My husband and I dated for three years, 3200 miles apart. I was in North Carolina while he lived in California. Dating couldn’t have been much more challenging than that! The distance taught us many lessons on several levels: how to manage long distance phone bills while struggling as a financially poor college student, how to communicate through handwritten letters–I know, I know, I’m giving my age away–how to trust, how to communicate effectively, and how to save money for plane tickets.
We learned some things by doing them right, and some we learned the hard way! Either way, here are a few things to note if you are, or someone you know is dating.
Find someone with similar interests and values, or at least someone who will appreciate and respect yours. Dating someone who hates what you love or loves what you hate is terribly frustrating, which leads me to my next point.
Be yourself! Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not to impress. And on the flip side, don’t try to change the other person into who you want them to be.
Date for marriage, not for sport. If you’re a teen girl under the age of 18 reading this, there’s a good chance you may be too young to even be dating. If you are dating, ask yourself why. Is it to find your future spouse, just so you can say you have someone, or because you’re lonely? What is it, really, and is it really necessary?
Marriage won’t fix it. If something about the person bugs you while you’re dating, it will only get worse when you marry. Don’t think marriage will make it better or be the answer.
If you can’t trust them, don’t marry them. Trust is a vital part of any relationship. If it’s lacking, this should be a huge red flag.
Save yourself– If sex is a requirement to date them, you don’t need them. Create boundaries ahead of time. If they honor your boundaries, they honor you. When dating my husband, the physical aspect of the relationship was almost never an issue because we lived so far apart. We actually learned to love one another without the issue of lust getting mixed up in it. Sex can confuse. Saving it for marriage can make deciding if it’s truly love a little easier. Besides, God tells us to keep the marriage bed pure. He knows the possibilities of sexually transmitted diseases. He knows we will struggle with making comparisons and having insecurities. He simply wants to protect us. You do yourself and your future spouse a favor by saving yourself sexually.
You can’t pick your parents, but you can pick your in-laws. You may want to consider marriage as a package deal. You marry the whole family.
Never pressure into marriage. This is scary and may cause the other person to run.
Remember your friends. If you abandon them, they may not be around when you decide you need them again.
Remember to laugh together. If you argue a lot, there’s a good chance you shouldn’t be together.
Don’t be a marriage wrecker, not yours or anyone else’s. Never, never, never date someone who is married. If they are cheating with you now, they more than likely will cheat on you later.
Girls, don’t do the pursuing. (Guys, don’t wait for the girls to pursue you). Men like a challenge. Let them do the calling.