Why Do We Date?
Young adults can be drawn to romantic relationships. Dating is about finding someone to journey with while pursuing a relationship with God. It's a way to help figure out who a potential life partner will be—and it can also help you understand others and yourself in relation to others.
We all want a meaningful connection. There is a powerful longing in us for connection with others. The longing can be so powerful that we either seek a way to fill it or we run from it trying to suppress it. Sometimes, young adults may use dating as a way to fill the longing, running from relationship to relationship without finding what they think they are looking for.
Dating for many becomes an attempt to answer the questions: Am I loved? Am I lovable?
We want to be accepted and loved. We want someone to delight in us—just the way we are. Dating relationships should allow us to reveal more and more of ourselves, like peeling back layers of an onion, giving someone access to deeper and deeper levels of ourselves, hoping to find someone who can truly love us—weaknesses and all. And in that relationship we hope to be truly connected. The problem is that dating alone won't satisfy the deep longing either. It doesn't answer the questions: Am I loved? Am I lovable? People are imperfect, and so is their love for us.
God loves you always. God has made you lovable. You don't need to date to answer the questions: "Am I loved?" "Am I lovable?" We find that answer in God alone. God is our first and most important relationship. Our sense of worth and our identity are found in being children of God and being loved by God. There is eternal security in God's love for us. Our identity and worth never change.
God is our primary relationship, but he also created us with a need for each other. We want a partner to "do life" with. God showed he understood this need when he said it was not good for Adam to be alone and made Eve. God created in us a longing for Him and a longing for each other. You can't satiate the longing for God by filling your life with others, and if you try, you will put too much pressure on those relationships. But when the longing for God is filled first, you know more fully who you are and what your purpose is, and you will be able to see more clearly the righteousness of God at work in—or absent from—the life of potential partners.
For additional resources on the topic of Dating, check out the "How to Date the Best" module of the Relationship IQ Leader's Manual.