Christians are called to be set apart but how do we marry that call with dating , when we finally recognise that people will still be people?
This article isn’t for Christians who don’t believe in dating. Neither is this article for Christians who believe that there is one person out there for them. This is for those exploring the market in the quest to find a prospective life partner.
This has been quite a hot topic on twitter. If you’re a regular on The Promiscuous Pen you’ll already have deduced that beyond real life, twitter is the well in which I draw my inspiration. I’ve noticed women, in particular Christian single women, voice their fears when it comes to putting their eggs in one basket and how they should approach handling more than one man at the same time.
Putting your eggs in one basket , only to be disappointed at some point down the line is a valid fear. People have the habit of being big disappointments and masking their true characters and intentions and so keeping your options open is both a coping and defence mechanism. It’s a coping mechanism for when number 1 ( the one you would have chosen, had they not turned out to be incompatible to you ) fails to meet your expectations and so you revert back to fully exercising your other options. It’s a defence mechanism, future proofing you from not ever finding a number 1.
The act of dating multiple people , i.e handling more than one person at the same time, keeping your options open and whatever other variations people come up with to describe that process of getting to know more than one person, receives a good deal of negativity for reasons that will be explained. However, I often feel the negativity is uncalled for. Before refuting the adversaries, a brief exegesis is important.
When you start dating you realise that people’s definitions of dating differ. This is the genesis of the problem. I’ll provide my own definition of dating for the sake of clarity although I understand that many will contend with my version:
Dating is the process of getting to know the other person. It’s the “ tell me your favourite colour “stage, it’s the “tell me your hopes and dreams” stage, it’s the “ can both our lives merge without either one of us feeling the impact of the collision?” stage. It’s the let’s do fun stuff with each other to find out if we could do this for a very long time. That’s not to say that you don’t continue to find out many things about each other during the relationship but if love were a cinema experience, dating would be the trailer and the relationship the 2 hours you spend marvelling at the screen. We watch trailers to find out if we should invest further time and money into this project and that’s deemed to be quite sensible. I’m not sure how many of us could commit to watching every single movie released in the cinema and so we watch a few trailers and whichever resonates with us the most is the one we invest in. Granted people aren’t movies but the principle is the same. I could go a step further by referring to other analogies, such as the new job analogy. When looking for a job you apply to as many as many roles as you are qualified to apply to and if you receive many offers you select the one you feel is the right fit.
You keep your options open, you watch a few trailers, you apply to as many roles as you can.
Please note, I intentionally didn’t add sex to the mix because that’s exclusive to marriage within the Christendom.
The purpose of dating is to find your fit. You can opt for finding your groove with one person at a time but if you feel pressed for time or you believe in the idea that competition leads to better value or will help to refine your selection process , then getting to know more than one person at the same time is key. It’s akin to networking. You don’t network with one person and then call it a day. You build your network in the hope that one day when you need something someone will be of benefit to you.
One of the main reasons why refuters refute the concept of Christians serial dating is consideration for the other parties involved. They brand it “stringing the other person along”. It would be considered stringing the other person along if you now entered the murky waters of “friends with benefits” (which is the slippery road to sin) or if you promise them heaven on earth to now give them hell. It’s not stringing them along if you keep the contact very light, perhaps even irregular and never promising a relationship if that’s not your intention.
There’s the other notion that you can’t control the expectations of others. Whilst that is true you can control your own actions and be conscious of your words. You’re not in a relationship, so don’t do things that allude to a relationship. You’re not married. There is no title. Just people talking about their hopes and dreams to find out if their hopes and dreams align.
There’s the “ how many is too many? notion. How many times have you heard people stipulate the number of friends you can have? Never. Similarly, nobody ever condemns the number of people you network with but if networking is akin to keeping your options open then what is the problem?
Keeping your options open is smart just don’t abuse the freedom by doing something Jesus wouldn’t do. Dating is not a title and titles matter.
Love Cris x
P.S Only commit when a title is involved.
P.S.S Date multiple people.