There are a lot of theories about dating out there, especially in the Christian circles. This blog is not meant to debate them. It is just part of my story and experiences and what I think about dating.
Probably the most popular view in church circles these days is don't date someone unless you are going to marry them. This can lead to a number of problems on several levels that I will talk about in a minute. The way I like to think of it is, don't date unless you are ready to get married.
I dated a girl before I met my wife and I went into that relationship thinking, "this is the girl I am going to marry". I had never dated anyone before and in the back of my mind was the idea that if you date someone you have to marry them. At first, we were spending time together and getting to know each other and just enjoying being together. We dated for almost two years, and by the end her family had moved away and we were in a long distance relationship. The whole thing was a mess. We had gone way to far physically which I justified by saying it was OK because we were going to get married anyway. I had even asked her dad several times if we could get married. Luckily for me he was much smarter then I was and kept saying we needed to wait and not rush into anything.
Can you see how things could have been different if I had had a different perspective going in to the whole thing? If I had been thinking "lets get to know each other and see what happens" instead of "we are going to get married eventually" it could have been a lot different.
I thought I was ready to be married but I had a lot of learning to do. I would have gone into that marriage already unhappy and with a lot of baggage and it would have either led to years of painfully putting up with each other for the sake of the kids, or we would have just gotten divorced. I wasn't ready. God's plan was better then mine.
So what I am saying is this: Don't be afraid to date, but be careful. Make sure it is what God wants. Thinking you have to marry the person you are dating is a dangerous idea and I have seen a lot of people get hurt by it. If you take care of having a right relationship with God and know what He wants for you, God can bring the rest of the pieces together. I am not saying don't even look for a wife, I am saying trust God and keep your eyes open.