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Author Archives: Aukelien van Abbema

Online dating: Letting God’s plan work out or forcing things to happen?

This is a question I received when speaking on dating the other day in a church in London. Online dating, to what extent is it ‘letting Gods plan work out’, and how much of it is ‘forcing things to happen’. It’s an interesting question! And a very ancient one. I’d say the underlying issue here is a theological debate of centuries. To what extent does God lead our lives and does he have a detailed plan on one side, on the other side, free will, how does that work? To what extent do we make our own choices regardless whether or not God is happy with those choices? Can he work with them nonetheless, does he make most of our flawed decision making or has he even calculated those decisions in when planning our lives?

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Is there a right way to approach online dating?

This a question I get very often when speaking on dating and one that recently landed again in my inbox. And obviously Christian Connection has many answers to this question and a good practical guide to help you navigate the process. But from my background and expertise as a psychologist counselling single people, I can add a few thoughts to this.

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Can a girl ask a guy on a date?

Last week, when I was teaching on Dare to Date again, this question was written down for me. And as I look at the question now, the answer seems so simple. Yet when it’s asked, there’s always a background to it. There’s always someone asking the question thinking: ‘really? Can I really do that?’ Or thinking of the time it backfired to do such a thing. Or thinking about friends really condemning them for asking a guy out. Or thinking of guy friends telling them: ‘It’s such a turn off when women ask you out on a date’.

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Does playing ‘hard to get’ work?

Years ago, at the very beginning of my quest for sensible input on dating, I read a book on how to get a guy. Bottom line: play hard to get, as hard to get as you can. The reasoning behind it: men love a good challenge and the more you distance yourself from them the harder they will work to catch you. Needless to say, I was still single long after reading that book.

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Lent – time to pause and pray

‘What has come into being in Him was life, and the life was the light of all people.’ (John 1.1-5)

This lent I will be reading #LiveLent, the Church of England’s Lent publication. Ash Wednesday this year is funnily enough, on Valentine’s day. Now that may sound contradictory. Ash Wednesday is traditionally a day of soberness and reflection – a day where we remember that we are ‘dust and ashes’, a day where we are reminded of Jesus’ death on a cross. On the other hand, Valentine’s day is meant to be a time to celebrate the love we for our significant other, although it has become a commercial holiday – one that we are reminded of weeks in advance.

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Why Shrek is the best dating movie in the world

Last night my husband and I watched Shrek, again. I think we’ve seen it every year since we’re together and we both have seen it a few more times before. So let’s say it was the seventh time I’ve seen it but again I sang the opening song loudly, and again I laughed at Shrek’s ‘Ogres are like onions. Onions have layers, you know’. And at Donkey’s famous words ‘I think I need a hug…’ And again I awed over the final love declaration in the end. But it isn’t your regular Hollywood happily ever after romcom.

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