Am I Ready for Romance?

I looked at the caller ID on my pink Razr flip phone and immediately got sweaty palms. I was sixteen years old and had committed to only pursuing a romantic relationship when I was ready to consider the possibility of marriage.

I knew I wasn’t ready. I knew the guy calling on the other line wasn’t ready either. So with feelings of hesitation, I answered his call.

“Hello. This is Bethany.”

“Hey, Bethany! How ya doing today?”

The conversation continued, and the expected happened. Jeremy expressed his interest and asked me if I would consider starting a dating relationship with him.

I didn’t want to leave Jeremy with any confusion or questions in his mind, so I started to explain the reasons behind my answer. Here are three reasons I told Jeremy “no.”

  1. We weren’t ready to consider marriage. We were in high school. I wasn’t ready to be a wife, and he wasn’t ready to lead and provide for a family as a husband. In my mind, starting a romantic relationship with marriage nowhere on the horizon didn’t make sense.
  1. I wanted to avoid unnecessary temptation. If Jeremy and I started a romantic relationship, I knew there would likely be strong desires and feelings floating around. That’s how God designed romance to work! I didn’t want to take the risk and assume that I could fight off temptation for years on end. I understood that sexual chemistry is strong, and I didn’t want to invite that into my life when sex according to God’s design wasn’t possible for us any time soon.
  1. I didn’t want to waste time. Jeremy was a really nice guy, but investing in a relationship with him wasn’t the smartest use of my time. I knew God still had tons to teach me in my last few years of high school, and I needed to have a clear mind and open schedule to focus on those things. A boyfriend would have been a major distraction from my family, God, and preparation for the future.

After I finished explaining my reasons to Jeremy, we chatted for a few more minutes and then hung up the phone. It wasn’t an easy conversation, but I felt really good about my decision.

Looking back on my high school years, I can confidently say that I am so grateful I never pursued a romantic relationship during those years. I don’t feel like I missed out, and I don’t feel like that decision was a mistake in any way.

To the Girls Not Quite Ready

I want to talk directly to you girls who are in the “not ready for marriage” age group. Whether you are too young or just simply not ready, I want to encourage you to think through these three questions:

1. What is the purpose of a relationship?

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church (Eph. 5:32).

Romantic love isn’t a human idea, it’s God’s. Study the romantic relationships in the Bible. Ask yourself what purpose they served. Hint: We never see the Bible encouraging young people to engage in a romantic relationship for years on end with marriage nowhere in sight. What we do see is a consistent celebration of the covenant of marriage.

Before you say “yes” to a dating/courtship relationship, ask yourself why. Why should I say “yes”? What’s the purpose of the relationship? What’s the goal? Will this relationship help me better serve God in this season of my life?

2. Is this the best use of my time?

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil (Eph. 5:15–16).

God has so much to teach you during your high school years. A boyfriend can be an unnecessary distraction. Instead of using your time pouring into a boyfriend, why not pour it into studying and learning how to best serve God with your future? I highly recommend reading as many great Christian books as you can get your hands on during your high school years. Some of my deepest convictions were formed through reading during that season in my own life. Don’t waste these years.

3. Will this help me pursue purity?

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body (1 Cor. 6:18).

Romantic relationships create chemistry between two people. Why allow that romantic chemistry with a guy into your life with no hope of satisfying it with marriage anytime soon? Be wise and make sure you aren’t adding extra temptation that simply doesn’t need to be in your life.

Love Without Regrets

If I could offer you one final piece of advice it would be this: Wait until you are able to consider marriage before entering into a serious relationship. I made that commitment myself, and I’ve never regretted it. In fact, I’m really grateful I stuck to that commitment.

How about you?

  • Would you consider a serious relationship before you’re ready to commit to marriage? Why or why not?
  • What do you think the purpose of a romantic relationship is? Use God’s Word to support your answer.

PS: We’re giving away a copy of the new Lies Young Women Believe with each post this month. Leave a comment for your chance to win.

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About Author

Bethany Baird

After a brief experience in the modeling industry, Bethany’s eyes were opened to how self-absorbed and lost her generation of young women really are. She and her older sister were inspired to start a blog ( and wrote a book Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. Their passion is to help young women find God’s truth about beauty and womanhood and the freedom that comes from living a radically different life for Christ.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Tera V.

    Speaking as someone who did date a guy when I was sixteen (it ended terribly), I too will now be waiting until I’m ready for marriage before I date again. I think that’s a great philosophy.

  • God’s Girl

    Thank you for this post Bethany! I don’t plan on just dating for the fun of it. If I ever do get into a relationship, I want it to be intentionally seeking the possibility of marriage 🙂

  • Saedy

    Those are some very interesting points. Appreciated it!

  • Duskflower

    This is such an important post because dating in high school is so common amongst Christian girls and they never can give a solid answer to my questions of ‘What’s the point?’ God is always teaching me that He’s my surpassing joy and nothing else – and I feel like I’ve been led away from Him by basically EVERYTHING – can ever come close. When my restless heart finally accepts and delights in it, I found that is indeed the truth and couldn’t ask for anything better ^_^

  • Ally

    Great things to think about!

  • Keren

    This is such a great list.. I was struggling with convictions since my friends didn’t agree with me and thought I was crazy.. This helped me realise that it is good to wait and God’s best is much better than any casual relationships at my age:)

  • Brynna Rice

    I like what this post says about not wasting your teenage years with a romantic relationship when marriage is no where near on the horizon. I have always been taught that I have no need for a boyfriend until I’m ready to be married, and this truth is one I have come to believe as time goes on. At 17 I have no opportunity, need, or time for a romantic relationship, and I’m fine with that. Now is my time to wait and learn, and as with everything, God’s timing is best. I am satisfied with the love of my Savior, and my heart belongs to Him.

  • Rebecca

    If we honestly think about it, why would we genuinly invest into a relationship when we are not ready for lasting commitment? For the fun of it. The temporary feelings that won’t last……Choose the path or purity and wait for the right person! Don’t date around! Get to know someone as a friend and pray diligently about other possibilities….

  • Em

    Definitely better not to have any romantic relationships until you are ready for marriage. I agree!

  • KG

    It is much better to wait for a romantic relationship when you are ready for marriage… just make sure early on that the other person feels the same or it will lead to frustration and pure heartbreak.

  • Char Latte

    Excellent advice for young people. I am older (29), but these are still good reminders when considering any relationship.

  • Emma!

    Awesome advice! I have never been in a “real” relationship, I have gone out on dates, but none of them have lasted BECAUSE I thoroughly search my heart and ask the hard questions: Would I be interested in getting to know him better, for marriage (because you can tell if you are genuinely into a guy) and Is this something God wants me to pursue. I also ask important people in my life for their wisdom in the situations.

    I did not date in High School and I do not regret that decision for a moment. There are many lessons God has for you to learn. Live life focused on Him, mold a strong bond with your Heavenly Father and everything else will fall into place when His timing is right. Thank you Bethany for another great article!

  • Bliss

    If I’m not ready to commit to marriage, no I would not enter into a serious dating relationship. It opens the doors to so many potential problems, and I also do not want to cause that kind of hurt to a guy by acting “interested” when there is little no or chance of it ever actually leading to anything. It’s far better to wait and not have regrets.
    I read a post a few days ago from “Desiring God” that more or less said “Don’t date for intimacy, date for clarity”, which was to say,
    don’t date just be be in relationship and have that closeness with someone for the sake of it, but date for clarity if this is a person you could see yourself marrying. (like Emma said below :))

  • Sarah

    Thanks for sharing Bethany! These are questions I asked myself when a teen.

  • genesis herrera

    i honestly loved this post. looking back on 2 years ago, i was so different in my thinking and just wanted to be caught up in the fuzzy feeling of having a boyfriend. but now 2 years later, my lesson has made me wiser to grow more in myself responsibly and in God more deeply. while i do still long for a boyfriend at times, im learning that the best yes i can say to is God. especially as a single teenager.

  • Proverbs 31 girl in Training

    I have thought since I was 12 I was ready for marriage (I am 17 and attending college now). After reading book about purity and godly relationships, I realized not only my age was a factor, but there were other things like my emotional instability, holding grudges, and being a control freak that I needed to work on first. I am still working on them today. In my heart, mind, and body I feel like I am ready for a relationship and marriage. However, spiritually I am just not in the place. I know I need to work on my relationship with God first. I actually pray that He would keep guys away from me and I would be oblivious to guys that like me (even with as much as I try to notice them) to keep myself from giving my heart away prematurely. This post definitely has much wisdom and comes from someone who knows a thing or two about waiting. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • Claire Bear

    THANK YOU BETHANY!!!!!!!! It feels like no one i know shares the same standards about dating as my family and I, and It feels like the right guy will NEVER COME!!! Sometimes I feel like God needs to “Hurry up!” but I know his timing is perfect. Love you guys and all that you do!

    <3 Claire Bear

  • MidnightCity

    Thank you for this post! I often feel left out because I do not have a boyfriend like many girls my age. I am not ready to get married in any way, and I don’t want to date too soon because of the temptations that are associated with dating in this day and age.

  • Brenda

    Such good advice! Thank you Bethany! Sometimes we get caught up with wanting a boyfriend because “everyone” else has one and rushing into something God doesn’t have for us.

  • Esther

    This is just what I needed to hear….I mean read! Thank you so much! It is very encouraging to know that Christianity is not a lonely religion, there are others that believe the same as you do, and practice the same things! Thanks!

  • Carrie-Grace

    These are some good things to think through/wrestle with. I loved the questions you included with this post. 🙂

  • Maria-Simona C.

    I pursued a dating relationships my first year of high school, and trust me, following my emotions like that sent my life on a downward spiral. Now I’m okay, but investing in a relationship and being blinded by lust & romance was not the path God wanted me go down.
    I’ve learned from my mistakes, and as I’m walking in purity & singleness right now, I feel free. Does it feel kinda weird to be a girl not focused on pursuing a boyfriend right now? Yup. Do I feel lonely at times? Yes, but I know those are just feelings, and that I am never truly alone. Does staying single stop me from having crushes? Of course not; but praying for the boys I have romantic feelings for, and making sure I don’t push the boundaries with him beyond close friendship really does help.
    All in all, staying focused on God, my family, my church, my schoolwork, my true friends, and my dreams & plans for the future rather than focusing on romance in high school has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made–even if it took a few mistakes to get to that place, the blood of Jesus truly wipes the slate clean.

  • Erika

    Thank you very much for this post, Bethany!

  • Hannah B

    Very good article I really needed it. Though I have no ”prospects” my courage was weakening

  • Abigail V.

    So good. Thanks for the advice! Always a good reminder of why to wait to date.

  • Marcia

    Thanks for these wise words.

  • Very good post! All the best advice I’ve heard with a little bit extra.

  • disqus

    Totally agree. Thanks for writing so clearly that we can stand back and see the bigger picture of the issue, not just see how fun dating looks in this season!

  • Jenny

    Great advice. Many girls I know need to hear this!

  • Michelle Smith

    I struggle with my singleness daily, and its so hard, I yearn to be loved by a husband. In today’s world where relationships are continuously paraded around, I keep telling myself that when I find “him” I’ll only then be fully happy. But I know I’m not ready to be a wife and Gods has told me to wait. God loves too much to send someone in my own timing,when his timing is perfect. Thank you for your message, its so encouraging – God bless!

  • Melanie

    I think it is best to wait until you are ready to be married to start a dating relationship. It sometimes is difficult to wait ,but I know God has a good plan. I am in my last year of school ,so I know it’s best for me to stay focused on that right now.

  • Grace Sentosa

    Thank you for the reminder. I’m now encouraged to use my time and current high school years to the best of its use and wisely saying no to the things that aren’t as constructive.

  • Lisa

    Thanks for the truth filled insights on this blog!

  • Emily D

    Thank you for this post! I chose not to date in high school, and sometimes I never quite knew how to defend my reasons to friends/family who asked…I just knew that I didn’t feel led to date in that time, but it is so nice to hear some of the other reasons why that might be a wise choice!

  • Diane Pak

    Would you consider a serious relationship before you’re ready to commit to marriage?
    —- I have not dated.. yet I am 20 years old .. I have felt like I needed to dated because all of my friends dated, so should I .. But as of fact, I still remain single because of God’s plan for me.. I learn to recognize that my relationship with God comes first as well knowing how to learn and grow with knowing about being single and not having that desire yet is okay as well. That I needed to educated myself about dating and knowing when it’s God time, he will provide my needs and my desires of a committed marriage..

    What do you think the purpose of a romantic relationship is? Use God’s Word to support your answer.
    —— I believe that God said about dating in 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, says 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away, KJV.. If I have found the person who is of this verse. I know that I’ve found the person to love when knowing how to never let it go and learn how to keep this love sacred to cherish with my heart.

  • rebeccavanmiddelkoop

    So glad to read this! Such wise words!

  • DeJama

    So glad I came across this blog and post in particular 🙂

  • tabitha

    I swear these posts are sent by God specifically for me!

  • Virginia Case

    I am 22 years old, all of my friends are getting married/engaged or are in a relationship, I haven’t dated anyone in years, and have been the subject of some rude comments made by friends. Honestly, over the past few months, it has been getting harder and harder to remind myself that God has a reason for this (seemingly never ending) season of my life. This post really encouraged me not to give up hope. That these beautiful years of singleness are being used. Thank you for this wonderful post.

  • Victoria

    This is good. I know someone who I have lately seriously considered for marriage, (and I like him a lot) but I know deep down that this isn’t the time. It would not help me to be who God is wanting me to be in this stage of my life, which is college. I have more things to be at work with. And if I still feel the same way later, maybe God will show me how the relationship will help me serve him. This post helped me see that. Thanks Bethany!

  • Rebecca

    Thanks Bethany! I love this!!

  • Laura Kauffman

    Thank you for writing and sharing Bethany! My friend & I are involved in ministering to inner-city teen girls, and we/they have been having conversations along the lines of liking boys, having boyfriends, etc. Reading this article gave me some more tools to use in future conversations! 😘 Thank you! ❤

  • Leah

    Thank you for this reminder!

  • Ika Lin

    Thank you so much for this post! 🙂

  • Sarah

    great post!

  • LOVE!!!

  • You made some really awesome points here! I love that you said wait until you can consider marriage to date which is so important because if you’re not dating to build a relationship that leads to marriage then it may not be s good thing!

  • Eve

    Thank you! 🙂