When I start dating, I go into it with no expectations. I’d never though of committing before commitment, I mean, it’s just dating.
From my perspective, a first date is a meet and greet, see if there is interest to see each other again. Same for the second and third date.
Maybe even the first month.
But the more that I’ve dated, especially in this time of apps that make create a culture of disposable people (read more about that here) at some point there comes a time to commit.
It is not usually a definitive, “will you be my girlfriend?” talk. It seems like those were left behind with passing notes in middle school. And sometimes, before you have the adult version of, “will you be my girlfriend,” ie. “Let’s be exclusive”, there is a period of unknown, where it feels like a relationship, but you are not ready to call it that or label it yet.
Imagine a perfect Zen Sand Garden, now picture the gentle curves and designs in the surface. It’s not a drastic or an immediate change, it’s a slow process that happens almost imperceptibly. You realize the designs are being drawn, but it looks so right, feels so complete that it doesn’t startle you or wake you up from the peaceful state of mind of the white sand.
Same with dating…you realize you are investing more time in the person, but there usually isn’t a huge dramatic, “what are we?” conversation. You’re slowly curving into a relationship status with them.
You fall into a routine of texting, calling and expecting. Which is a beautiful thing.
And it’s at this point that I want to give advice, men.
Do not wait to commit until you are committed.
If you want to wait to have the conversation, that is one thing. But if you are seeing multiple women, when you have already hit this magical stride of psuedo-relationship, you are in for drama.
Let’s back up for one second to make sure that we are all on the same page. Before you start to date, make sure you know your intentions, and make extra sure you communicate your intentions clearly from the beginning. Are you looking to get to know someone for a relationship? Are you looking to date casually because you are so focused on your work? Are you looking for a rebound to help you get past heart break? Know yourself and what you want. Make sure to tell the lady of choice, clearly in a respectful and kind manner what you’re after. (Please never tell a woman you are looking for a rebound…)
Remember that women will listen, but not always hear you…read more about this disturbing phenomena here.
Second, have your “non-negotiable list” (read why you should do that here) and your “this would be an awesome bonus” list (yes, you can read about this idea too…here). Make sure BEFORE either of you get attached, that your new friend meets this list.
Third, listen to what they are telling you. If she says that she doesn’t want anything serious and is dating other guys. Believe her. In the mystical art of decoding women, there might be a chance that she is not dating other guys and is using it as a power play. But honestly, who wants to spend their life decoding a person that says one thing and means another. Better to cut your losses at the beginning.
Easypeasy: If you decide to continue to see other women, while she is investing in you and building something, you are in for drama.
Need more reasons, read on:
It guards your heart
Out of the heart come the well springs of life.
If you allow your heart to be disloyal in small things, then can you trust it to be loyal in big things?
Imagine working out. The only way that I build muscles is through daily exercise and keeping the habit. The only way I build character is through daily exercise and keeping the habit. To build a strong and honest character, I have to make strong and honest choices, even when it is hard.
Now, whatever she decides to do is between her and the Lord, but you have to make your decisions as a man to protect her and more importantly (at this point) your character.
You’re cheating yourself of a once in a lifetime experience
Dating in the age of dating apps has made people seem almost dispensable. “Oh, there is always someone else, I can just swipe right on the next person.”
This is not fulfilling. Yes, it is a good way to get to know someone, but when you find someone you connect with, stop trying to connect with everyone, and concentrate on enjoying this unique experience and opportunity.
Your future love story is in the making right now
Do you really want your love story with your future Mrs. Right to have another woman competing for the leading role? If you do, you really need to examine the root cause.
The Bible says that, “He who finds a wife finds what is good.” It does not say that he who dates everyone and their sister is a player or a stud.
Imagine when you are telling your grandchildren your love story, and your Mrs. Right interrupts with, “Well, when I found out he was still dating other women, he almost lost me.”
Commit and no drama!
You are called to be a man
What is your definition of a man?
Mine is a provider, protector and proclaimer. I want a man who will provide security, love and a home with me. I want a man who will protect me, even from himself. I want a man who will proclaim that I am his. His friends will know who I am before I meet them, he will hold my hand in public. I do not ever want to question who I am to my partner or my role in his life.
If someone I dated allowed there to be questions of who I was to him, it was not because he was acting as a man, it was because he was still playing childish games…and he kept playing them, just with out me.
Last reason: My Lesson Learned
Anytime that I have continue to date more than one person when I was feeling the pseudo-relationship feeling, I regretted it later. It took something away from my experience, made my eventual commitment to my partner seem less than real and ended up hurting someone that I cared very deeply about. It took time to realize when I reached the ‘designs in the sand’, is when it was time to stop seeking another experience or conversation. Instead it was time to invest in what God had given me and enjoy the company of a person that I had grown to care about and respect.
What are your thoughts about committing before commitment?