I am by far the last person to give relationship advice since at some point in my 48 years of living I’ve dated someone for each of these reasons. The only thing I know about relationships is that they have to be centered on God, Trust is imperative, you have to like and respect each other more than love each other, and you have to be “drawn” to each other. That’s what I believe, eh, but I’m 48 and still single so what the heck do I know.
Here are 6 bad reasons to start dating someone. Maybe you can add another or two to this list.
The fact is that many singles or divorced people who are not dating look around at other couples and envy what they see but they don’t know what happens behind closed doors or at home. The couples they see might look happy and fulfilled but they don’t always know the whole story. Anyway, we are supposed to find our delight in God or as Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” and if one of the desires in your heart is to find a godly mate, then delight in God first. For those that delight in God, the psalmist declares “You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips” (Psalm 21:2). We have to make seeking the kingdom first and foremost in our life (Matt 6:33) and that means we should seek the King of that kingdom above all so if you feel incomplete without a mate, you should know that “in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority” (Col 2:10).
All My Friends are Dating
If you feel left out of many social events, it might be because you’re single or not dating anyone and when you go to social functions and you’re the only one there who doesn’t have a date, you can feel like a round peg trying to fit into a square hole. I have been there and know how badly that feels but to just be dating because of all your friends are dating is not a good reason in and of itself. Your friends could also be having dysfunctional relationships, perhaps their having premarital sex, possibly they’re into substance abuse or abusing alcohol. Just because your friends are doing something is no reason for you to be. How many of your friends are saved? If you have friends that are not saved, think about their eternity outside of a relationship with Christ. Your friends may be cut off from God right now by their sins (Isaiah 59:1-2) and may be headed for a terrible judgment someday (Rev 20:12-15) so following the crowd or doing what your friends are doing just because they’re doing something is clearly no reason to desire to want to start dating because we’re to “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many” (Matt 7:13).
I’m Not Getting Any Younger
If you feel like time is passing you by or some say “Life is passing my by” don’t use this as a reason to start dating. For one thing, you should never consider dating anyone that’s not a Christian because we’re never to be unequally yoked or joined with unbelievers. Paul writes “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness” (2 Cor 6:14)? For one thing, we’re “not to associate with sexually immoral people” (1 Cor 5:9) “Therefore do not be partners with them” (Eph 5:7). A lady I know of ended up marrying an unbeliever, thinking that she could convert him but the fact is that God alone saves and although we can witness for Christ, we don’t save anyone because salvation is fully a work of God. This lady now has regrets because the man she married was not who she thought he was before they got married. He has brought her nothing but grief. No marriage is better than a bad marriage and to get married just because you are getting older can lead you into a trap that you can’t escape from because you might not have biblical grounds for a divorce and then you’re stuck with them…for life.
This might be the only reason that is outside of the person considering dating. It is from family, friends, church members or co-workers who feel that you should be dating. They equate dating with the person not being complete or moving in the right direction in life. They are heaping their own expectations upon others, possibly because they’re dating or they’re already married, thus they believe that everyone should be married or at least dating someone. They see this as “normal” whatever that means. I know parents that have been guilty of this. They can seem to push the need for their child to be dating. They see it as a necessity because they see others dating, engaged, or already married and they feel that their own child should be doing what everyone else is doing or they believe they’ll be left out but this reason is from external sources and not from the person themselves and is almost like they’re coercing them to do something that they believe is right for them.
Coming out of a Bad Relationship
When someone has just broken up, gotten a divorce, or their mate has died, it’s too easy to want to immediately jump into dating again. Just because you came out of a bad relationship is not a good enough reason to seek to find a better one. It sounds good but there has to be better reasons that this. I heard one young lady tell her friend, “If you fall off the horse, just get back in the saddle again.” I found that terrible advice. She seemed to think that the way to get over a hurt is to risk getting hurt again. I believe a person should take their time when they come out of a bad relationship. They should give it time…time to heal and time to focus on something else and not finding someone else. No one wants to be alone but no one wants to go from one bad relationship into one that could possibly be even worse.
You Have a lot in Common
There is nothing wrong with dating someone that you share interests in or have a lot in common with but is this really enough to start dating someone? I’m not saying that these things are not important but it may not be enough. Ask yourself; is this someone that I want to spend the rest of my life with, do they love things more than people, are they interested in me only because I have a good job or money, and is our common interest enough to sustain a relationship? The biggest issue for a believer is whether this person they’re considering dating is a Christian or not. There is no way a believer should be dating a non-believer because their main interests, goals, and passions are not the same at all. The believer is to seek to please God and live a holy life while an unbeliever lives for the here and now. If they don’t have a love for God then you don’t really have in common with them the most important thing and that is to love God with all your heart, mind, and strength. Would this person agree with this statement; “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37)? If not, you don’t have in common what is most important.
I would strongly suggest you never start dating just because you feel incomplete as a person, or if all your friends are dating, if you feel you’re not getting any younger, if you feel a lot of social pressure to date, if you just came out of a bad relationship experience, and if you have a lot in common with someone. Seek God in prayer, stay in His Word, get godly counsel, and wait upon God’s timing for He knows what is best for us…better than we do.
Article by Jack Wellman