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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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Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things. 2 Corinthians 11:6 (NKJV)

As singles get older, often they begin to experience anxiety over their future which at times leads them to ignore warning signs from the people they may be seeing as potential life partners.  Marianne Wait[i], who writes for WebMB, suggests you make a list of the things that you would consider deal-breakers, things that should cause you to end a relationship before it becomes more serious. Bethany Marshall, PhD, PsyD, author of Deal Breakers: When to Work On a Relationship and When to Walk Away, explains, “When you’re with that person at the beginning and something strikes you as odd or bizarre, and it sticks with you, it makes you uncomfortable but you can’t really wrap meaning around it, that’s your red flag.”

Here are some early signs to watch for.  Make a mental note (maybe even write it down) if the person you are interested in:

Shows up more than a little late. This can be a sign of anxiety, trouble tracking time, or simple disrespect; Is this something you can deal with?

Trash-talks an ex. It can take time to heal from a break-up, but if your date is focusing on the ex, how can they focus on you? Are they ready to move on? And if they can devalue one person they had a relationship with, what’s to keep them from doing the same with you?

Grooms too much, or not enough. Over-grooming could indicate a person who is insecure and has a puffed-up sense of self, while under-grooming could signal depression or other problems.

Sends the food back. Once may be normal, but if they do it often it could be a sign of a person who feels they have a right to special treatment. Maybe no one can please the person — including you.

If you notice some of these sings early in a relationship it may simply be normal anxiety.  But don’t ignore them if they continue as they may be a sign of something deeper.

Father God, help me to discern carefully and to make wise decisions as they will determine my future happiness and success in life or a lot of disappointment and pain.

[i] http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/dating-deal-breakers?ecd=wnl_sxr_021415&ctr=wnl-sxr-021415_nsl-ld-stry&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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Although…feelings of jealousy come over the husband and he suspects that his wife is impure. Even if she is innocent and his jealousy and suspicions are groundless…” Numbers 5:13-14 (MSG)

 

Even when you are with the most trustworthy partner, there may be times when jealousy can take over your mind and relationship. Those feelings are driving you crazy and driving you apart.  How can you get yourself out of the jaws of jealousy and combat these crazy feelings so you can find your sanity again? Leslie Becker-Phelps, from WebMD,[i] provides some ideas on how to deal with jealousy.

First, recognize that jealousy for what it is.  Recognize that your fears are coming from your own insecurity and mistrust. At the same time, acknowledge that this jealousy is making you unhappy. Once you are honest with yourself about your jealous feelings, you can start addressing them.

It is a common saying that people are “green” with jealousy because this is the color of sickness.  Only you can choose to heal that sickness rather than allow it to infect your relationship. While it may not be easy, you can start to do this by admitting your struggles to your loved one. Acknowledge your pain. And concede that the problem resides inside you, not in the actions of your partner.

Green is also the color of the vile in the digestive system, and much like vile jealousy tastes bad and burns.  If you allow those feelings to continue, your relationship, even when you want it to be good, will always have a bitter edge to it.  Don’t let this horrible beast to find a dwelling place in your relationship or in your home.

If your partner is supportive, consciously accept their love for you, and move forward.  The next time you fall in the jaws of jealousy again, redirect your thoughts to your partner’s loving words and actions.  If your partner is not supportive and you’re not able to talk as a team to address this issue between you, then the problem among you is bigger than your jealousy. You would be wise to address this breakdown in communication. If you cannot do it alone, then you might want to consider couple therapy.

 

Father God, when the ugly beast of jealousy raises its ugly head, please help to deal with it in a positive, constructive way.

[i] http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2015/01/how-to-deal-with-jealousy.html?ecd=wnl_sxr_012415&ctr=wnl-sxr-012415_nsl-promo_2&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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I opened for my beloved, But my beloved had turned away and was gone. My heart leaped up when he spoke. I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer. Song of Songs 5:6 (NKJV)

 

As Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD , from WebMD[i] explains, it is normal to feel nervous before going on a first date with someone new. Every first date has the potential of leading to a permanent relationship, and therefore you want to make a good impression.  For some people, the pressure can get a little nerve wracking.  Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind when you feel the first-date jitters.

Instead of trying to suppress those feelings what would work better is to redefine them as excitement.   Most people try to calm themselves when they are anxious, but this is difficult to do and rarely works.  What happens as a result is that the anxiety remains or increases which in turn tends to harm performance and self-confidence.  Reframing anxiety helps performers and public speakers, so it’s not so debilitating, and they are able to gain a new perspective on their emotionally threatening task by viewing it as an opportunity.

In the same way, when you are preparing for a date, it can feel emotionally threatening.  There’s a possibility this won’t work out and that you will be rejected.  Instead of thinking of the risks, you can choose to think about the date as an opportunity to meet a person that may end up being your future spouse or simply meeting someone interesting and learn new things, or just to gain more dating experience. The feelings may still be strong, but you are more likely to proactively create a better outcome.

To get yourself into this positive mindset, make a conscious decision to recognize a potential positive outcome and tell yourself that you are excited about it. You can also encourage yourself to get excited. If you already know something about what makes the other person more interesting, think about that. Or, think about how you find your date’s career or hobbies to be interesting. In other words, choose to focus on positives that can help you to feel more excited.

 

Father of love, dating is an opportunity to get someone else at a deeper level.  Help me to be open and willing to listen and learn.

[i] http://blogs.webmd.com/art-of-relationships/2014/01/how-to-overcome-first-date-jitters.html?ecd=wnl_sxr_012415&ctr=wnl-sxr-012415_nsl-ld-stry_1&mb=K2VcbkxhrhREAZ5zC2UpheHnVev1imbCHYS8QQY8uqo%3d

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