Are You Ready to Date?
Are you emotionally ready to date? And if you have kids, are they ready for you to date? (For more on this, read the plan Dating and the Single Parent.)
Let’s give consideration to one aspect of emotional readiness for dating.
Relax in Your Aloneness
God made us to be relational beings. Without a companion, we will feel lonely. Not recognizing this will place blinders around your eyes. Indeed, loneliness might be one of the strongest causes of poor dating. So what can you do?
Relax in your aloneness. Learn to trust God with your loneliness, face it head-on, and manage it responsibly. Talk to God about it, spend time with friends, and refuse to let the fear of loneliness dictate your dating decisions.
To cope with a breakup, many jump into a rebound relationship, but that just masks the pain. To move out of your pain, well, you must first sit in it. You can’t sidestep the pit. You must recognize your hurt, your loneliness, your despair and call out to God for help as you walk through it.
By contrast, how will you know when you are relaxing in your aloneness? When you recognize your loneliness, but don’t need to find another person to resolve the feeling; when you aren’t overwhelmed by a profound sense of failure, inadequacy, or being unwanted; and when fear, guilt, and discontent don’t control your decisions or push you to search for a partner.
Essentially, relaxing in your aloneness is about trusting God. Now, many singles say they are trusting God with who and how they date, but really they are trusting God to give them what they want (a “soul mate”), when they want (“soon!”).
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus models that our prayers should invite God’s Kingdom to come to the world and his will to be done. The implication is that we should submit to God’s rule and reign in our life and trust him with whatever he wills and wherever he leads. So, perhaps the Dater’s Prayer should sound like this:
Lord, work out your kingdom agenda in me. I am yours. Let me be a living sacrifice, salt, and light. If you bring someone into my life who submits to your will and will help me to love you more, then let that person be evident to me; let me not miss your provision. And if not, let me be content with your provision and at ease in my singleness as I seek first the kingdom of heaven. –Amen