Dating with a Purpose

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3:

Part of being a Christian is to grow in faith. This will not happen if you date just for the sake of having fun. Dating should lead to courtship and marriage. This is dating with a purpose.

These days single people have dating down to a science. They know where to meet people. They have an excellent online profile that says nothing about what they really want, but is guaranteed to get someone’s attention. They have the clothes they need to impress their date, and they are excellent conversationalists.

What they do not have is an understanding of how to get what they really want. They think impressing someone is enough. They want someone handsome or beautiful in their life to compensate for their own low self-esteem. They glide from one date to another hoping something magical will happen. In other words, they are not dating with the idea to find a partner who can help them grow in their faith.

The most important thing about dating is that one make a concerted effort to find out if there is enough compatibility to sustain a healthy relationship which includes romantic love, excitement, getting along, and a future together. In other words, dating with a purpose is like interviewing someone for the most important role in his or her life as your partner.

This is not always easy. It takes effort, patience, self-discipline and the wisdom of others who have gone through this process themselves and been successful.

Since selecting the right partner is one of the most important things we do in life, I have created a list of things one should look for in a relationship. You can use this as a guide.

1. Honesty that engenders trust;

2. Shared faith;

3. The ability to negotiate or compromise;

4. Self-awareness;

5. Self-esteem;

6. Communication skills;

7. Sexual compatibility;

8. There should be a recognition of the fact that each person had a different childhood experience;

9. Similar (but not necessarily identical) values: This includes such issues as money, monogamy, and parenting;

10. Patience and tolerance;

11. It is important to accept the fact that there will be days when the relationship seems very ordinary or even boring;

12. The willingness to substitute influencing for controlling: Saying something once and then letting it go. Being a role-model instead of nagging someone to change.;

13. Healthy boundaries;

14. Devotion;

15. Quality time together;

16. Knowing when to stay and when to leave;

17. It is also important to have compatibility and “ease” in a relationship: At the same time, it must be understood that no relationship is perfect;

18. The willingness to face your problems (without over-reacting);

19. Reciprocity (give and take);

21. Realistic expectations. After the honeymoon, relationships are not a romantic fantasy;

22. Readiness for a relationship (both partners).

I believe we cannot just start dating and hope that everything will fall in to place. I think we need to be honest from the beginning about what we are looking for and move on if we are not happy.

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My spiritual name is Susannah. I believe the Holy Spirit is energy from God projected and exerted on people or things to accomplish his will. I have received his energy and I have changed.

Today, I try to follow the ideals of St. Francis . . . " Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. Where there is sadness, joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."