How To Date

Last week we spent some time trying to answer a question like “Who is the right person for me to date?”

We talked about the Gospel and how apart from Christ none of us good, but because of Jesus we can be declared good, meet good people, and have good friendships with members of the opposite sex.

We also spent some time making a list.  Remember, the list of what you’re looking for is only a guideline.  Only Jesus will fulfill you 100%.

So we got the “who.”  Today we’re going to talk about the “how.”  Dating can create anxiety in us, and we can put so much pressure on ourselves to date the right person or to not get dumped that it freaks us out!

So let me encourage you with this Scripture from Philippians 4 (NLT):

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. 

And the most important thing I want you to remember today is this:

The only thing you should worry about on date #1 is if there will be a date #2.

Most teenagers aren’t dating.

…they’re just trying to see how far they can go with someone who’s willing.

Because if we attach the “dating” label to a friendship, then we think we hold hands, hug, kiss, tickle

This is misguided because it creates a lot of pressure and confusion.  The only thing you should worry about on date #1 is if there will be a date #2.

…they’re trying too hard to have a girlfriend or a boyfriend

Once you’re “dating” she’s YOURS and no one else can talk to her or look at her or post on her wall…

This is misguided because you’re instantly “in love” and anything but undivided attention is “cheating on you.”  Chill out.  The only thing you should worry about on date #1 is if there will be a date #2.

Dating is an exercise meant to help a guy or a girl understand who they are compatible with.

God created both men and women for companionship.  That’s why guys and girls enjoy being together.  It’s not simply because of hormones and puberty.  God made us to get along.

So let’s learn how to do that today.

the Ask

How do you ask out someone you like?  Fellas, you need to ask her.

But ladies, what if no one EVER asks?  Just wait.  Boys are dumb.  We don’t get hints anyway, so don’t drop them.  The one who notices you for your love for Jesus is the one you want to gout with anyway.

My mom always told me to chill out.  I took dating relationships WAYYYYYY too seriously and killed the fun.  Because I didn’t want to go on dates, I wanted to have a girlfriend.  There’s a difference!  And that’s why I always got dumped within a month or two.

You can say a lot of different things, but what matters most is that you are confident and clear with your intentions.  I’d even throw in, when asking, that you’re just asking to go on one date.  And on that date, you’ll see if there could be a date #2.

When junior high boys try to figure out how to talk to girls: they make fun of each other in an effort to flirt.  They overdose on cologne that doesn’t smell good at all.  They ask their friends to go and tell the girl they “like” them.

Ladies, does this work on you?

A better way, fellas, is to be clear.  Say something like, “(____) we’ve been friends for a while and I’ve had a great time hanging out with you.  I’d like to take you on one date, where I’ll buy you dinner and we can talk and hang out and get to know each other better.  I’m not asking you to be my girlfriend.  I’m just asking for one date and we’ll see what happens from there.”

the Date

So she said yes!  Now what?  How do you go on a date when you can’t drive yet?

A few guidelines you can use:

  • Go out with groups
  • Avoid the “hang out at home” date

“Anything done at home-especially home alone-is a recipe for disaster.  You may have just intended to rent a movie and share a bowl of popcorn, but who’s to say you won’t end up with popcorn all over the couch and your hands in places they shouldn’t be?  Unless you’re playing Scrabble with her parents, dating at home should be avoided at all costs.”

  • Try to avoid going to movies all the time (because what can you learn about someone if you’re staring quietly at a screen for 2.5 hours?)

Sadly, I never went on a date in mid-high.  I was only concerned with having a girlfriend who would come to my basketball games and would let me kiss her behind the bleachers.  THIS IS NOT DATING.

So: the date.  I want to encourage you to stop thinking about getting a girlfriend or a boyfriend and start thinking about having fun, creative dates with people you like.  Because the only thing you should worry about on date #1 is if there will be a date #2.

Spend some time brainstorming fun, creative dates, but remember:

Guys: most girls probably don’t want to play Call of Duty with you all the time

Girls: most guys probably don’t want to watch you shop for a cute new outfit each weekend

How Do We Respond To This?

Dating is an exercise meant to help a guy or a girl understand who they are compatible with.

When you start dating, please remember that God created us for relationships.  We should honor God in the way we approach those relationships.

Remember this verse:

Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? (2 Corinthians 6:14)

Dating is exciting and terrifying all at the same time.  Hopefully this series has given you some good ideas on who to date and how to date.

So may you leave here with a desire to honor God in your friendships.  May you leave here with a desire to honor God in your dating relationships.  May you leave here knowing that if you are in Christ, dating will look different for you.  And that’s a great thing to experience.