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Godly wisdom is a wide stream, and God’s word often allows us to apply his heart and wisdom in remarkably different ways, even in dating. It came in many forms, but it goes something like this: So, I started paying tuition, registered for classes, purchased the textbooks, jumped into relationship after relationship, and never looked back — until I wanted my money back.My problem was that I subtly treated each new relationship — each marriage — like a mini-marriage. The men or women we date are not a series of lab experiments that prepare us to be a better husband or wife.If dating Dating indeed may prepare us to do each of these things incrementally better than if we had never dated. The problem is that at the end of each relationship, we have learned how to love someone, but that someone wasn’t our spouse.We prepared ourselves to marry our ex-girlfriend or boyfriend, and then we never got married.Unfortunately, many of us are being told we must date early and often if we ever want to be ready for marriage.For instance, one popular Christian dating book reads, “Dating is an incubator time of discovering the opposite sex, one’s own sexual feelings, moral limits, one’s need for relationship skills, and one’s tastes for people.” Sounds practical and reasonable on the surface.So, instead of preparing ourselves for marriage, we actually prepared ourselves, practically speaking, to walk from marriage. Have you ever heard a wife mourn that her husband didn’t date more people?celebrate their spouse’s past relationships, it’s almost always because of what they didn’t do — not because that other relationship was a “valuable learning experience” on the way to marriage. We might talk freely about how much dating will prepare us for marriage before we are married, and then we almost never talk about our dating relationships after we’re married. Because dating does not really prepare us for marriage, especially if we treat it like a trial run or a test drive.
My advice is not necessarily to marry the first person you date, but to date in a way that serves the person you marry one day.
We cultivated love emotionally and exclusively, learned specifically how to love each other practically, and then we walked away.