The majority of Christian Singles are NOT dating.
In the last post from #TheDatingScene blog series, I reported that over 53% of singles who took my survey reported that they have not been on one date in the past 6 months. You can read that entire article here.
At the end of that article, I asked singles to tell me why. Why aren’t Christian singles dating? Why has the common date become such a rare thing? The comments rolled in, and some fantastic conversation came of it. As I read through and interacted with the comments, 5 big-picture themes emerged as to why #TheDatingScene is on snooze for most single Christians:
#1 Christian singles have unrealistic expectations.
One of the most common things getting in the way of Christian dating is that many singles reported experiencing unrealistic standards of what the opposite sex is looking for in a relationship. Men are looking for a cross between Mother Teresa and America’s next top model (click to read more), while women are after the Jesus-loving-Brad-Pitt (click to read more). There’s a false standard that we’ve perpetuated and let’s just put this out there: no one is measuring up.
I believe it’s important to have our standards of character, integrity, and morals when it comes to a dating relationship – but could it be that in the name of “not settling” we’ve confused our PREFERENCES for our NEEDS? Maybe it’s time to prioritize our majors from our minors, and consider pursuing someone that might typically be considered “outside of our usual type”.
#2 Christian singles aren’t being asked on dates.
There’s definitely a fear culture in Christian dating, surrounding the topic of asking someone out on a date. We’re so paralyzed by fear, failure, and rejection. It’s almost as though we’re so afraid to fail- that we’d rather not even try. In fact, the majority of singles reported that when it comes to dating: they aren’t usually do the asking.
If majority of Christians not asking, that also means the majority of Christians are not dating.
I think it’s time to exchange our fear for faith, and take the necessary steps to get healthy and then seek out a healthy relationship. If you’re at that point in life, here’s an article I wrote with some basic how-to’s of asking someone out on a date. If you WANT to get to that point, consider taking my 21 Days to JumpStart Your Love Life e-course (more details on that plus a promo code at the bottom of the article).
#3 Christian singles are having a hard time meeting other Christian singles.
I think this is a really legitimate concern when it comes to Christian dating, and one in which I hope and pray the Church will listen and begin to fill the needs of this generation. Too many churches are not offering a way for their Christian Singles to meet – leaving them to fend for themselves with things like social media, online dating, and everything in between in an attempt to meet. We offer groups for every other category of life, but when it comes to singles – if you’re past college, there’s a good chance you’re out of luck when it comes to finding a group to connect with at your local church.
My hope and prayer is that by having and sharing these conversations, men and women in leadership will realize that the 25+ singles are a truly neglected demographic within the Church – and then do something about it. It’s time to make some noise, approach our leaders, and do our part to build bridges and opportunities for Christian singles to connect. Start a group, initiate a conversation, share your concern, and do what YOU CAN to create a places for singles in the body of Christ to connect.
#4 Christian singles have been taught that women shouldn’t initiate a relationship.
Part of the problem within Christian dating circles is the lack of interaction among sexes. Woman have been taught that their role is to simply do nothing. They’ve been told the lie that a “woman of God” lets the man initiate, pursue, and make things happen.
This often leaves women feeling powerless – as though they have no control in their relationship status and no right to take initiative themselves. I’ve been pretty outspoken about how I feel about this subject. If you’ve yet to catch up on those posts about women initiating a relationship, you can give them a read here.
#5 Christian singles are taking dating way too seriously.
Twenty years after the I Kissed Dating Goodbye movement, and Christians are finally learning to lighten up about dating. But I believe we still have a long way to go. I’m a firm believer that dating in high school is something that teenagers should do without. The problem is that too many people then take that mentality long into ADULTHOOD.
Christians tend to put the decision of who to date on the same level as the decision of who to marry. There’s so much pressure surrounding the topic, when at the end of the day, a first date is nothing more than getting to know someone better over a cup of coffee. Christians need to stop stressing so much about dating.
I believe that the more we talk about these things, the more we’ll know. And the more we know – the better we’ll do.
Stay tuned for my entire blog series with the rest of the survey results all about #TheDatingScene
COMMENT BELOW: I want to take this conversation to the churches and ministries I interact with across the country: What is something the CHURCH could do to help encourage healthy dating and interactions between men and women?
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, national speaker, relationship expert, and author of True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, and Choosing Marriage: Why It Has To Start With We > Me where she writes candidly about love, sex, dating, relationships, and marriage. You may also recognize her voice from her 200+ articles at Relevant Magazine, Crosswalk.com, and all over the web! She’s the creator of this True Love Dates Blog, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter or book a session with her today!
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