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Dating Roundtable: Honesty Is the Best Policy

Matt Shirley - Headshot

Forging a solid relationship, the kind most of us hope for, requires time, energy, patience, wisdom and plenty more. If you want to establish a good relationship, then it’s important to know what you’re running into before you start running. With that, here are a few guidelines and some rules to consider for building a healthy dating relationship.

  • Call it dating or courtship, but the relationship between a man and a woman is ultimately fulfilled in one place, marriage [Genesis 2:24]. Keep this in mind. This is the end goal and it’s a big deal.
  • Dating or courtship is practice for marriage. It’s a training ground for the real thing.
  • Friendship is the best premise for a would-be relationship. Don’t date someone you couldn’t see yourself being friends with first. 

5 Rules for Dating:

1. Be Particular.

Look, you’re either going to be with this person or you’re not. Relationships inevitably result in one of two outcomes: you either break up or you stay together. It’s not complicated. If you really want to be with someone, be particular. Don’t latch on to someone just to keep from being alone. Be exclusive, particular and intentional about the kind of person and/or qualities you’re attracted to.

2. Be Transparent.

Sooner or later, your desire to be close to the one you admire will catch up with you, and they’re going to know about your weirdness. Maybe you’re slightly messy, maybe you have one of those 2nd toes that’s longer than your big toe or maybe your family really is crazy. So what? Most of us have our quirks, myself included. Ditch the cover-up and be honest. Your commitment to be genuine and open will ensure that as you get to know one another, you know exactly what you’re getting into.

 3. Be Interested.

Rather than rambling on about your collection of stellar clutch bags or how much you can bench press, choose the alternative: learn to listen. Even if you’re not a natural conversationalist, you would be surprised at how great people are at talking about themselves. So ask questions, lots of them. Be interested in who you’re dating. The more interested you are, the more interesting you will become.

4. Be Cordial.

This may seem like a “no-brainer,” but don’t be rude to your date. Men, take the initiative to open doors and pull out chairs. Make an effort to keep your bodily functions to yourself. If you asked a lady out to dinner, have the wherewithal to pay for it. Ladies, if he offers kind gestures, be willing to accept. This has nothing to do with either chauvinism or women’s lib; it’s simply a matter of being polite.

5. Leave with Something to Be Desired.

You had a great time. Your fondness for one another is certain, and as you bid your goodbyes, there’s a part of you that wants to linger. Don’t. It may be that you have “everything” in common or that you’re even engaged and soon to be married. Keep your composure and be real about when it’s time to go home.

This has to be one of the greatest challenges and potential pitfalls for a relationship. It will take both parties to be proactive to this end, but leave with something to be desired. Harness your passion for one another into the next date. There’s something to be said about delayed gratification that will make your intimate moments that much more special later on. Make a commitment to protect the integrity of the one you’re with, as well as your own. Guard your heart, for out of it flow the issues of life [Proverbs 4:23].

Matt Shirley

Which of these 5 tips do you think is the most important?

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Speech-Bubbles MORE ON DATING: Go back to the Dating Roundtable now!


Image: Matt Shirley


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  1. Project Inspired

    Posted by runnner_girl1313 on March 22, 2014 at 16:04

    Ok so like there’s this guy who likes me a lot and one day he bought me a cookie at lunch but i did’nt want it and one of these says to be willing to accept gestures. . . but we’re not dating I’m to young (my profile says I’m 40 but that’s my mom I’m almost 13 and really want an account but my mom won’t let me lie about my age) should I have accepted it? Anyways, in the other guys advice thing he said not to talk about marriage to early so there’s this other guy that I’m pretty sure likes me and I like him but I’m not ready to date and I think he’s gonna ask me out soon. I was planning to tell him about that i think dating is designed for marriage but I still like him but idk what to say now please help!!!