Adulting is hard, and when it comes to dating, the struggle is even more real. 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!”
But dating doesn’t have to freak you out. Check out this excerpt from the Collective Bible plan and Collective itself as you navigate this whole #adulting thing.
As a Christian, dating can be an uncomfortable—even downright dicey—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. 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 dating relationships. 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.
That also doesn’t mean that every coffee date you go on has to be a frantic search to answer the question: “Is this person ‘marriage material’?” You can get to know people and hear their stories. Focus on forming friendships, and don’t stress yourself out trying to picture a future with everyone you go out with.
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.
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.
Instead, ask God what your next right step is—and do it. Wait for relationships with purpose by living out your purpose.
There’s a lot of pressure to go to college, 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! 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.