(Or “Should I move out of my mother’s basement?”)

Some of you may be wondering why I’m even bothering to write on this topic. It’s because a lot of my friends are single. More to the point, they are single and hating it. So, they turn to Christian dating books to find some sort of solace or purpose or method to success. What do they find? “Be patient, wait on God, and don’t have sex” or “courting is what the Bible intended for dating. And don’t have sex.” Too often, the underlying message seems to be “you won’t be complete until you get married” with the practical application of the message being … wait for it … “don’t have sex.” So I just thought that I’d try and write about some of the questions that I get all the time.

(The other reason I’m writing this: my niece just subscribed to me. I thought I’d give her something useful to read. Okay, that and it invariably stirs up crap on my message board. And I love a good dust up.)

At any rate, to be fair to the person you are going out with, figure out what you want to do before you start and let them know. You’d be surprised how much less complicated life gets with effective communication.

It has been my experience that older singles are that way for one of four reasons:
1. They are socially inept or (high maintenance/quirky) idiots. I know, it sounds harsh. Let me speak the truth in love: these are “extra grace” people, the ones who require extra grace on our part to put up with them. You know who I’m talking about. People like me.
2. They want to be. Look, not everyone feels this overwhelming desire to be married, be tied down, or breed. Impossible as it may seem, there are some people content to be single and living complete, fulfilled lives.
3. Their lifestyle or life place. Somehow or another, be it career or timing, it just hasn’t happened for them yet, despite their desire.
4. They have been thrust back into the game. Divorce and death are realities, either of which can find someone in the (unwanted) position of being back in the dating game. And the game has usually changed in their absence, making it all the more scary.

These are the ones who are especially tired, and really don’t have the patience or time, for the game of dating. These are the ones, with biological clocks ticking loudest in their ears, for whom sport or casual dating is a thing of the past. The ones who it is cruel to raise their expectations just because you are still flitting through life. It is for their sakes especially that I eventually came to the school of thought that each date should be taken with the “is this someone I could potentially marry” idea firmly in place. It helps keeps things in perspective.

Dating the right way means showing love at all times in all things. I guess that if there is one thing that should mark dating from a Christian worldview, it would be that. Dating should be free from using people, be it financially, socially, or sexually. Dating should never be an unloving (read: selfish) process.

Unselfish dating? Who ever heard of such a thing? Yeah, I know, life would be great if we all played by the same rules.

Since I don’t know where you are reading this, the best way to guarantee me seeing your comment is to post on my message board. Or simply drop by to say hi.