10 Things I’ve Learned About Dating- Part Three

In case you haven’t been following, this is part 3 of series of blogs inspired by a post from Perry Noble entitled 10 Things I’ve Learned About Marriage.  Go back and catch the previous two in this series or catch what Perry said at http://www.greatdatespot.wordpress.com

6) She ain’t your wife yet, son!

Penny said this to me very clearly before we even started dating, “You may lead this relationship, but you aren’t my leader.”  Basically, here it is, don’t make the mistake of applying every Biblical principle of the guy leading the family and the marriage to your dating life.  Why?  ‘Cause you ain’t married yet, chief!  There is an appropriate level of leadership that you get when you’re dating.  It changes and goes deeper when you get married.  That said, don’t treat this dating relationship like a marriage relationship.

This also extends to the inevitable time when you are talking about the future.  Hear me clearly, do talk about your future dreams and desires.  Do talk about where you see yourself going and where you’d like to live.  But don’t fall into the trap of talking about it as if its pre-determined that you are or will be together.  Don’t talk about her as if she will be your wife.  Even be careful with the comment, “If we wind up getting married…” Trust me, you don’t want that to send the wrong signal to her.  If you’re dating, and not engaged or married yet, or haven’t really both said that you’re ready to take the next step- then don’t freakin’ talk like you have.

Here’s the why behind this one :: it’s just not good for either of your hearts to go there.  And it makes things awkward.

7) Date in community.

This was probably one of the biggest challenges Penny and I had- what does it look like to date in community?

Its great and important and necessary to have just the two of you time- at dinner, on a date, etc…  But it’s absolutely unhealthy to never be in public or with friends and family when you’re together as a couple.  People should probably guess that you’re into each other before they find out on Facebook.  And once they have found out on Facebook, they shouldn’t wonder if its true or not.  So go to the store, hold each other’s hand, but don’t be making out in front of other people- be a couple, not a porn show.  PDA is ok, just don’t be obnoxious with it.

Also, find people who love you, who you would consider wiser than you, and ask them if they think it’s a good idea.  In another word- get some leadership on it.  Oh my gosh, when I think of the ways that Michael saved me from making big mistakes by saying, hey, don’t do that.  Or times when I royally screwed up, he helped me to see that and figure out how to mend the relationship.  I can only imagine what Megan did for Penny.  It was probably something along the lines of, “Don’t worry, Penny, he’s a guy, of course he’s an idiot.  But give him a day or two and see if he doesn’t straighten up.”  To this day, we are so incredibly grateful for those two in our lives, AND they are still very much a part of our lives, helping us figure out this marriage thing.  It’s safe to say that without Megan or Michael, Penny and I would be in a far worse spot today than we are, most likely not even married or talking.

…to be continued

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