Monday, January 15, 2007

a thought on dating...

So many of you read the title of this blog and were shocked to find that it was on my blog.  I write this to solely entertain you and to use any of this information is at your own risk.  I do caution you that people are sinful and when you date, you have two independent variables that can function very independently.  The idea that dating can fit into a box or formula is crazy.  I don't care how many books you read and if you kissed dating goodbye two years ago, it's not a formula.  I write this as a single guy who has not always done the right thing.  I think I went through many years doing the exact opposite of what I should do and hurt a few in my path as well as myself.  I have learned a lot over the past two years by listening to great teachers and people way smarter than myself.  I have learned a lot from Tommy Nelson's ministry and the Song of Solomon.  If I could boil everything I have learned down and give one piece of advice to someone, it would be this:  COMMUNICATE !  I don't think enough can be said about communication.  It is the backbone of pretty much everything we do in this life.  Good communication breaks down walls and breaks down misconceptions.  I have a degree in this stuff but it does not take 4 years of overpriced tuition to know that it is meaningful and good.  I know some of you are probably laughing at a 26 year-old man writing a blog about dating, that's okay :)  I think this is fun. 

I feel like I am around a good mix of people in my life and hear lots of different thoughts on dating and it's fun to try and figure people out.  So and So likes so and so and blah blah blah, not much has changed since the 7th grade, maybe a few of us grew taller and our voices got deeper.  Here is the first thing.  Dating has to be honest.  Look, if you are interested in someone, if you think they are to your caliber, if you think they love the Lord like you do, then your first step is to communicate.  Don't tell her best friend's cousin's sister's mom who works with your mom that you like her.  Ask her out.  This does not have to be some big show where you bring flowers and announce it over the PA at church.  It doesn't have to be complicated.  Many guys want to know if they have a chance of dating a girl before they ask her out.  I think this is a normal thought.  I think I say that because I am one of those guys :)  I think it's good to have a little report of the girl you are interested in, maybe even do a little research to see what people think of her.  You see this type of idea in the Bible where you are choosing an elder or a pastor of your church.  Get an idea of what kinda person they are, do they water camels, oh wait, that's so old testament :)  

So you get to the point where you ask the girl out.  Awesome.  If you ask her out and it doesn't go so hot, basically she says no and you realize she isn't interested, guess what, that means NO.  I'm about pursuing someone when it is right, but when I hear about guys that pretty much turn into stalkers, this is weird and it creeps girls out, don't be a stalker.  So on flip side of the coin, she says yes.  Awesome.  Treat her well, go somewhere cool, be creative, have fun.  This is where dating can get tricky.  Let's say that you go out a few times and it goes extremely well.  There comes a point after so many dates, that something needs to be communicated.  Let's say you have been on about 4-5 dates and they have all been awesome.  You don't have to get on a knee and ask this girl to marry you, but you should be able to communicate to her how you feel and where you see these dates going.  The blog version of this is..."you're awesome, i have fun with you, I would like to keep having fun with you and getting to know you."  This is what I like to call the DTI.  Define the Intentions.  This is an information only plan.  This just gives the girl something to go on, a chance to show how you have felt about the time you have spent together.  Here is the benefit of the DTI.  Many guys are afraid of commitment and the mention of the word makes them cringe.  The benefit of the DTI is that it puts you both on the same playing ground.  It lets the female with estrogen be on the same page with the male with testosterone.  The other benefit is that it gives you more time to evaluate the person and see if this is a good thing.  It's a win / win for both people.  Obviously, after the DTI and a period of dates etc, there comes a point where you need to make a decision.  Is this person the TYPE of person that you could see yourself marrying?  Notice that I didn't say WILL MARRY, but someone that has qualities that line up with how God created, gifted, and planned your life.  DTR.  Define the Relationship.  This is where either the buck stops here or next thing you know you are riding down the road in your silverado and she is sitting right beside you.  KIDDING, this should never happen unless you live in a town with less than a few thousand people.  Define the relationship is a good thing because it shows that both people are going to either commit to dating or commit to cutting ties and  just being friends.  Yes, I said, just being friends :) 

I think a lot of people get bent out of shape about dating.  It doesn't have to be complicated.  If a guy isn't being honest with you and won't give you any updates and keeps stringing you along, he's not worth it, move on.  If he really cares about you and has a clue, he wouldn't do this.  On the other side of the coin, girls, if a guy asks you out, and you don't go out with him, you don't have to announce this to everyone and their sister.  This isn't fair to the guy and it really puts him in a bad light.  This is especially tough when you many of the people you hang out with are in the same church or group of friends. 

One last can be the most honest person you have ever been and be Jesus' right hand man and still get hurt in dating.  Dating comes with many potential land mines that you could walk over at any point.  Just because you are doing the right thing and listening to the Lord doesn't mean that you are going to marry Beth Moore's daughter and have 2.5 kids.  I don't know if Beth Moore has a daughter, but I hear she's a solid believer. 

Disclaimer:  I am a single man and just because I write a blog about dating doesn't mean that I am dating, just so you know.  I do think writing is fun and more open honest communication can help us all grow stronger in our relationships with each other and with Christ :) 


Jodi said...

This post just cracked me up! And, you're definitely right about us not being very different from 7th graders when it comes to that kinda stuff...always interested in who's dating who and who's the cute guy and is he single? You did have some good points, but still so funny!!! And, I think Beth Moore has 2 daughters, so maybe you should call her up. But, its sad cause I don't think she has any sons.

erin said...

jodi..youre right. beth moore does have 2 daughters. we saw them at passion. but one is married. so sorry..that one is off the market mr. tanner and the other i think is a little young for you;)maybe you should see if john piper has any daughters.

but seriously i do always enjoy your thoughts on this subject. they always are funny yet the truth.;)

Ed said...

You completely missed the first step in dating. Make out with the person of interest and see if he/she is worth pursuing in the first place.

JT said...

Jodi and erin, you posted great comments. Ed, I cannot give you the same response, I am just so surprised that you would say something like that, NOT :)

ame said...

Very encouraging to see a blog by a single guy on dating!