Brave dating is dating to discover who you are. The result of this learning process will then lead you to a good match to give you that love for a lifetime you desire. This takes practice which means doing some practices which means doing some dating. Because vulnerability is involved, you must approach this process with bravery.
To discover who you are so you can find a good match you may need to date. Maybe a lot. Because you may need to date a lot should not mean you have a bad reputation.
Why do those with small-minds think that if someone dates a lot that this person is “bad?” Yes, I name-called there. It is also a truthful description.
I’ve heard the comments. “She’s just a tease.” “She doesn’t take anyone seriously.” “He’s led her on.”
These comments get made because there is an element of truth to them. There are people like this. But—and I will declare this as loud as I can—those who are trying the brave dating practices are not those people. They are being vulnerable by giving honorable people a shot. They are not just sticking with “their type” but are wondering if that honorable person who is not immediately their type could be a good match.
I’ve overheard these comments (because no one would make them in my presence because I would respond). “You asked her out…good…when is the wedding?” One date leads to a wedding? Is that healthy? If that one date didn’t really work out (or the next five), it simply didn’t work out. It’s that simple. No one led someone on. Two people took a risk. Two people made themselves vulnerable. And it didn’t work out. Better to try and take that chance, I say. Others say that someone has a bad reputation. Stop it.
One date or a couple of dates does not make a match. One has to have these couple of dates to know that it is not a match. Isn’t there more harm by staying with someone because you have had a couple of dates because you need to stay with this one because there have been a couple of dates? Isn’t it the braver person to realize that a match is not a match after a couple of dates by ending that part of the relationship at that time?
But instead we get cheap malicious comments. And couples who shouldn’t really be together but are now too emotionally-involved to get out of the relationship in good health. (There is a future blog post in this.)
Brave dating practices should not ruin a reputation. Can’t you see that those who try dating this way are actually trying to find the right match? They are actually trying to do the right thing so they can end up with the right one. This takes bravery. And bravery requires a lot of respect—particularly respect for the other person.
Can you see it? Can you give this person the proper respect that he/she is doing the right thing to find the right one?
If more people can see dating this way, more single people will find it easier to be brave and give that honorable person who is not immediately their type a shot because who knows? You can’t know what your type is until you know who you are. I’ve talked about that here.
The same person will also feel the respect to get out of a relationship early because it isn’t a match vs. being pressured to stay in it because one is “dating.”
Be brave. By being so you are showing respect for the other person–no matter what people say.
p.s. I had a bad reputation when I was in Bible college in the early 1980s. It was a college that mostly offered MRS degrees for women at the time. I chose to date—a lot. I believe in these practices and I was meeting a lot of men. I graduated from that college without my MRS degree and have been in ministry ever since. After college I was dating a guy for a bit whom I knew in college. He was lovingly confronted by someone who barely knew me back in college asking him why he was dating such a “wild” person. At this point I was out of college a couple of years and serving in full-time ministry. In fact, my last two years of college I was already in full-time ministry—and dating. I was “wild?”
I actually took that comment with quite a bit of pride. I wasn’t after a MRS degree and I guess everyone knew that. I also knew then like I knew when I married my husband nearly 10 years later that I found a good match. I knew I found a good match because I gave lots of honorable guys a shot. And I don’t think that makes me “wild.” It makes me wise and my marriage is proof.