Hello Reader. Dating can be fun, enjoyable, and fruitful. Dating can also be annoying, frustrating and stagnant or even dormant. If you are currently having a great time dating, this post might not be for you.
However, if you would like to achieve one of these…
- Strengthened confidence and identity,
- Increased numbers,
- Increased quality of dates, or availability of dates,
…then you may want to keep reading and see if this is helpful.
–As as side note, if you will be in Austin October 8th, join me at Brave for a session called Brave on the Dating Scene, bravewomen.org–
I remember the dating jungle. I wasn’t married until I was 38. I understand how hard it is but I also know it can be great. I experienced unhealthy dating, lots of dating drama, several painful seasons, and also a supportive dating coach, healthy friends, transformative strategy and eventually many delightful dates before meeting my “forever date”.
So, how’s your dating these days?
If you are not getting the results you want, you might be making 1 or 2 mistakes!
Let’s get into them and look at fixing as needed!
Are you making the first mistake?
If you answer “no” to the following, you might be making the first mistake:
- Do you have a specific and intentional plan for your dating life, and that plan is not just “to get married”?
What does it look like when I make this mistake?
When you date without a specific and intentional plan, your dating life might look like:
- Showing up at events hoping someone asks you out
- Maintaining an online profile that rarely produces dates you enjoy
- Dating basically the same person, just with a different name and face
- Inconsistent “numbers” of dates
- Feeling like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride who likes her eggs the way her BF-at-the-time likes his eggs
Mistake #1: dating without a specific and intentional plan
Fix It by developing a plan!
- You need a plan! A plan helps you to make decisions based on your identity not on your voice mails, or emails, or some person asking for your digits.
- What counts as a specific and intentional plan? I’m talking about developing a true strategy for your dating life that includes specific, measurable, realistic and tangible items all with the focus of helping you be your true self in Christ with every person.
- A strategy looks like focusing on what matters, not what’s urgent. This includes:
- whole-person care for you—if you are not healthy, you won’t attract healthy and you won’t maintain healthy in a relationship
- practicing what God invites of us—if you are not following the instruction manual, it’s easy to go off track or forget your true design
- inviting a coach and/or a team—having people who are focused on helping you be you will allow you to show off the best you possible. Yes, this means an accountability partnership that allows for vulnerability, truth, and lots of grace.
- When you put these three together consistently, you have a strong strategy that includes specific goals or items for support, community that helps you remain realistic, a purpose-driven mind-set that goes beyond putting a ring on it, and a long-term plan for health that easily translates life stages.
Now, ready to check in on the second mistake?
If you answer “yes” to the following, you might be making the second mistake:
- Do you consider dating as a means to help you get married?
What does it look like when I make this mistake?
When you consider dating as a means to get married, these things typically happen:
- You only date people that are a certain “type”
- You show up as the person you want the other person to accept
- You miss out on growth opportunities before marriage
- When you meet a new person of the opposite sex you wonder if they are “marriage material”
Mistake 2: dating is a means to get married
Fix It by consider dating has a bigger purpose than just to get you hitched. The bigger purpose could include:
- Developing integrity—helping you get to know yourself more with other people.
- Developing humility—meeting people you might not normally meet or honestly, even give a second glance.
- Developing compassion—dating is a season like no other to broaden your people skills.
- Developing confidence—helping you choose healthy rhythms/patterns and people.
- Developing contentment—strengthening your life mission, purpose or vision.
Let me just say…
- The way I approached these 2 mistakes can either elicit anger, discouragement or empowerment. I hope you move towards the third, but if not, let’s connect offline.
The BIG FIX:
This leads me to the Big Fix. When you adjust both these areas, you will come across as confident, caring, compassionate, and content because you are more secure in who you are in Christ and you have solid people in your life doing the same.
I think overall, that’s the big fix you might be looking for. Is it? Yeah, I get it, it’s not a ring…yet.
The big fix is more about you being you, embracing your identity in Christ and living confidently in your current life stage because you are focused on what matters not on what’s urgent.
You can stop being more concerned with what another person thinks or values about you and start listening consistently to the Holy Spirit telling you who you are and how you are valued. Don’t be an adaptive people pleaser, be you.
This isn’t about “focus on you and the one will come along”, or the church version, “focus on Jesus and he/she will find you”. Our lives are not just about outside circumstances; we partner with God in making choices each day. God calls this maturity and godliness.
Some say you find the person you are looking for when you aren’t looking for them. I don’t think that’s true. Many friends and I have many lonely nights and Sunday afternoons to prove that doesn’t work. The person I was looking for and I met because God said it was time. When we met we were each focused on being the person we were created to be and we were confident in who God said that is. That’s also the story of many others who follow this strategy. Yes, strategy. When I was out there actively meeting people and I looked into his eyes it was like looking into someone who shared the same vision, mission and purpose.
Then he put a ring on it.
Connect with me and let me know how it goes!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
Photo curated by Pexels.com free stock images; Graphic by Author on Canva, free graphic tools.