Generally speaking, Christians are great people in a lot of ways. But sometimes, for some reason, they end up being less Christ-like and more crazy-like. The realm of dating and male-female relationships is one of these areas. It seems that when conversations concerning the opposite sex come into the picture, Christians immediately make things more complicated than they should be and thus bring undue tension, drama, and stress into the picture.
I have devised a list of the five reasons that I hate dating Christians, or more accurately, the five things that annoying me most when dating Christians. And for all those super saved folks that think this is blasphemous, and will comment about how Christians should only date Christians (which I’ll agree with) please know that I’ll come back with another list next week, just to even things out, so go ahead relax. It’s ok. So, here we go… in no particular order:
1. Everything is about marriage. You can’t express any kind of interest in anyone without people immediately jumping to the “they’re going to get married” conclusion. Can we just take it one step at a time? I asked her if she’d like to have coffee, not if she wants to spend the rest of her life with me — I don’t even know her like that. You’ve got to take the time to get to know people first before you can accurately gauge whether or not they’re even marriage material, but too often, Christians seem to think that expressed interest implies that the research is already done. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. But let’s be on the safe side and not assume anything. A meal doesn’t always lead to marriage so enjoy your dessert.
2. There’s always more than meets the eye. There seem to always be ulterior motives. Can we just have fun hanging out and enjoying each other’s company without the pressure of adding titles and timelines to the relationship? Now, I understand that you don’t want to lead people on, but we don’t need to define the relationship before we’ve finished out coffee. It’s really not that serious. Why do I feel like we have to interrogate each other in order to make sure that they fulfill all the qualifications (see #4) that we think we need to have in order to obtain this perfect spouse.
In this area, sometimes a person’s friends are the relationship’s worst enemy. What I mean is that they can put a lot of unnecessary pressure and stress on the situation by creating a timetable of what they think should be happening by what date. That’s not to say that the other person hasn’t already done it, but the friends make it worse because they’re constantly asking questions about “when” and “why” and “why hasn’t such and such happened” thus making the person wonder and think about these things instead of just letting it happen organically.
3. You can’t just tell them “no.” Especially if you go to the same church. This is really more for the ladies, but should serve as a warning for the guys. Gentlemen, if you see a particular lady that you like, and express interest but it’s not reciprocated, learn how to respect her decision and still be pleasant and friendly to her afterwards. You might be a great guy and her a great girl, but that doesn’t automatically make the relationship work, or even mean there’s an attraction. Just because you two may match up all your qualifications on paper, that doesn’t mean that thing will just fall into place.
I’m not going into any depth on this, but… can the Elders, Deacons, and Pastors stop trying to hook people up? That is not a spiritual gift and you don’t have the worldly skills to do it, so please, do us all a favor and chill out. People notice other people they’re attracted to. We can even tell within the first few minutes of talking to a person if we want to know more about them, even in a friendship way, so please, don’t get offended because you think that me and your daughter should get married, but we’re just not attracted to one another.
4. They have way too many requirements. As much as we should be Christ-like and very accepting and caring about those that aren’t like us, whether in lifestyle or belief system, we, more often than not, do the exact opposite and ostracize the very people that we could help change.
How does this relate to dating? Most Christians have a list, perhaps 3 or 4 pages long of things they think they want in their mate. And while non-Christians do this too, Christians are so much worse with it, because they include spiritual stipulations that they personally don’t even fulfill. Men want a “Proverbs 31 Woman” but they don’t even tithe or have a consistent prayer life. Or women want a man that will lead them in the ways of the Lord, but get upset when he said he doesn’t want to have sex with you. Be realistic. Don’t expect anything of your mate that you don’t expect of yourself.
5. The “God told me…” situation. Christians are great at using God as an excuse for any and everything in their lives. We say things like, “God told me not to be friends with you because…” or, “God said I’m supposed to have this job,” when the reality is, that’s not the Father, that’s your flesh. I’m not saying that God can’t speak to us about situations in our lives, but more often than not, we use that as a means to get what we want and putting “God said…” in front of it makes the desire more legit.
Ladies. Gentlemen. Do not tell someone, “God told me that you’re were gonna be my spouse.” Please. It’s creepy and honestly, if you’re someone I’m not familiar with, it’s a little stalker-ish too. If God told you that, He’ll be telling me as well, and then we can talk about it.
Those are my five things. I could probably come up with more, but I want to hear from you — when it comes to dating Christians, what are the things that you can’t stand the most? What are the things that Christians do that they shouldn’t do? What did I miss? Thoughts?
But wait, before I go, I should say, make sure you come back next week when I balance out the scales and give you the five reasons I love dating Christians.
[For more from Stuart McDonald, check out his personal blog and follow him on Twitter]
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