KNOW YOUR INTENTIONS
Why do you want to date somebody? It’s possible you’ve never stopped to actually ask that question. I mean, isn’t dating just what people do? If you like someone and they like you too…what else would you do? (That wasn’t supposed to rhyme, but it’s too late now) Well, just doing something because everyone else is doing it usually doesn’t work out very well (if you don’t believe me, explain how Nickelback ever became popular). So, as we consider whether or not we want to be engaged in the whole dating thing, we should spend some time actually evaluating why we would want to in the first place. In the words of the exceedingly intimidating father of the girl you want to date: “what are your intentions?”
Again, I’m not here to tell you not to date, but I believe that you can know whether dating will or won’t be a good idea for you by evaluating your intentions at the beginning (or, if you’re already dating someone – in the middle, I guess – better late than never). Are you dating because everyone else is and you didn’t really think twice about it? Or, maybe you’re dating because you were attracted to this person, and it seemed like the natural thing to do would be to date them. Either way, if you haven’t put a whole lot of thought into the “why” of dating, you might not be ready to date. Or, if you’re dating because, frankly, you and this other person like to get physical and you figured dating was the natural progression to keep that stuff going…also a bad reason to date (but you probably didn’t need me to tell you that).
On the other hand, if you’re dating because you have formed a meaningful friendship with this person, you both care about each other, you both love Jesus and want to serve Him, and you could see your relationship becoming something healthy and helpful to both of you…you might be in a good spot to date. You should approach it cautiously, with prayer, and seeking guidance from a few coaches/mentors in your life who will give you their honest input.
Whether you decide to date or not, the point is to make sure you're taking some time to think and pray through the whole thing. Don’t just wander into the world of dating just because everyone else is. Ask yourself some tough questions about why you want to, if it will help draw you closer to Jesus or push you farther away, and ultimately if it’s what Jesus wants for you at this stage of your life. Our hearts are pretty good at lying to us most of the time, so it could take some real honest conversations with God and people who know you (and will tell you the truth) to really get to the bottom of your intentions.