10 WAYS TO RETHINK THE DATING PROCESS!

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Ugh. Dating. NOT THAT again! It seems to be the topic that everyone gets so reluctant to talk about… doesn’t it? Someone brings up the topic of dating and immediately we go into rolling our eyes and letting out huge sighs as we are reminded of some of our unfortunate past experiences with dating… am I right? I hear you. I have been through my fair share of heartbreaks, frustrations, annoyances, disrespect, and poor communication. Sigh.

WELL, the thing is, despite all the hardships with dating there is probably…..

  • A heck of a lot you have learned in the process.
  • A LOT more that you actually did enjoy about dating, but you can’t seem to see any of that because of the stinky attitude that overwhelms your thoughts about your bad dating experiences.
  • A lot of improvement that could still be improved on, even on YOUR end!

I will admit, I have been in this phase MORE times than I can count. The one where somewhere brings up the word “dating” and I scoff and say “ugh, WHAT ABOUT IT?!”. I actually tried to avoid the dating process entirely for a few years, because I was so annoyed with the outcome each and every time. Hurt. Pain. Rejection. Miscommunication. Looking back now, I realized I just blamed the process of “dating” so much that I realized what was actually holding back was myself.

One of the main reasons I couldn’t enjoy dating was because of my PERSPECTIVE on dating. 

One of the main reasons I couldn't enjoy dating was because of my PERSPECTIVE on dating. Click To Tweet

SO! If you are down in the dumps about dating and feel like you need to press a reset button, this post today is for you, my friend! So let’s go ahead and talk about the 10 reasons why I think you should SHIFT your perspective on dating and start loving the process.

1. Discover a whole lot more about YOURSELF!

YUP, though you might think you have done ALL there is to do to prepare yourself for dating, the reality is that there is ALWAYS more to learn. Dating is a great place to learn about what you truly need and value in a relationship. It also allows you to identify some blind spots that you may not be able to see when you are single.

“If you and I can’t think of the last time we were wrong, something is really wrong. We’re losing our grip of reality.” -Beth Moore

We fall short so many times, but ya know what? That is OKAY. Thank goodness for grace, and teachable hearts. The reason why dating offers SO much to learn is because the person you are dating is going to be immensely different from YOURSELF. With that comes learning how to communicate differently, thinking sometimes differently, and serving them and their needs differently from your own. In the process of growing and stretching, you end up learning a bunch about yourself, too… which only makes you more able and capable of truly loving somewhere well… it’s a win win!

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139 : 23-24

2. You get to SERVE others! Say what?!

That’s right, dating can actually be a service to your brother or sister in Christ! I mean it. It’s the perfect place to practice all of the things you have been praying about in your single season. It’s kind of just like before a sports season beings, when you spend all summer long practicing and getting ready. When the fall comes you are READY FOR ACTION. But the only way you truly know if what you practiced paid off, is if you actually get our there and TRY.  Dating is similar. Date to practice key principals such as communicating directly + honestly and loving selflessly. Not only can you practice those things, but it also helps your date to also practice these same qualities. It’s a WIN WIN [yet AGAIN!]. Hey hey heyyyy.

Dating is similar. Date to practice key principals such as communicating directly + honestly and loving selflessly. Click To Tweet

3. Practice what you PREACH.

Are you one of those people that says, “Oh yes, I am amazingly stellar at communicating. I am always direct and incredibly forthcoming with what I want and how to communicate that directly.”? Well that is AHH-MAZING, but guess what?! Communicating in DATING is actually much more difficult than it can be with friends and coworkers. It is more intimate, it can get a bit more deep, and sometimes, it can be slightly messy. The only way to truly find out if you are truly an amazing communicator in dating, is to actually put it to the test. Practice being direct. Practice talking about your needs, wants, and desires in relationship. Practice communicating your true feelings even during the times of discomfort.

The only way to truly find out if you are truly an amazing communicator in dating, is to actually put it to the test. Click To Tweet

4. Throw away your aesthetic list

Instead, focus on the HEART! Have you ever examined the QUALITY of your actual qualifications?! I think it would be great for us all to look at our laundry list of qualifications and figure out the actual QUALITY of qualifications on that list. Are the qualifications rooted in aesthetics? If you are thinking “he isn’t tall enough, or she isn’t the body type I like, or he doesn’t make quite enough money for me, or she is too short for me”…. these are all aesthetics. Instead of worrying about the external fleeting details of a person, we NEED to shift our focus to instead look at their character.

Instead of worrying about the external fleeting details of a person, we NEED to shift our focus to instead look at their character. Click To Tweet

5. Own your STORY

…through VULNERABILITY! “Ay Caramba…. you mean actually being REAL about the baggage in my past?” Yup. That’s right. In fact, I want to state right now that if you are not ready to be vulnerable then you MIGHT want to consider holding off on dating. I am actually serious! I absolutely love how much Brene Brown has spent time researching the subject of vulnerability. Her Power Of Vulnerability talk is one of top 5 Ted Talks in the WORLD! If you haven’t listened, I highly, highly recommend.

When we are able to open ourselves up to being vulnerable, we remove our desire to be perfect and replace it with acceptance of our past, our flaws, and our failures. The truth is, dating is bound to reveal some messy stuff (at some stage)…. and if you only keep your partner at arms length, you will never know what it is like to truly allow someone to SEE you, for your imperfectly perfect self.

When we are able to open ourselves up to being vulnerable, we remove our desire to be perfect and replace it with acceptance of our past, our flaws, and our failures. Click To Tweet

6. Do fun things with FUN people!

That’s right, we put far too much pressure on dating to make sure that person is perfect marriage material. We hyper focus on this so much in the beginning that we MISS having FUN and enjoying the process. Dating CAN be so much fun, if you allow it to be. If you stop allowing your mind to jump ahead of you 10 steps, and remain present and focused, you can actually have a whole TON of fun. Do you love going to the movies and seeing the best feature film? Amazing, do that with a date! Do you love venturing about and trying new coffee spots around your city? Brilliant, you can do that on a date as well! When I stopped thinking of every first date as a means to measure up the man for marriage, and started to just appreciate the person and the fun activities we were doing… I started to TRULY be able to remove my hyper focus marriage lens on DATE 1, and started to truly just enjoy the process.  

7. Learn about someone totally DIFFERENT from yourself!

While we quickly want to look for someone that fits all of the boxes on our list, I urge you to not be so focused on the check marks, and instead begin focusing truly on how God crafted this other person to be uniquely them. How has God been working in their life? What unique experiences have they been through that are so different from you that you could learn from or respect wholeheartedly? When we shift our focus at the beginning of dating to desire to learn about someone totally different from ourselves, INSTEAD of trying to immediately picture them in our future, we can start to appreciate the beautiful creations that God has so intricately crafted. Isn’t that what he actually wants us to do anyway….love and appreciate the BODY He has created?

“For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” Romans 12: 4-5

When we shift our focus at the beginning of dating to desire to learn about someone totally different from ourselves, INSTEAD of trying to immediately picture them in our future, we can start to appreciate the beautiful creations that God… Click To Tweet

8. Be kinda like Jesus.

Thinking about this from a biblical standpoint, we are truly to reflect the image of God through our actions in dating. So the question is, how can we be image bearers through our dating process? When it comes down to it, 3 of the most important things I recommend in dating are to be HONEST, be CLEAR, and be INTENTIONAL. This is kind of like my golden rule in dating. We need to start the process of dating by doing exactly what Jesus does for us: He intentionally pursues us, he CLEARLY loves us, and he is always always always honest with us.

When it comes down to it, 3 of the most important things I recommend in dating are to be HONEST, be CLEAR, and be INTENTIONAL. Click To Tweet

9. Be thoughtful (and maybe a bit romantic)

You have full permission to be romantic and thoughtful and shall I venture so much as to say…. sappy?!? Yup, I’m going there. Guys, I am talking to you TOO! This is the good stuff, the stuff we all love even if we are hesitant to admit it! We do not have to be afraid of being romantic or thoughtful for fear of being overly sappy. If you like being romantic, and if your dating partner receives it well, then please do not deprive yourself for fear of humiliation of being “too sappy”.  Conversely, if you really are not comfortable being overly sappy, that is fine, being thoughtful in other ways is just as lovely. The simple point is that dating is a perfect means to be oh so thoughtful and take delight in doing something lovely for another person.

10. STOP COMPARING

If you have never heard the song “Not my Ex”, by Jessie J, the lyrics of this song are exactly what I am talking about (you can actually see a cover I did of this video with some girlfriends HERE) Your new dating partner is NOT YOUR EX. Whether you had the most destructive relationship imaginable, or a beautiful, love story… this new person you are dating deserves getting a fresh, fair start at pursuing your heart.

There you have it friends, my top 10 ways to rethink the dating process so that we can enjoy it a HECK of a lot more, and also be glorifying to God in the process.

LASTLY I want you to repeat this after me and make it your mantra: Dating is meant for two different people to get to one one another and find out what they are like.

Dating is meant for two different people to get to one one another and find out what they are like. Click To Tweet

Gosh, I am just so thrilled by this topic because I truly believe it something we do not put enough time into perfecting! After reading this, are YOU going to start making changes to how you think about dating? Are you inspired to re-define what dating looks like to you?

Comment below and let me know your thoughts!

Live Loved,

K

Dating is meant for two different people to get to one one another and find out what they are like. Click To Tweet

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