How to Date Wisely in the Digital World
- Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Ruthie and Michael Dean’s book Real Men Don’t Text: A New Approach to Dating (Tyndale House Publishers, 2014).
While digital technology makes it fast and easy to communicate with potential boyfriends, it also creates confusion that leads to heartache all too often. Many men send casual texts or post brief social media messages to connect with women they’d like to date. But after making those connections, guys may neglect to develop real relationships, based on love and respect – the type of relationships that can lead to marriage.
If you’re tired of wasting time dating guys who are only interested in playing around when you’re hoping to find a godly husband, you need to change your approach to dating by setting new standards for yourself and the men you date.
Here’s how you can date wisely in a digital world:
Recognize that you’re worthy of real love. If you’ve been settling for disappointing and frustrating dating relationships, know that God wants much more for you – and because God made and loves you, you’re worthy of real love. Decide to pursue something better than staring at screens trying to decipher cryptic messages and responding to guys’ lazy attempts at hooking up with you. Realize that dating casually like that tells men how little you value yourself by allowing them to string you along, while also telling you how little guys value you because they’re treating you so nonchalantly. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to see yourself as God sees you, so you can understand just how vulnerable and beloved you truly are. Confess your insecurities to God and ask him to heal you and help you develop the confidence that he wants you to enjoy. That confidence will then attract the right kind of men to you, while driving the wrong men away and protecting you from them. Embrace your God-given beauty and take care of yourself in order to honor the God who made you, not to try to please men. Look to your relationship with God, rather than relationships with men, as your ultimate source of love.
Stop making excuses for men who don’t treat you well. Let go of whatever excuses you’ve been making for guys who are mistreating you by not putting enough effort into their relationships with you, such as “He’s really busy” or “He is afraid of commitment because of his last relationship.” Face the fact that men who are truly interested in pursuing so will do so, without leaving you wondering what their messages mean or when you’ll hear from them again. When men don’t treat you well, don’t hesitate to cut off communication with them so you’ll be free to find a guy who treats you properly.
Choose purity now so you can enjoy true intimacy later. Since God has designed sex to bring people together in powerful and lasting ways, any sexual experiences you have with guys before getting married can pop into your mind when you’re making love with your future husband, diminishing the quality of the intimate connection God intends for spouses to enjoy together. The more you pursue God’s best plan for you – sexual purity – right now, the more you’ll be able to enjoy fulfilling sex with your future husband. Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind so you can overcome temptation by thinking pure thoughts that will lead to pure behavior in your dating life. Identify unhealthy sexual habits in your life (such as flirting with men just for the thrill of attention from them), and develop a plan for replacing those bad habits with healthy ones.
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