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[updated: 9/21/18]

Five Truths B4UD8Q: Is dating a challenging endeavor fraught with unseen peril?

A: YES, without a doubt. And those who fail to approach dating with this reality firmly understood pay the penalty in time, many of them without grasping why they keep getting hurt or why their hurts never seem to heal.

Q: Can dating be an audacious adventure offering reward worth the risk necessary to discover it?

A: YES! ABSOLUTELY! And those who let this hope drive them to seek the counsel and direction necessary to succeed in their journey can date with peace and confidence.

Toward that end, here are five truths you should know before you date.

#1: Finding a Brazilian supermodel is not the goal.

Is it fun dating someone hotter than a Summer on the beaches of Rio?

Hubba bubba! YES!

However, if you let physical attraction drive your dating decisions, you risk getting burned far worse than you would spending a Summer on the beaches of Rio sans sunblock.

Should you date someone who makes your stomach churn.

Of course not, but think about your friends. Are they all Brazilian supermodels? And even if they are, is that why you enjoy their friendship?

You enjoy the friendship of people who are fun, but faithful, people who get you, but also challenge you, and people you can respect, even though they aren’t perfect.

Date accordingly or suffer the consequences.

#2: We all have same-sex needs.

Whether or not you experience same-sex attraction, we all have same sex needs that have absolutely nothing to do with our sexuality. In other words, we need friends of our own gender who know us, understand us and love us without any sexual overtones, because we weren’t created primarily for sexual expression, but relational connection.

However, when you date without solid friendships with such compadres, then you wind up burdening everyone you date with the need to fill relational needs they were never meant to fill. And then if you marry someone without healthy supportive relationships with mature same-sex friends, you look to your spouse to fill all those needs till death do you part.

To paraphrase the popular meme, “Ain’t nobody got emotional energy for dat.”

#3: The Friend Zone is a better place than the land of romance.

No doubt everyone loves being in love with someone who returns their affections, but if you make fostering romance the motive of your dating life you will have a lot of fun and then a lot of hurt. And you’ll keep repeating that pattern.

Sound familiar? It will until you embrace the fun of growing friendships. NOT pretending to be friends, hoping the other person might fall in love with you, but simply growing in friendship.

#4: Dating shouldn’t be used like a drug.

Many people use dating as a distraction from the things they don’t like about their life, whether they’re just looking to avoid another boring weekend, or whether they’re hoping a new romance will alter the course of their known existence.

But when you’re using dating like this, you’re actually using people. Like a drug, really. And that’s not cool.

If you’re bored, consider a new Bible study, hobby, career, or something else that can enrich your life without using someone else.

However, if you’re struggling with relational wounds in need of healing, first let me say, “Join the crowd!” We’re all works in progress.

Secondly, let me urge you to discover, declare and deal with your junk. So instead of setting a date with a love interest, set a date with a good friend, potential mentor, pastor or counselor. That’s what they’re there for. Furthermore, you just might be surprised. Setting more dates like this could give you the breakthrough you’ve been looking for in your dating life.

#5: If you treat sexual purity as if it’s merely a physical battle you will fail.

Truth is, when it comes to the battle for sexual purity, most daters have both noble intentions and surreptitious desires. In order for the former to win out over the latter, you have to date in a way that doesn’t sabotage your victory.

This means your sexual purity strategy has to help you exercise self-control over more than just your body, because sin begins in the mind.

Fortunately, so does righteousness!

That’s just five truths you should know before you date! For more stuff you should know before you date, check out any of the hyperlinks or videos above, or hit our Hot Topic page dedicated to dating.

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

Dug this weekend’s DNA? Be a good friend and share with your friends on the social media platform of choice: Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, or Twitter.

The LoveEd discipleship series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE you fall in love!

It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.

Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.

Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!