From about the age of 27 to 31 I went on zero dates. I know, hard to believe. I would have told you that I had no good options and that I was focussed on ministry but really that would have been a load of crap. Now to be fair I was working really hard in my job and I did live in a smaller community but truthfully, while I would have said that I wanted to be married (believe me I would have emphatically declared my overwhelming desire for that), I just wasn’t doing very much about it.
But then I decided I was going to get into the game as it were. One way or another I was going to meet people and go on dates. Now I did a lot wrong and frankly by this point I was pretty messed up in this area of my life and God had to basically teach me how to pursue women again but I was not going to sit around and wait.
I think one of the reasons we have more single Christians is that there is an over spiritualization of the whole thing.
There is this idea that God will send me someone and I won’t have to do anything about it. This, in my view is ridiculous, ineffective, hurtful, and completely inconsistent with everything else we do in life.
While I do think that God sends people into our life, we have to act. If I pray for God to get me a job, for example, do I now not have to complete a resume? Do I not have to go on a job interview? Does a job just appear? Of course not! I ask God to help me find a job, to guide my search, to help me discern between options etc. But then you know what, I hit the pavement. I go out and apply. If I don’t, chances are I will remain jobless.
The same is true for finding a spouse. I’m not going to get married if I don’t ever go on a date. The number one way to guarantee singleness is to not pursue marriage. And pursuing marriage means getting out there.
To some extent it’s a numbers game. I’m not saying date just anybody but I am saying that dating nobody will result in staying single.
Back in the day most marriages were arranged in one form or another. But we are not back in the day. We are here living in this culture. I mean if you want your parents to pick someone for you go for it but most of us, and especially if you are 25 and older, don’t really see this as a viable option.
Gentlemen, this mostly falls on us. We are the initiators. But most of us are not initiating well. We look at women, but we don’t approach them. We angle our way into “friendships” but don’t ask people out. We see a woman across the room that we want to talk to but we let the moment pass (Ladies – it is ok to initiate contact by the way – that is not the same as asking a guy out).
We have all sorts of excuses. “I’m not sure I like her yet” – well how will you know if you don’t spend time with her. “I don’t want to lead her on” – it’s one date – and get over yourself already. We are scared of rejection and we are scared of success. Some of us flat don’t know how to talk to women and have no confidence in this area. Some of us are just lazy.
If you want to get married you have to get past all of this. I’m not suggesting serial dating (I keep promising to get to this group and I will – because I’ve been there too), but I would argue that for most of the guys I know this is not the issue.
Here are some ways to get in the game.
- Let your friends know you are looking. Getting set up by people that know you can be good. Remember it’s just one date
- Talk to women. I know this sounds simple but start doing it more – get to know women. Work on being comfortable around them. Even those you aren’t interested in. They might have a friend.
- Do online dating. This is part of our culture and it works. Seriously. This will help keep you engaged. Here is a great breakdown of different sites. I’d suggest one site at a time – trust me (more on this soon).
- Do ministry – serve
- Don’t hesitate. If you want to ask someone out – do it – right then.
Dating is risky. It can be hard, frustrating and you could even get hurt. You could also get married.