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K is for Knowledge

K is for Knowledge

The A to Z of Christian Dating

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K is for Knowledge

 

There are more single people in our society today than ever before so many people think dating is easier than ever before. We look around us and see 1000s of dating sites online and apps available to download on our phones purporting to help us meet our perfect match. And so surely it must be so easy to meet people. Isn’t our Mr or Miss Perfect only one click away?

But talk to anyone who has been dating for a while and you will hear the same story. Dating is not easy.

If it was that easy, then why are there so many single people around (who when questioned would eventually admit to wanting to be in a relationship)?

I think the answer to that is that many people today do dating with very little knowledge (and linked to that – very little skill!)

Firstly they have a limited knowledge of themselves – both in terms of who they are and who they want.

They think they know, but they don’t really know what sort of person they should be looking for and what would suit them best. Therefore they look for the wrong things in others and they look for the wrong type of people. 

They don’t have the knowledge of dating etiquette or skills.

The reality is to date successful you need a raft of great skills. Here’s just a few:

  • Knowing how to behave appropriately at different stages of dating – i.e. first date, second date, after lots of dates.
  • How to ask someone out
  • The art of good conversation
  • How to say No
  • Good understanding of your baggage

Most are unaware they have baggage (and it’s my premise that almost everyone has some baggage) or even know what baggage is or recognise it for what it is, let alone knowing how to deal with it in an effective way so as to render it ineffectual with regards to dating. I guess we are talking here about ‘stuff’ that has happened in the past – leaving it there rather that it constantly coming back into the present.

And there are so many more

  • Good manners in dating
  • How to ask someone for their phone number – or contact details
  • How to know when someone is ready for more physical contact
  • Dressing appropriately
  • Creating the right first impression
  • How to make others feel at ease
  • How to find dates to go on?
  • Be able to calm your nerves
  • How to deal with past baggage and become free of it.
  • How to pray about meeting the right person
  • How to judge or not judge
  • How to develop an appropriately intimate relationship
  • How to set appropriate boundaries
  • How to be open, and vulnerable
  • How to end a relationship kindly
  • How to move a relationship to the next level
  • How to deal with blended families
  • Learning from failures and rejections

A common problem here is that many or most people think that dating well is just common sense. And to a certain extent that is true except for the fact that common sense is not commonly found. People think they know what to do and how to do it best. But rarely is this the case.

Let me give you some examples, based on real life experiences we have come across in Heavenly Partners recently.

A man is in the initial stages of contacting new people. He’s had some profiles and decides to contact someone by text. He sends very short texts effectively asking the woman to text back. He says almost nothing about himself or anything about the person he’s texting that might entice or interest them to contact him back. When they don’t contact him back (or do but saying No thanks) he writes the off as being rude or a lost cause. 

This man did the right thing contacting the lady but he did it in the wrong way. He did it without the right skill (read knowledge here of the best way to contact someone for the first time). This man thinks dating is easy but is now blaming the woman for their behaviour – whereas the truth of the matter is that it is his behaviour that needs to change – which would and could change if he learnt how to best contact people for the first time.

Another example: A woman has come out of a marriage with a controlling husband. In fact she unwittingly married a man that was just like her father (he too was controlling but in different ways and hence the controlling trait was not easy to see in her husband to be)

She is now looking to meet someone new but hasn’t done very much work on herself or her past (family past – i.e. her father or relationship past – her ex husband) to truly discover what effect the controlling father and then husband had on her, how it still affects her now, how she can learn not to be affected by it and what deeper traits she needs to look out for in a man to avoid falling for the same type of man again. As a result of not having this knowledge of herself or her past she is highly likely to repeat the mistakes of her past and sadly enter another with a controlling man – though she is unlikely to see that until the relationship is very well developed and even secured by marriage.

Compare this with a lady who thinks she knows exactly the type of man she should be with. (Heather and David) She seeks him out but relationship after relationship fails. So she turns to God and listens to his advice (she had also taken on our advice about widening her criteria about the sort of men she was looking for), and she starts to read books on the subject. Lo and behold she begins to meet and start dating very different sort of men. This lady Heather is now married to Dave – a type of man she would never have thought was right for her – but in fact was exactly the type she needed to sustain a loving happy relationship.

There are so many bits of knowledge that can be very useful in dating. It is one of the reasons we think Heavenly Partners/Friends1st is so different to other dating agencies because our desire is to pass on as much of our knowledge (since the organisation began in 1999) to our members. We offer a lot of free advice – like what is found in this A to Z of dating or the 7 Deadly Relationship sins for example; we have free dating tutorials, free you tube coaching videos to name just a few.

So our advice here with this topic is to take a good hard look at yourself and your skill level before you start dating. You need to do an assessment of yourself. Understand what your skills are – and what skills need learning or brushing up on. Then choose the most important ones – the ones that are going to make the most impact on your dating success – and determine to learn that skill or improve your ability in it. Or if you find it hard to do yourself, maybe ask your friends for their advice – as they probably will have an insight into you and your behaviour.

Then when you’ve done that, you can start dating knowing that you aren’t going to mess up and you aren’t going to waste the opportunities that you get. Everyone needs confidence in dating and approaching it this way will certainly help improve your opportunities.