The first piece of advice I would give young women about dating relationship is to place God first. God should be the foundation of our relationships. He should be the glue.
The second piece of advice I would give women about dating is to keep your friends close.
The Relationships You Keep
Note: This post is 1 of a 4 part series. Follow along on Facebook to read posts as they become available.
There’s safety in numbers. And I don’t mean that simply in the context of group dates or outings (although it certainly can apply there). This can be applied to your day to day relationships too.
A common mistake young people make when they begin to date is walking themselves into isolation. They slowly begin gravitating towards this new person of interest and in the midst of all the newness and excitement they don’t even realize that they have drifted away from other important relationships.
It reminds me of that song we used to sing in elementary music class when I was younger. “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the others gold. Silver shines, and gold does too. Keep them both and they will shine for you.” It’s cheesy, yes; but there’s a good message in there. God created us for relationships not just with him but with others too. I think back to the verse we were talking about in earlier chapters,
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
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“Us Against the World”
It’s like that Christina Milian song, “Because it’s us against the world.” I don’t typically listen to that music but I’m a sucker for love songs no matter the genre. Sometimes it sounds like the perfect life, ya know? You and him against the world. But that is not the way God intended it to be. The two of you will need other people; both as a couple and as individuals, to be a part of your life. Even in marriage, this is true. I don’t know even one couple who has succeeded in marriage with an “us against the world” mentality. They all have someone aside from their spouse speaking into their lives and praying on their behalves. You will need that too.
There are some relationships that you need intact, and well nourished, and available to you as you grow; and especially while waiting for and building a relationship with the special man you hope to someday call your husband. Let’s talk about some of them and why they are so important to keep around.
3 Relationships You Should Be Quick to Keep
1. Parent Figures (and other family members).
This is especially for those of you on the younger side of the spectrum. It wasn’t too long ago that I found myself graduating from high school and entering the world of adulthood. I remember moving into the dorms and thinking, “I’m an adult now. I don’t need to deal with my parent’s opinions and I certainly don’t have to stick with their standards.” And although, as a legal adult, those things may be true; there is a world full of wisdom and knowledge that your parents can add to your life.
In most cases, it’ll be your parents who care for and love you most; no matter what stupid decisions you make. Their attempt to guide you a reflection of their heart for you. A parent’s love is unlike any other.
Often times I still find myself going to my mom for encouragement, wisdom, and support in all different areas of my life. A lot of times she gets it, she’s “been there, done that,” and can share from a point of experience. That in and of itself is valuable.
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Mentors are great for everyone, but especially for people who don’t have parent figures or don’t want to go to parent figures. To be honest, I have multiple mentors. I call them my “spiritual mamas.” They encourage me in my relationship with God, my marriage, my parenting, they goals I have set for myself and this ministry, and every other area of life.
These should always be people you honor and respect; people you will allow to speak positively into your life. They’ll keep you accountable, they’ll be a safe haven for the personal thoughts you have to share, and they’ll help equip you to make important and difficult decisions about your new found relationship.
Most people have people in their life that play that role but are called by other names. Your mentor could be your youth pastor, young adults pastor, counselor, a friend’s parent, an older sibling, a neighbor, grandparent, or another adult (typically the same gender as you). Wherever you meet find them, hold onto them. You will appreciate them more than you know.
Your girlfriends are typically the people closest to you. They know your secrets, you share with them your thoughts, they’ve met this special someone and aren’t afraid to give an honest opinion when it comes to questions about his character. They can usually point out “red flags,” like no other.
Girlfriends are often the shoulder to lean and cry on. They know what is going on before anyone else. They keep you moving, laughing, enjoying life and pursuing your personal goals and interests. Your girlfriends won’t let you forget who you are. They will tell you when they notice your character slipping or when they fell you are compromising in areas that you shouldn’t be.
They are ALWAYS there.
I want to challenge you to take a moment today and look at your relationships. Do you have a person who fits neatly in each of these categories? A girlfriend, mentor, and parent figure? Right them down and keep them close.
These are relationships that you need to nurture and protect. These are relationships that you should NOT be willing to let go of simply for the sake of a few good dates. A man respects you will encourage you to keep these people close.
Who are some of the important people you wouldn’t dare cut out of your life? Why are they so special to you?