Monday, 11 November 2013

The bad girl's guide to dating

So the series is finally beginning and I'm starting with an aspect of life that is pretty much very dear(?) to me. I'm a shameless, hopeless romantic. I dream about my future husband and all the amazing kids we'll bring into this world almost as much as I chew my bottom lip worrying about all the times I'm going to make him sigh tiredly (haha!) As much as I believe in love and ending up with an awesome significant other, I also believe in enjoying life right where I am. Human beings are such peculiar beings; longing and hoping for something or someone to happen to us that we so often forget to enjoy the present! This is a post for another day.

Today's post is for the single girl and the one already dating. Married people can also read so you can leave helpful words in the comment box below? Yes! That stated, this is simply a guide from one recovering "bad" girl to another (I wrote more about the "bad", "good" people labels here). It should not replace real life discussions, prayer and the Bible on this topic. All I will be sharing in this post is stuff I've learned about dating (the godly way) from (very) personal experiences, books, people. Set? Hop in!

Dating the godly way for the recovering bad girl can be extremely difficult because our priorities have changed but, out of habit, we may still be drawn to the type of men we liked before Jesus. This usually means that we
  • "missionary date" (meaning we date unbelievers and hope we can convert them to Christ), 
  • date the first or second Christian guys we know assuming that simply because they are Christian they are right for us
  • not date because we feel we don't deserve the squeaky clean Christian guys 
  • or we date godly guys but allow insecurities ruin a good relationship
Yes, this dating thing can be a minefield. Here's what I propose:

Love Jesus first: Jesus wants to hang out too. He wants to have dates with you every single day. He sings joyful songs over you (and His voice is awesome). He lavishes His love and grace on you everyday (Zeph 3:17). Jesus laid down His life for you in a painful way-- He would do it again if He had to. And He never needs "some space to clear his head" ever! In your search for love, don't lose sight of Jesus. Love Him first and best, Pour all the love you're saving on Jesus.

Give yourself time: One of the biggest mistakes I ever made was dating almost as soon as I became a Christian. My priorities were still misplaced and I ended up spending almost a year in a relationship that was not glorifying God or helping me grow spiritually. Complete waste of time. The following year, I decided to get off the market and I'm glad I made the decision. As a recovering bad girl, it's best to give yourself time to grow in God/know Jesus better, make new friends, find a home church. Save yourself heartache and pour that time and effort into growing spiritually. Alone.

Don't follow your heart: God calls us to guard our hearts. And I think that's because our hearts can be deceitful. That said, please please please, girls, do NOT follow your heart! Our hearts are fickle things to trust in. Our emotions change like the weather in rainy season. The love you think you feel, could easily turn to hatred next week if you decide to follow your heart. "I feel so right with him!" never cuts it. I've thought that about 3 different Christian guys and they were all wrong for me. 

"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?" - Jer 17:9 NLT

The head-in-the-clouds emotions usually clear off by the third/fourth month so during this time, it's best to pray a lot about it and see what God thinks. God will always speak; all we have to do is listen.

Guard your time: If y'all aren't dating, he isn't entitled to you and your time whenever he wants or whenever you feel like it (which will most likely be often if your head is still in the clouds). Spending a lot of exclusive time with a guy while you are still getting to know each other is a huge risk. I did this and ended up not getting to know him any better (because we were staring dreamily into each other's eyes more than half the time!) and when it was obvious we couldn't date, I was shattered. Though we never dated, we invested a lot of exclusive time in each other and were emotionally bonded. See why I say emotions are fickle? So limit the amount of times you see each other as much as you can: don't spend hours on the phone, texting back and forth. The few times you see, always meet in public places and in real life situations. Candle-lit dinner isn't a real-life situation while you're getting to know each other. A real-life situation date would be: meeting up for lunch with other people, taking lessons together, going to see a movie, going to Bible study, taking a walk, etc

Finally, do not think of every great Christian guy as a potential "the one". Be friends with the opposite sex and remember that no one is entitled to a lot of exclusive time with you if they aren't dating you. Spending so much time with your guy friend(s) is almost always detrimental to healthy, platonic relationships. 

Your turn: what do you think a recovering bad girl should know about dating?

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Chaka. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I really agree with this post. Especially on the giving yourself time. Time is also important when you've just ended a relationship as well. I often had to step back and spend years just re establishing who I was in Christ. I would also add "not to over spiritualize everything". that will sound harsh but it's very true. too many sistas I know won't even talk to a guy until they've received a spiritual dream where God revealed that he's "the one". Honestly, it really burns my biscuits when I hear that.

    1. Hahahahaha! I'm crying about the "over spiritualizing" thing. I don't know how I did not add that to this post. I've actually had someone come on to me with the "God showed me you're the one for me" line. I wondered why God wasn't telling me same.

  3. Very wise Ibukun! Don't rush, don't spend huge amounts of time exclusively- do "real" things together. You've learned some lessons and taken them to heart, good for you! And enjoying your life during a season of waiting can only benefit you, come whatever may be! Bless you Sweetie, you have a wonderful future awaiting you. Be happy. You are loved!♡

    1. I did have to learn some of those lessons the hard way but I'm grateful for them either way. Thank you for dropping by, Ellen! Love you!

  4. True. Also applies to males too

    PS: Naijawife reads your blog. You've hammered oh

  5. But I want to follow my heart naaaaa :'( Lol. This was interesting. I like, a lot. I've learned to make the most of my single's hard, esspecially for a hopeless romantic like me. It is worth it though. Very. I've learned so much about myself in this time, things I'd have been so preoccupied trying to do right by my man to notice. And my relationship with God and other people has improved. I value friendships more now.
    P.S. Move to wordpress jo, leaving comments here is such a pain :'((

  6. Well done ibukun! I particularly like the "love Jesus first" part because he does lead us in the right direction, his word also instructs us on what to do and that is key...
    ... On dating, I'm still to find any part in scriptures where the concept of "boyfriend & girlfriend" is practised. People would come together for the sole purpose of marriage. The engagement period or phase was used for necessary preparations for the life the couple (they were basically married already because wedding feasts, just like birthday parties were and still remain a choice) would spend together for the rest of their lives. Every relationship should be defined- e.g. A guy is just a friend until he proposes marriage to a lady, and then upon her acceptance shows he means it by approaching the girl's parents/guardians about it (the lady's consent is also sought on the matter). Just thought I should share that tiny bit of information. Cheers dear!!! Keep up the great work...

  7. Wow! This is one great piece. You were so honest and down to earth while integrating the core christian values. would visit regularly .More grease girl!