I’ve never had a girlfriend. And I’m proud of it. I’ll give you a second to let that sink in…You good? All right, moving on. Most people are probably really confused by that statement. “What? You’re still a teenager. Why is that something you would ever be proud of? You’re a guy, why are you proud you haven’t had a girlfriend?” I’ve been asked about my convictions and beliefs on this topic a lot lately and every time the basic message is the same: I haven’t found her yet. Now, there’s something I should get out of the way now before I move on. All my convictions on this topic come back to my faith in Christ. If that’s an issue for you, you’re free to stop reading now. But, on the off-chance that you’re curious about my opinions and approach to this whole situation, feel free to read on.
In Genesis 2:24, after God creates Adam and Eve, it says, “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” This becoming one flesh makes the whole situation interesting. It’s impossible for two things to become one and be separated again without some damage being done to both parties involved. To use a weird example, if you take a piece of tape and stick it to a piece of paper, then pull the tape off, it’s basically impossible to take the tape off without it taking pieces of the paper with it. That’s kind of how break-ups work when the relationship isn’t handled very well (weird analogy, I know). Anyway, this is part of the reason why I haven’t been in a relationship. Becoming united in one flesh doesn’t just involve the physical aspects; it also involves spiritual aspects. Severing spiritual ties is difficult, and it’s not something I want to deal with.
Aside from that whole ordeal, I’m a believer in the thought that (almost) everyone has “the one.” (I say “almost” because some people are designed to be and capable of being single their whole life. And that’s awesome. I’m not one of those people, though.) That (almost) everyone has that special, unique person they were designed to be with and who was designed to be with them. By this logic, all the parts of a relationship that come as part of a relationship under the covenant of marriage are really only meant to be shared between the two of them. That means a lot of different things for me than it does for other people. For me, it includes all forms of sexual intimacy. And for me, sexual intimacy includes kissing. Yes, that’s right. I haven’t had my “first kiss” or whatever either. Not even when I was a little kid or anything like that. I plan to save my first kiss for my wedding day. I’ll get to my reasons for that soon.
So at this point you’re probably asking, “Why the title? He hasn’t really said anything about dating at all.” Well, let’s get into that first by starting with how these convictions I have make me think about how I relate to other people. As I’ve said, I’ve never had a girlfriend. And the reason for that is, quite simply, that I haven’t found her. I haven’t found the one. The way I see it, you don’t have to enter into any sort of romantic relationship to really determine if someone is right for you. The way I approach it is by first relating to them as a friend. For me, dating is meant for marriage, not something to be taken lightly or done “just for fun.” That’s what friends are for. And if you’re not able to really connect with someone as a friend, you definitely won’t be able to connect with them as your spouse. The way I see it, your spouse should really be your best friend. And I haven’t found that person yet. I haven’t found that special girl who I really, genuinely connect with in all the ways that I feel I’m supposed to. And because I haven’t found that person, and since dating isn’t something to be taken lightly for me, I haven’t had a valid reason to enter into any sort of romantic relationship with anyone. I have too much respect for my friends to try and overlook something like that in an attempt to try and make something work that I already know ultimately won’t work out. This is just one of the reasons I have for not getting into anything yet.
The second reason is this: According to my belief and following my own logic, if people are specially designed to complement another person and everything that comes with a romantic relationship is only supposed to be shared between those two people, it stands to reason that if I were to have any sort of romantic relationship with someone who was not meant to be my future wife and engaged in said special romantic interactions, I would be taking something away from that woman’s future spouse. I’d be taking something that doesn’t belong to me. And in this case, it’s not really something you can give back. This is where the “one flesh” thing comes into play. I don’t want to take any part of someone away when it’s supposed to be given to someone else. I don’t want to be the one to interfere in someone else’s relationship, even if they don’t think it’s interfering at the time. I don’t want be the one thinking, “Oh yeah, I dated your wife at one point in time.” To me, that’s just awkward. So I approach friendships with women with the thought of “She’s someone’s daughter. She’s someone’s sister. She’s someone else’s wife.” It helps me to be respectful of them and their future relationship. If you try thinking this way sometime, it’ll definitely change your approach.
Now for the main reason for all of this. Why I go about this whole thing the way I do. Well, since I believe that people are designed to complement another special person, it also stands to reason that the one for me is out there somewhere. And since she’s out there and I truly believe she’s out there, I want to do anything and everything I can to make sure that our relationship is special. I want to make sure that when she and I do truly become one flesh that I’m as whole and intact as I can possibly be. I don’t want there to be a ton of people out in the world walking around carrying pieces of me around with them that I can’t get back. I want to give everything I can to one woman and only one woman. And I can only hope and pray that she’s trying to do the same thing for me.
So now comes the point when people probably ask, “So how the heck do you plan to find this person? The way you’re going about it is so weird and you’ll never figure it out. And how do you plan on sticking to this plan?” Or at least that’s what I think people would ask. Well, I have a few methods and strtegies. I won’t discuss all of them here because some of them are a bit more personal (but if you want to ask me sometime, I’ll probably tell you), but I’ll tell you my main strategy. I wear a purity ring at all times as a reminder. It’s a reminder to me that she’s out there somewhere. It’s a reminder to focus on purity and to strive for it. It’s a reminder to be respectful and not to get into things I regret. And it’s reminder to pray for her. I pray that she’s trying to save what she can like I am. I pray that guys are treating her the way she should be treated. The way that I’d want her to be treated when I’m married to her is the way I want her to be treated now. I pray that she’s safe and that God would bring us together in His own time, when He sees fit. And I pray that I would become the man that she deserves as a husband.
Which leads me to my final point. When it comes to dating, romance, relationships, all this kind of stuff, I have a phrase that I live by, and it’s this: “Be the person the person you’re looking for is looking for.” You got that? It’s a little confusing. Feel free to continue once you’ve graphed it out and it makes sense. In other words, have high standards and don’t lower them, but at the same time, hold yourself to those same standards. The way I see it, I’m not looking for the right person. Far from it. Instead, I’m trying to become the right person. There will come the time when I find her out there somewhere, but until then I’m doing what I can to build my character, discover more about myself and who I am in Christ, and discover more about who God is and what He says about me and my life. And, quite frankly, I’m not ready for it. Not even close. Well, not yet, anyway. I still have a lot of things that I need to sort through and figure out before I’m prepared to provide for another person emotionally, spiritually, and financially. I can’t even manage all that for myself yet. There will come a time when I think I’m ready. And I think it’s probably somewhere around there where God will decide to introduce us.
There’s a quote I’ve seen around the internet that says, “Run as fast as you can towards God and if someone keeps up, introduce yourself.” I’ve heard someone else say about meeting his spouse: “All I was doing was following God’s path. Then one day I noticed someone was going in the same direction. So I married her.” That’s my basic plan for now. Just to chase after God, His will, and His plan. And by trying to find and follow His will, I’ll inevitably meet her. It’ll happen when it’s supposed to happen. I can’t do anything to speed up or slow down the process. For now all I can do is trust that God is faithful. I can wait to fall in love. But when I do, it’ll be special. Max Lucado says, “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her.” That’s what I’m looking for. Someone special who I’ll be able to do life with and will bring me even closer to my Creator. But until that time comes, all I can really do is chase after God, pray for her growth and development, and trust that God is faithful.
So this has all basically been about my cautious approach to dating and everything. Which is funny because for me, dating isn’t even the right word. Courtship is more my thing. But writing about that would double the length of this long post as it already, so that’s a post for another time, I s’pose. If you’re confused by my approach to things, I hope this has helped clear some things up. But, of course, I’m always willing to further explain my views and opinions if you ever want to talk about it. This is something I’m passionate about if that wasn’t clear. So for now, I’m just going to be doing what I can to follow God’s plan, patiently waiting for the day when He decides to introduce my wife and me. And, for now, I can wait for that day.