…seriously though…there’s really no manual when it comes to dating or for that awkward relationship purgatory stage that comes before dating — especially in the Christian context.
There’s some pretty awful and some fairly decent advice from all sides, whether it be the out-of-context Bible verses that people love to use (Yes, I’m talking about you: 1 Corinthians 7:8 and Genesis 2:18). The rom-com never happens in real-life counsel, the wise old owl or the “back in my day” spiel.
Like I said earlier, I’m not a relationship guru, but I have dabbled a bit in the art of relations and these are just a few of the basic do’s and don’ts I’ve learned (mostly the hard way):
Find out what your community thinks.
For this to work you need to have a core group of friends/family that you trust, people that you allow to speak into your life. Truth is, as much as you think you know yourself, it’s these people who know you best, who know your personality and they also have your best interest at heart. They’ll tell you how it is, no sugarcoating.
Be upfront with your intentions — Call it like it is.
Nowadays no one wants to be the first to bust a move. It’s simple, if you like someone, or you’re interested in someone, no need to dance around it. If it’s already complicated in the beginning then something is wrong. Everyone wants to play “Larry, the Cucumber” cool. (Can I get an amen for the Veggie Tales reference?) The time for games is long gone. Like Sweet Brown says “Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that.”
Talk to Jesus about it.
As cliché as this sounds or feels, it should always come back to this. I’ll be the first to admit it’s sometimes frustrating and seems a bit of a stale play when you are reminded that you can actually talk to Jesus about what’s going on in your life. You can actually ask him questions. You might not get the answer you want, or you might get an answer you do want. You might not even get an answer at all, but I promise you Jesus knows all about it. So keep praying about it and take time to listen.
Get ahead of yourself.
I mean…this one is basically self-explanatory. Maybe the intention IS to potentially marry this person one day, but that one day should be in the future, not in the upcoming weeks. Pump your breaks and don’t try to manipulate things with your daydreams/expectations of how things should be — and the delusions of grandeur. You shouldn’t be naming your “kids” after a few weeks of dating. Let time happen.
Get to know each other first by asking simple questions like “what’s your favorite __________”or asking questions about family/general info.
Telling each other your deepest secret or the traumatizing things that happened to you in your childhood on your second date, or early in the relationship, is a big NO!
Bad Bible study discussion, please use discretion.
Beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out.
Unless you did something that caused the unfortunate or fortunate demise of…
Never mind. Sometimes this one is easier said than done, but at times things don’t work out. This doesn’t mean that either of you are wrong, or a bad person or something is wrong with you. Sometimes you just have to take that “L” (Loss) and realize that (cliché, but true gem #2) God has something better in store for you.