I’ve been writing some posts about how to stop lying, why it’s important starting with not lying to ourselves and to others in general. Today I want to bring this back into the topic of singleness for a couple of posts. Today I want to talk about how to not lie as a single and next time I’ll list some lies that single are told and often believe.
Before I dive in I want to say that I’m writing from a Christian context but that basically all I’m going to say here is just basic morality and good emotional health. The fact is that God created us to be emotionally and mentally healthy and to be in right relationship with each other in all circumstances. Sin of any kind wrecks that. Which is why we are in the world that we are. Lying is one of those sins.
Here are some lies I think singles tell each other.
It’s not you it’s God. While I think sometimes people believe this, I think it’s not totally honest. Here how this plays out a couple of different ways.
First is the when one person is attracted and another isn’t. This is the, “You’re great, but I just don’t feel called to pursue something with you.” Well, the thing is, you aren’t attracted. But I don’t know that God needs to take credit for that.
You’ve been on a few dates and then just aren’t interested in taking it further. You know you don’t want to marry this person. Nothing wrong with that. But just say that. You don’t really need to bring God into that and try to over spiritualize the deal. Just be honest.
In both of these cases it may feel like you’re being nice to the other person but you’re not. We can also end up in a situation where people disagree over what God is doing. One person feels led to pursue the relationship and the other person doesn’t. Who has spiritual superiority here? Just be honest about your feelings, be firm and move on.
This is good for break ups or for that matter just not going on the next date. Just be honest. Don’t make up things.
Ladies this is so important here. If a guy asks you out and you don’t want to go, just say you’re not interested. It’ll hurt. But it’s not confusing. Don’t say you want to be friends. Don’t say you’re busy, because that’s not an answer to the question. And now the guy has to guess – were you busy or did you not want to go out? (Gentlemen, she’s not busy.) The more honest you are, the more quickly everyone will move on. If he is chaser, and asks for a reason you could tell him the whole truth – that you aren’t attracted to him or whatever else negative you think about him – or just say no and that’s it. You don’t owe him a reason.
You are not dating Jesus and we all know it. Please, please don’t use this. I’m sure you are working on yourself right now, we all are, but that probably wouldn’t make you say no to someone you wanted to go out with.
In the same way ladies, a guy doesn’t owe you all the reasons he wants to break up or even not ask you out. Guys, don’t use God to break up.
Another way this happens is when we start dating a non believer and then realize it’s wrong. Don’t lie and blame that on God either. You knew in the beginning you were being disobedient to the scripture so own it, apologize and move on. Don’t lie and say that just now God is showing you this.
It would also be good to stop lying to yourself and others by saying that you’re not married because you haven’t met a person who is a strong enough Christian. Admit that what is really true is that you haven’t met someone who you are attracted enough to who is also a strong enough Christian who also was attracted to you. It’s ok. Just don’t lie about it.
Don’t present yourself as something that you’re not. This includes online. Look, I’m all for putting your best foot forward and that includes pictures online. Do all you can to not get swiped the wrong way. But for the love, don’t put up your best picture from ten years ago.
Now again, I’m not telling you to tell everything about yourself on the first date, in fact I’d advise strongly against that. What I’m saying is don’t lie and don’t make excuses for your own choices.
When we lie in dating it has consequences. First if it lying did work to get you into a relationship, and you eventually get found out, then where does that leave whatever relationship you have built. Secondly when you lie to get out of a situation or let someone down easy, it only creates confusion, mistrust, and hard feelings. It could even lead someone to blame God unnecessarily. It’s not being nice to lie. It doesn’t help the other person. It really doesn’t.
Part of our calling as believers is to love other people. That includes people we date, don’t want to date and everyone else. It is not loving to lie, no matter how much we rationalize it (lie) to ourselves. It’s not necessary and it won’t help. Own your choices. Submit your choices to God yes. Pray about all the choices – yes. But own it as your choice. Everyone will win in the end.
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The invocation of God to explain a dating decision must be seen as the ultimate cop-out, the worst of face-saving gestures (and I have been tempted to use it myself). We use it when we cannot find sufficient reason to justify our desires: I know she is not to blame, I cannot accept that blame myself, and so I attribute it to “God’s will.” Say she has a pure heart, and Godly character, with a personality well-matched to your own; to your chagrin, you are not attracted to her, even so! What now? First you turn on the rationalization: can there not be something found that would disqualify her? But nothing comes. Here you are faced with the brutal reality of instinct, of creatureliness – reason had nothing to do with it. You are not attracted to her, not for lack of character or spirit, but simply because, deep in your limbic system, evolved neural circuitry ran a programmed algorithm that made a rough analysis of her likely breeding potential – and the result was negative. This had no regard for character, or spirituality, or personality – those traits have no meaning in nature; biological fitness is all. This is very fleshly, and very shallow – hence your bind! No escape through some fault of hers; how do you preserve your own sense of nobility, and her ineluctable goodness? Place the blame on a third party, of course! As you, sir, have pointed out in many other places, attraction does indeed matter, as none of us can avoid it; but what is more to the question: SHOULD attraction matter – is it justified? Here our argument is mired.