Humility and Dating
by Wyatt Fisher, Psy.D.
Humility is hard to find. The media displays sports figures, political leaders, and celebrities all soaking in their success and fame. In addition, we live in a "dog eat dog" society that promotes selfishness and ruthless ambition. Not surprisingly, we frequently see public figures playing the "blame game" in order to protect their sacred images. Our sinful nature continually resists taking ownership for our failures and instead rationalizes our wrong behaviors. Admitting one's shortcomings is often seen as a sign of weakness, which most people want to avoid at all costs. As the old adage goes, "confession is good for our faith but bad for our reputation." Consequently, relationships are filled with endless disagreements and conflicts because neither party is willing to accept his/her contribution to the problem. Each person becomes obsessed with "being right" and quickly overlooks their own depravity. Common remarks during disagreements include, "I couldn't help it, I was really stressed that day," "If you would have been more receptive, I would not have yelled," or "my father raised me to act that way, what do you expect." All of these are examples of passing the blame.
To avoid this relationship pitfall, it is critical to cultivate the character of humility and to look for this quality in Christian singles you date. Humility means taking responsibility for your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, regardless of what is influencing them. Humility also means taking ownership for your contribution to the problems in your past, present, and future. "Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor" (Proverbs 18:12 NIV). Contrary to popular belief, true strength is admitting one's weaknesses, not hiding from them by pretending to be flawless. Being able to cultivate genuine, humility- driven interactions with others is one of the keys to successful intimate relationships.
Therefore, begin by answering the following questions to further your humility development, "What are my main weaknesses?" "What growth areas do I have in relationships?" and "What shortcomings am I most fearful to admit to myself and others and why?" In addition, it's helpful to have at least one trusted person in your life who can discuss these issues with you. Looking for a humble dating partner is crucial because it leads to healthy communication, conflict resolution, and overall intimacy. Often, you can discern one's level of humility by hearing them discuss their previous relationships, life decisions, etc. to see how often they blame others or take ownership for their mistakes? Remember, the same level of humility someone displays with others will be the same level they apply to your dating relationship as well.