Dating For Keeps

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.

16 thoughts on “Dating For Keeps

  1. D says:

    I thought your remark about let the man do the chasing rather amusing. I thought I was chasing the lady who became my wife. Only later did I learn that I chased her until she caught me! We have been married nearly 40 years and are more in love than ever.

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Funny that you say that. When I was dating ny husband of 17 years, my daddy would always tell me “just chase him until he catches you.” Almost used that example in that particular point 🙂 It really does go both ways. We women can certainly put signals out there that we like the guy, but it’s nice when they do the initiating 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Beautiful Breeze says:

    Hi Rivera, thanks for your post. Inspiring. I have something really confusing here. It is about “let the guy do the calling”. I have a crush on a guy whom I think of him over & over. I know that I am too much in to him and start to pursue him hard. I asked him out once, we went out but my worries all over head that time, can’t really be the loving lady whom my friends see me. After that, he didn’t text or call me. To cool down and gather myself, I stop contact him for 2 months but my feeling for him is still strong.
    Should a girl always wait for the guy to call? And girl never ever tries to call the man whom she falls for? A girl always be passive and waits for the guy to ask her out? I pray a lot to God lately and ask Him to guide me. I am not sure what to do. Bonnie

    1. Rivera Douthit says:

      Bonnie, I love your honesty:) My advice would be to get to know Jesus. Pursue relationship with Him first and all the rest will happen in His timing. Let Jesus fill the emptiness and longing in your life, then He will send the right guy into your life, the one who is right for you, the one He has chosen for you!
      Letting the guy pursue you is a sure way to know if he’s into you. If he’s not calling, chances are, he’s not into you. But if you wait for God’s timing, when you DO meet the guy for you, he’ll be into you and he’ll gladly pursue you the way you want to be pursued! There’s nothing wrong with being friends with a guy, but if you’re wanting to date, you should let him be clear about his interest and pursuit of you. Otherwise, you may set yourself up for a lot of insecurity.
      Let me know how it goes:)

  3. Tina says:

    Really good advice, I wish I had some when I was younger … I married at 16 because I was pregnant – this advice could have helped me avoid the struggle of both huge responsibilities at such a young age – although God has ironed out all the wrinkles I caused by my choices back then, I wouldn’t trade my child for anything now (he’s the father of my grandson!) But I think you know what I’m getting at – there’s a better time and place for most things, if you can wait on God’s timing for it to happen 🙂

  4. Pamela Healy Nogueira says:

    Wonderful advice, Rivera!!!! We are lucky to have had long distance relationships with our hubbies!!! I know I really got to know him on the inside, got to know his mind and his heart, before anything else!!! I hope this blog spreads like wildfire to young ladies and gents everywhere!!!

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