Dating Confusion and Paths to Clarity
by ChristianCrush Team
No one seems to know what is going on. Are they on a date, or are they just friends? Modern dating simply feels more complicated than it used to. We have become used to ambiguity and what’s worse, we aren’t sure we would prefer the alternative.
The myth of true love was long ago debunked by an overarching fear of getting hurt and, of course, never actually finding that true love. Whether it’s possible or not, many people think it’s not worth the risk to be in a loving, committed relationship at all (Stanley 2014). When a relationship’s status is ambiguous, it makes both sides feel as though they are safe. It’s an easy way to convince yourself that no matter which way things go, your emotions will remain unharmed. Put plainly: “it can hurt more when you do not get what you long for” (Stanley 2014, pp. 5).
Couples (or friends, if you prefer) who avoid the “label” of boyfriend/girlfriend are famous for ambiguity. They might yearn desperately for a lifetime partner, but accepting that other person means putting thems at risk for heartache. Sometimes it just takes a few minutes of talking to create a healthier relationship. When a couple remains ambiguous they miss out on the joy of commitment.
I know quite a few people, including myself, who have had relationships that got stuck in the rut of ambiguity. Some are smart and only let it last a week or two. Others are so worried about getting hurt that they injure themselves running away from a final answer. Of all the things for a couple to discuss, I would think that the future would be at the top of the list. It just makes sense – why be together today if you don’t want to be together tomorrow?
Almost worse than couples who don’t admit they want to be romantic are single dates that don’t have an obvious purpose. The classic scenario involves the guy who doesn’t appear to care, while the girl drives herself crazy trying to figure out what’s going on. It might work for one half of the people in the room, but for the other half it can be torture.
God doesn’t give us much room to fudge in life, much less relationships. Galatians 6:7-8 reminds us that we will reap what we sow. The more ambiguity you create in your dating life, the less likely you will ever feel comfortable enough to believe God’s plan for your life.
When you find yourself stuck in the muck of an ambiguous date, first pray about the whole situation. Remember that even during the worst dates, God is right there with you. Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go’” (Isaiah 30:21). If you really feel like this is where you are supposed to be and that the person is worth your time (Prov. 13:20), it’s time to ditch the ambiguity and talk about the future. The only way you’ll ever find that love your heart seeks is if you sit down with it and plan your next date!
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How clear do you prefer your dating relationships to be and why?