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How to Date, Marry and Be Awesome - Part One | eciov
I had a friend ask me recently if I had any advice for dating a nonbeliever. (I’m going to focus on a secular view of dating for this article, so don’t run away if you’re not a Christian.) There are many factors that affect Christian dating, but I have a one-word response to dating a nonbeliever: don’t. I’m not just saying that because I think it’s a bad idea, I’m saying that because scripture says it’s a bad idea. I do agree, however, that it’s a bad idea. Instead of trying to address everything in one article, I’m splitting it up into parts. This article specifically addresses the ideal progression through the four stages of a romantic relationship. It really doesn’t matter if you’re Christian or agnostic, male or female — this article is a general guide to creating a healthy romance. It’s how I landed my wife and anyone who’s met us will tell you that she’s too good for me (yep). Let’s start with the concept of friendship versus courting versus dating versus marriage. Those are four completely separate stages of a romantic relationship. You shouldn’t take them lightly; take them to heart and you’ll create healthy relationships by following that order. Can you skip a stage? Yes, people do it all the time. Should you skip a stage? Nope. I define relationships this way because I don’t see the point in dating someone unless you think they’re marriage material. If you don’t want to marry someone but you’re still dating that person, you’re probably just using the relationship for your own physical pleasure. That’s shallow. I hope that this post will help you understand why I split relationships into those four stages and help you get to the next step when you’re ready. Some people aren’t ready yet: they want the emotionally empty, physical relationships (I was there once), but that’s not how you should date, marry, or be awesome. You get to be awesome and have awesome relationships by following these four stages, so I’m going break them down and illustrate the recommended process for each. Friendship The friendship stage is actually the most important stage because it’s when you get to know the other person. Let’s say you meet someone at your best friend’s birthday party. You’re attracted to them physically, but you didn’t have enough time to get to know them. Instead of asking your friend to set you up on a date, ask your friend to setup another social gathering with fewer people (suggestion: a game of ultimate Frisbee at the park) so you can get some more one-on-one time with your crush. Hang out with this person and see how things evolve. At this stage, it’s easy to determine if personalities mesh well. If not, no harm done… you still had fun with your friends. Assuming things progress in the right direction, suggest another social event, and make sure your crush will be there. While this is happening, take a third-party perspective and see …