Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taking Relational Risks In Dating

One of the frequent complaints I hear from our young women around our church goes something like this:

“Why won’t the guys step forward and ask us girls out on a date. We have some really great ladies around here.”

From the guys I hear something like this:

“With a lot of the girls in our community, I feel like I’m being measured for a suit I’m not sure I want to wear. I’m afraid it will be too tight. I think I would rather date someone from outside our church.”

Something’s wrong here.

The truth is, we have quality single men and women in abundance at our church. But only some of them are connecting. Our pre-married/pre-engaged class catches those that have stepped out. But what about the others?  What is holding them back?

I think part of the problem is that some of our single folks are hesitant to take relational risks.

As a guy, I might find that some girls have a pretty extensive list of expectations. Their ‘Must Have/Can’t Stand’ lists have been well-honed. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be afraid of them. They might also be the ones that will go the distance in a marriage. Hopefully they are looking for good character. If that’s you, they might be right for you. Of course guys can have these lists, too, and the same advice applies.

What risks might a single girl need to take?

Break out of the pack of women you tend to travel with. It’s easier to approach a girl that is not always in the middle of a group of women. I know you feel safer with them around, but you will have better success if you make room for the more shy guys. And dress to be noticed, with taste, of course. Guys are visual by nature – make sure they don’t overlook you.    

This next part is for both men and women. Would you consider yourself “high maintenance”? Are you highly opinionated and verbal? You may attract the opposite sex, but they will not usually want to continue with you. If you get this reputation, you may be avoided.  

One of the advantages of being an older male is that I tend to see beauty in women that younger men may not see. Guys, take a sharper look around and look for girls that you may have missed at first glance. Their appeal and attractiveness is revealed as the relationship grows. Take a risk and ask them out.  

And ladies, don’t pass by the guys that are more introverted or shy. You may need to encourage them a bit by making it really clear that you are interested. Body language goes a long way here. Your eyes are powerful, and so is a calculated touch on the arm.

I am aware that it is awkward to have to exist in community with an “ex”, post break-up, and that is why some don’t want to date within the church. But it is also painful to have to move from a community that you love to follow someone from another church. There is a risk either way.

How about making a New Year’s resolution about this issue – and follow through.

Any thoughts?


  1. HAHA, so glad you wrote this!!! YAY! Well you know my thoughts on this. Just read my blog! :) I say AMEN and AMEN to all you have written. Your tips for the ladies are a good reminder to me to be open, to dress cute, and to not get myself all caught up in the FZ (Friend Zone). There are a lot of guys I would give a chance to if only they would ask. And that goes for a lot of the girls I know that I have been talking to, as well. Girls and guys need to be more realistic about their expectations. Guys need to ask. Girls need to realize coffee is just coffee and just because you date someone to get to know them does not necessarily mean you will marry them. Sometimes you just get to know someone so that you can better know yourself. And that's all. Doesn't mean the relationship failed or you failed. It's just an experience. Dating is a risk. But it's worth it. I say this as I witnessed at least 6 new couples recently married or dating seriously at church last night. Clearly, those people thought it was worth the risk. And hopefully in 2012, more people will take that plunge as well! As always, thanks for your blog! Love it!

  2. @PA -- I was wondering how long it would take before I got a response from you :)Her blog: