Backwards Dating

 

I’ve discovered that the majority of us date backwards. Society teaches us that we should date in order to get to know someone. I’ve learned that teaching to be the opposite of how it should be done. We should get to know someone BEFORE we decide to date them. Date with purpose and not for recreation. Could this person you’re considering be your forever partner? If you’re dating because you don’t want to be alone on a Friday night, you could very well be missing out on the right one while you entertain mere companions.

Over a year ago, following the end of my last relationship, I decided that I didn’t want to date. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel like I had to have someone. I knew in my heart and soul that I had relationship patterns must come to a halt. Based on my patterns, I knew that the male friend I talk to the most would likely become my next suitor. That was the carousel I had to stop riding. I could not allow myself to go from one partner to another without knowing who I am first. Because of my allowing the first man attracted to me enter my life so readily, I never developed my own personal likes or tastes (sports teams, music, film, political views, color palette, clothing, etc.). I simply followed the preferences of the man I was with at the time. I was brought up with the teaching that the man should lead. I have no problem being a willing follower. However, it’s my fault if I don’t allow myself time to find out if the man I’m about to follow is the best one to lead me. He may be right for another, but not necessarily for me. I determined that it was time for me to be alone with God; allowing Him to use the lessons of my past to cultivate the Judi of the future.

Here’s the steps I took and why I believe that we are taught to date backwards: 

Step 1) I made a list of exactly what I must have in a partner. These are not preferences such as height, body type, eye color, same interests, etc. Preferences are superficial. Your “must haves” for your list are the things you know are of key importance to your ability to spend every day, for the rest of your life, with someone.

What is most important to you? Make your list and don’t tell anyone what’s on it. Someone interested in dating you (the backwards way) will ask you what you’re looking for. Don’t tell them. Why? Because it’s likely that they will think they already are the person described on your list. They may have those qualities, but bear in mind that they may not be at the level you require.  Or, because of their interest in you, they will become what is on your list. This will be temporary because it’s impossible to hold out a charade for long if it’s not who they really are. This could also open you up as the object of their resentment later. Why? Because they changed for you and it still didn’t work out.

Knowing your secret list helps you to determine quickly if someone meets the requirements. Listen to what they say in conversation. What do they post on social media? Remember, that people tend to present their selves the way they want the world to see them. It’s not always the person they’d be at home. So, don’t fall for your Facebook friends based solely on their posts. 

Step 2) I refer to the must haves on the list as my flags. If someone has the opposite or doesn’t posses the key elements on my list, that’s a flag not to proceed with a relationship any deeper than friendship.  Flags are your internal warnings. In the last year, I’ve found myself saying, “If a flag goes up, it’s your guardian angel waving it like an air traffic controller. If you proceed, sooner or later, you will crash.” I speak this from multiple crash experiences. I desire to see the best in everyone. I spot their potential, and hope for more based on that, while ignoring the flags I saw from the start. Well, that’s the past.

Taking time to step away from relationship-hopping has helped me define my flags and spot them quickly. I’m thankful for my angels who never gave up on me and threw their flags down in disgust. Thank you, God for encouraging them to stay the course and keep waving their warnings. God knew that the day would come when I would not only heed them, but watch for them.

Step 3) I made certain that I didn’t converse on a regular basis with any one of my male friends. Upon meeting them, I could tell that, although each one is great guy, they’re not my great guy. Often within the first conversation, I knew that there was something on my list that they didn’t meet. Although, I value each in my life, I know that I can’t spend my daily life with any of them. And truthfully, if we married, they would discover that too. So, why not save the grief? Care enough about your opposite sex friends to not lead them on. Don’t monopolize their time from finding their right partner, especially when you know it’s not you. Pray that God leads their right one to them.

Let your opposite sex friends know where you stand, and always will, in your friendship. Don’t fail them by allowing them to believe that you’ll change your mind and might one day see them as a life-partner. Be truthful to them and yourself. Set your friendship boundary. If they cannot accept your stance, and continue to pursue and attempt to persuade you to change your position, you cannot continue the friendship. Cut them loose. You’ll both be better for it. Remember, someone that truly respects you will honor you even if they don’t agree with you.

Step 4) I refuse to allow a friend to take me out to dinner. Friends go Dutch. I’ve allowed some exceptions, clearly laying out my dating position beforehand and there had to be a purpose for having dinner together. No “I want to know you better” dinners for me. Friends don’t take you out to nice restaurants for dinner. Unless you have a friend with whom you decide to take turns treating each other dinner, don’t allow them to buy your dinner every time you’re together. Ladies, if you know you aren’t interested in dating a guy, and you allow him to take you out repeatedly, you are dating him. That is exactly how he’ll see it. You’re leading him on and not being honest with him or yourself. Stay truthful.

Step 5) I had to come to acceptance that what I had hoped for in others was not what God had planned for me. I don’t mind being alone. Being a writer virtually requires it. I had to accept what it was in my past relationships that made them wrong for me, and me for them. Once you stop pining for what was, you become open for what God has yet to come. Accept a winter season in your life because winter is necessary. It allows your life to rest and regenerate. It prepares you for full bloom. It’s a quiet time.

Being alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely. This is your time to allow God to cultivate you. This is your time to change the person you were in your past relationships into the one God is preparing you to be for your final relationship. This is your time to learn yourself in relationship to God and His plan for your life. You don’t need another person to complete you. That would mean that you’re incomplete. If you think that way, then you absolutely should pray for a long winter life-season. Once you know who you are, and what your God-purpose is, become active in it. If you’re working for God, you won’t be looking for anther relationship to “complete” you. It is while you’re busy for God that He will deliver you the right someone who will complement you and what you’re already doing in service to Him. It is then that you will have someone to be yoked with equally; walking in unison toward the Kingdom.

If you follow my social media, you’ve heard me say, “If it ain’t Kingdom, I don’t want it!” This is a quote from Jerry and Tanisha Flowers of Redefined TV. It means that if God isn’t the purpose for the union and the union doesn’t compliment God’s Kingdom, then I don’t want it. Ask yourself, “Can I serve God better with this person by my side, or alone?” I’d rather be alone than with the wrong person. I will never allow another person to hold me back from serving God, from fellowship with like-minded believers, or cause me to doubt who I am. My value is determined by God and no one will be given the power to set my price and place me on a discount rack.

Satan knows what we desire and he’s not above sending impostors. Take the time to get to know a person prior to deciding to date them. Know your flags and set your boundaries. Make a deliberate decision to date only the one who meets your most secret requirements. And most importantly, pray pray pray. Not for God to deliver your preferences, but rather for God to deliver to you the one who will best fulfill His Kingdom purpose alongside you. Pray, with gratitude in advance, for the one He is preparing for you while He prepares you for them. 

Below is a link to the Redefined TV website. I encourage you to watch their webisodes on YouTube. If you want to determine honestly what you’re doing, or have done wrong, with respect to a God ordained relationship, these are the folks to watch. Their webisodes are short. So, lack of time is not an excuse for not taking a good look at yourself and your relationship/potential relationship for what it is and/or should be.

Also, I encourage you to watch Marriage Today with Jimmy and Karen Evans. Below is their link. You can find them on YouTube as well. Jimmy and Karen came dangerously close to divorced. They speak from first-hand knowledge as to the changes they had to make in themselves and their relationship. There was much they learned about being a couple committed to God and to each other. They learned how to embrace their differences, how to treat each other as God commands, and how to serve God in unison. If you are married, or have been married, you will learn much about how to better your relationship, or how to behave in your next.

Redefined TV: http://www.redefinedtv.net/

Marriage Today: https://marriagetoday.com/

In closing, I’ve learned that you rarely, if ever, get to know someone by dating them. Learn them by talking with them. As you both become more interested in each other because you haven’t discovered flags, then both will commit to speak with full disclosure. You will want the other to know you, and you them, so neither make the mistake of dating, or worse, marrying someone you later discover you don’t even like. When no flags raise, and you’ve prayed both together and separately, then make your decision to date. See where God takes you. Be patient and let God lead. If it’s Kingdom, and you’re living in His will (that includes remaining physically biblical), God will let you know how to proceed. I’m looking forward to the joys and the rewards of a God ordained relationship. Aren’t you?

“Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Mark 10:9 (NKJV)

8 thoughts on “Backwards Dating

  1. Very good Judi!
    I would only add that neither the male nor the female should follow each other. Because God made the woman to be the help meet or the partner of man and then another scripture says, “can two walk together except they be agreed”. Well, it doesn’t say can the woman follow the man, or the man follow the woman, unless they be agreed. The idea is that youre walking side-by-side making decisions together,because scripturally, you’re becoming one or learning to become one. Both are learning to basically die to self and live for the other so that they can walk as one and be in agreement with one another so that the glory of God can be manifest through them.

    One other thing I would add is to do a study on attachment Theory. While that may not sound like a Biblical principle it actually is, because, attachment theory has to do with the way we form relationships that are completely based on how we learned to be attached to our primary caregiver as a child.

    The way this relates scripturally is that proverbs says train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. parents inadvertently train children through their behavior not just through actual teaching or words, and children pick up on this; it’s called modeling or learning by observation.

    Everyone has an attachment style in relationships; there’s no way to get away from it and just because we don’t acknowledge it, because it doesn’t have a scripture attached to it, does not mean it’s a divine truth with his foundation in creation and how God created man and woman to relate to one another.
    God created people to be in relationship with one another and those relationships are basically attachments, as it relates to man and woman scripturally, it can also be thought of as cleaving to one another.

    How do we attach ourselves to to one another?
    I think there’s 4 attachment styles; secure attachment, insecure attachment or anxious attachment, ambivalent attachment and I don’t remember the other one off the top of my head.
    The interesting thing is that we can grow up with a secure attachment, in other words a healthy family, and yet develop insecure attachments because of a dysfunctional relationship as an adult. Then if we get stuck in this cycle of dysfunctional relationships without understanding our own attachment style nothing ever changes. Conversely we can grow up with insecure attachments, because we had a dysfunctional family as a child, and yet learn how to develop secure attachments through a healthy relationship.

    I think Joyce Meyers is probably a great example. She grew up in a home that was dysfunctional but eventually married a good man who was secure and stable; he grew up in a secure home and her relationship with him changed her life. So, she grew up with insecure attachments then met a man who grew up with secure attachments, and the secure attachment changed her and gave her a secure attachment Style. The Marvelous thing about being a Christian is that you can grow up in a insecure Homelife a dysfunctional one, yet through your relationship with Christ you can develop secure attachments if you know how.

    It’s an interesting study and I encourage you to study on it because it will change your life concerning relationships. It’s going to contain a lot of psychological theory but we are psychological beings as well as Spiritual Beings and we need to be healthy and stable in all these areas of our life to be a whole person.
    Anyway, bless you, I’ll talk to you later.

    1. Thank you, Dan. My blog is not about the relationship, but rather how to determine when and with whom we should consider forming a relationship that is deeper than friendship. Our society teaches us to date in order to get to know someone. I’ve learned that you should get to know someone before dating is considered. My links explain this topic and more in greater depth. God bless you for your commenting. You are truly appreciated.

      1. I completelyly agree. 1 things I learned in my studies in Psychology is that part of getting to know someone is knowing their background and their attachment Styles things like that. And that’s only really important to know because if they’re still relating to the opposite sex, or even normal friendships, and they haven’t resolved previous relational conflicts then their attachment style carries over to the next one more often than not.

        So yes I wasn’t questioning your premise I actually agree with it I was just sharing that to add to a way in which we get to know or understand someone.

        I work with children at a charter school and it has not failed yet that everyone with behavior issues in the class has something going on at home and almost all of them have insecure attachment styles there’s no stability in their home life and it carries over into their school life. The same applies to adults if they haven’t learned to be secure and their relationship with the Lord and with another person then it often reflects in there friendships and serious relationships later in life.
        but yeah just being friends is a big bonus it’s not a guarantee but it certainly does help. I did a study on Adam and Eve and their relationship and when Adam first saw Eve it was as if he was looking into a mirror and seeing himself. And holy spirit spoke to me and said what you really want in a relationship is someone that is most like you which is absolutely contrary to what the world teaches.

        the world tells us that Opposites attract and that is true but that doesn’t mean that’s a positive they may be attracted to someone because they either want to control that person or they see something in their life that is lacking and so they’re attracted to the opposite. the ones that I’ve noticed have stayed together the longest are those who are most like each other or after they’ve been married for so long it’s almost as if they become one and they know each other’s thoughts they’re just like each other emotionally and spiritually in psychologically and that’s what happened to Adam when he saw Eve he saw himself in her which fits the Ephesians 5 model that a man should love his wife as he loves himself because if he doesn’t love himself he’s not going to be able to love his wife.
        Anyway, that’s long enough I could speak on this forever because I’ve been studying about it forever lol talk to you later

        1. Exactly. We must take the time to get to know someone to discover if they are like-minded. We’re too quick to date people we are attracted to and know nothing about their thoughts, family, past struggles, etc. We stand in agreement, Dan. Thank you for your comments.

  2. Very good read. It could go for some men too but more so for women. I wish my nieces and sister would read this. It may have taken you all this time to realize it but at least you did and you can break the cycle. Love to you!

    1. Thank you. It’s just as important that men get to know the woman first as well. The idea is both should take the time to get to know each other before they decide that they’d like to date each other. It’s important to know what is right for you so that you can spot someone that won’t hit the mark for you.

      Yes, it’s taken me a long time to discover that I’ve been doing it backwards. Better late than never. I may now have a shot at a forever relationship.

  3. Very good write-up darling! I can so relate to this ! We definitely need to get to know the person first before we date so we can physically see how they are . I wish in my past last relationship I would of seen the narcissistic man I put up with for 8 years! I too stand alone with Jesus! He’s the one who will love me forever and not hurt me ! I LOVE JESUS! Thankyou for sharing! Kudos to you my sweet friend ! ❤😘

    1. Thank you, Melissa. It’s only taken me to the age of 55 to discover that we’ve been taught to meet, partner up, and marry backwards. Better late than never. I thank God for the education I’ve had along the way. I finally can graduate to the next level.

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