On a planet as big as ours, fun-loving, godly singles are everywhere. So if you are struggling to find the type of person your heart desires, you might consider whether you are part of the problem. Are you making yourself as appealing as possible to the kind of person you wish to date? If you want to go out with someone cute, intelligent, and mature, would that person consider you cute, intelligent, and mature?

People generally gravitate to those like them in attractiveness, character, and beliefs. Therefore, you might be looking for your soul mate in the right places but be ineffective at engaging them. To address this problem, let’s look at five obstacles that can discourage people from wanting to date you, and then we will recognize how the love of Christ can remove these hindrances.

1. Poor Reputation

Have you heard the phrase “your reputation precedes you”? That statement may not sound fair, but your ability to attract mature singles can be spoiled if people regard you as superficial or immature.

Singles who have character generally reserve their affections for other singles with character. In this chapter’s opening story, my friend Tom never considered the possibility that single women might have a bad opinion of him. Yet I had talked with a few of the
girls whom Tom wished to date and learned that his behavior turned them off. They had watched him date several immature women and lost respect for him. The quality of your friends and your past relationships can definitely affect your dating prospects.

Does this mean that you should constantly worry about the opinions of other people? No. Humans are fickle, and you will go crazy if you try to please everyone. Instead, realize that singles decide whom they date based on outward appearances and reputation. Smart singles keep their eyes open for those who display character. When they see them, they approach those individuals and start friendships. Therefore, if you do not exhibit character, you may be driving mature singles away from you.

To examine your reputation, ask yourself, Do I allow Christ to live His patience, honesty, and humility through me? In addition, when Jesus urges you to consider the needs of others, do you follow those promptings, or do you concentrate on yourself? Pure passion allows Christ to live His sacrificial love through you, and that determines not only your character but also how others view you.

Your reputation can suffer when you pursue desires simply to gratify yourself. For instance, if you date just for sex, demand the attention of others, or regularly groan about your problems, people will consider you immature. Your attractiveness to wise singles will diminish. So if you struggle to meet the kind of person your heart prefers, take a look at yourself.

Should you discover that your character is a hindrance to your dating prospects, don’t try to be straightlaced to impress people. A phony reputation is worse than a bad one. Instead, ask Christ to improve your character by living His life through you. Your social standing will not improve overnight, but as you respond to His prompting to be honest, patient, and authentic, people around you will take notice.

2. Negative Demeanor

Sandy was a beautiful young woman, but her beauty faded after her relationship with Ron ended. A year later, her face still reflected the disappointment and frustration of the breakup. Unbeknownst to Sandy, several men had hoped to date her when they heard that she was available. However, when they saw the bitterness on her face, they quickly lost interest.

A person’s demeanor reflects his or her attitudes and thoughts. Accordingly, some singles who have experienced rejection, abuse, or failure still wear the pain on their faces. They look pessimistic or unapproachable. Frankly, this is a turnoff because no one relishes dating someone who seems callous or despondent. Life is hard enough without having to deal with a constantly negative person. For that reason, most people prefer to spend time with someone who is cheerful or helps make life a little more enjoyable.

A happy demeanor attracts people because when you smile, you welcome people into your life. This is why smiling men and women naturally appear more attractive and inviting. A smile helps other people lower their guard and become more sociable.
Why do some singles rarely smile? The problem stems from an insecure or negative self-esteem. If people feel inferior or uncomfortable with themselves, their faces can reflect it. A smile is hard to fake, and a cheerful countenance cannot be fabricated. Instead, a real change has to take place within.

If you have difficulty smiling or enjoying humor, your negative demeanor can deter other singles from socializing with you. How can you change your countenance? Lasting change can occur when you allow the truth of Christ’s unconditional love to liberate you from pleasing others (John 8:32). By resting in His acceptance, your past mistakes or the opinions of your peers no longer determine your self-esteem. You are free to view life from the Lord’s point of view, and He is always positive. Even during your trials, Jesus is excited about the good that will result. This does not imply that you should ignore your grief or hardships. You should accept and deal with tragedy in your life, but remember that Christ always has a positive outlook on your life. To transform a negative demeanor, start by reviewing your spiritual wedding gifts listed in chapter 2.