***Disclaimer*** If you are not a guy this is not for you. Should you be a woman who wants to “spy on the enemy” and find out what we think about and what we talk about. You can go ahead and read this article, but please keep in mind that this is written to and for guys so you might get a little offended. I am warning you now.
So, hopefully, if you’re still reading this it is because you fall into the category of someone who can grow a beard, can grow a beard but “chooses not to” (We know who you are), and for anyone who thinks they want to know how we fellas think.
Guy, we need, to be honest. We do not know what they heck we are doing. Especially if we are Christians…and many of us were home schooled, so that is a whole new level of awkward that we bring to the table. Most likely we have all had the same/similar thoughts as we processed dating. This includes 1) Don’t be a “worldly” jerk 2) only date intentionally 3) PURSUE PURSUE PURSUE 4) I can only look for a Christian woman, not a great looking lady. While the world has distorted what it means to be a man, many High School, and College Ministries sermons, have distorted what it’s like to be a guy out looking for the woman he wants to spend time with. The most dangerous thing about these over packed “dating” sermons is that the Bible does not talk about dating at all. It talks about what being a Man of God looks like and how men are called to interact with women, but the book of Isaiah does not help you decide if going to the Zoo or seeing a Movie is a better first date option. That leaves us very lost, but not without very practical information. The most dangerous thing is that guy do not talk about this stuff alone and when we do talk about dating it quickly turns into another “Don’t have sex” conversation in your youth group. All of the guys in the circle will agree, temptation sucks and make an inappropriate joke to ease the tension. After that, we go and grab some food and talk about how much our fantasy football team sucks this season because of injuries and crap placement on the waiver wire. (every girl reading is totally lost right now, #love_it ) Very rarely do we as guys get to have this discussion without feeling the pressure of having women around. Let’s get started.
Keep in mind that I am still figuring life out but I can mostly speak from my own experiences and what I see around me.
What wisdom could I possibly bestow?
1) It is okay to go on dates and not date
2) If you are going to be intentional, get yourself together first
4) Know your dream team
It is okay to date and not date…”Wow, Grant, this is in direct contrast to being intentional! How can that be okay?” If you are thinking that, then I believe that we do not know what the intentional mindset implies. The “be intentional” phrase for dating is about as overused as any “Christian phrase” I have ever heard. We just use it and say it but don’t think about it. This first point is going to come up again and again. Guys, it is okay to go on a date for the sake of going on a date. Your first date does not imply a second date. Now, don’t make empty promises on a first date and the don’t be that guy who wears his heart on his sleeve in some long, sappy text message the day before the date. Seriously, just go out with the girl and if it doesn’t workout, well no harm no foul. This is especially true if you have no past with the person. A date for the sake of getting to know someone better in a private way is not a bad idea. Let’s be real we all know that girl who is cool in a group setting, but it turns out she is pretty odd in a one-on-one setting. You have no obligation to go on a second date. Like seriously, no obligation…you do not need that in your life. Just don’t be the guy who flirts with every girl and dates every girl in your youth group or college ministry. Seriously, don’t be a tool.
How do I get the date? It is an age-old question, and I am more than happy answer it, it is profoundly simple. Ask the girl out. I don’t care how or when…just do it.
If you are going to be intentional, get yourself together first. If you are the guy who self-righteously proclaims that you only date “intentionally” please have yourself together. If you are deliberately pursuing a woman, you have to be willing to use the word marriage! Goodness!! Let’s be real, to date intentionally means to date for marriage, and if you cannot say the dreaded “M” word then you are not dating intentionally you are baiting woman by using standard Christian dating lingo! Okay, so if you actually can utter the word marriage then I am assuming you have looked at yourself and realized that you I can handle marriage soon. If you are not ready to be married in 2 years, then you are not willing to be intentional. The struggle of purity sucks!! You will fail if you set yourself up to fail and to date, a beautiful looking Christian girl is way too much temptation for anyone. Side not, you can date someone you think is sexy. Like seriously don’t believe the lie that her personality trumps all characteristics. You should find the girl attractive! This is by your own standard not the worlds. Do not set yourself up for failure by dating for five years because you’ll be ready then. What happens in year three, Satan tricks you into thinking that you’re married, and well you know what happens next. If you are going to date, a girl intentionally is intentional with what you’re bringing her into. If you do not know what you want to do, what jobs you’re looking for, what your major is, and anything in your immediate future seems shaky? You do not need to invite a girl to date you intentionally when you are not intentional with yourself first. When you ask a girl to date you with the intent of marriage you need to be the leader that you were implying, a leader has a vision. So, do you have a vision for your life currently? Do you know where the holy spirit is calling? If not, you’re not in a place to date intentionally.
Never Settle…This will take us back to the first point. Then expand. You can go on a date and not go on a second date. You have no obligation to settle for that person. I get that we are supposed to initiate or “pursue, ” but you should not have to pursue a girl for months….if she knows you are pursuing her she probably just likes the attention #real_talk. I know couples that are jubilant and healthy, and the guy had to pursue the girl forever….that is dangerous but it can still workout. If she has an attitude of just sitting back and waiting for some fella to worship her, she is not worth your love. Do not settle for a girl who thinks your are not good enough. Now on the flipside of that, get the hint and realize that you’re probably not the girl for her. Sometimes we are just “friend” material. It sucks, but we move on and find someone with a better sense of humor. Now on the much more important topic….guys if you are in a relationship and have been for awhile if you have told her that you want to marry her or you’re intentional….you can still break up. You are not married yet. You do not have to settle for the person that you are currently with. You are under no obligation to continue the relationship. If you see other people with characteristics that you wish your girl has…well she probably shouldn’t be your girl. Marriage amplifies the best things in your girlfriend by 10…it also amplifies the worst things about her by 10. If you already have serious concerns, you need to cut her out of your life. God will never call you to settle for anyone in your life. Do not settle for someone who cannot make you laugh. Do not settle for someone who questions all that you do. Do not settle for someone who thinks they deserve you. Also, guys are you have gone too far with a girl, such as any contact that would not be dad approved; you are still allowed to end it. Do not punish yourself by settling for someone that you made a mistake with because you are ashamed of your mistakes. That relationship probably needed to end awhile ago.
Know Your Dream Team. So, who do you pick? I do not believe in “the one.” I think some people are good for people and others are bad for people and the trick to life is ending up with someone who is good for you. But if you disagree with me and believe that God has created a single person for you well this principle still applies. Know what you need. Every Christian should have a group of individuals to help them to live the Christian life as best as possible and home them accountable. As someone who is going to ministry, I call that my personal board of directors. But at the end of the day, they are my closest friends. The person you end up with is the most important member of your team. They will have more say in any decision that you make than any other person in your life. She is more important than your mentors, then your best friends, than your youth pastor, or even your actual pastor. Know the dream God has planted in your heart, and that will help you to see what the team for that dream will look like. This woman should bring out the best of you. That is the most important thing. The best version of Grant Brown is the one that can carry out the plans that God has laid before me, and I can only be my best when I am with the woman that enables me to be my best. You should not settle for any member of this team.
Know that you can date to for the sake of a date. Please know what you imply when you are intentional. Never ever settle. Know the dream and build the team.