Everyone seems to have Christian dating advice. Sometimes the advice is conflicting, confusing, and downright stressful.
“Don’t spend too much time alone with them” vs. “Make sure you spend lots of quality time together.”
“Date for no more than two years” vs. “You have to date for at least two years.”
“Date different people before getting serious” vs. “Only date people you see as a potential spouse.”
“Don’t be too clingy” vs. “Make sure they know you’re interested” vs. “Relax!”
As a Christian, dating can be an uncomfortable topic. Probably because there’s a lot of different advice out there that may not be helpful. But dating—casually or seriously—can be a way that you glorify God.
4 Ways to Make Christian Dating Less Complicated
1. Stop looking for “the one.”
Let’s talk about dating and purpose and how they go together.
For starters, you can take off some of the unnecessary pressure that gets put on a dating relationship. People often talk about wanting to find “the one,” and that just doesn’t exist. No one person is going to complete you. Only Jesus can fulfill your deepest desires to be known, seen, and loved for exactly who you are. Instead, you’re looking for someone else who is passionately pursuing Jesus and who can help you be a better Christ follower.
2. Slow down
Don’t worry; every coffee date you go on doesn’t have to be a frantic search to answer the question: “Is this person ‘marriage material’?” That’s a recipe for anxiety. Instead, prioritize getting to know people and hearing their stories. Not all Christian singles in your age group are right for you. So focus on forming friendships, and don’t stress yourself out trying to picture a future with everyone you go out with.
3. Set Boundaries
However, you can and should set boundaries to have healthy relationships. Decide now how you’ll date. Set limits on where you’ll draw the line physically, spiritually, and emotionally.
The thing about the line, though, is that you’ll want to make sure you’re not tiptoeing around it. Your goal shouldn’t be “What can I do that doesn’t cross the line?” Your goal should be “How can this relationship bring the most honor to God?” When that’s your goal, it becomes pretty easy to set the right boundaries to protect yourself now from hurt that could happen later.
4. Pursue your purpose on your own
There can also be tension between having relationships and pursuing your purpose, but there doesn’t have to be. Don’t wait to pursue your purpose until you’re in a relationship, because again, no one person is going to complete you. Healthy relationships often start with two people who feel comfortable in their singleness. That’s because they know their worth and purpose doesn’t depend on their relationship status.
Instead of waiting for”the one,” ask God what your next right step is—and do it. Wait for relationships with purpose by living out your purpose.
I know it’s cliche to say, “wait for God’s timing,” but there’s truth in that statement. Your purpose in life isn’t to get married. Instead, your purpose is to follow Jesus. The Holy Spirit may lead you to a long term relationship, or He might not. So let’s do our best to be patient as we pursue our purpose, trusting God to bring us the right person at the right time.
Let’s Break up With Our Expectations
There’s a lot of pressure to find a relationship, get engaged, and get married. That’s great for some people, but it’s not a universal story. And that’s okay! Singleness is a gift we can embrace. Break up with expectations about what’s supposed to happen and enjoy the season God has you in.
Whether you’re in a relationship or single, God has a plan for you, so focus on doing the next right thing and falling more in love with Jesus. The rest will fall into place.