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DNA-ArnoldSchwarzeneggerThis week we pick up where we left off in our discussion of #8 of the TOP10 Dumbest Reasons to Date: Just for fun.

Last week I unveiled my diabolical plan for Danielle,* a creative date to top them all: The Total Recall Date. In the original Total Recall cinematic release, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character wakes up to a surreal world where he has to figure out whether he’s a secret agent or whether everyone else is. Or both. And then he has to discern whose side everyone is on. If you missed what I had cooked up, catch up here before reading on (it involved cap guns) .

One of Danielle’s* first “assignments” early in the week was to pick up “a package” from an “undercover agent.” I had one of my friends (whom she did not know) arrange a rendezvous point in an obscure part of downtown Waco. Unfortunately, on the way there she wound up turning the wrong way down a one-way street. She avoided an accident, but the event did scare her.

Actually, what really scared her was me. She found herself caught off guard by all this attention from a guy she wasn’t really that interested in.

I was surprised as well. I told myself I was just having fun, but after the demise of my carefully calculated plan, I realized I was after much more than fun. I was really trying to win her. She still went out with me that weekend, but the whole Total Recall game was “totaled.” Probably goes without saying that there wasn’t any follow up date either.

When you think about your desire to date “just for fun,” is that truly all you’re looking for?

And if so, is that all your date is looking for?

And if so, what happens when somewhere along the way one of you discovers it’s not just for fun anymore – it’s serious?

Nothing’s wrong with having fun, but what’s fun isn’t always good for you, especially when it comes to an emotional enterprise that can wind up impacting your heart like dating.

I think we deceive ourselves when we say we’re dating “just for fun.”

Dating can be fun, but it should also be treated with a sense of intentionality. You never see this idea in the romantic comedies, because intentionality is boring. But what’s funny in the movies isn’t so funny when it’s your life. I much preferred watching Schwarzenegger’s character elude death by stabbing (from his supposed “wife” no less) than to feel my own real-life heart run through with disappointment.

If you’re really just looking to share a fun time with someone else, why not choose to do so with a same-gender friend with whom there won’t be any questionable motives or undercover expectations. Even better, put together a group activity. More friends are almost always more fun anyway!

I wish many fun dates in your future, but guided by a much wiser, more meaningful motivation. Relationships are far more precious than the thrill of the moment, and can last far longer if you put the relationship ahead of the temporary experience.

Speaking of relationships and experience, next week we’ll tackle a “bigger picture” problem with our amusement-driven culture as we ask the question: Do you want to spend your life chasing experiences or building relationships?

DNA: It’s What’s For Dating

The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will help you gain helpful perspective on dating, sex and relationships. Check out Part 1: Three Critical Life Lessons for Relational Success NOW on iBooks, Kindle or Nook.

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* Not her real name