Excuse me, how do I date correctly?

One of the most common questions that I get asked all the time (like i’m so obviously the expert) by younger single Christian girls is: What is the correct way to date?

I’d hem and haw, uhm and ah, and after much fudging and looking wise, I’d say: I dunno. (If I’d known, I wouldn’t be single, right?)

And that’s the truth, because after trying to do all the “correct” things according to various Christian fads in the last 15 years – think X meets Y and the popular “kissed… goodbye” books – I’m more clueless and confused than ever.

Some Christians say I haven’t prayed hard enough and I needed to make a list down to very specific items like height and hair colour. 1.8m and natural hair colour please. Still no avail.

Then other well-meaning Christian friends say I need to have a sign – a secret sign that only God and I knew – to figure out which guy is the One. So I went through a phase of “if this guy sings Billy Joel’s Just The Way You Are to me without me telling him, he must be the One that God has prepared for me.” The only guy whom I’ve heard sung it so far is the lounge singer. Or maybe I should have chosen a “holier” song, maybe a hymn like Just As I Am.

I’m not dissing couples who met each other based on a specs list or on blueberry-cheese-cake signs. God in His infinite mercies does answer our quirky prayers. But what comes true for some might not be the same for others. So if you’re wondering why, despite praying your List to tatters, your knight is still not appearing, you might need a rethink. Maybe that’s just not the way for you.

But whatever it is, don’t ask me for any dating advice. You’d be better off asking those who have dated… and succeeded.

This post was inspired by a brilliant piece of writing by Gina R. Dalfonzo called “The Good Christian Girl: A Fable”. Recommended reading for anyone who’s dated in the last 15 years – you’ll see a lot of yourself in it.

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