Saying “I Do” Before You Do

Dating. What is dating?

English: Created by Phil Scoville on June 25, ...

English: Created by Phil Scoville on June 25, 2005 Downloaded from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/philscoville/21528732/ This picture is free to share and remix with proper attribution under the following license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it a sort of pretrial run at marriage? Guy and girl date to see if they fit together well enough to make a life long commitment?

The scenario I practiced and see others practice is about the same. It’s the same practice even in the Christian culture. This is the scenario: Guy meets girl. Guy and girl date. Guy and girl are inseparable for a long period of time doing everything together including co-signing a loan for a car, putting both names on title. It’s almost like they’re married only they don’t live together. They make important decisions together, consulting one another to be sure the decision is ok with the other partner.

Now, I’m just spit-ballin’ here, so correct me if my view is wrong, but why have we turned dating into another level of commitment like marriage?

Is dating really just another level of commitment that is a step below marriage? Or is it an interview to see if the person is really the right fit for God’s plan in your life?

I rarely talk about dating on here and it’s mostly because I’ve read so many books on dating. Yes, ad nauseam! Hence, my gag reflux at the topic of dating. Not that the concept is bad, I’d just rather be talking about other things.

Going through some tough dating relationships that ended badly, I turned to books for some wiser, more seasoned advise to figure out what I was doing wrong. I’ve read them all from “I Kissed Dating Good-Bye” to “Boundaries In Dating“. (For the record, I did kiss dating good-bye for awhile and then I had a reintroduction. 🙂 ) I’ve read many books just on singleness. I recently counted my collection of dating/single/marriage books and they total up to 41. You can understand my aversion now to the topic of dating.

I used to want to date the way I described in the scenario above. I got the idea from everyone around me. This is the way we date in America. This is how we roll in the dating scene. You meet someone and then that person becomes your life. Maybe you’ll get married. Maybe you won’t. You don’t have to figure that part out right away. Just have fun and be attached at the hip for awhile.

Then after a few relationships ended and I was left with broken pieces of a shattered heart once again, God showed me something. I gave my heart away way too soon. The guy didn’t make a commitment to be the keeper of my heart. I just gave it away hoping he’d catch it and keep it.

In a sense, I said “I do” to whatever guy I was dating before I actually got to the altar. How much sense does that make?

I said, “Here’s my heart, Mr. Maybe. Please catch it and take care of it always.”

Mr. Maybe said, “We’ll see. Maybe.”

I’ve seen ladies in my life date a guy for a few years and pretty much fulfilled all the duties of a wife except for the physical part. Clean guy’s apartment. Do his laundry. Run his errands for his business. Co-sign a loan for a car. Submit to his leadership, doing whatever he said. The ladies tried so hard to make the relationship work. They tried so hard to make it survive.

Until it didn’t.

Broken heart symbol

Broken heart symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And on the ground were left broken pieces of a heart and the ashes of a life wasted.

Ladies and gentlemen, dating and marriage are not the same thing. I think we need to define dating as a stage in a relationship where two people are getting to know each other to figure out if the other fits into God’s plan for their life. Which means, the dating relationship does not need to succeed. It’s not a commitment. It’s a pseudo-commitment, not a real commitment like marriage.

Marriage is the commitment stage of a relationship, a lifelong commitment, which means everything that can be done to keep that commitment should be done. Everything that can be done to save the marriage should be done.

God made a commitment to us written in the blood of Christ and then He asked for our hearts. God never asked us to give all of ourselves to Him before He made a commitment and I don’t think He wants us giving our whole hearts to another before they make a commitment to us.  He wants us to guard our hearts and only give it to those who are willing to commit to keeping it for the long haul.

Save the “I Do” for marriage. Recognize the dating stage of your relationship is a way to seek God for the best fit for His plan for your life. Doing so I think will save you some time and heartache and you will have a whole heart ready to be given away once you do reach that altar.

English: Broken heart sewn back together

English: Broken heart sewn back together (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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14 thoughts on “Saying “I Do” Before You Do

    • Thank you, John! I hope all ages take this to heart since I see all ages from the young to the…ah-hem…older adults (retirement age) dating with this mindset. 50% of American population is single and they range in all ages. Thanks for reading! Blessings! 🙂

    • Yep. It’s a problem for girls and women. It’s an accepted custom in our society. Hopefully, the older women can touch the younger women and save them some heartache. I hope we can do the same for all women. With 50% of the American population single, there are a lot of women out there who just go along with the normal dating game.

    • Oh wow! Thank you so much, John. I’ll get around to it. I got another one I accepted months ago and I hate to admit it, but I forgot all about it til recently. I never posted it so it is on my list of things to do. It is real honor to be nominated by my peers. Blessings in Christ!

  1. I’ve been single with two kids for about a year now, and I was with their father for nine years and we never got married, now that I’ve been forced to evaluate our relationship and trying to figure out where it went wrong I can’t help but ask why we never got married?! And now that I’m single I find myself desperately wanting to be in a relationship and FOR WHAT?? I’m so glad I read this, I need to relax and quit feeling the need that I should be in a relationship, yes it may get lonely but that’s no reason to rush in a relationship only to be hurt again. I just need to remind myself to work on becoming a better person and follow Romans 12:2!

    • Hi, Marie! I’m so sorry to hear about your struggle in your previous relationship. I’ve never been in a relationship that long. Not that I wouldn’t have stayed that long if the opportunity had been there. I think it is good for a woman to be single for awhile. Not only single but living on her own. In our society, we rely too much on the significant other to the point of putting them in the place of God. I’ve been single for all my life and I’m in my 30’s. I’ve gone through long spells of no dating. 10 years is the longest I went without dating anyone. It does get lonely, but you learn how to deal with it in healthy ways by first giving your loneliness to God. Get active. Pick up hobbies. Take up a cause like helping in food bank. I’m sure taking care of your children will take up a lot of your time. Yeah, don’t sweat it. God will be your Provider. My advice learn to say the word, “Whatever”. Pray, “Whatever You have me, Lord, I want it.” That means just being open to what His plans are for you. Maybe marriage is in His plans later down the road and maybe it isn’t. Hopefully, your kids’ father is still there to be a father to his kids, but if not, God will make up for the lack in some way. I in no way want to minimize the importance of male father figures in children’s lives, even if they are not biological. Children need both those models in their lives, a father figure and a mother figure. Let your goal be to love Jesus and love people and becoming the person He wants you to be. He has great plans for you!! Jer. 29:11. Email me if you ever need to talk. You can find my email in the contact page. Blessings to you in Christ, my sister! 🙂 And thanks for reading!

  2. Love this!! I was the same in my younger days, giving my whole heart to a half-hearted relationship. It has taken me years to piece my hot mess of a heart back together. The upside to the mistakes we’ve made is it enables us to lead the younger generation through similar trials. Thank you for sharing on such an important issue, may all who need to hear it find their way to your blog!

    • Thank you so much, Valerie! Yep! Hard lessons to learn when you’re young. Unfortunately, I know some older women that never had anyone to guide them to this wisdom and give them perspective on their relationship mistakes. They’ve made the same mistakes as young women and yet keep making the same mistakes as older women. Thank you for reading! Blessings!! 🙂

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