dating with purpose
As a single Christian woman, you might ask yourself what the difference is between dating and courting. I know, I did when I first heard the term in the Christian community.
Is courting holier? Used to describe this great biblical relationship only the super Christians achieve?
Or is courting just another word used to describe the exact same thing?
After careful research I found the following:
Courtship is the wooing of a romantic partner, traditionally a man’s courting of a woman (usually with the hope of marriage). – Vocabulary.com
Meaning it is the traditional way for a man to wine and dine a woman with the goal to marry her. What is the difference between dating and courting? In my opinion, it’s the purpose behind it – marriage.
When you are in courtship, you are dating with a purpose.
What does dating with a purpose mean?
Dating with a purpose is very popular in the Christian dating world.
It’s the anti-casual movement, where people don’t just get together to hang out and Netflix and chill. But instead, people date in order to meet their future spouse.
Something that POP culture is not about at all. In most of my past relationships, the word marriage didn’t even come up. I was way too insecure to bring it up, but also afraid that it would scare them off.
Looking back now, I know none of them were “The One” anyways.
When you date with purpose, however, you discuss each other’s relationship intentions from the start.
What does dating intentionally mean?
In an intimate relationship with another Christian, we are called to honor the other person as a brother or sister in Christ. Meaning every interaction is intentional.
You respect their time, their emotions, and their body. You spend time together to figure out whether he or she is the right person for you and pay attention to possible deal breakers.
Unlike casual dating relationships, you don’t waste each other’s time if they turn out not to be your ideal partner.
However, dating with intention is still a relatively new concept. It requires many of us to get out of our comfort zone and go on a journey of self-discovery.
To help you with that, I’m sharing the 5 Steps to dating with purpose.
Dating with purpose in 5 steps
1. Serve a common (greater) purpose
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, then you know I have a love-hate relationship with the first couple ever mentioned in the Bible. Adam and Eve.
Why? Because they had ONE job and “failed” at it.
But as much as I like to hate on them, I understand that God put them there for a reason. And knew exactly what they were going to do.
However, one of the many things we learn from Adam and Eve is about relationship dynamics and roles.
In Genesis 2, God introduces Eve for the first time, but not until he has given Adam a job.
A sense of purpose. And once he introduces Eve, he actually gives her not the same, not a different one but a complementary purpose to Adam’s.
Believe it or not, we have all been called to a very unique purpose in life. Something that God will hold us accountable for when we meet him. Something we are supposed to do to edify the church.
The beauty of your purpose is that he will send you people to add to your team.
Brothers and sisters in Christ that feel led to support, encourage or guide you. But even more importantly he will send you your ideal mate whose vision complements yours.
In order to date with purpose, your partner and you should have a common or complementary vision for your life. It could be something small, like honoring God with your musical talents by becoming part of the worship team at your church.
Or it could be something big like pointing young adults to Christ, by building a ministry around the struggles this group faces.
Well, that sounds familiar!
Whatever it may be, your boyfriend and you should discuss your individual purposes and goals and find out if they actually match. That way you can forge a meaningful relationship in which you support each other.
2. Develop/ Communicate your goals for the relationship
Goals, goals, goals!
The first step to dating with purpose is coming up with shared goals. Sit down with your man and ask each other what your goals for the relationship are.
Discuss topics such as finances, spiritual growth, marriage, and family.
They are important to a successful relationship and will help you identify how committed he is and if he is ready for a serious relationship or marriage.
Communicating your goals clearly will help you find out if you are on the same page and interested in the same thing. It’s a way to vet the other person and see if you are compatible at all.
Moreover, it will help you to hold each other accountable and decrease the risk of getting stuck in a situationship.
3. Be intentional
Step number 3 to dating with purpose perfectly fits after number 2. Because setting goals is what allows you to be (more) intentional in your relationship.
Once you identified what you are working towards, you move through the different stages of a relationship with an action plan.
You get to enjoy each other’s company, but you are also very intentional about progressing the relationship. You start to merge your lives, meet each other’s families and seek the wisdom of others.
Your goal is to discover more about him by observing his wants and needs and understanding his personality.
A great way to do that is by identifying his love language (highly recommended) and looking for similar values. You also want to figure out his idea of a healthy relationship and if he is a good communicator or not.
And lastly, have uncomfortable conversations about each other’s relationship history and criminal history if necessary.
The goal is not to find a perfect partner, but to find out what kind of person he is and if you can envision a long-term relationship with him.
Being intentional about your life together is what differentiates dating from courtship.
4. Setting boundaries
I believe that setting boundaries is the number one way to get a man to commit.
However, even if it wasn’t, setting dating boundaries is still my most used Christian relationship advice as it helps you to guard your heart.
Because when you set boundaries you get to pace your emotional, physical and financial investment into the relationship. You learn to set realistic expectations and identify possible relationship issues.
This doesn’t just guard your heart but also protects you from a toxic relationship.
And yes, I know that it can be scary to set boundaries because you are afraid that your love interest might leave. But I can assure you that setting boundaries has the opposite effect on a man that truly wants to be with you.
It gives him a sense of urgency and triggers his desire to pursue you. Of course, you have to make sure that the man you chose is a godly man that wants to date with intention in the first place.
Healthy boundaries while dating are your layer of protection from heartbreak and will show you whether he is in it for the right reasons or not.
5. Put yourself first
Last but not least, ladies, remember that until a ring is on your finger, your own happiness needs to be your priority.
So use this time to understand your self-worth and learn how to set high standards for the man in your life. Pray for your single season to be edifying.
When you know what you deserve you become an equal partner to your future husband.
While you are dating with purpose is the best time to teach him what kind of relationship you want to be in. Which behaviors you will and will not accept? And by putting yourself first and loving yourself you show up as your most authentic self and best self.
Which allows him to choose whether he likes it or not.
The reality is, even if you are dating with purpose, you have to remember that you are not married yet.
The good news is, dating with purpose really isn’t that hard but simple. And by following these 5 you’ll avoid getting caught up in one casual relationship after the other. While simultaneously, building a safe space to find the love of your life.
I hope this Christian dating advice helps you find your perfect match and even enjoy your single life better.