I spent a good number of years in the Christian singles scene before getting married earlier this year. Sometimes I feel like it’s a miracle that I even got married. Navigating Christian dating is basically impossible, what with the DTRs, over-analyzing, confusing friend dates, and endless group hangouts. I’ve seen girlfriends pine over men who were clearly never going to ask them out, and others take matters into their own hands. I’ve also seen guy friends ask out women who didn’t know a good man when they saw one.
So why are we so confused? No doubt hundreds of books have been written trying to help. And there’s our problem. Flip through a few books on Christian dating and I guarantee it’ll bring more confusion than clarity. One says not to date until you find your mate, another says to date anyone that comes along. Don’t kiss until you get married; kiss all the time. How would Jesus date? Are you called to be single? Is there just one person God has destined for you? To flirt or not to flirt.
The questions go on and on. And so do the books. Each one saying something different until you don’t even know what you want anymore. So stop reading them. If you want to date, go out and date. If you don’t want to, then don’t. All these books do is make us hyper-aware of issues we probably don’t even need to be thinking about. They may be issues the author struggles with, but are they relevant to you? Or are they just bringing up issues that you don’t need to worry about? Let your decisions about dating stay between you and God. Read the Bible, pray, consult friends and family who know and love you, but don’t take Christian dating books as gospel.
I’m not saying all Christian dating books are bad. Certainly some of them have great advice from wise authors, but I spent plenty of years reading through dating books and when I finally met my husband, everything I read was obsolete. I met my husband, I liked him, I flirted, and I was lucky to find that he liked me too. In fact, many of the things I had read in the past made me paranoid and obsessive when I started getting to know my husband.
It’s true that Christian dating is hard. Figuring out how our faith and purity fit into our dating lives seems to make things infinitely more complicated when in reality, they should make it easier. We know we have a loving God who has a complete plan for our lives. A good one . So why should we worry about our love lives? And why should we go looking for help in dating books? God’s the only one who truly knows what’s best for us, and we can take comfort in knowing that he has it under control.