Tag: dating

Hey Mom, I’m Dating the Nicest GameBoy

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First came the Tamagotchi. Then the Giga Pet. Realistically, these weren’t bad products. Kids that couldn’t have real pets could have fake ones no one had to clean up after, and they would learn a little bit about the demands of pet care in the process.

Then gaming moved on from a relationship with a fake pet to a relationship with a fake sweetheart. Date simulator games started popping up everywhere. Some sweet and innocent enough, others borderline porn. LovePlus+ from Japan gave guys the option to have a giga-pet-girlfriend to cart around in their Nintendo DS. The strange thing? Some people decided these were better than having real relationships.

But really, who could blame them? Relationships in real life are hard. A digital sweetheart takes far less sweat and sacrifice than a real one. But virtual relationships don’t have what we’re looking for in our real relationships.

Virtual affection is not real affection
Everyone wants someone to know them and love them for who they are. They want genuine acceptance and affection. Your virtual crush may say all the right things, but that’s because they’re programmed that way. Their compliments are lines of code. There are real people who love you for who you are, and they aren’t forced to act that way.

Virtual intimacy is not real intimacy
The ability to be really raw with someone is a beautiful thing – a virtual relationship can’t reciprocate raw emotion. In a real relationship, you laugh, cry, fight, and move forward together, making the bonds between you all the stronger for doing so. A virtual relationship is weak. It has no foundation and can’t form bonds at all.

Virtual relationships are not real relationships
Real relationships teach you to be selfless, they cultivate maturity, and they give you support and encouragement in hard times. Virtual relationships don’t do any of that. Their programming is catered to entertain you, not make you a better person or give you basic human needs. They’re targeted to take up your time and money, not improve the quality of life. Real relationships improve the quality of life. Real relationships give you the basic human needs of community and intimacy.

Relationships in real life are valuable, because for better or worse, they’re real. It’s easier to attach to virtual relationships, whether it’s a DS game, an online relationship, or pornography, because they’re relationships that require less work and little sacrifice. We may think a virtual relationship has a quicker return, but they will always leave us empty.

God created us for human interaction.  Despite how broken relationships are in this world, they are still greater than anything we could program. Virtual relationships are only a cheap imitation; what we want is the real thing.

Make Movie Night Magical

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Ah, the cinema. The collaboration of hundreds of talents, ranging from filmography to acting, from costume to set design, from production to directing. Cast and crew spend months of long hours fulfilling their visions, hoping to tell the stories from their hearts. And now it has become a lifeless, effortless date night option. The shame!

Although dinner and a movie isn’t considered the most impressive of date night choices, it has a lot of creative possibilities. If you want to make movie night magical, you have to create the magic yourself!

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Should Opposites Attract?

fireandice3He’s a morning person. She doesn’t wake up until noon. He likes Nickelodeon. She likes the History Channel. He’s introverted. She’s extroverted. And these two are… dating? Is that a good idea?

Opposites attract. There is something about someone completely different from you that is intriguing and mysterious. Curiosity about and admiration for someone completely different from us draws us in. But should we seek to spend our lives with someone who is opposite of us?

Being opposites has a lot of challenges. The very things that draw us in at first can be the very things that grate on our nerves later. Opposite personalities can eventually work against one another.

So the question this week is: What are the benefits of being married to someone opposite of you? What are the drawbacks?

God did not make us uniform. He likes variety. He created us with different personality types, different interests, and different preferences. And He expects us to work at being harmonious with one another in spite of this. When we spend time with those who are different from us, we are given the opportunity to learn to appreciate others for their differences, we are given the opportunity to show grace to others, and we are given the opportunity to learn how to relate to different types of people. All of these things mature us.

So write your thoughts in the comments below: Should opposites attract?

Do You Involve Your Parents in Your Love Life?

pollinvolvement1On a scale of 1-5 (1 being “not at all” and 5 being “extensively”) how much do you involve your parents in your love life?

Not everyone can involve their parents in their love life. Some parents are not walking with the Lord and cannot give wise council in matters of the heart. There are those, however, who have strong, Godly parents who can give good advice.

Counsel should always be sought in relationships, and your parents can be a great source of information and guidance. They’ve faced all the anxieties you’re going through, along with many other complications and challenges.

If you can’t seek the counsel of your parents for any reason, you still need a source of wisdom. Don’t rely solely on your peers for romantic advice. Seek advice from pastors (who have seen EVERYTHING), other married couples (preferably older couples), or even online counselors from Christian organizations such as Focus on the Family.

The greatest fulfillment comes from relationships, but so does the greatest pain. Everyone experiences heartbreak, but some pain can be avoided with the right guidance. Submitting to wisdom can also bring a deeper level of joy to your relationship. Don’t neglect seeking direction and instruction while navigating through a relationship. Not only will it steer you away from unnecessary messes, but it will also strengthen your relationship and help it thrive.

Advice for Getting Advice
Pray first
No matter how wise your parents are, God is wiser. If you are looking for direction, guidance, and wisdom, there is no better source than the Father. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”  You have a direct line to the ultimate source of wisdom. Don’t neglect it.

Compare all advice to Scripture
Some Godly people have great wisdom, but every once in a while they miss the target. Just because a person is a Godly person doesn’t mean all their advice is wise. All counsel should be measured against Scripture. Anything that goes against the Word of God needs to be thrown out. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” There will be times when people will try to give you advice based on their own understanding instead of God’s Word. But God’s Word is wiser. It was written to span all of time and to instruct every soul. Hold fast to it.

Don’t think your situation is exempt
Statistics exist for a reason. Many ignore good advice because they believe they don’t need it, it doesn’t apply to their situation, or because they feel their relationship is different from all the others. Although each relationship is different, they all go through similar challenges. No relationship is so impenetrable that it is above advice and counsel. The choice is up to you whether you accept and act upon the advice given to you, but at least be willing to consider it before throwing it out. (Unless it goes against the Word of God, as previously stated. Then go ahead and chuck it.)

Whether or not your parents are involved in your relationships, understand that it isn’t smart to go through a relationship without the counsel of third parties. Seek wisdom always and apply it often.

What is the Best Age to Start Dating?

birthdaycupI dare you to ask this at a sweet sixteen party just to see what happens.

I once saw a Youtube video where a couple of guys talked about their experience dating in middle school, and just how pointless it was to do so. They explained that they barely knew what a relationship was, let alone how to have a solid one.

So the question is, when is a good age to start dating?

Whenever you start dating, you have to look at the intention of your relationship. At fourteen or sixteen you may be completely smitten with a member of the opposite sex, but are you heading towards marriage or heartbreak?

Granted, the age you marry is dependent on who you are, where you live, and what your culture is like. Being a California native, I’m used to seeing people get married between 25-35. Marrying later in life is normal there. But here in Tennessee, everyone is married between 18 and 21. The age people start dating is dependent on what age is normal for marriage in your culture.

The bottom line is despite your age you should be intentional about where your relationship is going, and decide to be responsible in that relationship. The pain of a premature relationship saps the joy out of a young heart. Don’t begin dating out of rebellion or discontentment- date with the intention of a fruitful life.

How Do You Feel About Online Dating?

computerlatenightIt’s hard to ignore the amount of online dating services available. Even Christians have their own subcategory of online dating services such as Christian Mingle, Christian People Meet, and Christian Dating for Free. But are these online services really a good place to look for a long-lasting relationship?

This week’s poll question: How do you feel about online dating? Do you think it’s a good idea? Why or why not?

This can be a hot topic, especially among Christian circles. When I was at Focus Leadership Institute last year, our class had a discussion on this topic. Some students and instructors opposed it, others thought it to be a legitimate way to meet someone as long as you proceeded with caution.

Let me just throw out there that all relationships should be proceeded into with great caution. Lying is not confined only to the internet. Any relationship can be dangerous if you rush into it.

If you’re going to date someone you met online, here is my advice:

1 – Meet as soon as possible. Don’t fall in love with someone’s internet persona instead of their real selves.

2 – Stay public. Don’t meet at your house, or their house, or their friend’s house. Meet in public, and take a friend if you have one that is available.

3 – Watch for red flags. Make sure they have more than one picture on their profile page because anyone can grab a fake picture from the internet. Also when you do meet, take note of how honest their webpage is compared to who they are in real life.

All relationships have potential dangers. There are, however, some wonderful relationships that have started online and blossomed into a relationship that glorifies God. I think my favorite view on this topic is something my roommate at Focus said: “God can bring together people in any way He wants. You can’t put God’s methods in a box.”

How do you feel about online dating services? Are you for or against them?

Romancing the Seasons

collage seasonEach season has its own unique opportunities for romantic moments. Each season also has its own personality that can be reflected in your marriage. Take the time to appreciate each season together, with these suggestions in mind:

Spring
Spring is a time of thawing, growth, and new beginnings. Celebrate the spirit of Spring by letting go of old hang-ups and beginning anew. Celebrate how you’ve grown together in the past year, and celebrate your individual growth as well. Spend this time trying new things together, investing in the further growth of your relationship, and re-igniting your romance. (Spring is the most romantic of all the seasons, you know.)

Things to do in Spring: Dance in the rain, search for the end of a rainbow, plant a garden

Summer
When you think of Summer, you think of relaxing, having fun, and getting away. Maybe you don’t have the chance to do long vacations with your spouse, but do take the time to get away together. Schedule time together to either relax, have fun, or escape. Don’t make these the usual date nights. Make them exotic, make them big, make them refreshing.

Things to do in Summer: Midnight stargazing, go water skiing, create an island oasis indoors

Autumn
Autumn brings to mind images of home, community, and lively festivities. Gather with other couples during this season for double dates, couples’ parties, or festivals. Create a community to support one another in your relationships. Autumn also involves a lot of cooking and celebrating, so spend the season doing those things together.

Things to do in Autumn: Go on nature hikes, build a gingerbread house, celebrate the harvest

Winter
It may seem cold on the outside, but Winter is all about warmth on the inside. Spend the season making your home a cozier place to dwell, and dwell there often. Make good use of the short days and long evenings, with the use of lots of candlelight and snuggling. Get creative with indoor dates, or explore the warm memories of your childhood by playing in the snow. Appreciate the warmth your spouse brings you and celebrate it.

Things to do in Winter: Search for the best hot chocolate, go to a ski resort, make snow cones

How to Pursue a Woman – Whether Married or Single

pursuitMale pursuit is incredibly important, whether you’re a single man or a married one. The more the man pursues, the more the woman feels secure and desired, which means she will feel more comfortable in opening up and responding to the pursuit. This results in a fuller, deeper relationship.

Gentlemen, here are the ways to pursue the woman you currently have your sights on:

Find Time for Conversation
Always have an open-ended question ready when you see her. A woman connects most with conversation. In fact, when she’s daydreaming about you, she’s thinking about things that you’ve talked about, jokes you’ve told, and questions you’ve asked her. Conversation cultivates emotional intimacy. Go out of your way to start a conversation with her, whether it’s for two minutes or half hour. As her about her interests, her life, and her opinions.

If you’re married, the same advice applies. Take out time during your day to spend in conversation with your wife. Write it down in your to-do list for the day, and resolve not to go to bed until you have at least asked her how her day was.

Talk to Her Parents
Although the idea may seem out of date, you should always talk to a woman’s father about pursuing her. This gesture shows great respect to both the family and to the woman. When you talk to a woman’s father, the woman says to herself, “This man is so serious about me that he’s willing to be held accountable by my father (or another male role model). He must truly care for me more than any woman.” This shows that you are a mature man in want of commitment. And a woman is more likely to respond to commitment than flirtatious banter.

As for the man who is all ready part of the family, this may not apply; however, a good relationship with a woman’s family is important. Spend time with her father or other male role model to keep yourself accountable and respectable.

Compliment Her
Married or single, in private or in public, compliments are a huge relationship boost. Women love compliments and public adoration as much as men do. Compliments also show a woman that you pay attention to who she is as a person. Don’t only compliment her looks, but compliment her personality, her skills, and her tastes as well. Show her that you admire her completely in every aspect.

Be Chivalrous
Open doors, pull out chairs, pay for her dinner. Don’t think of these things as “old-fashioned,” but instead as things that have been tested and proved successful. Special chivalrous attention to a woman shows your interest. Chivalry is not dead – it is, in fact, a great way to pursue.

Chivalry is important in a marriage as well. Even though your wife may not expect chivalry from you, you should still be willing to give it for the sake of your relationship. A little bit of chivalry goes a long way, even if it you don’t feel appreciated. The motivation should not be how she responds to your acts – the motivation should be showing love to your spouse.

Don’t Give Up
There are many stories out there of men who pursued women who turned them down a number of times. Some of these stories end with a walk down the aisle. Rejection from a woman can happen for many reasons: she may have been recently hurt, she may be unsure of your intentions, or she may just be overwhelmed with life at the moment. If you are rejected, take a step back, give her space, but continue to pursue her if you truly are interested in a life-long commitment.

And married men should never stop pursuit. Constant pursuit is necessary for constant intimacy. If a man stops pursuing, the woman starts doubting. She will ask herself if your interest in her has ebbed, and she will clam up emotionally, spiritually, and physically. One of the best ways to keep your relationship healthy, romantic, and intimate is persistent pursuit of your wife.

What Not to Do:
DO NOT pursue more than one woman at a time. If you really care for a woman, you pursue her and only her. Any other formula will backfire on you and breaks hearts.

DO NOT stalk or harass her. Avoid looking at her Facebook page every 20 minutes, calling her twice a day, or trying to trick her into going out with you. This isn’t pursuing, this is being overbearing, possessive, and – frankly – really creepy.

DO NOT demand something in return for your pursuits. You are pursuing her in order to build a more intimate relationship, and that can take time. Pursuing isn’t always easy, but it will not go unnoticed. Just be patient.