Let me start by saying that dating is defined by what you do in it.
Dating is an act of spending time with a person to get to know them well and consider if you want to get committed.
Dating is not necessarily about sleeping with different people to ascertain who you want.
There are 3 ways to date on purpose and following this method can save you from unnecessary heartache.
- DATE INWARDLY: This means spending time with yourself to know what you want, who you are, the kind of relationship you want to build, who you are becoming, your personality, values and emotional needs. Gaining clarity in these areas of life helps you understand who you are. Another way of knowing yourself is seeing yourself through the lens of God because your internal lens may be broken if you have not healed from past hurts and you can’t afford to allow your wrong perceptions of your identity keep you stuck. You’re more than you think you are.
- DATE OUTWARDLY: Definitely, it is necessary to spend time with other people so you can network and engage well with them. Dating is a social word for meeting people and it is what you do in it that matters. You can have friends and spend time knowing them well before thinking about a relationship. Don’t be too quick to get into an intimate relationship with a person, consider knowing them for a while, asking the right questions, meeting their friends, observing patterns, giving value, praying about it and listening to your intuition before getting serious about it.
- DATE UPWARDLY: This is definitely your relationship with God, unshaken. If you don’t get this part right, it can mess up with the WHY around your dating. You should not date someone to feel complete or valuable.
Seeking for approval or validation from a man or woman for that can lead to more identity crisis.
This is still a process because some people haven’t really spent time knowing themselves, hardly go out or have a sour relationship with God. Do you see why you should sit down to also create a plan that can make this strategy work?
Here are examples:
- Dating yourself: Read books around self-discovery, Identity and Purpose.
- Dating outwardly: Hang out with some friends monthly or weekly, depends on your time. Read about building healthy relationships and boundaries.
- Dating upwardly: Spend more time knowing God through fellowship. Journaling is good too.
Which of these do you need to get better at?