All posts filed under: Dating and Relationships

Loving Amidst the Wildness

A few years ago, if you’d asked me about the kind of love I dreamed about, I’d have told you about a love that was all-consuming. The kind that shattered the world I inhabited. “We will be very passionate,” I’d say to you, describing the dynamic my soulmate and I would share, “Our connection will intersect on multiple levels — physical, intellectual, and spiritual. He will be deep and wild, and the love we share will change me.” I found exactly that with Andy. Our connection was intense. Emily Bronte once wrote, “Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same,” and in our way of relating, I saw that play out. A romantic fling-turned-best friend, Finn, told me last month that I was the wildest girl he’s ever known. “Not in the personality sense that people often think of, but you have a wild spirit,” he said, “There’s a restlessness you have that seems to often threaten to overtake you.” He summed it up by labeling it a “quiet wildness,” yet all I could …

Helping my Boyfriend Guard his Purity

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23 NIV There recently came a point when I started to ask God His plans for my love life. I told God how I was open to meeting someone within His perfect timing and really placed these desires at His feet and told Him, “Lord, I trust you to complete that which concerns me and bring about what’s perfect for me.” It wasn’t long before he brought me my boyfriend. I’m pretty lucky: Matt’s handsome, smart, thoughtful, hardworking, and initiates time for us to seek the Lord together. One thing I never allow myself to forget is that before my boyfriend, he is first and foremost my brother in Christ.  “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.” 1 Timothy 5:1–2 This means that I’m supposed to be his partner in this crazy, fallen world we live …

3 Signs of Spiritual Abuse in Dating

I recently counseled a young woman about a romantic relationship she was in. She’s told me over time many red flags that all led me to believe that she was in an emotionally abusive relationship yet she wouldn’t have exactly described it that way. What she said was, “He just cares so much about my walk that he doesn’t want to see me stumble.” Many sin-driven Christian guys twist God’s design for romantic relationships before then using it to justify controlling, emotionally abusive behavior.  “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-24  Because of all the confusion about what these verses mean, Christian women I meet with who are in these situations find themselves feeling confused about what’s abuse and what’s not. A young woman can become convinced that an abusive …

Why I’m Not Ready to Be a Wife: Perspectives on Biblical Marriage

“So, something happened,” my text to Kristina started out as I sat on my bed in the lotus position, listening to Bethel Music and crunching on almonds. “Boyfriend asked me how I like my apartment building and when I told him I love it,  he then said, ‘Maybe we can look into the two-bedroom apartments there if we get married.’” She replied with an emoji seizure. When I was with my last boyfriend who lived all the way in Russia, marriage was an ongoing conversation. “If this is going to work out, one of us has to move to a new country and I wouldn’t do that without marriage,” was how he put it; the limits placed on us by distance rushed it. When I explained it to my friend, Lisa, I told her that I didn’t think I was ready to get married, “A part of me doesn’t want to get married until my late twenties or maybe even early-thirties. I really enjoy singleness.” Now that New Boyfriend has brought up the M-word, a …

Rethinking Romantic Compatibility

Note: Large portions of this piece were written by Nina Singhapakdi. Popular online dating website, eHarmony, brags that “every day, an average of 438 singles marry a match they met” on the website. The source of the site’s matchmaking success, it claims, is the questions that members must fill out in order to be matched with compatible partners. However, this philosophy is not groundbreaking in the least. Simply type “compatibility” into Google and your browser will be faced with thousands of websites boasting the most accurate relationship compatibility matching survey on the Internet. Society believes that compatibility is the indicator of a relationship’s lasting power. After all, just look at all of the divorce papers citing “irreconcilable differences.” However, I understand relational compatibility much differently. Most of the things that we deem as compatibility markers are shallow and fluid. Your partner may love the same movies, books, and sports teams that you do, but people’s tastes change. You may both harbor a lifelong dream to go to Bali, but when you finally take that trip together, …

Home is a “Who”, Not a “Where”

“You haven’t held me in ages, but I still know what you feel like,” my conviction stood tall and strong; it was unshakable. He threw back a flirtatious challenge in response, “Oh, really? So tell me. Leave nothing out.” I could imagine his smile through the phone and it made think of those repressed schoolboys. I took a deep breath, “You feel like all of the best things. You’re Rilke poetry, glasses of chilled vodka (the good brand, of course), Etsy candles, and ruby-red borscht simmering away on the stove. You feel like love letters sent through air mail and wooden floorboards that feel familiar to bare feet and the very last slice of my favorite pie,” I paused and then concluded, “You feel like home.” *** At the age of eighteen, I stuffed my favorite possessions into bleached-white boxes and started the drive up North to a small women’s college in the suburbs of Philly. I moved into a small dorm room and the light filtered through the window-panes into the diamond-shaped cube of …

Brothers Speak: The Person You Date Represents You

Last night, I skyped with my friend (and our founder), Nina, and she said something that stuck out to me, “Who we date says a lot about us and where God falls on our list of priorities.” In my first year of college, at the age of nineteen, I started dating my second girlfriend, *Becca. Becca was smart, fun, and worshipped at the same church. We were also in the same campus bible study where I could tell that we had chemistry. All systems pointed to “Go.” But here’s where things got tricky with Becca. Becca disagreed with me about even the most basic aspects of following Christ. I took the lead spiritually and initiated the purity talk where I told her about my commitment to save myself for my future wife. She respected that and never tried to pressure me. But to be honest, she wasn’t on the same page and if it weren’t up to me, we would have been having sex. Also, even though she went to church and we got to …

Single and Whole: Life Doesn’t Start When You Get into a Relationship

“I’ve never been to Love Park,” I confessed to Lisa as we waited for a cab in Philly to take us to Fairmount. “Really?” she asked. Her eyes searched the street for one to hail. The city shimmered with the fabric of a late-summer twilight that draped over it. “It’s because I want my first time at Love Park to be with a boy.” Looking back on those words, they sound crazy. But saving certain experiences for a potential boyfriend or husband is something so many women in the midst of a season of singleness are guilty of. We don’t want to go to visit a city known for romance like Paris or Venice because we think we should go there on our honeymoon, or at least with a guy who’s really cute. So many of us act like life hasn’t started yet. We think that when we’re married, we’ll finally do all these cool things we’ve always wanted to do Being single is not being in the waiting room for life to start. My …

Experience: Raising Godly Kids Today – A Glimpse Into the Life of a 4 Boy Mom

When I meet someone for the first time and they hear that I have four sons I often hear one of the following comments…  “Better you than me!’ “Wow, how do you manage it?” “So, you’re the queen?” Never in all my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be a mother of four boys. When the doctor placed my first born in my arms eighteen and a half years ago and announced that it was a boy, I actually panicked a little bit. I thought, “What am I going to do with him? I don’t know anything about dinosaurs or airplanes!” Seven years later, our fourth son was born. He was perfect and my husband and I were excited and proud. Then it hit me… this was our last child and I didn’t have a daughter. I must be honest and admit that I felt alone. As I was raising my young sons, I’d find myself looking at clothes and toys that were targeted for girls.  I’d walk through the aisles making comments in my …

Brothers Speak: Girls, You Are Not “Goods”

As a college ministry leader at a small church in Boston, I get to shepherd young Christians in a transitional stage of their lives. College is an interesting age for the Christian; I learn a ton about following Jesus in today’s world just by ministering to college students. One of the most disturbing trends I’ve noticed is a common pattern of behavior in guys entrenched in purity culture. Don’t get me wrong: I esteem and cherish purity. Purity is sacred. Purity is beautifully radical. It’s a romantic rebellion; it goes against the patterns of the world in pursuit of something holier. It honors your future spouse. It prevents you from handing out spousal privileges to boyfriends and girlfriends. And, most importantly, God commanded it. “Choose this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15) However, many young Christian guys take their values to the point of shaming girls who’ve fallen into sexual sin. Does the insult “damaged goods” ring a bell? Girls, you are …