Have you ever wondered what is the purpose of dating? From what we hear and see on TV and the media, dating is often a mystery as to what you are supposed to do and how to behave. At its core, "dating" should be about 2 people learning about each other, observing behaviors, and having fun doing social activities such: as long walks at the park or beach, dinner at a restaurant, a picnic, visiting museums or anything in a public venue.
While dating, a couple should be intentional about spending time together and seeing one another in a variety of scenarios. This is a fact-finding mission, (asking lots of questions) where each person can learn about the others' personality, character, behavior, thoughts, and attitudes about life.
The key to successful dating is practicing effective communication with honesty and transparency. Be yourself! We have learned that when people tell you who they really are... believe them. Don't allow wishful thinking or selfish desires to shape and mold a person into someone he or she is not.
If the person seems interesting, allow yourself the time to get to see him/her in a variety of seasons in life. For example: How does the person behave in the Springtime when the relationship is blossoming, fun, and new? How is he/she in the Summertime when communications are dry, heated, or stressful; or in the fall, when life appears to be dormant, and unproductive. In the Winter- when it's cold, how does he/she respond when circumstances are at a standstill, depressed, or dead.
Discovering how a person responds to life's circumstances is a good indicator of who they really are.
Is the person mean-spirited, critical, defensive or hostile? Do they shut down, self-isolate, or become argumentative or violent? Do they abuse alcohol or drugs, gamble, or view pornography? Are they kind, patient, grateful, appreciative, or generous? Are they willing to share their feelings, show compassion, or empathy?
Among the most important things to discover during dating are... does this person believe in God? Who do they call God? Is it Jesus, Buddha or someone or something else? Have them detail this relationship. Do they engage in consistent prayer, worship, and reading the bible? What are their core beliefs in life? What do they stand for? What do they stand against?
What kind of relationship do their parents have? How do they get along with their family? How do they handle finances? How do they feel about marriage and children?
These are things you should take time to learn for yourself and decide if this person can be a part of your life or not? Trust your instincts!
The beauty is... you get to figure it out and decide whether this person is right for you.