Dating. It’s a time of wondering, wanting, waiting, and wishing. A time of learning another person, but still being two separate people. A time where you prepare to be one.
Dating is difficult – and the way that dating is done in modern society makes it harder. It causes confusion for the one trying to maintain their purity and has resulted in a lot of Christians to doubt themselves and their standards. A lot of the questions I get asked by young women are about how to date, prepare for marriage, and yet still maintain your purity.
While I’ll be the first to say that we aren’t proud of everything we did while we were dating (that is a whole another story!), I know it really can be done well if you are intentional. Here are 4 things I’m really thankful we made the effort to do.
4 THINGS I’M GLAD WE DID BEFORE MARRIAGE
1. We dated in public.
…and I mean all the time. Yeah, people thought we were weird. Yeah, it was inconvenient. My husband even was shocked at my request at first – but it’s something we are now both so glad we did, despite the inconvenience at the time. Here’s the thing: You always date in public and you’re very probably not going to lose your virginity.
I no longer believe in asking, “How far is too far?” in regards to touching and intimacy before marriage. There is so much in between nothing and sex. I believe in asking, “What causes me to lust and how can I avoid that?” It’s going to be different for everyone. If I could do it over again, I wouldn’t kiss before marriage because, if I was honest with myself, I would have admitted that when we were kissing it was too tempting to take it too far and have lustful thoughts. But that’s me. You have to work out boundaries for yourself.
2. We did research.
We read a lot of books on marriage and discussed them together. “His Needs, Her Needs,“”The Five Love Languages,” “You’re Singing My Song,” and “The Book of Romance“ were our favourites. These let us learn each other and prepare for marriage in a structured way. They helped us to bring up subjects we may not have thought of otherwise and also helped us to be able to communicate in a way that we would both understand – because the books gave us a common language to refer to.
3. We built a culture of open communication.
We encouraged each other to talk about everything: our struggles, joys, and fears. This culture of communication helped us when we got married to work things out quickly, especially in the area of intimacy.
4. We talked about hypotheticals. A lot.
Whenever we saw or thought of something happening, we would ask each other what we would do or like to happen in that situation. “How do you want to school our kids?” “How many kids do you want?” “How are we going to discipline?” “What will happen if something happens to one of us?” “What do you expect of me once we are married?” and so on. This saved us what could have been many disappointment and unrealistic expectations.
* * * * *
Question: What things helped you to maintain your purity while dating, or what things do you wish you had done? Write them in the comments below!
* * * * *