Sunday, July 11, 2010
So what is "intentional dating?"
Intentional dating has been addressed before in this blog, but it is something that we at Cache' Connections refer to often and get a lot of questions about. So it's time for a refresher course!
The idea of intentional dating is a concept developed by Drs. Tom and Beverly Rodgers and is explained fully in their book, "The Singlehood Phenomenon." It's a happy medium between the old courtship ritual and "kissing dating goodbye" and today's recreational dating and hanging out. So what does it look like?
Intentional daters have a deliberate, conscious mind-set about dating and mating and are always mindful of what God might be doing in their lives. They allow input from family and friends but are not always on the hunt for a mate. Here are some characteristics of intentional daters:
Intentional daters (let's call them "IDs") know they are hardwired for love and work to develop a healthy self-esteem. ID's know who they are, like who they are, and are who they are. Sounds simple but this is very important - so think it through!
ID's have done a solid self-examination, have looked at their fears of dating and mating and surrendered them to God. They are committed to being genuine and sincere as they pursue members of the opposite sex.
Men lead and women let them.
Oh boy! Men are deliberate and initiate relationships but welcome strong, powerful women who want to be involved in the process. Women overcome their struggle with "owing men" or "feeling obligated" and allow men to take the lead. They are honest and show integrity by truthfully approaching the person they are dating if they sense that he is resistant to leadership. This takes a sincere, truthful, yet tempered approach to men. (This does not negate the fact that men need confirmation that a woman is interested before he asks her out!)
ID's have faced their fear of rejection, given up destructive habits, and faced the risk of heartbreak. They have a faith that God will provide their soul mate and trust Him to lead them in pursuing their heart's desire for a mate.
Integrity of Intentions.
Problems arise when a dater's intentions are unclear. ID's make every effort to have integrity in all of their relationships. With God's help, they speak the truth and honor each other as much as they possibly can.
ID's respect the person they are dating as a child of God - not as a conquest or means to an end.
ID's are real. They do not play games or deceive others in dating.
Finally, intentional daters do not continue in a relationship that is not legitimate just to avoid being alone.
So is the first date supposed to be intentional? It gets confusing, I know. The first meeting should be casual and expectations kept low to keep the pressure off. If a second and third date follow, it's time to kick in these thoughts and examine your intentions and approach.
More tough love, it turns out to be. So are can you be identified as an "ID"?