3 Reasons Why You Should Date Casually, Even Christians!

BY: - 14 Jan '15 | Single

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Is it just me, or does it seem like casual dating gets a bad rep?

But what if casual dating wasn’t purposeless? What if it wasn’t an excuse to have meaningless sex? What if it wasn’t dangerous or a waste of time? If you are dead-set against going out with different people, I can respect your approach to dating and relationships. But as a matchmaker and dating coach, I’d like to offer another, more positive perspective on dating that just might help you get the relationship you desire.

Let it be known that I support singles–yes, even Christian singles–who decide to go on dates with multiple people before choosing to enter into a commitment with someone. I know this may be surprising to some, especially because people think casual dating means hooking up, playing the field, or avoiding marriage.

But what if dating several people before deciding to enter into a serious commitment leading to marriage was actually a way to prepare you for marriage?

Just so we are on the same page, I define dating as socializing. I’m talking about two adults getting together to have a good time, enjoying new experiences and exploring if there’s enough there to see each other again. For me, dating is a necessary process to go through BEFORE entering into a committed relationship.

Sadly, I’ve seen many people become emotionally damaged because they go from commitment to commitment. They skip steps and ruin a budding relationship because they rush past the getting-to-know-you-phase of dating and go straight into changing their Facebook statuses and announcing “We’re a couple!”

Casual dating can actually prevent some of this emotional hurt. When done properly, it has a powerful purpose, which is why I like to call it “Power Dating.”

I’d like to explore 3 reasons why you should date casually: 

1.It’s a great way to meet interesting people

What if you went on a date with no expectations other than to have a good time? Instead of checking off items on a list to see if your date is marriage material, how about you simply relax and focus on learning more about the person sitting across the table?

This was how I approached my first date with my husband. We went to Starbucks and sipped on caramel macchiatos while I asked him tons of questions about his adventures overseas, what it was like growing up as a preacher’s kid and more.

This aspect of power dating works best if you’re willing to go on a date with a person who isn’t necessarily your type. Go out with someone who can teach you something and expand your worldview!

2. It shows you where you need to grow

Tell me about your relationships skills: Are they rusty? How do you handle conflict? Do you know how to communicate what you need respectfully? Do you know how to compromise when another person’s needs get in the way of your desires? Do you know how to set up good emotional and physical boundaries?

Going out on dates can help you sharpen your people skills.

You’ll learn how to focus on what really matters in relationships. Many of my matchmaking and coaching clients “think” they know what they need in a relationship, until they go out on a date with someone and they realize their “must-have list” is too shallow. Power dating helps you learn more about yourself and areas where you need to grow.

3. It’s an opportunity for spiritual growth.

Power Dating is a way to show another person what a good man or a good woman is like.

Most people approach dating and relationships from a selfish standpoint. What can the other person do for me? What if, instead, you were able to focus on giving (with good boundaries in place) so that a person walks away from a date better off because he or she went out with you, even if you don’t ever see each other again?

Power dating isn’t for everyone. It takes a certain level of spiritual & emotional maturity to do it. If you fall in love just by having a phone conversation, or get emotionally attached to EVERYBODY, you probably shouldn’t date casually.

But if done the right way, God can use the dating process to heal some things in you, build up your relationship toolkit and prepare you for marriage.

As Dr. Henry Cloud, author of the book How To Get a Date Worth Keeping, and co-author of Boundaries in Dating, says “dating is as much about learning what you need and want, and how you need to grow and change, as it is about finding the “right” person.”

That sounds like a great purpose to me.

BMWK, what are you thoughts on power dating?

About the author

Aesha Adams Roberts wrote 160 articles on this blog.

Dr. Aesha is a matchmaker, dating coach, speaker and author of the book, Can I Help A Sister Out: How To Meet & Marry The Man of Your Dreams. After years of making painful dating mistakes, she met & married her husband in 11 short months and has made it her mission to help women and men find and keep the love of their lives.

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2 WordPress comments on “3 Reasons Why You Should Date Casually, Even Christians!

  1. B. Williams

    I totally agree with this article! I have ben casually dating for about a year now and find it to be very fun and learned more about myself. And on that last point, it was real great to go out on a date with a man who showed me how a date should be. Made me realized I was settling for less than my standards.

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Singles: The One Idea About Dating You Better Reconsider

BY: - 15 Jan '15 | Relationships

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I love being on the listening end of conversations about new relationships. I get just as excited about the new connection as the friend or family member who’s sharing the details with me. I have always been a sucker for love and look forward to those around me experiencing more of it. I am also realistic when it comes to relationships. Being married for over 16 years and working as a relationship professional, I know the amount of effort that’s required. Unfortunately, not everyone is equipped with the wherewithal, knowledge or willingness needed to turn a dating relationship into a marriage.

Most people don’t often realize dating is an activity that should be enjoyable, spontaneous and revelatory.  What sometimes takes away from these particular objectives is the pressure added to it. Some singles enter relationships with a great deal of expectations. A few of them are unrealistic and often leads to a fast crash and burn. Others are fair, but sometimes requested too soon.

As you begin your search for Mr. or Mrs. Right, you must remember this one idea, to stop entering each dating relationship with marriage on your mind. The reality is that not everyone you date has what it takes to be a good spouse and simply put, won’t even be marriage material.

I think when we enter a relationship with the thinking this could be the one, we accommodate and overlook things we typically value just to prove ourselves right.

There are phases to dating and if it leads to marriage, congratulations. But we shouldn’t begin the relationship with that thinking initially. Building a friendship first, is an excellent starting point.  It’s important to make sure you genuinely like the person you’re dating. Asking questions, listening and observing are all necessary to becoming familiar or acquainted with someone. It’s stressful to think about creating a future with someone, you first haven’t even really gotten to know. When you’re looking at a dating relationship through a certain/specific lens, you’re going to miss something, or only see what you hoped you would. It will alter your ability to be open minded, and present, in the moment. You’ll increase the chances of getting sidetracked because your focus is in the wrong place.

We can sometimes be so hasty in wanting to turn someone into a spouse, that we miss having fun while dating. We must first make sure, they are indeed marriage material. I know most of us don’t want to waste time dating someone we have no intentions on marrying. But dating, while fun, is also a learning experience. Through dating, you get to learn more about yourself, what you bring to a relationship, as well as what you are seeking in a relationship.

Dating can actually prepare you for a marriage, even when you’re dating a person you wouldn’t consider marrying. Knowing what you don’t want, and learning that along the way, helps you create a space and seek what you actually do want in a partnership. You learn what you can tolerate and what you can’t. You begin to recognize your own flaws and the damage they could do to a marriage, if not corrected. Dating is an exploration and it helps to shape you into the future spouse you plan to be.

You can’t be afraid to date just for the fun of it while removing any personal agendas centered around marriage. Make a plan of not going into every new relationship thinking, this is your future husband or wife. Again, if it works out that way, perfect. If it doesn’t, look for the ways you’ve grown and prepare yourself for the future. We must stop putting all that pressure on the getting to know you phase of the relationship. I think when we enter a relationship with the thinking this could be the one, we accommodate and overlook things we typically value just to prove ourselves right. Imagine entering the relationship without any expectation of marriage.  When it feels right you’ll know it and the relationship will naturally move from one phase to the other. You won’t have to force it.

BMWK, What are your thoughts on this one idea about dating?

 

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 634 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.

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