When you enter into the dating scene, it’s important to remember you are not there merely for self-serving purposes. In other words, you are not just browsing through dating profiles like you might shop for clothing. Each date is a human being, and their holistic experience – emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual – needs to be considered as well. Because dating involves the feelings and holistic experiences of another human being, it is necessary to employ certain steps to ensure you are ‘honest dating’ – aka dating with accountability.
Honest Dating Requires Truthfulness
Honesty and direct communication are the foundations of accountability. Expressing your intentions, needs, concerns and plans openly and truthfully will prevent misleading another person. Additionally, setting honest dating boundaries and employing direct communication, rather than avoiding calls or ignoring texts, will spare other people unwanted confusion and prevent self-orchestrated drama for you.
More importantly, honest and open communication exhibit emotional maturity and the capacity to love. Even if the recipient is not a long-term romantic love interest, love is what we as Christians are called to do, first and foremost. Love commands respect and consideration, and honest communication expresses that level of respect desired and deserved by others.
Honest Dating Requires Compassion
Speaking of Christ’s teachings, compassion is key. Without it, love is non-existent.
With regard to honest dating, it is vital to have compassion. Offering love and empathy to others, rather than judgment, leaves the individuals you encounter in the dating scene feeling fulfilled by the experience of meeting you. It also fills you up spiritually and allows your light to shine brighter – a sure way to become a beacon that leads true love your way.
Remember, just because someone is not right for you doesn’t mean they are not perfect for someone else. Honor and respect others differences while being mindful of the fact that God created them for a special purpose. More importantly, they were placed in your life – even if only for a short moment – for a Divine reason. Be grateful and exercise compassion toward another one of God’s children.
Honest Dating Requires An Open Mind
With regard to those who aren’t currently romantically compatible, it is always a good idea to hold space for them. Gently remind yourself that people can grow and eventually evolve to a compatible point at a later date.
Additionally, there are those instances where a dating fail turns out to be a valued platonic connection. The latter scenario could apply to the present or the future. Either way, it’s important to keep an open mind and consider that God has placed that person on your path for a reason. Don’t demolish a door or burn a bridge that was Divinely constructed.
The truth is we never know what God has in mind for us. If we did, our journeys would not be nearly as adventurous, mysterious or intriguing. What we do know is that God wants us to learn and grow, remember we are all connected, and love with all our might. When we date with accountability, we stand to do just that and be a light for many, even if we only become a true love for one.
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