Q: Hey Brian, I’m a guy about halfway done with college. I haven’t dated anyone in awhile, and now that I am older, I want to get back into the dating game. Do you have any advice?
A: I remember feeling kind of like a failure when I graduated from college. All five of my siblings married someone that they went to college with, and my last dating relationship had recently ended. I had my bachelor’s degree, but my wife was nowhere to be found. Many of my good friends got married within the first year or two after graduation, and I felt like I was destined to either be single forever or eventually just settle for some less-than-exciting relationship.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. As my relationship with Courtney headed toward marriage, it was amazing to see that God had really been preparing us for each other. Looking back, I would happily go through all the frustrations and disappointments again if I had known that God would use them to lead me to Courtney.
Here are a few tips that I’ve learned (from making mistakes):
1. Go For It
If there’s a girl that seems pretty great, ask her out. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s a lot less crazy than Facebook stalking her and trying to figure out on your own if the two of you would go well together.
When you ask her out, have a plan for what you’re doing to do on the date. By planning something to do, you’re letting her know that you are putting effort into this and that she’s worth the extra effort. If your plan is to say, “um, do you want to hang out sometime?” then just save your breath. There’s always a chance that she’ll say no to the date, but that’s okay. Sometimes it’s easy to over-think and we can waste so much time wondering what could happen.
If she says yes to the date, here are five free gems:
- Walk to her door when you arrive to pick her up, open her car door for her, and walk her back to her door at the end of the date.
- Get flowers (not red roses, this isn’t The Bachelor. Ask an old lady at the local grocery store floral section which flowers you should buy)
- Ask her questions to get to know her. The goal isn’t to ask awkwardly serious questions (what’s your deepest fear? what’s the last mortal sin you confessed?) but it should be a time to learn more about her and not just retell funny stories about yourself.
- Turn your phone off. Those notifications can wait. Ignoring your phone will send her the message that she’s worth your attention. Also, you’re not missing much. Flappy Birds will still be there to take you back with open arms when the date is over.
- Pay for it. If you asked her to go out with you, she shouldn’t have to pay for the experience.
2. Know what dating is for
Don’t treat it like a game of chess where you’re constantly worried about your next move or over-analyzing what the other person has said, texted, or tweeted. Actually, it shouldn’t be treated as a game at all. Dating is supposed to be preparation for marriage, and honest communication is an essential part of any good relationship. Be up front with what you’re thinking, be honest about your feelings, and girls will really appreciate it.
3. Slow Down
Don’t be in a hurry. If we really believed that God was going to provide for our every need, I think we’d be a lot less anxious and stressed. In the Song of Songs, a dramatic poem about two lovers searching for each other, there’s this refrain that we hear over and over: “Do not arouse, do not stir up love, before its own time” (Song of Songs 8:4). I know that this advice completely goes against our YOLO culture, but anyone who’s been to Taco Bell can tell you that things that you get really fast aren’t always good life decisions.
Remember that God wants you to be happy more than you do. Only He can fulfill our deepest desires for love, and He is a loving Father that wants to give us more than we could ever ask for. Keep turning to Him for guidance, both when you’re single and when you’re dating.
Do you have a question about dating and relationships you’d like to ask Brian and Courtney Kissinger? Email them at [email protected] and your question could be the next blog post!