by Jamal Miller,
The developmental stages of a relationship have their variations, but when doing it God’s way there are some stages that are pivotal for laying a solid foundation for marriage. Doing it God’s way ensures that there are boundaries set in place to protect each person as they discern whether the relationship has potential for marriage. Dating because you’re bored is not the goal, but dating to marry is. Here is a brief guide based from me and my wife’s journey (from meeting as complete strangers through mutual friends on Facebook to engaged and married in 9 months!)
The friendship stage can range from many different scenarios, but can be defined as a healthy friendship with the opposite sex, containing no intimate commitment. The friendship stage is crucial because you shouldn’t get married if you aren’t able to be friends. The best marriages are the ones with the best friendship. The friendship stage shouldn’t include anything more but that. Our generation has really begun to play around with the world’s concept of friend’s with benefits. It is during the friendship stage you learn a person’s likes and dislikes, and spend majority of your time in groups.
The interest stage is where you acknowledge you are interested in someone, but now need to find out if they are equally interested in you. This is the stage that most get STUCK in. You see a young lady that is very attractive to you, loves Jesus, and is single. Boom, you are interested. You are friends with a good looking guy that is committed to Christ, and he has a job! Boom, you’re interested.
The interest stage is very difficult because it is here that some guys don’t communicate to the girl that they are interested right away, and then some do. I know with my wife, I was interested in her for a few months before I contacted her for the first time. My first message was not, “hey I’m interested in you”, but more, “hey, how do I know you?” It took months before I got the courage to ask her if we could get to know one another better. Guys, don’t wait for a girl to show that she’s interested, go find out by asking her. Ladies, be patient and allow him to take the lead because it will set the tone for the duration of your relationship.