Congratulations! You have just entered into your first dating relationship, and understandably you are probably on cloud nine right about now. It’s all so exciting!
Undoubtedly, as you are now entering into uncharted territory, you are probably looking for some advice and insight as to what to do and what not to do in this new season. Hopefully, something in this list will be helpful for you to remember.
1. Ask (and answer!) a ton of questions.
When my husband and I were dating (and, actually, even before!), we enjoyed what we referred to as “question and answer sessions.” These took place over the phone quite a bit but were also part of some of our actual dates, as well.
During these times we asked each other questions on a whole host of topics, some of which we came up with on our own, and some which came from books like this one. We talked about our theological beliefs, personalities, interests, dreams for the future, our vision for family dynamics when we had our own family one day, and more. It was so fun, and one of the best ways to get to know my then-boyfriend even better.
One note – when it is your turn to answer a question, be open and honest. Be yourself. Say what you really think and feel. Don’t hide behind what you think your new boyfriend might want to hear! You want him to be honest with you, and so you need to be honest with him. It might get awkward, but better for that to happen now than way later on down the road.
Also, please don’t have this be an interrogation process! Have fun and stay relaxed. No pressure!
2. Have realistic expectations.
I come from a legalistic background in certain areas, and one of the things that I was taught in one of the circles I used to run in was that anyone dating or marriage material needed to meet a long laundry list of requirements and characteristics.
While I’m all about having certain expectations (i.e. your boyfriend needs to be a Christian growing in his walk with the Lord!), it’s important to have realistic ones. Don’t expect your boyfriend to have the maturity and theological prowess of a 50-year-old seminary professor. That’s probably not going to happen. And that’s ok! Part of a successful relationship is growing closer to God together.
3. Take it slowly and be natural.
Don’t get caught up in the physical side of things. A beautiful relationship can be ruined really quickly when things advance too quickly and when important boundaries are crossed. Have an upfront discussion at the beginning about where your boundaries lie as a couple and do not cross them. Your boyfriend has to be on board with this, too – not just you – so have that discussion sooner rather than later.
As you are getting to know each other and are progressing in your dating relationship, remember to be you! Be real, be natural, be who you are. I’m sure you want your boyfriend to present to you his real self and not merely put his best foot forward- so show him the same consideration. This will also make dating much more fun because you won’t be worrying all the time about trying to keep up a facade you started with.
4. Have fun (and don’t overthink it)!
As serious as some of the things we’ve talked about today are, don’t forget to have fun! Laugh together, be silly, go on crazy adventures, and share awesome memories and activities together. You’re in a relationship! Enjoy it!
As you continue down this path with your boyfriend, the main thing to remember is just this: keep God at the center of your relationship. Keep Him first, keep Him as the most important, and Him as the number one focus and love in your life – and you can’t go wrong.