My brother recently forwarded me an article from Relevant Magazine title: “How to Go on an Actual Date“.  I found the article very interesting and a good read.  Check it out.  But really, I found the article, and the idea of the article, a necessary read.

You see, no one has ever taught me how to date.  I’ve gotten here innocently enough.  I got into books by Josh Harris and Eric and Leslie Ludy (and I liked them) as a teen and kissed dating goodbye.  Growing up I was home schooled, and even when I worked at summer camps and such activities growing up, I always felt I was too young for any type of serious relationship.  Then I studied at secular universities and didn’t find anyone that was compatible.  So I haven’t done a lot of dating.  (OK, I haven’t even done a little amount of dating.  I could probably count the number of dates I’ve been on with two hands).

Somewhere out there is a conservative Christian that is saying: “Well, I don’t date; I’m only interested in courting.”  That’s nonsense.  In any serious relationship one goes on dates.  (I really think I should write something on dating vs. courting sometime).

Being a conservative Christian is such a funny culture to be in.  We’re all about preserving modesty and propriety, which is awesome, but then when the rubber hits the road, and it’s time in life to not kiss dating goodbye, this particular culture really doesn’t have any to give me.  Pretty much all the messages I hear from the literature and speakers are: don’t date, wait for the right person, and don’t date.  Trust me, this is really great stuff for when I was a teenager, but I’m turning thirty soon.  Wrong demographic.

For example, there is a rule of relationships out there that one needs to talk to the father before starting a relationship.  Yes.  Kinda.  I mean, I don’t even know you yet.  What am I supposed to talk to your father about?  This is particularly distressing because sometimes life doesn’t allow people to get to know each other in person before going on a date, like when people meet at a church youth conference.  I don’t know you, and for us to spend some time getting to know each other, let’s go on a date.  “Yes, but I don’t date.”  Honestly, what’s a guy supposed to do?  In that situation I propose the idea that going on a date is not dating.  We’re getting to know each other and evaluating the idea of a relationship.  Trust me, I’m not here to play with anyone’s heart, and I’m only interested in serious relationships.  It’s not that type of a date.

So it’s refreshing that there is at least someone out there who’s willing to take the time to give me some pointers on what to do on a date.  I really need the advice.  The Christian dating pool is small, and I have to make the most with the chances I do have.  I don’t have a lot of room to not mess things up.