Dating

Dating Tips – How To Start Healthy Relationships

Few things in life bring out stronger emotions – or present as many challenges – as dating and nurturing romantic relationships. Our society floods us with expectations of how to date, who to date, and when to have sex.

You may find someone you really click with, only to have the feelings fizzle a few weeks later. Or worse, you could start dating someone who seems like the perfect match, but who then turns out to be manipulative, putting you in danger of a toxic or abusive relationship.

Dating seems like a minefield sometimes. But you don’t have to be afraid to date and explore relationships. You can learn about relationships, and how to better navigate them. The right amount of caution, and staying clear on your values and priorities, goes a long way to making dating more fun and fulfilling.
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How has dating impacted you?

Dating can be a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs.  If you've dated before you know that it can impact virtually every area of your life.

Physical

When you first begin a dating relationship, you'll often experience a rush of dopamine anytime you are with that person. This makes dating exciting, but also might require setting physical boundaries before you go too far too fast sexually. As a dating relationship continues it could go one of two ways. If the relationship is healthy and supportive, you will be at peace and take good care of yourself. If it is toxic and full of conflict you will feel stressed. If the stress lasts for a prolonged period, it can cause digestive issues, headaches, and widespread body aches.

Emotional

Dating has a strong connection with your emotional well-being. It varies with where you are in your dating life. When you're not dating and wish you were, you may feel anxious, depressed and struggle with self-esteem. If you are dating the wrong person, you likely feel confused and fearful. A good relationship should bring happiness, peace, and confidence. Regardless of where you are in your dating life, dating should never define your worth.

Spiritual

It's important to be spiritually compatible with the person you are dating. At first it may not seem like a big deal, but as time goes on, if your spiritual and faith practices are not in alignment you will have conflict. This can cause a lot of tension in your relationship. Alternatively, if you put your beliefs aside just to be in a relationship, you will likely, at some point, feel a sense of regret for letting go of something so important to the core of who you are.

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You aren't alone.

Check out these stories of hope from others who have struggled with this issue.

Starting Off Strong

Before you start a dating relationship, it’s good to be honest with yourself about where you can be flexible and about areas where you can’t compromise.

Are you happy with yourself, and by yourself?

Dating can be great, and it’s great when we can enjoy it. But your worth shouldn’t come from who you date (or whether you’re dating or not). Make sure you know your value as someone made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26) and that this value doesn’t change with your relationship status.

Where have your past relationships gone wrong?

Recognizing past relationship mistakes can help you to avoid developing unhealthy patterns and keep you from connecting with people who can’t (or won’t) support you.

What are things you and your boyfriend or girlfriend must have in common?

No two people are exactly alike (and that’s a good thing!), but certain common ground (common faith, worldview, political beliefs, or views about sex) may help you minimize unnecessary tension and conflict.

What will you do if a conflict arises?

Even if you have common ground and similar priorities, you can’t avoid all conflict and disagreement. In fact, it may bring you closer. It’s good to have a plan for how you’ll listen and talk things through with your partner when you hit a bump in a road.

How will faith shape your relationship?

Wherever you are in your faith journey, it’s important to remember that you and your boyfriend or girlfriend can always pray for one another, talk about your faith together, and encourage one another.

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

Dating can be an important part of life. However, be careful not to prioritize dating above everything else. For instance, placing your dating life above your own well-being is unhealthy. We were created with a natural desire for connection and relationship, but we often get fooled by our own desires.

Connecting with the One who created you is ultimately the most important relationship you can have. God gave you life and He desires a relationship with you. As you seek a relationship with God and read His Word, the Bible, He will help guide your daily life in a good direction, including your dating life. Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (Psalm 119:10)

When Things Go Wrong

What if you break up? What if you get dumped? What if you’ve just left a boyfriend or girlfriend who became toxic or abusive? It can be devastating, but there’s always something you can do.

• Find a Safe Place: If you’re living with a partner who makes you feel unsafe, find a safe, nurturing environment as soon as you can.
• Care for Yourself: Remembering that nourishing your body, mind, and spirit is essential after a difficult or toxic relationship ends.
• Reach out for Help: We have helped many people heal their broken hearts and rediscover their purpose after leaving a bad relationship. We are eager to support you, too.


You’ve come to the right place for hope and help with your dating life and romantic relationships. And that growth and renewal can start right now.
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