Your Purpose Isn’t To Impress
Over the weekend, I listened to a broadcast; How to Date and Successfully Marry by Jimmy and Karen Evans, hosts of Marriage Today ministry. The broadcast was all about intentional dating and recreational dating. Here’s some of what Jimmy says:
“In recreational dating, people strive to be their best in order to appeal to their date. This may work for a week or two, but you can’t hide your flaws in marriage. When you date intentionally, your purpose isn’t to impress, but to truly get to know a person. You have to be honest and dig deep.
That means having meaningful conversations. Where do you see yourself in ten years? Where do you hope to live? How many kids do you want to have? How are you going to raise your kids? What kind of church do you want to attend?
Some couples never ask these kinds of questions before they get married, and the differences cause conflict in their marriages. Engaging in deep, intentional conversations help you enter marriage with realistic expectations.”
Room For Recreational Dating
I agree with Jimmy however, I believe there is room for recreational dating before intentional dating. I’ll use myself as “Exhibit A” for this post. Before my current relationship, I went on a lot of recreational dates. I sat across the table from numerous men and had lots of conversations that taught me about myself and what’s important to me in an intentional dating relationship.
Scare A Few Away
When I positioned myself to be found online, my profile was written in a very intentional way. It was written in such a way that men would know I was not there for anything recreational. Sure, it might scare a few or many away but I didn’t care. However long it took is how long I was willing to wait to meet a man on the same page in the same book.
Less Than Thirty Days
The last paragraph of my profile could’ve easily kept me online forever and a day but I believe because I was intentional, I met my love in less than thirty days and now we are in a very intentional courtship. Here’s the last paragraph of my profile:
“My relationship with God through Jesus Christ is the most important relationship in my life. I look forward to meeting a man who shares my faith and together, we proactively build a solid friendship filled with fun, lots of laughter, adventure, deep connection and reciprocity. What role does faith play in your life? What’s the most important relationship in your life?”
Transparent And Honest
That spoke to him immediately and he reached out. Our first few dates were recreational; he didn’t know me and I didn’t know him. Once we talked and got to know each other and realized we wanted the same thing and had the ingredients to make that thing, we moved into an intentional courtship. The goal of intentional courtship is discovery; knowing each other in a very transparent and honest way.
A More Convenient Time
Intentional dating says my cards are all on the table. I’m not hiding anything in my hand underneath the table to whip at a more convenient time. Because I want you to know me, the good, the bad and the ugly, I’m confident enough to let you see all of me. It’s literally how I approached and continue to approach our relationship. We dealt with a heavy blow; my mother’s unexpected passing early on in our relationship. That brought us closer together and opened the door to deeper conversations.
Mature Enough To Part Ways
While our goal is to marry, it doesn’t mean we will marry. Intentional dating says, yes we want to marry each other, however, if we realize it won’t work long term, we are mature enough to part ways. So far, we are headed in that direction. Our goal is not just to be married for the sake of being married. Our goal is a happy marriage, a fulfilling marriage, an extraordinary marriage. Intentional dating lets us see what’s possible and leads us in the direction of creating that possibility through lots of transparent conversations, seminars and premarital counseling in the very near future.
Soul Ties Are Hard To Break
One more standard of intentional dating; it’s non-sexual. It’s easier to part ways when sex is off the table. Soul ties are hard to break and often the reason people stay in relationships way past the expiration date.
Something to think about…
What say you? Are you a fan of recreational dating? Why? Why not? What are your thoughts on intentional dating? Is there room for both?
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