When Should I Start Dating?

This weekend, I was a part of an event for teen girls at my church called “The View,” focused on helping girls see themselves the way God sees them. A few weeks before the event, the girls were invited to write down some questions they had. There were dozens of questions — all excellent, and all on the hearts of more than one girl.

So I thought I’d go through some of them in the next few blogs. Starting with this one: When should I start dating?

All of us on the panel agreed the answer to that one is 30.

Next question??

Just kidding.

Kind of. Not that there’s anything wrong with waiting until 30. But just in case you don’t like that idea, here’s our next solution:

There’s not an exact age.

Some 25 year olds really aren’t ready to date. Some 17 year olds are.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to see if you are ready or not:

  • Why do I want to date? If it’s because all your friends have boyfriends and you feel left out, because you feel prettier when you have a boyfriend, because you like the attention, or because you don’t like paying for movies – you’re not ready.
  • Am I ready to think about marriage? I can hear the groans already. But seriously, if you are a young woman seeking after God, then dating is not a sport or a hobby or a science project. It is the way you get to know the young man who will eventually be your husband.
  • Do I really understand I Corinthians 13? That’s the “love chapter” in the Bible. Know that chapter, memorize it, and then live it out with those close to you – your parents, your siblings, your friends. Successful marriages result from both partners knowing and living out these verses.
  • Does this guy love Jesus? And I don’t just mean is he a Christian. But is he passionate about our Savior? Our pastor’s wife had a great illustration for this: She said you need to be running hard after God. And as you’re running, look to your right and your left to see who is running alongside you. Choose from among those guys. Don’t slow down to find a guy and don’t settle.
  • What do my parents think? If your parents say you can’t date, then you can’t date. If your parents don’t like the guy you like, trust their judgment. If they’re wrong, and that really is the guy for you, God will work it out. In his time. Which is often not our time.

Dating is fun, and the memories you make dating your future spouse are sweet. But don’t rush it. You might feel like you HAVE to date, that this guy you’re crushing on is the best thing since Facebook. But even what we think is the best is nothing compared to what God has planned for us. Wait for God’s guy in God’s time.

“Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up,  until the time is ripe—and you’re ready. ” Song of Songs 2:7 The Message

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