Dating is completely different to the way our ancestors picked partners 100 years ago. Everyone, especially family, are now meant to take a huge step back and not help at all. We date ‘my way’. But people still ask for advice from friends, search online for articles, buy books on relationship tips, and look for some support. We still need help, and that’s okay. 

I had a conversation with someone who was much older than me in church once. I remember saying that I wouldn’t date or marry anyone my parents and family didn’t like.

He seemed shocked.

You may be too. But I wanted someone who would be part of my family, and me part of hers. I wanted us to share similar values too. However, even though I said this, I still wanted to pick them on my own.

It’s a bit odd really. I wanted them to approve of my choice, but it was definitely my choice.

Dating Dilemmas

I spoke to a friend once who liked someone. He came to me asking for advice because of the work I do. He seemed a bit embarrassed. Like he should know what to do in a relationship instinctively.

He said that he didn’t know how to move from liking someone, to actually starting a relationship. How do you go from single to in a couple?

We no longer live in a society which says that parents pick our partners

That’s the thing, over the years parents and family have been told to step right back. We no longer live in a society which says  parents pick our partners based on money and status. We get to pick them based on love and emotional bonds.

Under Pressure 

We’re left to make up our own mind, date whoever and as many people as we want, before we settle down. If we choose to settle down. The assumption is that we will use our freedom to make the best decision.

However, we’ve all heard horror stories. First dates that end in disaster. Relationships that end as quickly as they started. People who have been left really hurt as a result of what happened in a relationship.

We don’t want to cause this or be on the receiving end of this hurt. But we’re not sure what to do and not do. So we may just muddle along, and can end up in a situation that we don’t want to be in.

We Don’t Date My Way

The point is, we don’t do it on our own. We all ask for help, and that’s okay.

Ironically though, we don’t just date ‘my way’. We don’t just do it on our own. We constantly ask friends for advice, listen to their stories and think about what we would do the same or differently. We also search online for what to do on a first date (Read What Should We Do On A First Date?). We also download dating apps to help us find our match.

The point is, we don’t do it on our own. We all ask for help, and that’s okay.

When we feel like we should do it on our own, that’s when we can end up hurting others or getting hurt.

We don’t need to have all the answers. Whether it was our ancestors relying on their parents or us asking friends and reading online articles to help, we have always needed a bit of advice.

Asking For Help 

I hope you realise that you don’t need to know it all. I made mistakes when I dated, and I’m constantly learning how to be a better husband and foster a stronger relationship with my wife. I’m constantly trying (and failing sometimes) to be a better friend.

People find dating hard. We all find relationships hard.

Relationships are what we crave, and relationships are what we try to invest in. It’s okay to seek some advice and guidance because people find dating hard. We all find relationships hard sometimes. (Read Reflecting God’s Image Is Found In Plurality)

We are meant to learn, and we are meant to get advice. That’s okay. We don’t need to ‘Date my way’ only. Not having arranged marriages doesn’t need to equal struggling on your own without any support.

Imagine If…

I pray that as you date well, build good friendships, build good marriages, and you know that you don’t need to have all the answers or do it alone, and that’s okay.

Imagine if we truly believed that and told others that, then maybe it wouldn’t feel so bad asking for help when we have a problem in our relationships.

Would you prefer to go to parents or friends for advice? Online or offline? Why? Comments welcomed below