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Dating Is Not A Relationship

Hello sweeties! It's another Wednesday to talk about relationship things o. I personally need to read this article over and over again. I meet a guy today, and the next thing I'm thinking is "that could be my Mr. Man". It's high time I knew and believed this truth.

Dating Is Not A Relationship

Twice have I dated, and twice have I been heart broken. Why? Because I got it all twisted. So when I say dating is not a relationship, I know what I mean. This is something I’ve had to learn the hard way.

Many people who are dating, are assuming that they are in a relationship. And some think because they’re dating someone, it is going to turn into a relationship. I hate to burst your bubbles, it doesn't always work that way. Been there, done that.

Generally speaking, to get to the point of going on a date, there has to be some level of attraction.

This person has either been a friend, a friend's friend or someone you see around. You must have seen or heard something you like about this person.

That's how it starts. 

Personally speaking, I don't know how to pretend not to like a person when I really do. I also don't know how to fake it when I don't like a person. I'm like that real, honest and open.

When I meet a guy I am attracted to or I should say, when I meet a guy who likes me, I can automatically (without stressing him) choose to be interested in him if there is an attraction somewhat. 

Then we start to go on dates, share memories and all that stuff. I have had plenty experience of dates mehn. Choi.

It is not a bad thing to go on dates. While dating, you are getting to know the person, and to ensure that whatever ideas and assumptions you have are grounded in reality.

You need more than the physical attraction you initially have.

Dating is the time to get an initial sense of their personality and values, whether they treat you with care, trust and respect, and of course, whether they are true Christians - matching words with actions.

If you’re not getting to know them or you are, and are experiencing things that are at the very least, proceed with caution signals or better still, abort mission immediately!

Please, I beg you, learn to observe the signals before your heart begins to think ahead of your head (before you fall hopelessly in love like me).

You know the tricky thing about falling in love? It blinds your eyes from seeing the red flags, it beclouds your sense of judgement. So be careful to "guard your heart diligently". 

Dating is beautiful . . . but can be ugly.

It gets ugly after you have had so many dates, and automatically just assume you're in a relationship with them. The assumption is fed because you are spending a lot of time together.

Check on it. Are you assuming already? Ask these questions:

If we’re just dating, 
  1. why do we act like we’re in a relationship or 
  2. why do we continue to try to make it work even when we see the red flags from day one? 
  3. why are you the first person I talk to in the morning and the last person I tell "good night"?
  4. why do we imagine and talk about a future together? 
  5. why do we talk about "our wedding day"?!

Hmmm . . . You see? The difference between dating and being in a relationship can be subtle.

So, sweetie, it is important to discuss relationship boundaries with the person we are dating, and be clear in our communications with them.

There is also this dangerous assumption that someone who we find worthy of dating must be someone who is worthy of a relationship. That’s giving yourself far too much credit for your power of judgement. Stopeet! 

One of the mistakes I made in my previous dates was that I invested myself into them quickly - I put my heart into them. I committed myself even when a relationship hadn't been established. And guess what? I got burnt! My heart broke!

Sweetie, if you are more eager to be off the market than you are to meet your god-ordained partner, you will project a relationship and just keep trying to slot anybody into the hole of your relationship picture.

It's high time we did it as we are led by the Spirit and not by our emotions.

OK. Lemme share a personal story with you . . .

I remember when I started dating one guy like that (we were friends before then and I really liked him). Barely two weeks after we stepped up on our friendship, he asked questions like; "how many kids would you like to have?" "How do you feel about family members living with couples?"

I became excited. This guy is really serious about getting married. I stupidly thought.

I started to imagine him as the father of my children. Weeks turned to months, we talked about our past, our future and everything. It was a smooth ride - we discovered we had so much in common, we had pet names, and we seemed so perfect together. Trust me, I fell in love with him! 

Then one morning, this guy woke up and said, "Ammy, it's not like we're in a relationship. We are just checking each other out. So . . . "

Dang! "wha. . . tt?!" I almost ran mad.

But he was right. Dating is a period of assessment, knowing and clarity. It is the step before being in a relationship. It is not a relationship, no commitment has been made yet.

It took me pain to understand this.

Personal Key Lessons
  • Do not deceive yourself.
  • Do not let anyone deceive you.
  • Do not jump into conclusion base on assumption.
  • Get the right information. 
  • Seek the face of God.
  • Know and understand your position.
  • Think it through before you take a decision. 

Nevertheless, I think dating is not for everybody (me especially).

Dating can be incredibly confusing, not to talk of defining what my relationship status is.

Dating is an awkward period between being single and being in a relationship. It is just not my kinda thing anymore. It's not easy to handle the emotional consequences of making mistakes and being disappointed. 

So this is my resolution:

When we date, apart from having fun and enjoying ourselves, we should work out what and who we’re dealing with before we make a commitment to have an exclusive relationship and before we feel safe enough to put both feet in and invest ourselves. That will save us some heartbreaks in the future.

Having gone through two unnecessary heartbreaks from two dates this year (Jerry and Mr. Man), I’ve developed a principle I hope might work:
If we can’t call it a relationship after eight weeks, then I’m out of here.
Lol. Maybe that’s a bit crazy, but everyone’s got to draw a line somewhere. And if there’s one thing I have learnt so far, it’s that:

I’m not going to waste any more time on any man who is scared of commitment - who doesn't know what he wants. I've grown passed that. 

What is the point of dating - as a Christian? Let's discuss. 

(PS: This article was drafted a long time ago. It's not a recent post.)

Written by Nwamaka Ajaegbu 
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