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[Updated: 9/11/18]


In my last post, I said I’d share a simple secret this week that will just about guarantee no more first date horror stories in your future, but I also warned that following my proposal might call for a considerable change in your dating habits. So know ahead of time that what I’m going to suggest may be simple (indeed, it’s only three words), but it may not be easy.

Are you ready? (Drum roll.)

Stop dating strangers!

That’s it. It’s as straightforward as that. Stop dating people that neither you, nor anyone you know and trust, knows and trusts. (Go ahead and re-read that last line, if it didn’t make sense the first time.)

Now, of course I understand that one of the main reasons anyone dates is to “get to know someone better,” and that’s certainly a great reason to date. But if you want to bring an end to all of your First Date Fails there are certain things you should know about someone before the first date. Particularly you (or someone you know and trust) should be fairly familiar with the following:

  • Your potential date’s character and convictions
  • The kind of people your potential date considers close friends
  • What those friends think about your potential date’s character and convictions

Now how do you go about acquiring this kind of knowledge without dating? A thorough application and interview process?

That would be better than nothing. However, though an application and interview process works fairly well for finding a job, it’s a pretty impersonal way of finding a soul mate. (Although that sounds a lot like online dating, doesn’t it?)

So what’s a dater to do?

Just this: Get to know potential dating partners in community. No – that’s not just a buzzword.

Community is something we need far more than romance, marriage or sex.

Ideally I’m talking about a community of believers who love you not for how you look or how you make them feel, but because you are an indispensable member of the same church body.

  • In group settings with people like this you can get to know someone, along with getting to know their friends. And you get to watch them interact with each other. Can’t do that on a 1-on-1 date.
  • In the presence of friends you can both relax, whereas on a date everyone’s on their best behavior.
  • And even better, in community, your friends get to know the people you’re contemplating dating and observe you interacting with them.

Admittedly, group settings lack the focus of an individual date, so it will take time to get to know potential dating interests. However, it takes time to get to know someone on exclusive dates, because of the natural tendency to impress instead of transparently express who you really are, what you really think and how you really feel.

But what if you aren’t a part of such a community? Then tune in to next week’s Date Night Advice for the exciting conclusion of “Preventing First Date FAILS.

Date Night Advice (DNA) series: TOP 10 Signs You’re on a Bad First Date
Sign #7 & #2: Preventing First Date FAILS (Part 2)
Click here for the next post in the series.

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!