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Posts Tagged ‘Dating’

Dating your type

And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people. 1 Samuel 9:2 (NKJV)

 

What is your type?  Tall, dark and handsome. Blonde and athletic with a great sense of humor. Quiet and book-smart.  You might think that having a certain kind of person in mind can be like having a road map to a happy future as part of a couple.  You might even find that looking for someone with a specific set of traits can be exciting.  The question is whether focusing on a particular type of person the best strategy for trying to find a serious romantic partner?  But that may not be not necessarily true.

Leslie Becker-Phelps[i], of WebMD, writes, “People sometimes find that dating their type is a disaster. A common example of this is women who are attracted to ‘bad boys’ who are exciting, but also can’t sustain an intimate relationship.”

The fact is that finding someone who you believe to be your type isn’t as important as finding a partner who is not only attractive to you, but who is also able to nurture a fulfilling relationship with you.  Becker-Phelps suggests that instead of hunting down your type, you should think about your personal values and priorities in life:

  • How important is it for you that your partner shares your religious values?
  • Do your desires for a family and beliefs about how to raise children mesh?
  • Do you agree on the balance of buying things and saving money?

We hope these types of considerations may change your whole approach to dating. You may end a relationship with someone that you are attracted to because you don’t like how they treat you, or you may decide to give someone else more of a chance, because you connect well on so many other important levels.

Father God, so many aspects of life are so much more important than just looks.  Help me to see others as you see them.

[i] http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2015/11/does-looking-for-your-type-help-or-hurt.html?ecd=wnl_men_112815&ctr=wnl-men-112815_nsl-promo-4_title&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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And they have gathered the money that was found in the house of the LORD, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers and the workmen.” 2 Chronicles 34:17 (NKJV)

Researchers at the Brookings Institution, the Federal Reserve Board and UCLA suggest credit scores may also offer important insight when it comes to long-term relationships.  The analysis was based on credit records from 12 million consumers gathered over 15 years by Equifax, which is one of the big three U.S. credit reporting agencies.

Jane Dokko, one of the authors, cautioned TODAY’s A. Pawlowski[i]  “It’s also important to remember that there are aspects of credit scores that people can’t control.”  For instance, she said, “If you can’t pay your bills because you lose your job, there’s not a whole lot that you can do about that, if you got unlucky.”

We have to recognize that the financial picture of a person does not reveal anything about a person’s warmth, their sense of humor, how loving or lovable they are, and other important personal traits.  As Pawlowski writes, “The sample did not contain any personally identifiable information, so to find couples, the researchers looked for people who started to share the same address in a particular quarter and lived together for at least a year and three months, which would likely exclude many roommate relationships. Almost 50,000 couples matched those criteria.

Many years ago these words were written to young people: “In business, men and women manifest great caution. Before engaging in any important enterprise, they prepare themselves for their work. Time, money, and much careful study are devoted to the subject, lest they shall make a failure in their undertaking…How much greater caution should be exercised in entering the marriage relation–a relation which affects future generations and the future life? Instead of this, it is often entered upon with jest and levity, impulse and passion, blindness and lack of calm consideration.”[ii]

Father God, help me to take the counsel of experts and my elders into consideration as I pursue a relationship which may lead to marriage.  I want it to be as lasting as life and pleasing to you and not just us.

[i] http://www.today.com/health/will-your-relationship-last-your-credit-score-may-hold-answer-t49116

[ii] White, E.G.  The Adventist Home, p. 72

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A feast is made for laughter, And wine makes merry; But money answers everything. Ecclesiastes 10:19 (NKJV)

Financial guru Suze Orman is known for telling people “FICO first, then sex.”  What she means is that you need to find out your date’s FICO score, which is a measure of how likely someone is to pay their bills on time or repay a loan, before you get more serious about a relationship.  Researchers at the Brookings Institution, the Federal Reserve Board and UCLA suggest credit scores may also offer important insight when it comes to long-term relationships.  Jane Dokko, one of the authors, told TODAY’s A. Pawlowski[i]  “We find that the farther apart the two people’s scores are, the more likely they are to separate.”  She added, “One possible explanation is the idea that the credit scores don’t just measure how likely you are to pay your bills on time, but that particular behavior is generally correlated with more general reliability, or how trustworthy you are.”

Here are some of the other findings of the research which focused on the Equifax “risk score:”

  • People with higher credit scores are more likely to form committed relationships than those with lower financial grades.
  • Partners who each have a high credit score at the start of their romance are more likely to stay together.
  • Couples with the lowest average scores at the beginning of their relationship are up to three times more likely to separate than couples with the highest average scores.
  • People tend to pair up with partners who have a similar financial grade.

Pawlowski writes that “In a way, credit scores may offer a glimpse into someone’s character. A person who fulfills his financial commitments — like repaying a loan — may be equally serious about his commitment to be faithful and supportive of his spouse.  When partners have a big gap in their scores, it’s a mismatch in trust-worthiness that may affect the stability of a household. (will continue)

Father, help me to pay attention to the financial aspects of our life.

[i] http://www.today.com/health/will-your-relationship-last-your-credit-score-may-hold-answer-t49116

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The dating app – 2

After this Absalom the son of David had a lovely sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2 Samuel 13:1 (NKJV)

Elyse Murphy[i] offers several more tips to keep dating healthy, particularly if it is a long-distance or online relationship:

Read the gospels. Actually, don’t just read the gospels, or the bible.  Spend good quality time in serious study of the bible.  Part of the problem people have today is that they select only a few portions of the bible for a quick reading instead of seriously spending time with God and His word.  Listen to this important advice, “One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident, is of more value than the perusal of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained. Keep your Bible with you. As you have opportunity, read it; fix the texts in your memory. Even while you are walking the streets you may read a passage and meditate upon it, thus fixing it in the mind.”[ii]  And by the way, pray.  “Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given.”[iii]

Keep good people around you.  Think about the experience of Ruth and Boaz.  Boaz saw Ruth in the field and immediately he asked one of his workers/friends, “Who’s that?”  Surround yourself with close friends who will listen and be a sounding board when it comes to your dating life.

Don’t get too serious too quickly. In that same story, Boaz invites Ruth to eat lunch with him, and brings her into a group setting.  If they were living today, he wouldn’t just say, “Hey, I saw your profile. Let’s get married.”  Take time to get to know personally the other person.

Regardless of how you choose to meet someone, in person or online, remember that God sees you, He loves you, and He has a plan for your life.  As Murphy writes, “He knows what you need, and who you need, and He knows how to get you there. Don’t rush the journey; enjoy it.”

Father God, lead me in my life and help me to follow your plan for me.  I need your patience and your guidance today more than ever.

[i] https://vitalmagazine.com/Home/Article/Where-Is-Real-Life-Love-in-the-Online-Dating-Age-/

[ii] White, E.G.  Steps to Christ, p. 90.

[iii] Ibid.

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The dating app – 1

Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. Genesis 24:67 (NKJV)

Real-life romance kind of feels like an anomaly these days.   A new Christian dating app was released last April called Collide with the tagline “Christian dating. Reimagined.”  Interestingly enough, the creators of Collide are admittedly not even Christian.  Those that have used another app called Tinder describe it as having less to do with relationships, and more to do with casual encounters. Evidently, Collide puts a new spin on things by asking users for their denomination and favorite Bible verse.

I have many concerns with the idea of online dating.  Even though these days you can find out everything you want to know about someone before you ever meet them — from their dating history to their Starbucks order – do you really know them?  As Elyse Murphy[i] says, Between Tinder, Collide, social media and Google, we can find out any answer about anybody, anytime, just by knowing their Instagram handle.  We may even come to depend more on all the information we learn about others than in God’s leading.

Murphy offers several tips to keep dating healthy, particularly if it is a long-distance or online relationship:

Engage the person, not the profile. Don’t just accept the picture on their profile without checking to make sure it is real.  At the same time, give them a chance to explain their awkward high school photos before you’ve Googled them.  If you have never met them in person, make the first few meetings in a public place.  Perhaps make it a group meeting so your friends can meet the other person and he/she can meet your friends – much can be learn in a group setting.

Listen to the Holy Spirit. His peace is the ultimate judge of character. If you don’t feel settled, don’t sprint to the altar.  That feeling in the pit of your stomach may not be what you ate but the Spirit telling you to be very careful.  The Holy Spirit know both of you and wants what is best, so don’t ignore His pleadings on your behalf.

Father God, bless me and guide me as I undertake this important decision of a potential life partner.

[i] https://vitalmagazine.com/Home/Article/Where-Is-Real-Life-Love-in-the-Online-Dating-Age-/

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Both riches and honor come from You, And You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; In Your hand it is to make great And to give strength to all. 1 Chronicles 29:12 (NKJV)

A serial dater, according to Leslie Becker-Phelps, of WebMD,[i]

is “someone who dates many people, but manages to steer clear of long-term commitments.”  They can be quite charming and a lot of fun to be with, but they will probably leave you feeling alone and unhappy.  She explains that serial daters avoid:

Getting to know you:  It’s all about having fun, not really getting to know your personal thoughts, feelings, experiences, or life history.

Sharing personal details: Inasmuch as they’re not interested in knowing about you neither are they interested in opening up to you; They avoid making themselves vulnerable.

Talking about your relationship: They refuse to talk about the relationship at all, where it may be heading, what needs to happen until they get there.  They remain vague with comments about not being sure how they feel or not being ready yet for any commitment.

Instead, Becker-Phelps suggests that serial daters prioritize:

Single happiness: They send the message that they are happy being single, and when they do express a desire for a committed relationship, they are focused on finding nothing short of the perfect partner which, of course, does not exist.

Materialism: Serial daters often focus on earning money, showing off success, or dating someone who can bring them such rewards.

Fun: They want to have fun and keep the relationship “light”, without any emotional commitment.

Sex: Serial daters are more interested in pursuing sexual pleasure than in nurturing emotional intimacy.

Keep these red flags in mind. If you meet someone that displays these warning signs, smile politely and move on, even if you are feeling charmed and interested. You may be passing on some good times, but remind yourself that what you really want is a close, loving, lasting relationship; and remain true to that goal.

Father God, help me to not rely solely on my feelings but instead use your guidance, my head, and the help of those closest to me.

[i] http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2015/04/how-to-spot-a-serial-dater.html?ecd=wnl_sxr_050215&ctr=wnl-sxr-050215_nsl-ld-stry_1&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer. Proverbs 9:12 (NLT)

Clinical psychologist Marie Hartwell-Walker, EdD.[i], explains that “In the first blush of romance, people overlook a lot of stuff because they’re so excited.” But after a month or so, that’s when it’s time to look closer.  As a dating relationship progresses there may be some later alarm bells you need to watch for.  It could be a sign of trouble if your partner:

Doesn’t introduce you to family or friends. Does she always have an excuse not to? Not introducing you is not only a sign of disrespect, it could be that they are embarrassed of their family, or of you.

Doesn’t have friends.  If he/she doesn’t have other friends, you may want to consider why.  You can’t possibly be the only one friend in their life; but if they say so you may want to know why.

Isolates you. He/she wants you to spend your time with him/her only, and wants to know where you are when you are apart. This has to do with trust, but more importantly with control.

Wants to do only what he/she likes. Is he/she calling all the shots? Relationships are two-sided. If he/she’s interested in doing only what he/she likes, you have a problem.

Never pays his share.  Chivalry aside, if both people are at the same stage of life, one person always or never paying is a red flag for imbalance in the relationship.  Somebody who is unwilling to invest money is probably unwilling to invest their emotions as well.

The bottom line is, trust your judgment and consult with trusted friends. Keep your own personal deal-breaker list to five things that are non-negotiable for you, and leave it at that.  Don’t make a long list as an excuse to keep people away because no one is going to be perfect, but don’t go into any relationship thinking you’re going to change the other person You won’t.  It will prove fruitless, frustrating, and futile.  As our text for today recommends, If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit.  If you ignore wisdom, you will be the one to suffer.

Father God, help me to have the wisdom to see and not ignore red flags in the relationships I pursue.

[i] Ibid.

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