Going Too Fast
Sometimes in my eagerness in dating, I’d move too fast. I’d start talking about a future together before we even had much time spent together. It takes time to get to know a person before thinking “she’s the one!” or “he’s the one!” Being single is a very lonely and hard place to be. People say the cruelest things, such as “why aren’t you married ye?” or “how come you’re still single,” not realizing how hurtful those words can be. Don’t be pushed into a dating relationship just because you’re lonely. Some of the loneliest people I know are married to a spouse that either they are not loved by or don’t love. This is a very hard place to be. Better to be single and lonely for a time than married for life to someone with whom you don’t want to spend the rest of your life.
Acting Too Needy
This is close to trying to make someone complete you. In other words, if we think “everything will be fine once I’m married and I change this or that,” we first need to be right with God. To find the right person, we must be the right person. It’s so easy to believe that once you’re married you can overcome your addiction to pornography, shopping, money, drugs or alcohol. People don’t change us. Our spouse can’t change us. Only God can change us (Prov. 21:1). Finding the right person is only good if they’ve found the right person in you!
Talking About the Last Person
If you are dating, by all means don’t bring up the person you used to date and fling that out in front of them, along with all of their shortcomings. If you’re married, then the last thing you want to do is keep bringing up your ex. That’s a complete turnoff to the person you’re dating. They might feel like you’re comparison shopping and comparing them to your last spouse or person you dated. Check the baggage at the airline counter; no carry-on luggage allowed.
Not Being Yourself
Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Be authentic. Be genuine. If you pretend to be someone else and they find out you’re not who they thought you were, you’ve likely lost them and they’ won’t be able to trust you anymore. If you’ve lost their trust, you’ve probably blown any chance in dating them. It’s okay to admit your shortcomings and faults. I think transparency is a strength. Even James said that we should confess our faults to one another (James 5:16). I don’t mean confess every single sin you’ve ever committed, but just be honest and upfront with them and say that you’re still a work in progress, just like the rest of us.
Compromising Your Faith
If you drink to excess and then have to drive with your date, you are sending a strong signal that you don’t care about them since you’re putting them at risk. You are also sinning before them. This includes dealing in illicit drugs or even abusing legal prescription drugs. If you compromise your values as a Christian, they will know that you’re not the right person for them. This also includes watching pornographic movies or those with excessive violence. If you are doing these things, you are not ready to date anyone. You need to repent and turn away from these things and to examine yourself to see if you’re truly in the faith.
The biggest mistake of all is for a Christian to be dating a non-Christian. Not only is this a bad idea, the Bible commands us to not be unequally yoked (or joined) together with non-believers. This is like mixing water with oil. The Bible commands us, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols” (2 Cor. 6:14-16). Of course, there should be absolutely no premarital sex (fornication) or “petting” at all (lusting in the heart). God will not honor such a relationship as this. Don’t make these very serious mistakes and God may grant you a godly husband or wife. That is my prayer for those of you who are single.