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Dating as Christians - Our Advice



Ayden and I have been dating officially for almost ten months (oh my lanta). We "talked" for two years, but I don't really like categorizing it as that. He's my best friend and my first love, but we do things a lot differently than the world. And I think it makes us stronger.


We're both Christians.


That makes our standards and our boundaries and how we do things unique. We do our best to follow the guidance of Scripture first and foremost, and then our parents. To some, our relationship might seem strange, but to me, it's the reason why we've lasted so long while our friends are often going through breakups. It's not always easy, but it's worked.


I'm no expert by any means, but if I were to give you five pieces of wisdom about dating as a Christian from a big sister or best friend point of view, here's what I would tell you.

1. Take it slow.


Every part of our relationship has been slow but oh-so sweet. We waited a long time to start dating for a couple reasons (the biggest one being I wasn't allowed to date). But I also cherished the taking-it-slow because I got to know Ayden in such a deeper way than most high school couples do. He was my best friend before my boyfriend, and that meant that our bond was that much deeper. That time helped me make sure he was the kind of guy I wanted to date, and that I wasn't rushing into dating an ungodly guy. (It also helped my family make sure they liked him, but more on that later.) We used that time to learn so much about each other; about our strengths and weaknesses, biggest flaws, how we give and receive love, if we agree on the most important subjects.


We've also taken it slow physically. For now, we stick to hugs, holding hands, and forehead/cheek kisses. We spend more time talking and learning how to communicate than we do being physical, and that makes us stronger. It doesn't mean the attraction isn't there, it means we choose to focus more on growing closer together as a couple and best friends.


Also, take your time praying about every stage of the relationship. Really seek God's guidance and make sure that you are following His will above your heart. It's okay not to get into a relationship or do certain things until you feel 100% peace from God.


2. Make sure your family approves.


My mom dated a guy (not my dad!) who her parents hated. Not only did it make things awkward and not fun, she eventually realized her parents were right. While I was getting to know Ayden, my family got to know him too. And, it turns out, they love him. Ayden hangs out with my family and I, and we have a blast. We love watching him play tennis and basketball, so much so that sometimes my mom and/or grandparents go watch him when I'm not there!


But seriously. Your family's opinion is the second most important opinion ever (first is God). They have your best interests in mind, and so if they see a red flag, it's probably wise to listen to them.


And if your friends have some hesitation about this guy, then ask them why. They might just see something that you can't.


3. Focus on individual relationships with God first.


The Pinterest pics of couples doing Bible studies together, worshiping together, and praying together are every Christian girl's dream. Trust me, I thought that was the definition of a godly couple. But then, after talking to a friend and God about what a real godly couple looks like, I realized that wasn't what I needed to be striving for. And honestly, it was kind of unrealistic for Ayden and I.


We're both busy people, and so when I tried to force nightly or even weekly Bible studies together, it just stressed us out and made me feel bad when we didn't get to them. If we did get to them, it was rushed and surface level, and that wasn't productive either.


I learned that it is most important for you to be right with God and for your boyfriend to be right with God on your own before anything else. Because when you think about it, if you prioritize your couples devo before your personal devo, and your relationship with God begins to suffer, then you break up, what happens? It's just not healthy.


This is NOT me hating on couples Bible study, prayer, and worship. I do believe that those things are important, and I cherish when Ayden and I get to do that together. But don't overhype them and make them more of a priority than your personal relationship with God and time with Him.


4. It's okay to have hard days and not feel the love all the time.


I love Ayden so much. But sometimes he gets on my nerves. Sometimes I don't like him very much. Sometimes we have disagreements and sometimes we fight. We've been on the verge of giving up on each other more than once. But we had to learn to choose each other.


Once I learned that it's okay to have hard days with your SO, and that not every day is going to feel like the first month of dating, it relieved so much pressure from our relationship. Because our relationship has evolved. We can actually spend time apart from each other! We can communicate! We banter like a married couple! We laugh together! We make fun of each other! Sure, some of the romantic gestures don't happen as often, but our love for each other has only grown over the months.


5. Be okay being apart and socializing without your boyfriend/girlfriend.


I wish with all my heart I would have actually listened to this advice when we first started dating.


You will survive without whoever your dating. I promise you. You may even enjoy yourself hanging out with your own friends.


Don't lose your friends because you're spending all your time and energy on your boyfriend (or girlfriend, for the guys out there). Don't hurt your family relationships because your SO is #1 (I'm working through this one right now).


You know the saying "distance makes the heart grow fonder"? It's true. Ayden and I are both so much happier now that we have given each other the space to go and do things and have friends outside of the relationship.


 

I am so proud of all that Ayden and I have learned. I pray that what we've learned encourages you and gives you a little bit of sisterly wisdom for your relationships.


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