“What are some things to keep in mind in a dating relationship?”
Whoah…I could write a book.
There are no Biblical verses or passages that talk about dating specifically, but there are many Biblical concepts to apply to the process. I find it interesting that questions concerning gender roles in dating didn’t exist in the 1950’s because back then, they were so very clearly defined by society (maybe to an unhealthy degree). Recent cultural changes have muddled and confused these lines beyond recognition and leave our generation grasping for some sort of clarity.
Dating is a foundation for marriage.
Date purposefully and intentionally. Realize that you are either going to break up with or marry the person you are dating so either way you want to do things right.
Before dating, I would highly suggest you spend some serious time looking at the differences in Biblical roles between men and women in marriage and then apply those principles in a relevant way to help you define your dating relationships, if you don’t want to put forth the effort, or don’t know how do to this, go talk to a wiser Christian woman who has significant experience and success in their marriage because of their understanding of the Bible.
Know that the patterns you set forth in dating will play themselves out in marriage.
If you are impatient and impure in your dating relationship with each other, then you will have a higher likelihood of being impure in your marriage.
If the female dominates and controls the dating relationship, guess who will wear the pants in marriage.
If you lie to each other while dating…well, I think you get the trend.
Note that just like two boards freshly glued together, the long two people are together, the more difficult and painful it is to remove them from each other. If there are warning flags flying on the first, or fifth date, run away before the glue sets in and you both get hurt beyond repair. Some valid reasons to throw in the towel on dating someone without the slightest bit of hesitation are if you; can’t be yourself, feel controlled, want your partner to change, have a clash of faith or values, don’t feel physically or emotionally safe, are disrespected, pressured to change your values, feel called different directions, or see a repeating pattern of unhealthy behavior.
There is so much more that can be said about dating to provide some sort of clarity and direction as far as how to glorify God in the midst of it. So much is situational and requires a certain level of maturity from both people in order to handle the full implications of dating. Some people just aren’t mature enough to handle this sort of relationship and won’t be for years.