What to Expect in Christian Dating #1: Differences
“Christian” doesn’t mean “identical.” Just because you’ve narrowed the dating pool in the quest to find someone whose worldview mirrors your own doesn’t guarantee that everyone who identifies as a Christian will be compatible with you. Some may define “Christian” as a cultural term; they were raised with Judeo-Christian values and uphold many of the tenants of a Christian faith. Others use “Christian” to define a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Within the Christian faith, denominational differences and ideas about how faith fits into daily life can create relationship obstacles, and even be deal-breakers.
Even if you’re on the same page when it comes to personal faith, you’re still two unique beings who crave compatibility and chemistry. Don’t expect “Christian single” to be the magic love-match word.
What to Expect in Christian Dating #2: Talking About Your Faith
The age-old dating advice may tell you to refrain from talking about religion, sex or politics, but in Christian dating, religious conversation is essential. As mentioned in the point above, everyone has a unique experience with their faith, and, in identifying as a Christian, prioritizes their personal beliefs. If you meet someone online who says he/she is looking to date a Christian single, know that talking about faith is not only welcome, it’s recommended; faith is your common ground.
Faith discussions early on will establish whether or not you’re heading in similar directions; for some, it also sets a healthy precedence for a relationship that aspires to be God-focused. If you typically pray before each meal, suggest you say a quick prayer before you eat together. It’s an easy way to bring up the God topic and gauge whether or not your date is equally at ease with a public expression of faith.
What to Expect in Christian Dating #3: Unspoken Expectations
The dating world is filled with certain expectations. Christian dating is no different, only that the common denominator of “Christian” can assume that you have the same expectations. Some define Christian dating to mean courting, assuming that dating is a purposeful marriage-focused adventure, and some will expect Christians to subscribe to traditional gender roles or have old-fashioned values.
Don’t let assumptions and expectations hurt your dating life. Be upfront with what you want to get out of the Christian dating experience.
What to Expect in Christian Dating #4: Sex Matters
Talk about sex. Traditionally, a Christian chooses to honor God by waiting for marriage before having sex. This is not longer a steadfast expectation. If you feel strongly about waiting – or about not waiting – it’s something that needs to be expressed early on. As with any romantic relationship, physical boundaries will need defining.
It’s important for dating Christians to talk about sex, even if they’re choosing to not have it.