Winning at the Dating Game

It’s the beginning of a new school year. You haven’t thought about that guy all summer. (You know the guy I’m talking about.) It’s been somewhat of a nice break actually, but then . . . it happens. You walk through the doors of your school on the first day back, and he’s standing right there.

You worry your face has turned beet red. Your cheeks feel flush. In that moment, everything comes flooding back—butterflies flutter in your stomach, your head is spinning, and you break out in a grin that you hope no one else sees (except they do because you can’t wipe it off your face).

A few weeks go by, and your dream guy seems to notice you. You hit it off, start talking, then texting and liking each other’s photos on Instagram. One day he asks you out. All the butterflies flutter back into your stomach in a major way. You can’t breathe. So you come to me and ask my advice on where you should go with this guy. (Because in this situation I’m playing your best friend.) And I give you this answer:

DON’T DO IT.

Or at least don’t do it YET.

WHAT?!

You can’t believe it. The guy you dream about just asked you to go on a date with him, and I’m telling you not to go? Yep, you heard me right. Don’t go on that date. Even though you’ve had a crush on this guy since third grade and he’s got a six-pack. I’m not nuts like you think I am. Let me explain.

The Dating Game

There’s this thing I call the “The Dating Game.” It happens around the world and usually starts when you’re in high school. Everybody seems to play it, which is why it seems normal.

Here’s how it works: A guy asks a girl out, they go to dinner and “date” for a while (a.k.a spend a bunch of time together). After awhile, one of them might get bored or angry or jealous and dump the other. They both move on to the next person, and so it goes until one day they find someone to marry and start a family with. It can be fun. A lot of fun. But it can also get you into a lot of trouble.

Can I be brutally honest with you? I want to give you some insight into a guy’s mind. I know how a lot of high school guys (and college guys and post-college guys) function, since I was/am one. Sometimes guys want you so they can use you. They might want to use you to feel valued and looked up to by other guys, or they might want to use you for something else (like sex).

Certainly, not all guys are like this. But dating when you’re in high school can sure open up a lot of doors for trouble to happen, because young guys are searching for their identity and there’s a lot of pressure to do what their friends are doing. This can be great if they have good friends, but not so great if their friends don’t yet know who they are either. Because you and the guy are both figuring out your identity, if you play the dating game early on, there’s more chance something hurtful will happen to you rather than something helpful.

I believe that we date someone to get to know them and see if there might be potential for marriage in that relationship. Just because you date someone doesn’t mean you’ll marry them, but it should mean that you’re not opposed to the idea. The average age for a woman to get married today is around twenty-five. That means if you start dating at fifteen, you likely won’t get married for a decade. That’s a long time to wait.

Win by Waiting

I’m not proposing that you don’t date. I’m just saying you should wait to date. Don’t wait forever, but if you’re in high school, wait for now. I want you to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’re really ready to get married—because like I said, that’s really the reason we should date anyone, to see if they would be a good marriage partner.

Friends will probably call you weird when they see you not dating. That’s okay. It’s better to be called weird than to look back on years of your life and wish that you had done things differently and saved yourself for your future husband. Even if there’s no sex involved, your heart is involved, and I guarantee it will get beat up because you’re emotionally invested in that guy you’re with.

The Bible doesn’t specifically state, “Thou shalt not date until you’re out of high school.” However, it does give advice on how we should act around others. These can be applied to any relationship you’re in now or in the future. For example:

  • Philippians 4:8 talks about the fact that we should think about whatever is true, honorable, pure, just, lovely, and commendable. When faced with a decision, ask yourself if it’s true, honorable, pure, lovely, or commendable.
  • First Corinthians 13:4–5 gives us an example of what love is: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.” Do your relationships measure up to that? Practice treating those around you well, and that will carry over into how you treat your boyfriend down the road.

Below is a list of verses you can look up and apply to any dating relationship. Get to know these verses, treat others well today, and pray that the Lord will guide you when you begin to date.

2 Timothy 2:22
1 Corinthians 15:33
1 Thessalonians 4:3–5
2 Corinthians 6:14–15

If you dated at a young age (fourteen to eighteen), would you tell your future daughter to do the same thing?

Do you agree or disagree with my blog? Why or why not?

About Author

Beecher Proch

Beecher Proch calls the Hill Country of Texas home. When he’s not writing, performing with his three siblings in their band, or attempting to get a smile out of someone, you’ll probably find him working on a new entrepreneurial venture. Beecher is passionate about influencing the world for Christ’s Kingdom through stories, be that blogging, writing meaningful music, or going about it the old-fashioned way and taking a pen to the page.

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:

  • * Requests or gives personal information such as email address, address, or phone number.
  • * Attacks other readers.
  • * Uses vulgar or profane language.
  • Samantha Rogers

    I waited to start dating until after high school and I am glad I made that decision. However, I know plenty of couples that dated in high school, got married right after graduation, and seem to be loving the life they have chosen. I would just say to guard your heart no matter what age you start dating. Become good friends first. Know as much as you can about the person before you add in expectations. I had heard this advice over and over again, but didn’t truly understand what it meant until I had my heart broken. I understand it now. You don’t truly know them until they start revealing the deepest parts of themselves and you might not like what you find. But if you learn those things before you start thinking you are going to marry this person it will be a lot easier.

  • Tiana

    I think that what age you start dating depends a lot on your maturity level. You can be 15 and have the maturity level of a 19 year old, or you can be 19 and have the maturity level of a 15 year old. I know someone who had gone through 6 boyfriends during her 12 and 13 year old years. I would have to say that she was not mature enough to start “dating” at that age. But I also know a 14 year old who had a boyfriend and I can honestly say that she was mature enough to have a boyfriend. I understand what you’re saying about opening up a whole new world of temptations, but I honestly think that some people are mentally and spiritually mature enough to start dating in high school. And I think that you should definitely know the person before you start a serious relationship with them, but I don’t think you have to know absolutely everything about them. I think dating is also about getting to know your boyfriend/girlfriend. I’m not saying you should date around just for fun, but if someone you could see yourself potentially marrying asks you out, and they’re a Christian and have the character traits of a godly man, then I say go for it. Sorry if it seems like I’m being a rebellious teenager or something, that’s just my opinion.

    • hannah

      i think that it not true but thats just me

      • Tiana

        How can you say that that’s not true? You don’t think that what age you date depends on your maturity level?

        • Ylise

          I completely agree with you! I believe that if you’re secure and steady in your relationship with Jesus, the temptations will not faze you because you know your worth and who you are, and what the Bible tells us about this topic. High school relationships are a sticky subject, but on the contrary I know several couples that started dating in high school and are now happily married and even firmer and passionate Christians now. If you are mature and rely on God with everything you do, and He puts someone on your path at 16 or 17 that has the same viewpoints and morals as you then I say go for it! Grow together in Christ, but just be positive that it’s God’s will.

        • hannah

          no i think that just because your 13 and have the maturity of a 19 u should still wait tell your 18 or over to date

          • Tiana

            So what if you’re 19 and have the maturity level of a 13 year old. You still think you should date, just because you’re over 18?

          • hannah

            no but I also think if your a chirstan your maturity level should be around or higher then your age.

          • Tiana

            Just because it should be doesn’t mean it always is

          • Ash

            I agree with you Tiana, partially, that is. I (personally) believe that you should wait until maybe 17 or 18, but maturity level does matter. like you mentioned, ‘”What if you’re 19 and have the maturity level of a 13 year old?”‘ I agree, there are those special cases, sometimes you’re ready, sometimes your not (also considering age level in this, referencing 17 or 18). That’s why we wait and pray about it, making sure we understand our worth in Christ (not just saying this for your benefit but also for anyone else reading this). And how long you have been a Christian does not define maturity level at all. Maybe has something to do with “Spiritual maturity” but we must consider other specifications of maturity as well.

  • Emmy

    Thank you! I completely agree with this post. It’s really a matter of making choices for the long-term good instead of for the pleasure of the moment. It’s hard not to have a boyfriend when all your friends do. It’s hard when the Enemy makes us think it’s because we’re not as pretty, fun, or interesting as other girls. And it’s also hard to simply make the choice not to date a guy even if he does ask you out. But it’s worth it.

    Our hearts our so vulnerable at this age (the teen years), so why break them over a guy who doesn’t truly care about us, when we have a Lord who so dearly loves us (and sings over us with joy!) despite knowing our deepest fears and darkest secrets? No man will ever love us as he does, and no relationship will ever be as important as the one with our Savior. So I’d add to this post that this is the time to be falling head-over-heels in love with Jesus (the man who died for us so that we can be with him forever– I dare you to beat that love story) instead of the cutest guy we know (though one day God will maybe let us spend the rest of our earthly lives with the cutest guy we know 😉 ).

    I’ll be 18 next month and thankful for advice like this that is the harness for my ever-changing emotions. I know God has the right man in store for me and that we’ll get together at the right time. And until the right time, I’ve got plenty of work to do here and now 🙂

    Thanks again, Beecher! God bless you!

  • I appreciate this article! Great advice! 🙂

    https://tizziestidbits.wordpress.com

  • Girlady Bouvier

    I remember being 16 and totally desperate to be in a relationship, because I had major self-esteem issues back then and thought a boyfriend would make valuable and worry. But happily, I’ve always had a lot going on in my life (school, extra courses, serving at church), so even though I wanted to date I didn’t really have the time. My hectic schedule might have delayed my ‘love life’ but also allowed me to focus on my personal growth. I figured out who I am, my values, my dreams, I’ve built a foundation where I set my identity. I became wiser through the years and through hardship. I became a godly woman.

    So, now that I’m 26 and in a serious relationship, I take a look back and realize how this waiting process was important. Because now I can bring something valuable to the table, I understand the concept of boundaries and healthy compromising, I use my relationship as a form of honoring God, instead of just a way to fullfil my emotion needs. I can talk about a future together without walking on eggshells because we both have waited for this for so long. God only knows if we’re getting married in the future, but it’s already better than any expectations I’ve had.

    That being, that’s my advice for younger girls: find out who you are, who God wants you to be, what He wants you to do with the talents He gave you; challenge yourself, pursuit your dreams, care of your loved ones. You won’t help but setting your standards high, because whoever wants to date you will have to be goal oriented just like you. And don’t be surprised when guys seem to ghost you or disappear, not any man can take the responsability of dating a Godly woman.

  • blessed life

    Thanks for the article!:)

  • Kelly Smith Overstreet

    I agree completely! During high school the maturity level in most are not of that Valocity to make sound futuristic decisions. Truthfully if you can be best friends during those years it saves the courting for a time when adulthood can come to reality.

  • Coco

    I would readily say I agree with you, but often times the way I live my life doesn’t show that. I know in my head that it’s better to wait to date, but as soon as my heart gets involved it gets a whole lot harder to live that way.

  • Gracie

    Some people have already said this, but I agree: dating age had a lot to do with maturity and (in addition) with God’s calling on your life. My mom and dad got married as soon as my mom graduated high school, same with one set of my grandparents and they all love and serve Jesus and are wonderful models of Christian marriage. However, many people are called to wait, or not even get married at all. I remember when I was around 15 thinking that as soon as I was 18 I would married like my mom, or engaged at least. And here I am today!…19 and graduated without ever having dating anyone. I do think this is basically good advise, we should be focused, especially in our high school years where we are developing and growing so much, on God. When we are focused on Him, He shows us His will, whether that be an early marriage, waiting til 25, or never marrying, but we MUST surrender fully to Him to live the best, fullest life possible.

  • Hannah B

    I agree whole heartedly if I dated now (16) I would be a mess. I know a friend who courted as she finished high school is a graduate and is getting married next month but they are a special scenerio. I believe it is dependant on what GOD has planned for your life. I also believe that parents need to be a big part of agreeing to date/court during and after highschool. I wear a ring based on that promise to include my parents.

  • hannah

    I’m almost 14 and i think that even that I have a high maturity level that u should not tempt your self with ungodly things so my chose is no dating till i’m 18

  • Rachel

    I waited to date when I was in high school. Now I’m about to graduate college and I’m yet to be be asked on a single date. I don’t blame it on not dating in high school, yet I would always read these kinds of posts and it would make me believe in the inevitability of being asked out by a guy. I know I’m still young, but I’m also at the point where all of my friends (and I do mean all) are either in a serious relationship, engaged or married. I often come back to LYWB because I genuinely enjoy the posts and perspectives. However, I think sometimes the phrasing of articles such as these can be a little misleading. For me growing up, I started to believe that dealing with guys who were interested in me but not a Christian would be a thing I just had to accept. Except it hasn’t been, because I’ve never had anyone show interest.
    I completely understand that this isn’t the purpose of the article – and I thoroughly agree with what it is saying. But perhaps an idea for another blog post: what to do when no ones interested? ☺️

    • erinleedavis

      Rachel,

      Love this idea for a post! We will work on it soon!

      in the meantime, I have taken a moment to pray for you this morning. That you would know your tremendous value to the Lord and that He would gift you with contentment to patiently wait on Him.

      Grace & Peace!

      e

  • Ash

    Thank you so much for this article! I have a close guy friend, but we’re not dating (almost 17). We only see each other when our families are at the same places or some event. We are the type that want to wait and see it as a better opportunity to know each other better through the next few years to come. Marriage is, truly, one of the biggest decisions in the life of relationships (besides the one we have with Christ and family 😉