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DNA-search your feelingsTo wrap up our discourse on #7 of the TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date, Somebody asked me,” consider this scenario: you receive the date invitation you’ve always dreamed of… from someone you’ve never dreamed of dating.

I’m not talking about someone you know is bad for you. This isn’t someone who’s irresponsible, insensitive, dishonest or selfish. (If so, just say, “NO!”) I’m talking about a friend you’ve known for some time who has simply never succeeded in sweeping you off your feet.

You certainly don’t want to lead them on, especially if they deliver a well-thought intentional invitation like we discussed in previous posts. But before you shoot them down in a blaze of glory, let these suggestions help you process your feelings first:

Put those passions in their place.
More important than oogly-googly, tingly-bingly feelings is the character of the person and the health of your relationship. It’s possible that your feelings will grow for someone of integrity with whom you share mutual respect. (Think of it as growing in love instead of falling.) Conversely, no matter how much chemistry you share now, your feelings are guaranteed to fade for someone who fails to respect you (or earn your respect). This is why you want to prize character over chemistry.

Search your feelings.
Though they aren’t always reliable, God did give us emotions. Is that inclination to turn down a potential suitor based solely on the lack of romantic intrigue, or is there something under the surface that doesn’t seem quite right? I never encourage anyone to “follow their heart,” because the heart is deceitful (Jer 17:9-10). Instead, seek the heart of The One who does know your heart as He reveals it in His word (1 Sam 16:7). Then prayerfully get your mind and heart into a dialogue, so you can make a full-orbed decision.

Question your expectations.
Are they realistic? Are they even right? In a world where everyone can look like a supermodel in their profile pic, some determine to date only supermodels (despite the fact that few look nearly as striking in person as they appear online). Or maybe you’re holding out for a pastor or a doctor or a stock broker… or a race car driver. How about “settling”’ for a first date with someone who consistently reads their Bible, disciplines their body and pays their bills… and keeps a clean driving record?

Consult wise counsel.
It’s incredibly difficult to be objective about your own feelings (because they’re subjective) and expectations (because they’re surreptitious). And yet those internal motivations powerfully color how you perceive others and your relationships with them. Let a good friend or mentor give you their thoughts on your dating proposal. You know – as if your present dating decisions could significantly impact your future.

When I’m on the road I’m often asked for my insight on specific relationship dilemmas. Somewhere in these conversations I almost always ask the question: “What do your friends who know you and love you the best think about this relationship?”

I’ll never cease to be amazed at how many people either:

1. Don’t want to consult their friends – “Did you just say you don’t want to know the opinion of those who know you and love you the best?” – RED LIGHT!

2. Already know their friends opinion and are looking for a second opinion – “You want a second opinion from someone who doesn’t even really know you, your story or your relationship?” — Not a reliable second opinion, if you ask me.

Someone asked you out? Before you answer, I urge you to ask for the input of someone who knows and loves both you and God well. And be sure to give them permission to tell you the truth, even if they fear you won’t want to hear it. Because you would rather hear it before the first date than after the break-up (or divorce). Wouldn’t you?

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. – Prov 27:5-6

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating!

Get a friend or two together and walk through the LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation.It will help you gain helpful perspective on sex, relationships and dating.Check out Part 1: Three Critical Life Lessons for Relational Success NOW on iBooks, Kindle or Nook.

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