To the Christian girl who’s figuring out how to date…

I think we have a bit of an issue when it comes to Christian girls and their view of dating.

If you ask any of the girls who have been in one of my small groups or youth groups, they will tell you that I love talking about boys! I think it’s fun. I like to find out who girls have crushes on and why. I like to hear about their dates, and I always ask if they’ve kissed!

Here’s the thing: I’m ALL FOR DATING! I’m actually a big proponent of dating. But, I’m afraid we are SO NOT DOING IT RIGHT.

We have these 2 extremes, that I just don’t believe are working. Actually, I KNOW they’re not working.

On one side, we have the “worldly” way of dating. Hooking up, having sex, leading each other on, using each other, etc.

(Acting like you’re married in the physical side of the relationship.)

On the other side, we have the “Christian” way of dating. Committing to a significant other as if you’re married, sharing your deepest secrets, giving the control of all your emotion to the other, intertwining your spiritual hearts the moment you meet someone, etc.

(Acting like you’re married in the spiritual and emotional side of the relationship.)

I hear youth leaders and well-intentioned people say, don’t date someone unless you know you could marry them. I get it. I understand the logic, but I think it’s messing with our girls. They start thinking about marrying a boy they just met, and they start giving themselves in relationships as if this guy is their husband. NOT OKAY. I think we’ve done our kids a disservice by convincing them that relationships need to be so serious.

Here’s what I say: If you know you’d NEVER marry that guy, then don’t date him.

i.e. If he’s not a believer, DON’T date him. If his character is lacking, DON’T date him.

BUT, you don’t have to KNOW you’re going to marry him. That’s absurd.

Here’s what I think we need to start telling our teenagers:

Date for fun. Dating is about building friendship.

Be serious about your purity, but don’t be so serious about relationships.

Why are our teens getting into these deeply committed relationships at fourteen, where they give themselves over in what I often refer to as “emotional sex” — opening their hearts in a way that just isn’t appropriate. Why?

What ever happened to going on dates for fun? Good, wholesome, fun dating. Enjoying each other’s company. Finding out if you like spending time with someone.

Why do we have to DTR so soon these days?

When I met my husband as a freshman in college, I didn’t know if I wanted to marry him right away. (He says he knew he wanted to marry me…😌) Instead, I got to know him. We went on dates for 7 months before we DTR’d — AND BEFORE WE EVEN KISSED. He took me dinner. He wrote me notes. We ate breakfast together at Cafe Cappuccino every week. We shot baskets together. We worked out. We watched TV. We laughed. We talked.

ALL BEFORE WE DEFINED ANYTHING. We became best friends.

And, guess what, I even went out on a date with a guy or two in the midst of it all! 😱

Good, wholesome, not-so-serious dating needs to make a comeback.

Christian girls, we need to stop getting SO CRAZY about committing too soon. We need to stop pouring out our souls to guys who just don’t deserve our hearts like that. We need to take our purity seriously and not throw ourselves around at guys who aren’t going to stay for the long-haul.

Test the guys in your life. Just spend time with them. Date for fun to get to know people. See if you actually like their friendship. See if a guy sticks it out when he knows you’re not gonna throw your body around like a hot commodity.

THEN, and only then, can you determine if you MIGHT want to marry someone. Then, and only then, should you DTR.

But, let’s chill out a bit. Stop over-complicating things. Stop over-dramatizing relationships. (If you’re fighting every other day with a boyfriend, get out. That’s just silliness. Your relationship shouldn’t look like an episode of Gossip Girl.) Stop making things so overly-serious. Stop acting like your boyfriend is your husband. He’s not. Don’t give your heart and body over to him like he is.

And guys, how about y’all man-up just a bit and ask a girl out on a date. Stop leading on, stop playing games. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

My dating philosophy: Be serious about your purity but not so serious about relationships.

** I hope you enjoyed the throwback pictures! **

Love,

Trish

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