1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.”
Beginning to date is exciting! But if you are to date in a godly way, you must take it seriously and live cautiously during this time in your life. As we learned in the first lesson, you should have a strong relationship with God and have a dating counselor by this point. Dating simply because “everyone else is” is a foolish reason to start dating. Before you begin to date, become friends with the person you are interested in before proceeding. This will lead to a healthier relationship. Let us look at some simple principles to help guide you when beginning to date.
1. Guys, ask out the girl for every date.
As I will say throughout this series, the guy is to be the leader of the relationship. You should ask her out every time you wish to have a date. Even when you have been dating a while, still ask every time. Never assume that she will just go. One of the worst things you can do is take her for granted. This is a great way to continue to make her feel special.
2. Limit the amount of dates at first.
Spending a lot of time together too fast is never a good thing. Determine with your counselor at what pace you (the guy) should be moving the relationship. Limit how many dates you go on in order to guard this pace (example: 2 dates every three weeks). Again, this should be set with your counselor. Let your counselor advise you in the length of these dates as well.
3. Limit unscheduled time together.
It can be exciting to see your date unplanned, but it also can lead to troubles if not controlled. There is nothing wrong with having a brief conversation but stick to your dating schedule you set with your dating counselor. I know it may sound silly but this along with point #2 is meant to keep the relationship healthy and from not going too fast. Remember it is near impossible to go backwards in a relationship emotionally. The relationship can move along faster if needed but that is something the counselor should recommend.
4. The guy is to plan every date.
As the leader in the relationship it is your duty to make sure you provide a good environment for spending time with your date. When planning your date take into consideration the atmosphere of where you will be going. Your time together needs to be well thought out to avoid boredom which can lead to improper conversation and behavior. Plan your date out before you ask her out. Have the details of where you will go, what times you will be leaving and returning, and who is going to be the chaperone. Having a well thought out plan will show her that you are taking your relationship seriously.
5. Dates early in the relationship should be activity based, not conversation based.
Spend the early part of your relationship having fun together making memories. Things you can look back on and enjoy. If you spend too much time doing nothing but talking then eventually you will run out of things to talk about. This can lead to boredom or conversations that can cause the relationship to progress to fast. Keep time together lighthearted. Talk during or in between the activity you are doing. Use this time to get to know each other. Limit the “just sit and talk time” on each date.
6. Remember most do not marry the first person they date.
I know most people dating for the first time think they have met the one they will marry, but odds are they are not. If you break up, you will want your relationship to have been one that pleased God and still have your Christ-honoring testimony intact with no regrets. Guard yourself from being in the group that has guilt from previous relationships.