One of the most significant things that you will deal with in life is dating. There are so many opinions out there, so much conflicting advice yet still so little you can rely on. I hope I can offer you some advice that will help the dating season be pure joy for you.
#1 Know Who You Are
To me this is the most important thing in every area of life, especially dating! I have done a whole bunch of posts on identity as I am very passionate about this subject. If you don't know who you are, how are you going to let anyone else get to know you? A lot of energy and time will be wasted trying to be who you think you should be to please the person you are dating! If the relationship ends then you will be confused about who you are and will go into another relationship to do the whole thing yet again, adding another layer of confusion to your already confused life. Sadly confusion is the only result. Your identity is so precious, don't compromise who you are for anyone. If you are not sure of yourself yet and not sure who you really are rather take time to invest in you before you start investing in a relationship. Two halves don't equal a whole when it comes to dating. If you are broken, going into a relationship won't fix anything it will only cause damage to both of you. Find you, be you, love you and then you will be free to love someone else too.
#2 Know What You Want
To want to date and share your life with someone is normal, there is nothing wrong with it, so the first thing I would say is to stop feeling guilty about how you feel! It's OK having these feelings but it's what you do with them that counts. What do you want from a relationship? I encourage my daughters to write down what they want and the boundaries they desire for a relationship. This is so that when they are in a relationship and emotions are controlling their brain, they can depend on what they wrote and not fall into a nasty emotional trap that they will regret later. Writing down what you want in a partner and out of a relationship is important, if you don't know what you want you will end up with anyone. Writing down certain boundaries is good too - perhaps even share your boundaries with someone you trust to stay accountable.
#3 Know Where You Are Going
Having a vision, dream or plan for you life is important. If you know where you are going you won't be wasting any of your precious time with things that aren't important. The right person for you will be running in the same direction as you and at the right time your paths will cross and you will come together. It will be a beautiful harmony of two people with a dream moving in the same direction. How simple is that, just get on with living your life and the right person will show up running along side you. Of course the opposite is also true, if you have no plan and no direction you are likely to end up with no one special who is also milling around going nowhere.
#4 Know People You Can Trust
"He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed." (Proverbs 13:20). Need I say any more?
#5 Know About Marriage
The whole point of dating is to find someone you can marry. No matter how old you are that is the point of dating so it makes sense to firstly make sure you are old enough or ready to date. Do you feel if you dated now the person you are dating could potentially be your husband? If not maybe that is something to think about. Dating is not a game it is a very precious part of life and if it's treated like a game a lot of hurt and damage will result. In Song of Solomon in the Bible it says three times "Do not stir up nor awaken love until it's ready". I wish I knew this when I was younger before I started dabbling with my heart. God can heal and He has faithfully healed my messed up heart but the memories are still in my head. Even though I am married to the most amazing man in the world and have a beautiful relationship with him... I still have memories of a past life. If I can share one thing today it would be to be careful what memories you are making, beware of what memories you are going to have to live with! Memories don't go away they live with you forever, what ever memories you make now you will be taking them into your marriage...
Do you have any top tips to share? Do you have any question your would like ask? Or if you just want to share how you are feeling free to do so - we are all in this together and are here to support each other.