As with all dating relationships, when two imperfect people come together, there are bound to be challenges. And Christian dating is no exception. I surveyed Christian women between the ages of 25 to 55 and asked them to list the challenges of Christian dating. Here are their top 7 answers:
1. Is this the One?
This is a problem everyone faces. Most women and men have a desire to be married. As they meet new people, they instantly wonder “is this the One,” which as one participant explains, it takes away from the real connection:
“Having the thought is this my mate at the forefront of our mind with every person we date takes away from the opportunity of making a real connection,” said the participant. “We are so busy interviewing them and checking the list off that one failed question results in [us claiming] he or she is not “the one” too prematurely.”
If you are guilty of this behavior, save yourself from heartache. Forget about meeting the “one” and focus on meeting new people and enjoying your time together. Knowing that the One will come along or be discovered while you are having fun.
2. False Expectations
The perfect relationships displayed on social media and in church project a false image of dating. Another participant explained this situation very well:
“Church and now #relationshipgoals on social media can make one think that heartbreak, disappointment or just plain imperfection doesn’t exist in dating,” she said. “Christian women step into a dating situation expecting the man to sound like their pastor and Christian men step in with their ‘foot on the gas,’ making promises to a woman they can’t keep because he hasn’t gotten to know her yet. He’s just trying to measure up to expectations from his church/pastor as well. So going in with false expectations leads to people not guarding their hearts and causes a lot of disenchantment with dating Christians or even dating in general.”
It is important to take the time to get to know the person to determine if you are meeting the real person or their “Christian” representative.
And note that while you are disqualifying potential mates due to a small infraction, you might be throwing away a great friendship.
3. Finding Balance in Your Christianity
Most Christian men don’t have a problem with you fasting, praying in tongues and reading your Bible. However, when they take you on a date, they want you to have fun, not study the Bible. They are looking for someone to have fun and be adventurous with.
You can have fun and still be a Christian. Loosen up and enjoy life. There is a time and a place for praying and Bible study. .
The Bible states that singles should abstain from sex before marriage. However, finding someone who is willing to wait can be a major challenge. One participant explained it perfectly. She stated:
“One of the biggest challenges is actually finding men who hold a Christian worldview when it comes to sex before marriage. Many of the men I have encountered will pray with you, praise with you and then turn around and try to sleep with you. You almost feel it is best to be by yourself rather than deal with another wolf in sheep clothing.”
Don’t be discouraged by the deception. Stay true to your moral code, and you will meet someone who is ready to stay true to theirs as well.
5. Ministry Calling
Each of us should be pursuing our God-ordained purpose, but when you do, it can be a turnoff to a potential mate. Being in the ministry can be intimidating and scary for someone who isn’t. So finding the right balance and being approachable is a constant juggling act for both men and women of the cloth.
If this is your dilemma, don’t discount who you are to make others feel comfortable. Allow people to get to know the real you minus the clergy attire and mannerism. Come down to earth and let the real you shine through.
6. Marriage Obsessed
So many women are consumed with marriage that they make the mistake of pursuing relationships too quickly instead of allowing a friendship to develop. One participant shared:
“Christian dating tends to lack a lot of grace since most of us feel we have no time to waste. However, a real relationship cannot thrive or even develop without it.”
Remember, this isn’t a race. Slow down and extend the same grace you would like extended to you and enjoy the moment.
Relationships can be challenging but you must allow time for the relationship to flourish and grow. Don’t be so anxious to progress to the next level. Take your time getting to know one another and enjoy the process. You will be surprised where things might lead if you take it slow.
7. Belief That Opposites Attract
Some Christians may find themselves compelled to date someone less like them. And that could mean someone less spiritual than them.
With the recent influx of mature Christian men/pastors, choosing women who are not known for their Christian values, (i.e. Israel Houghton, Devon Franklin and Pastor Jamal Bryant, to name a few), this might seem like the case.
And this belief has caused a growing frustration among Christian women, who think that Christian men aren’t interested in them. The best way to not buy into the lie that all the good men are gone, is to realize who God has for you is for you. Choose to celebrate others love connections and stay your course.
BMWK, what are your tops struggles as a Christian?