Dating is awkward. Getting to know someone with the intention of hopefully dating them someday which will eventually result in marriage is awkward. Dating as a Christian is awkward. It’s a lot of awkward, LOL! So seeing as the year has just begun, I decided to make a list of things single people, myself included, should leave in 2017 to avoid heartbreak from unmet expectations. Some of this is from personal experience and some from conversations I have had with friends and acquaintances over the years.
Here we go:
1. “We’re talking” –This is very popular among millennials. We seem to “talk” a lot but it never really goes anywhere. What does this even mean? Can I “talk” to multiply at the same time? This honestly feels like an excuse to string someone along; there is no real commitment and you can walk away at any time.
I’ll share a personal story; a few years ago I met this guy during a ministry event, we exchanged numbers and started “talking”. I lived in Johannesburg, he lived in Harare so there was no real pressure. We spoke for a whole year (I was young okay), we spoke about everything – life, expectations for marriage, our passion for youth ministry and the gospel. We “talked” a lot. December came. I was headed to Harare and we made plans to meet. Suddenly he stopped responding to my messages and disappeared.
At this point, I’m thinking, “This is weird.” He was still active in a mutual group chat. Anyway, I let it go and returned to Johannesburg. A few weeks later he posted a picture of him on bended knee, proposing to his girlfriend.
Please note: a girlfriend was never mentioned during the time we “talked”.
It’s okay; we can laugh together. I learnt my lesson.
This brings me to my point: “talking” is not a relationship. It is non-committal and when it goes on for too long it becomes selfish. Don’t pass up on a potentially good relationship with someone who has made their intentions clear for someone who is just “talking” to you.
2. “The one” – I will be honest. I used to believe in “the one”. While this may be true for some I don’t think it is true for all. We miss out on opportunities to meet some really amazing people because we are wasting time waiting for “the one”. I realized, probably much later than I should have, that the one could be anyone really. But if we are stuck on our lists and “petty” preferences we may miss them. Someone on a group chat I’m on summarized this nicely, “the one is the person that makes it to the altar and says I do.”
3. The friend-zone – A lot of people believe that the friend-zone is this place where feelings go to die. If you’re in the friend-zone, then you’re not even an option. I would like to look at the friend-zone differently in 2018. I believe the friend-zone is a position of power. You get to create the rules. When you are friends with a person they are usually their most authentic self – you get to see them for who they really are. So, by the time they realize how awesome you are you would have decided if this is the type of person you want to be with. Reclaim your time! LOL. So fellow saints, if you’re stuck in the friend-zone don’t look at it as a terrible thing, it’s actually really great. Enjoy it!
4. Expectations based on assumptions – This is mainly a problem with us ladies. We assume a lot! A guy says good morning and we start to think “he must like me”. He gives us a compliment and we are already planning a wedding. Sometimes, he’s actually just being nice. Keep calm! Brothers, you know that your sisters are sensitive. We love to hear nice words. If we like you, and you say something to us we will believe you. DO NOT say stuff like “I like the idea of us”, “you’re the type of girl I would introduce to my mum”, “you would make such a great wife” if you do not mean it. All this will do is make us (ladies) think that this is going somewhere, that you’re actually interested in pursuing a relationship. So please let’s do away with this in 2018.
5. False advertising – So many people try to portray a perfect image of themselves. We become who we think the other person wants us to be. This is deception on the highest level. Be authentic, let’s say it together, AUTHENTIC! This means, genuine, real. Be yourself. God has made us unique; we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Let us choose to display His glory by allowing people to see the most genuine version of ourselves.
Song of Solomon 8:4 “…do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time.” In 2018 let us choose to be honest with each other. To be clear and intentional in our conduct and conversations. Let’s be kinder to each other by respecting each other’s feelings. Let us be kind to ourselves. Do not allow a mistake in a previous relationship to determine the course of the rest of your life. Let’s trust God to lead us to godly relationships and while we wait let’s get to know ourselves through the eyes of Christ and His word. Let us pursue a relationship with God and use our time of singleness to make an impact in the lives of those around us. The journey to marriage doesn’t have to be awkward. Happy New Year!