Why "Dating With a Purpose" Matters
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Relationships

Why "Dating With a Purpose" Matters

“Dating without purpose is like going into a grocery store without any money. You either leave empty handed or you take something that isn’t yours.”

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Why "Dating With a Purpose" Matters
Grace Nash

“Dating without purpose is like going into a grocery store without any money. You either leave empty handed or you take something that isn’t yours.” -Unknown

I was taught a long time ago that we dated for a purpose. We don’t date just to have a “boyfriend” or a “girlfriend”. My parents did not allow me to officially date someone until I was 16. Now obviously, not every relationship will result in marriage, but you need to go through them as if that is the intention. Now a 16 year old thinking about marriage is a little young, right? Of course it is, but to be real, the end goal of dating is marriage. That is something that needs to not only be considered, but also taught to young men and women.

I may be 19 and have at the least a couple of years ahead of me until marriage, but I’ve always been told I was mature for my age. My parents raised me with a grown-up mindset and attitude. Our society really romanticizes relationships and that we are nothing without a significant other. However, I was raised in a household that preached to love myself before I found someone else to love me. So even though I read articles in Seventeen about how awesome relationships are and dreamed about having that perfect relationship, it wasn’t something I needed to feel worth something. Dating a lot and for no reason other than to have someone to fill a role in your life is really damaging in your development of independence. If you go through those rough teenage years always relying on some person to make you happy and feel loved, you’re going to run into major problems when you hit the even rougher twenties and you aren’t dating anyone. Humans are imperfect beings, they will always mess up and fall short because it’s in our nature. Relying on someone at a young age to fill your “void” will hinder you later in life. You need to understand that dating without the intentions of marriage are not only a waste of your time, but also damaging.

I can own up and say that I was not meant to marry the people I’ve dated in the past. They were learning experiences about what I need in a relationship and what I would like in my future husband. My relationship now is definitely better than my past ones, but there’s no guarantee this will be it. I mean it sucks to say because I have every intention of pursuing a future with Brandon one day, but we both know it isn’t a for sure thing. We’ve both had relationships where we believed we were with the person we would marry, yet here we are now with each other.

When I was 15 and went to a conference with the girls in my youth group, we made a list of the qualities we would look for in our ideal boyfriends. I wanted to share my list with you guys.

-dark hair

-blue eyes

-gentleman

-funny

-hot

-athletic

-nice smile

-tall

Then the woman told us to make another list of what we wanted in our future husbands. This was my list:

-God-fearing

-gentleman

-kind

-nice smile

-funny

-gets along with my family

-supportive

-ambitious

Finally this woman asked some girls to come up and write a few qualities that they wanted in their ideal boyfriends. We read through them, then she asked the same girls to come up and write the qualities we wanted in our future husbands. Shockingly the lists were very different. She asked us to review our own lists and looking at mine I saw noticeable differences. This was no surprise to the woman holding the conference. She then looked out at us and said, why are these lists different? The qualities we want in our future husbands are what matter, not what we look for in a boyfriend.

Needless to say, it showed that in today’s society, the term boyfriend/girlfriend, is viewed loosely and as something temporary and of less value. Ever since that conference, I’ve looked at dating differently. I understood my parent’s limitations and rules for my relationships. Now that I’m over 18, and am an “adult”, I set my own rules and standards for my relationships. However, they haven’t changed since I was 15. I will never forget looking down at my list and seeing clearly the faulty logic in society’s perspective. We have to look at dating through a God-centered worldview. We have to look at dating with a sense of purpose and intent.

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