He's not perfect quote by Bob Marley

The A to Z of Christian Dating



Ah we could write so much on the word ‘Dump’. Dumping an unsuitable boyfriend or girlfriend immediately comes to mind (which many, myself included, find or have found to be hard to do) but as Christians I hope we would not use the word ‘dump’ – no one likes to be dumped and I trust as Christians we would treat people better than dumping them.

We are not talking about that sort of Dump here, but rather D for ‘Dump’ here is dumping ‘your list’ or your ‘criteria’. Whether you acknowledge it or not, all of us have criteria we are looking for in another person.  My own criteria contained ‘must be Christian, under 40, sporty, single, not divorced and with no children’. Quite a list and on the surface view a very reasonable list that it would be hard to argue with.  That is my point.  It is totally superficial and almost certainly leads us astray – or certainly does not help in us finding our ideal partner.

You see finding a lifetime partner and one that is going to enable you to have a good, loving and happy fulfilled marriage (that is what you want isn’t it?) is all about finding someone with the right character. Now would a dating criteria list help me in any way to determine the character of the eligible (and non-eligible by my way of thinking) men I was meeting or having the opportunity to meet?  No!  OK maybe the Christian bit – although we all know that just because someone says that they are Christian  does not necessarily mean they have the right character (yet!).

Let me tell you my story in more detail to illustrate my point.  I had a boyfriend once, we’ll call him Paul – who perfectly fitted with my criteria. He had a nice Christian background and he came to church with me.  All my Christian friends liked him (tick), he was under 40 (tick), single (tick), had no children (tick), was very sporty – and in all the sports I liked and loved (tick).  It seemed like it could be a marriage made in heaven.  We went out and in some ways had a lovely time.  We shared so many interests (I know that is top of many people’s lists) and everything looked great.

But over time I discovered his true character.  He was insecure, jealous and had a violent streak that led to him throwing me across a room a couple of times.  Unfortunately he was also a cheat, liar and unfaithful. Paul perfectly matched my criteria, but didn’t have the character to be the right man for a long and happy marriage with me.

It’s a long story of how I ended up with my husband, but apart from being a Christian he has NONE of the priorities that were on my list and yet he has the most amazing character.  He is not perfect (like me)  but just what I needed and most probably what God knew I needed.  Fundamentally his character makes him kind, generous, thoughtful and loving.  After over 10 years of marriage, I can say that I am so glad I married him and that he persuaded me to do so!

Now maybe you think that you are different.  I probably would think that if I was reading this (it’s human nature!) so let’s take a look at your list again and why it is so important to Dump it.

When you have a list – let’s take ‘shared interests’ or ‘sporty’, you actively search out people who have those shared interests or sportiness.  People without those criteria just don’t get a look in do they? There is your biggest downfall.

Just because people don’t fit what you think you need doesn’t mean they are not worth considering.  They absolutely are – but you will only be able to consider them if you dump your criteria.

Now this is no easy thing to do – trust me I have been there!  What you have to do is a)  be aware that you have a criteria (I have rarely met anyone who doesn’t have a list) and then b) be aware that you are judging and assessing everyone by it. It’s only when you are aware of what you are doing that you can change your thinking and thereby change your behaviour.  By dumping your list and being open to getting to know everyone who comes across your path, you will open yourself up to a much greater number of possible dating opportunities.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not asking you to walk up the aisle with someone who isn’t a good match for you.  No of course not.  We are not walking up the aisle when we first meet people are we? (Although you would be surprised that it might seem like it when you talk to people about their impressions of others and their suitability to date them.) No, I am just trying to get you to open up your horizons and in doing so discover that there are far more Mr or Miss rights out there than you first thought.

So take my advice here: Dump your criteria and watch your opportunities grow.