If you’re not dating for marriage, is it worth it to date at all? While it’s important to be upfront about your intentions (that you’re not looking for a serious relationship), there are four reasons to date, even if marriage isn't immediately on the horizon.
4 Benefits of Dating (Even If You’re Not Ready for Marriage)
When you date in a Christ-like way, you can experience tons of benefits beyond finding someone to marry.
1. You’ll Get to Know New, Interesting People
Dating, at its most basic, is a way of getting to know other people. It's an opportunity to learn more about different personalities, interests, and values. This can be incredibly valuable, as it broadens your understanding of people and relationships. Through these interactions, we learn to navigate social dynamics, communicate effectively, and understand our preferences better.
2. You’ll Build Meaningful Connections
Dating is also a way to build meaningful connections. Even if these connections don't lead to marriage, they can still add value to your life. You might meet someone who becomes a lifelong friend or someone who introduces you to new experiences, perspectives, or perhaps the person you will marry one day!
3. You’ll Deepen Your Faith
Every relationship should glorify God, and this includes dating relationships. When you date, you have the opportunity to see how another person lives out their faith, and this can inspire you to deepen your own relationship with God. Additionally, dating allows you to practice Christian virtues like kindness, patience, honesty, and self-control.
4. You’ll Learn About Yourself
Dating can also serve as a form of self-discovery. It's a chance to learn more about yourself–what you value in a relationship, how you react in certain situations, what gives you joy, and what challenges you. Each dating experience, whether it ends in a long-term relationship or not, can teach you something valuable about yourself and what you want in a partner.
Now, this is not to say that dating without the intention of marriage should be taken lightly. As Christians, we're called to treat others with respect and dignity, and this extends to the people we date. It's important to be upfront about your intentions and to always act with integrity.
So, If You're Not Looking for Marriage Right Now, Should You Date?
The most important thing is to pray about it and seek God's guidance as to whether or not He wants you dating right now. Keep in mind that if you’re not interested in marriage right now, it might be because you haven’t met anyone you’d like to marry. That’s understandable! But it’s wild how quickly your perspective can change when you do meet someone you can envision spending the rest of your life with. Putting yourself out there, meeting new people, and opening your heart up to the possibility of love could lead to amazing things!