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14 sanity saving tips for dating

As far as finding love is concerned, it can feel like a jungle out there… or a desert… or a lottery (waiting in hope of our numbers coming up, unsure if we even have a ticket, or where we’re supposed to go to get one). It can be so confusing hearing patronising, ill informed or contradictory advice from well meaning friends, colleagues, relatives and church members; when what we really need is something we can relate to.

Here’s my 14 sanity saving tips for dating, gleaned from both my own experiences and those of many good friends who have travelled the quirky journey that is, dating.

  1. Keep believing there are plenty of great guys/girls out there, especially if past experiences have left you cynical.
  2. Guard your heart, but keep it open. This does involve some risk, yet when we experience a direct flow of God’s love renewing and refreshing us daily, it’s a risk we can take.
  3. Finding a husband or wife, although wonderful, isn’t essential for your happiness. Try saying to yourself – ‘I would prefer to have a spouse’ rather than ‘I must have a spouse’. This way of thinking will help lower the stakes, making your search less frantic and increasing your likelihood of success.
  4. Follow your gut instinct – not necessarily the same as your first impression. Check you’re not at risk of getting involved in a toxic or abusive situation.
  5. It’s tempting to emotionally leap ahead and start fantasising about the future with someone you’ve started chatting to online, or been on one date with. Stay in the now and enjoy the journey, or you may overlook important experiences/lessons and risk being disappointed if things don’t work out.
  6. ‘Do not be unequally yoked’ I think relates to more than faith; look for the kind of differences that will add variety and depth to a relationship, rather than cause disputes and problems further down the line.
  7. When there’s a sense of confusion as to what the other person’s thinking (whether it be someone you’re dating, or chatting to), it’s often helpful to be direct and ask. What may appear to you and the friends you ask for advice as ‘signals’, may be meant as something totally different by the person in question. It’s not easy, but it could prevent a lot of wasted time and disillusion.
  8. Focus on developing your security and identity in God rather than morphing yourself into someone you believe the object of your desire will want to be with.
  9. Don’t marry someone under the proviso that they will change. Of course they may do, but this can’t be guaranteed and shouldn’t be relied upon as a condition of the relationship’s success.
  10. Pray for and forgive the men or women who hurt you. This is the single best way to release your heart and move on.
  11. Remember, whatever your past, it doesn’t have to dictate the future, exclude you from a fresh start or cause feelings of inferiority.
  12. Advice is helpful, but ultimately there are no formulas for finding love. Married people will tend to pass on what worked for them, which is great, but it might not be the right route or method for you. We each have a unique story; concentrate on walking your own path and listening to God, so you can be guided to find your direction.
  13. Keep a sense of adventure and a sense of humour.
  14. Enjoy and revel in the possibilities of what (and who) may be ahead. You just never know what might happen in the next week, month or year!

Do you agree? Have I missed anything? Share your top sanity saving tips for dating in the comments.

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