How to End a Coffee Date

I don’t ALWAYS plan things out, and I’m not always the fastest on my feet when it comes to being honest…and not awkward. So I’ve been at the end of a coffee date and suddenly realized, “I have no idea how to end this. Am I interested? Should we do it again? I don’t think I want to do another time, but how do I say that? Should I just walk away? No, you should say something…but what?”  

Please, allow me to help you clearly communicate and end it well – whatever you decide.

 

FIRST THINGS FIRST: BEFORE YOU TALK, MAKE UP YOUR MIND.

Sometimes, you’re just having a blast and you know “This is awesome. I’d love to do this again.” You may also know “This person is great and valuable, but I’m not interested at all.” If either of those are the case, you already know. If you don’t know, use my trick. Go to the bathroom.

I excuse myself and go to the bathroom where I can get away for a moment and think to myself. I’ll be honest with myself and God with what I’m feeling and together, we’ll make a decision.

 

IF IT’S A “YES”:

Easy. Just share what you’re thinking (unless you’re planning your wedding day, then don’t say that…and stop living in fantasy land. Live in the first or second date. That’s where you are.)

I have had so much fun/really enjoyed this. I’d love to do this again. Would you be interested in that?

My suggestion would be try something different. If you had coffee, do something interactive. Plan a walk, mini-golfing, a bingo night, or to go dancing.  

 

IF IT’S A “NO”:

Give them honor and respect, but don’t lead them on. Let them know where you are so they aren’t left guessing.

Thanks for meeting me today. It was nice to get to know you a little better. Maybe we’ll get to see each other around sometime.

Here, you’ve appreciated them as a person. You’ve used past tense language “it was nice getting to know you” so that you have finished what you started. Saying “maybe” and “sometime” is a nice sentiment, but you’re communicating that you’re not making plans ahead for the future without being blunt.

 

IF YOU DON’T KNOW.

Remember that you’re not planning a trip down the aisle or what your kids look like on this first date. You’re just trying to see if you like what happened enough to do it again. Our philosophy is to give everyone a chance (unless they’re a creep). If you didn’t hate it, give them a second chance. People can be super nervous and not fully show up on the first date. You could be there too. Give them another chance to be them, and you’ll get a more accurate picture of who they really are AND how you’re feeling. That being said, if you don’t know, then do it again and learn the person more. Just don’t use positive language that’s as strong.

Thanks for joining me today. I’ve enjoyed this. I’d like to get to know you better. Would you be interested in that?

After overcoming the initial leap of asking her out and actually getting a yes, you’re already doing great.  Don’t put more pressure on yourself than you should; remember to have fun. 

 

ABRAM GOFF HAS BEEN PART OF THE MORAL REVOLUTION TEAM SINCE 2014 CREATING GRAPHICS AND DIFFERENT FORMS OF MEDIA. HE HAS SERVED THROUGH GRAPHIC DESIGN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE THE CHURCH FOR OVER A DECADE. HIS PASSION IS TO SEE PEOPLE ACROSS THE NATIONS EXTRAVAGANTLY FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS AND WALK IN PASSION, PURITY, AND PURPOSE. HE BELIEVES EACH PERSON IS MADE TO BE FULLY ALIVE AND FULLY BEAUTIFUL IN THEIR ORIGINAL DESIGN DISCOVERED THROUGH RELATIONSHIP WITH THE FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. WITH SOUTHERN BAPTIST ROOTS AND AS A GRADUATE OF BSSM, HE HAS A PASSION TO SEE THE WHOLE CHURCH DISCOVER AND WALK IN ALL OF WHO SHE REALLY IS. 
WEBSITE: ABRAMGOFF.COM 
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/ABRAMGOFF
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/ABRAMGOFF

 

Other Related Posts


Creating Healthy Expectations

In this blogpost we’re going to talk about another aspect of dating: EXPECTATIONS.

Ladies in the house, you know we all have expectation. A cute brother walks in to church, and you do a metal check. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about, you see if there’s metal on the hand. Does he have a ring? Don’t lie, you know it’s true.

Part of defining the relationship, is figuring out and communicating our expectations. If you’re attracted to someone and they ask you out, or you ask someone else out, I think one of the things we could do to bring health to our relationships is to identify our expectations.

Song of Solomon 3:1-2 says:

 

All night long on my bed

I looked for the one my heart loves;

I looked for him but did not find him.

I will get up now and go about the city,

through its streets and squares;

I will search for the one my heart loves.

So I looked for him but did not find him.

 

Though this is in the voice of a woman who theologians believe is married, I believe there are practical things here we can learn from, male or female. Many of us are looking for “the one my heart loves.”

We search for them, but do not find them. Yes, there’s a play on words there, but I’m taking her words because many of us who desire to be in relationship are searching for that person. Eighty-five percent of single people want to be married or want to be in a monogamous relationship.

So let’s come clean. Let’s stop saying “this is just my friend” when they’re not, or engaging in friends with benefits. No, we need to define the relationship.

 

Here’s a message to the men (and women can learn from this too):

 

1. Own your actions.

Guys, if you are out with a girl alone on a second or third hangout, don’t get it twisted and think that she’s crazy if she suspects you’re interested in her. You might say, “Nah, we’re friends. We’re cool.” I’m telling you from the perspective of a female, don’t automatically assume she’s just there to kick it with you and your friends and watch the NBA finals. This might be the case, but there’s a good possibility it’s not…

Men, and women, own your actions. If you’re hanging out with someone, texting them, and going out just the two of you, don’t think that he or she is reading too much into things when they wonder if there’s something there. It’s time to open up your mouth and have a good conversation. This brings us to point two.

 

2. Use your words.

Don’t be lame. God gave you a mouth, use it. Take the initiative and cast vision for your relationships. If you’re interested in a woman, don’t make her guess, don’t play games. As her brother in Christ, you have the opportunity to lead in this relationship. If you’re not interested in her romantically, set that line real quick. You might feel stupid, and she might even say, “Oh, I actually wasn’t interested in you,” but you know what, it’s okay. If you’re not at all interested, you just want to squash that immediately so hearts don’t get broken. It might be painful, or cause a little bit of drama in the moment, but for the sake of your relationship with sister in Christ, use your words.

 


People’s feelings get hurt when we’re not very clear with our intentions.


 

Now for the ladies:

3. Don’t be weird. 

If someone asks you out for coffee, don’t sit there and start dreaming of being eighty-five years old with them, squeezing each other tight in the sinking Titanic while the interlude of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On is playing in the background. Our minds can go there quickly. All the sudden we’re married, we have 2.5 kids, a picket fence, and a dog named Spot. Yep, our minds can go there, so be careful. We need to give our brothers in Christ some latitude to get to know us. 

I am not throwing stones here. If you knew me and my level of crazy cat lady, you would understand why I feel passionate about this. When my husband first invited me out for coffee, I had to text three friends to get their insight on it. I was freaking out about it, thinking, “Oh my goodness I can’t believe this. What are we going to do?” And I sent him this long email saying, “I feel called to ministry, I feel called to free slaves, I don’t think this is what I’m supposed to be doing, and God parted the Red Sea, He can bring someone to me.” His reply via email was very simply, “No problem… it’s just coffee.

When he said that I realized that I, and a lot of my Christian friends, were hyper-spiritualizing a lot of things. So instead of focusing on the minor, insignificant, maybe even borderline stupid things, let’s start to focus on the more important things, which we’ll get to in another post.

So remember, to keep your intentions and feelings clear in your relationships: own your actions, use your words, and ladies, give guys a little room to get to know you, before deciding if you’re ready to put the white picket fence up. It may feel weird at first, but it will help you out and it will help out the people you’re in relationship with in the long run.

 

BIANCA JUAREZ OLTHOFF IS A WRITER, SPEAKER, AND IN LOVE WITH TWO MEN: JESUS AND HER HUSBAND, MATT. BIANCA SPENDS HER WEEK WORKING AS CHIEF STORYTELLER FOR THE A21 CAMPAIGN, AN ANTI-HUMAN TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION, AND AS THE CREATIVE DIRECTOR FOR PROPEL WOMEN. SHE LOVES HAVING DANCE PARTIES IN THE LIVING ROOM WITH HER TWO STEP CHILDREN OR COOKING MEALS FOR FRIENDS. 
WEBSITE: BIANCAOLTHOFF.COM
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/BIANCAOLTHOFFSPEAKS 
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/BIANCAOLTHOFF 

9 Principles for Healthy Confrontation

When Jesus walked the earth, He had a few advantages over us. Minor things like He never sinned, for instance, so He never had to worry about hypocritically pointing out faults in others while neglecting His own. He was also God and knew the hearts of men; therefore, His assessments of people’s motives were always accurate. Undoubtedly, these advantages gave Him confidence and grace when it came to approaching a confrontation; He was neither shy nor overly harsh.

We, on the other hand, have to be told, “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). According to this standard, confrontation must never involve yelling at someone, accusing him or her of evil, venting frustration or punishing the person for failing or hurting you. We must be especially careful about not judging the motives of people. In my experience, our so-called “gift of discernment” often turns out to be suspicion in disguise, especially when we are upset with someone.

Over the years, I have learned these nine principles for practicing the art of healthy confrontation:

 

1. WHEN A PROBLEM ARISES, GET AN APPOINTMENT TO TALK TO THE PERSON AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Waiting too long allows the seed of bitterness to gestate. Don’t wait for anger to be your counselor. Remember, this is not about punishing the person for his or her inappropriate behavior. You are meeting with the person for his or her benefit. The goal is to help mold the person into the image of God and reconcile your relationship.

 

2. LET THE PERSON KNOW HOW HIS OR HER BEHAVIOR HAS AFFECTED YOU.

Describe in detail how the person’s actions are making you feel.

 

3. KEEP YOUR ARMOR OFF BY BEING TRANSPARENT ABOUT YOUR OWN STRUGGLES.

When a person is responding to you, listen from your heart to his (her) heart. Many people are not good at articulating their struggles, so you often have to listen beyond their words. As the person is speaking to you, don’t develop your defenses or turn the conversation into a war of words. Ask questions that unearth the root problem. What is really wrong? What kind of core problem would cause these symptoms?

 

4. ALWAYS GIVE THE PERSON THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, NO MATTER HOW HE OR SHE HAS BEHAVED.

Remind yourself that the person you are having a problem with was made in the image of God and, therefore, most likely has a good heart, even though his or her behavior is negatively affecting the environment. Never think of the person as an enemy, but instead as a wayward son or daughter (father or mother). Show honor at all times. Let the person know you believe in him or her.


Remember, you only have as much influence in someone’s life as they have value for you.


 

5. ASK THE PERSON HOW YOU CAN BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.

By this time, you may have found out that you are actually part of the problem. Maybe you are King David in this situation. Has your fear, weakness or dysfunction become a seedbed for the person’s strength to be overemphasized or his or her weakness to be exposed? Have you reacted to the way you were raised or to some negative circumstances in your own life?

 

6. IF OTHER PEOPLE ARE NOT PART OF THE PROBLEM OR PART OF THE SOLUTION, IT IS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.

Don’t talk to other people about your offense with the person. Don’t build a case against the person by bringing up other people’s names in the conversation, saying things like, “I talked to John and Mary and they have the same problem with you.” This just makes you look like a coward and a gossip. If you do that, don’t be surprised if the person being confronted feels like he or she is a victim of a gang assault. You are not there to be someone’s attorney.

On this note, if someone comes to you to talk about a problem with someone else, tell him or her to go talk to the person, not to you. I have 550 employees who work for me at Bethel Church. Many of my team members used to come up to me and begin to tell me about a struggle they were having with another staff member. Before they got 20 seconds into their discourse, I would interrupt them and ask, “Have you talked to this person yet?”

Nine out of ten times they would say, “No!”

Then I would ask them, “What business do you have talking to me if you haven’t even talked to the person who offended you?”

It is important to remember that a person who talks to you about someone else will one day be talking to someone about you. Allowing people to complain about others creates a culture of gossip. I personally will not tolerate it at Bethel.

 

7. IF YOU REALIZE DURING THE CONVERSATION THAT YOU ARE THE PROBLEM OR A PART OF THE DILEMMA, BE QUICK TO REPENT.

Humility always leads to repentance. Don’t defend yourself; leave your weapons outside the door. If the other person is wrong, verbally forgive him or her. Forgiveness restores the standard, so the person needs to be treated as if he/she never sinned after he or she repents.

 

8. IF YOU COME TO AN IMPASSE, HAVE SOMEONE YOU BOTH EQUALLY RESPECT JOIN YOU IN ANOTHER MEETING TO HELP RESOLVE THE ISSUE.

Bringing someone into the meeting that is not respected by one of the parties will only feel like the other person’s attorney is present. But a wise person who is not emotionally attached to the conflict can bring insightful perspective that is hard to see when you are in the middle of it, and will usually help bring the necessary resolution. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a problem with someone only to find out in a meeting with him or her that I am the problem. Having a respected third party present helped me see the truth.

 

9. LAST BUT NOT LEAST, DON’T WITHDRAW FROM THE PERSON AFTER A CONFLICT.

Make an extra effort to stay close to him or her during the healing process. This is often the difference between a long healthy relationship and a lifelong pattern of conflict.

A study was completed in the business world many years ago concerning this issue of conflict. The survey showed that when a customer had a problem with a business and the company satisfactorily solved the issue, that customer became many times more loyal to that store in the years that followed than they were before the conflict.

I believe that conflict and confrontation resolved inside the core values of the Kingdom actually strengthen our relationships. These struggles are the sign of real relationships where people feel safe to tell one another the truth in love. This creates covenant societies that bond around family values, instead of fatherless sibling rivalries where orphans vie for preeminence in the pecking order of the world’s chicken coop.

 

Originally published on krisvallotton.com.

 

KRIS VALLOTTON IS THE AUTHOR OF NUMEROUS BOOKS, CO-AUTHOR OF THE BEST SELLING SUPERNATURAL WAYS OF ROYALTY, AND IS A WELL-KNOWN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE SPEAKER. KRIS IS THE FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF MORAL REVOLUTION, THE SENIOR ASSOCIATE LEADER OF BETHEL CHURCH, AND THE CO-FOUNDER OF BETHEL SCHOOL OF SUPERNATURAL MINISTRY.  HE AND HIS WIFE, KATHY, HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 40 YEARS AND RESIDE IN REDDING, CALIFORNIA.  THEY HAVE FOUR GROWN CHILDREN AND EIGHT GRAND CHILDREN.

 

WEBSITE: KRISVALLOTTON.COM
FACEBOOK: FACEBOOK.COM/KVMINISTRIES
TWITTER: TWITTER.COM/KVMINISTRIES
INSTAGRAM: INSTAGRAM.COM/KVMINISTRIES

Does Siri know you better than your friends?

Who are you connecting with?


 

Did you know that the average person checks their phone 110 times a day?*

 

I was in a bit of disbelief when I heard this, until I paid attention.

 

It didn’t matter if I was in a conversation, eating dinner, watching a movie, or just hanging out- I noticed that people we’re always on their phones. (I wish I could say I was exempt from that group, but I can’t.) But why? The obvious answer would be the plethora of distraction. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, Temple Run, Candy Crush- the list goes on! But why? Are we really that bored and lethargic that we’ll open Instagram 3 times in less than a minute just to keep ourselves occupied? Or is there something else going on?

 

I think, sometimes, it’s easier for us to be numb than to be sad. Sometimes, instead of dealing with the stress of bills, we watch a show we don’t even follow. Sometimes, distraction is easier than confrontation. Sometimes, instead of calling a friend and asking how they are doing, we check out their Facebook and decide for them. If we’re not careful and we remain unaware of this problem, “sometimes” will lead to “all the time,” and we will find ourselves scared, isolated, and alone.

 

Community matters. Having people in your life that know about the details of your life- the fears, the victories, the struggles, the relationships, the hurt, the promotions- matters! Living on your own, isolated and independent, will only get you so far. You need people who can love you through your messes and celebrate you in your victories! You don’t need 20 people to know everything and having one person is better than no person, but 3-5 is healthy and realistic. Plus, with numbers, you gain the variety of perspective and experience.

 

So, who knows you? Besides Siri.

 

– Anna Weygandt (Intern)

 

* Woollaston, V. (2013, Oct 08). How often do you check your phone? The average person does it 110 times a day (and up to every 6 seconds in the evening). Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2449632/How-check-phone-T…

10 Warning Signs You Might Cross The Line

Staying faithful to my wife was a solemn promise I made to her before God.

I utterly intended to keep that promise to the end of our days. I lived without doubt that nothing could ever tempt me to do otherwise.  I never went looking for ‘trouble’ and thought I was aware when ‘trouble’ was looking for me…and believed I was always avoiding it.

The vast majority of good people who betray their marriages never see it coming. Many establish clear, healthy boundaries and have no desire to stray, in fact, their marriage is one of the highest priorities of their lives.

That was my story. Totally. 

I enlisted trusted friends to ask hard questions to help me stay accountable. And, over the years, my wife, Caron, and I often talked openly about our marriage being a prime target (actually every marriage is a target) because we believed there is an enemy seeking to kill, steal and destroy our relationship with God, our witness for Christ, and out to rob us of the true joy God designed for us to experience in our marriages.


So what happened?


Actually, a whole slew of things contributed, and at a future time we’ll talk about: how to know your own state of vulnerability to tempting conditions, how we often contribute to our own emotional burdens making ourselves more susceptible, lies we believe that contribute to our deception, unhealthy personality patterns that diminish our marital and relational capacities, and entitlement. Entitlement is a subtle driver with a powerful engine for certain personality types. It’s the “I deserve a break today” mentality that seems to play a major role for people who experience moral failure. 

In this blog we want to talk about how to catch yourself before a random encounter, casual acquaintance, innocent friendship or working relationship even comes close to crossing the line. 

Here are some warning signs you should NEVER EVER ignore: 

1. When you start to notice you are not telling your spouse about certain conversations you are having with another person.

 

2. When you notice the other person avoids your spouse, makes no effort to include your spouse in a friendship with you or you avoid bringing your spouse into your interactions with the other person.

 

3.  When you begin to feel this other person may be paying attention or listening to you with more empathy than your spouse has lately.  They may say certain things to you that stroke your ego, things like:

“I’ve never met someone with such wisdom and insight as you. I so admire and respect the work you do. You really are one amazing person.”

OR

“Wow! You look especially good today. Have you been losing weight? And what’s that great perfume you’re wearing?” 

OR

“Hey, you doing okay? I’ve really been worried about you. You’ve been working so hard lately. Anything I can do to help?”

OR

“Do you think we could be better friends?” 

 4.  When you begin discussing marital problems with this other person, either theirs or yours.

OR

5.  You avoid discussing your marriage with the other person (as if it doesn’t exist) or, if they are married, you notice they avoid talking about their spouse.

 

6.  When you begin making excuses to yourself like: “Nothing to worry about here. There’s no harm in just talking.” Or, “I’m really strong. Nothing about this person is going to feel attractive to me. I have this totally under control.” Or, “We have a lot of work to discuss. No big deal if we grab a bit of lunch first.”

 

7.  When you do begin to feel some type of attraction toward this person.

 

8.  When you begin to confide in this person in areas normally reserved for your spouse.

 

9.  When it feels easier to spend time with this other person than with your spouse.

 

10.  When you start to notice this person positioning themself to be near you, making excuses to see you privately, appealing to your compassion by “keeping you in the loop” of some troubling personal issue or they “over-serve” or keep seeking to help or assist you in demonstrative or ingratiating ways.

If ANY of the above situations are currently playing with your head, then ADMIT that those mysterious brain chemicals are starting to get overwhelming and GET OUT of there immediately.

If you have friendships with members of the opposite sex OR same sex … and you want to avoid situations that could lead in an unhealthy direction make sure you include your spouse in the relationship (in some form or another) from the get-go.  This is probably your safest deterrent.


NOTE: Any time a person is uninterested or unwilling to be a “friend of your marriage” they are no friend of yours! 


And when we do not involve our spouse or even begin to keep the slightest “secret” from them we’re already in trouble.

If you want to put your spouse at ease, able to trust you with the other people in your life, make sure your spouse is a part of those relationships. 

It may sound outdated but, when we are married, all our friendships should be open and shared. They should involve both you and your spouse on some healthy level. 

If, for some reason, you don’t feel a need to make your spouse a part of a “friendship” you have with someone you need to deeply question what your true objective is for maintaining that relationship and make a beeline to talk with a counselor or trusted, accountable friend.

 

David Loveless is a mentor/coach, pastor to pastors and strategic, spiritual advisor to churches and businesses in over 50 countries. He served as founding pastor of Discovery Church, Orlando, Fl for 29 years. During that time Discovery was identified in Dr. John Vaughn’s book as one of “America’s Most Influential Churches” and was named as one of the Fastest Growing U.S. Churches in the 21st Century by Outreach Magazine. David and his wife Caron are parents of three sons and are the grandparents of their seven delightfully energized children. For more from David and Caron Loveless, visit www.youlivetrue.com.


Trust Is Key

A while back I dated a girl who was extremely insecure and for some reason I took on the responsibility of “fixing” her. I made it my goal to make sure she knew how incredibly beautiful and lovely she was. The problem was, I was very insecure myself and we had both put each other in a place that only God should have had in our lives.

 

No matter how much I tried to love her, she struggled to receive it because she didn’t think she was worth it. And to add to that, I had some trust issues that weren’t helping matters. I recognized that there were various things damaging our connection, but I never addressed them because I was afraid of hurting her feelings. I also realized I had gotten into the relationship for the completely wrong reasons. It was unhealthy, co-dependent, and smothered by insecurities. I began to build a case and get frustrated, and she didn’t seem be getting any less insecure. With insecurity comes a lack of trust. There was such a low level of trust that we didn’t feel safe, which makes sense, because when you don’t know who you are, it is impossible for someone else get to know the real you.

 

Trust takes time to build and should increase as the relationship progresses, but there was very little in this relationship. Not only were we individually not whole; we didn’t trust one another enough to protect the other’s heart. The relationship became stagnant and did not develop. For a relationship to work, you need to fully trust that you are seeing the real person and that you like the real them. I learned this the hard way by entering a relationship with little trust already built. Since learning my identity, not taking on other people’s responsibilities, and choosing to trust, my life looks, and is, so much healthier!

 

Ashley-James, 24, California, US


11 Questions to Ask Before You Start Dating

AM I READY TO DATE?


“What are the things I can go after now as a single to prepare me for marriage? What do I need to be looking for in a future spouse?”


 We sat down as a team for 3 hours and came up with 11 questions we think would be great for you to consider before you jump into dating.

 1. Do I know who I am?

This question is one ALL of us are discovering and rediscovering on a daily basis, but as a general overview, here are things you might want to know about yourself:

I know who (whose) I am in Christ. We are sons/daughters of God through Christ. We are 100% fully loved, accepted, chosen, restored, redeemed and saved. We have everything we need and will never lack anything because we have a loving Father who gives freely to His children.

I know how to give love to others and how I need to receive love from others.
I know what I love and what makes me come alive.
I know what my core values are and practice living by them.
I know my needs and my wants.
I know my strengths and weaknesses.
I know how to dream for my future.
I am in touch with my heart (aka feelings, emotions, what my heart, mind or body needs).

2. Do I know how to communicate?

Learning and knowing how to communicate what you think, feel, and need will be one of the greatest relational skills you acquire. Since we communicate with our words, facial expressions, tone of voice, and even our body language, we must learn to become people who communicate well. When you are hurt, rejected, or disappointed you will know how to get out what you are feeling so that manipulation, guilt trips, self-pity, and sarcasm (passive-aggressiveness) will not be weapons you reach for when in conflict.

3. Do I know what my boundaries are and how to keep them?

Do you have emotional boundaries? Do you have physical boundaries? Do you have a plan to keep those boundaries in place? Are you willing to respect the boundaries of others? Knowing your limitations (and those of who you’re dating) is an avenue to “protect and preserve” an individual and/or relationship. Figure out what your boundaries are now and own them. Don’t wait to hear what your girlfriend/boyfriend’s boundaries are and then decide what yours will be.

4. Do I have a vision for my life and a plan to get there?

This question is referring to personal character and growth, dreams, and your life calling. Do you know the person you want to be? Do you know the life you want to have? What dreams do you want to live out? Do you know how to accomplish these things or where to find an answer? If there are certain things that are important to you (where you want to live, the job you want to have, how many children you want, etc) then it will make dating easier because you know the kind of life partner you need to partner with. For example, if you are a very driven person and the person you are dating is not then that could be an area of conflict down the road. We’re not saying it never works, we’re just giving you a heads up so you’re not blindsided once the honeymoon is over.

5. Do I have community in my life?

Community is a necessity in our lives. We need people to “do life with.” It’s through relationships that we are held accountable, challenged, experience love, and subsequently grow. We need most (if not all) of the relational roles filled in our lives. Here are some things to ask yourself about your community:

Do I have people in my life that know me and I know them? (moms/dads/mentors, brothers/sisters/peers, church fellowship, small groups, home church family, etc)
Am I intentional about who I am doing life with? (Are there people in my life who love me and challenge me?)
Am I believed in, encouraged and guided to answers? Do I ask for feedback and correction?
Do I know how to ask for help?
Do we know how to have fun with each other? Do we laugh and have adventures together?

6. What does my relationship with Jesus look like?

Do I know Him intimately?  Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? If you haven’t, would you like to? If you have, how are you growing in that relationship? Do you spend time with Jesus? Do you believe He speaks to you? Do you listen for what He has to say? Are you in dialogue with Him and doing life with Him on a daily basis? How does He speak to you?

7. Do I have a teachable spirit and can I humbly receive feedback (even when it hurts)?

This question might be easy to answer now, but think back to times people have confronted you about how you affect them, a room, or a group of people. How did you respond? Even though it’s difficult, being a “teachable” person can cause your personal character to grow and your relationships to grow immensely. Humility is a necessity for growth.

8. Am I responsible and do I know how to take care of things?

Responsibility: the state or fact of being responsible, answerable, or accountable for something within one’s power, control, or management.  This one is sort of a no-brainer. Is your life in order? By life I mean, is your thought life, finances, laundry, house, schedule, etc. in order or are you a hot mess that jumps from one thing to another? Can people depend on you to do what you say you are going to do?  Do you show up on time?  Can people trust you? This is what we mean by, are you responsible?

9. Do I know how to serve? Do I practice putting other’s needs above my own?

Do you walk into a relationship and look for ways to give or do you expect everyone to serve you? Within a healthy context, serving another person is one of the highest forms of love. It can sometimes look like compromising to come to an agreement or doing something you wouldn’t normally do because it brings life/joy to another person. Many days serving looks like sacrifice. Note: Please understand that compromising your core values is not serving. Giving and serving one another within relationship is a give and take. One person should not be the only one practicing this concept.

10. Do I honor and respect people?

Honor: high respect, as for worth, merit, or rank; to show a courteous regard for. Do you know how to value other people, even when they are different from you? Showing other people kindness, value, and love is the mark of a person who looks outside of themselves, or their status, to see other people’s hearts. If someone doesn’t treat others with honor and respect, they most likely will not treat you with honor and respect. Here’s a tip: watch how they treat their waiter/waitress. Watch how they treat their parents. These things reveal a lot about a person.

11. Do I know how to forgive people and ask forgiveness? Or do I keep “short accounts?”

No one likes to be hurt, and it can be even harder to ask for forgiveness when you’re the one who did the hurting. However, forgiveness left unattended is a wide open door for bitterness to take root, causing people to disconnect spiritually/relationally from one another. Forgiveness means restoring the standard to what the relationship was meant to be before the “mistake” was made. It means letting go and not holding the “mistake” over someone’s head. Do you know how to forgive, bless, and release people when they have hurt or wronged you? Do you know how to say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong, will you forgive me?” even if you believe you’ve done nothing wrong? This is part of walking in humility, as well as seeking connection and love over being right.

These are just the tip of the iceberg when considering how to be a healthy individual/dater. We are all on a journey and none of us have life figured out but the two most important questions you will every answer in your life are:

Will I believe in Jesus and commit my life to Him?
Who will I marry and commit my life to?

Becoming a healthy individual and not settling for an unhealthy spouse will create healthy marriages that restore the standard of what family life looks like in the world today.  Let’s get to it people!

– Amanda Zentz (Intern)


Should I Pursue A Girl Who Is Still Healing From Her Past?

Should I even consider pursuing a girl who has pain and possible trauma from her past? Let me explain: she was bullied, hated, raped and suicidal. If she has not been completely healed from all the inner wounds yet, what should I do if we both like each other a lot?

Thank you so much for sharing your concerns. You may feel like you want to help her in the process, but remember that you can’t fix or heal anyone. You’ll have to be 100% okay with where she’s at, and 100% okay if she stays there. I would encourage you to consider thinking about some questions before entering any dating relationship:

What do I want from a relationship?
Am I ready to date?
What am I looking for in a girl?
What is it about her that interests me?

I personally believe that it is extremely important for us to have an awareness of ourselves before focusing on someone else. One of our speakers, Jason Vallotton, wrote a chapter in the Moral Revolution book that focuses solely on “the pursuit”. In this chapter, he mentions that we know we are ready for a relationship when we can benefit the other person no matter the outcome. I think it would be great for you to ask yourself whether you think you will be a benefit to her and whether she will be a benefit to you.

Jason also mentions that any cracks in a person’s foundation will be magnified with the pressure of another person. I do agree with this statement and would honestly not suggest that two people start dating when deeper healing needs to first take place.

I would also recommend that you talk with those that you are close with about this situation. Whether that’s a parent, leader, pastor, etc., it’s always beneficial to talk with someone who knows you both well, and who can give you their perspective throughout the process.

As for what you should do right now, I think it would be great for you to continue pursuing friendship with this girl. If she gives you a place in her life, then communicate freely about where you’re at, what you’re concerned about, or anything else. There is no reason why you can’t develop your friendship while she goes after healing.

Additional resources:

Jason Vallotton’s chapter (chapter 5) in the Moral Revolution book. I believe this will really help you and give you some clarity on what being in a relationship should look like.

You should also check out the following teaching series on dating by Louie Giglio and Andy Stanley:

The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating (4 part series) by Andy Stanley (free)

Boy Meets Girl (6 part series) by Louie Giglio ($1.99 a session)


Self Awareness

Do you say or do things without thinking how it will affect or impact the people around you?

 

The dictionary definition of self-awareness is “conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.” I also believe it’s having a clear perception of your personality, including your strengths and weaknesses and allows you to better understand other people as you interact with them; how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.

 

Why is self-awareness important?

If you have better understanding of how you think, feel, and react to a situation you also get to understand why people act the way they do (empathy). Self-awareness is an important skill to acquire because it will better equip you to face challenges and build good, strong connections with people.

Being self-aware also means you are more self-assured. When you have better insight and understanding of who you are and what causes you to feel, behave and react as you do, then you are confident in being in new environments with people you don’t know. It gives you the ability to be open, thoughtful and aware of how you impact others. It is one of the best and most valuable qualities you can have!

 


“You can’t know the truth about another without first knowing it about yourself.”


 

So how do you get to be more
self-aware?

Self-awareness is a skill. This means it is something that must be consciously learned, developed and constantly practiced if it is to grow. Unfortunately it doesn’t just land on your lap! Here are a few things I have learned when communicating with someone:

 

1) Listen more than you talk.

Seek first to understand exactly what they are trying to communicate and why. Help the other person to fully communicate all that they want to. Keep asking until you have the full picture. It will potentially save you from heartache, breakdown (or loss) of relationship and the painful task of having to go back later to clear up the misunderstandings that are bound take place in the heat of the moment!

 

2) All the time they are communicating, pay attention to what is going on inside you.

What emotions are you feeling and why? Make a mental note of them and for the sake of keeping clear communication going, don’t react to them. If it is appropriate at any time, communicate what you are feeling to the other person. Use words and work to keep your tone of voice calm and kind. In the moment, don’t allow the emotion they are expressing to impact you to the extent that you might be tempted to react. Really listen to what they are trying to communicate.

 

3) After the event, process it with the Lord.

Get rid of any negative attacking things that they said, but ask Him if there was anything in the midst of what they said that you do need to hear. Revisit the emotions and process any pain with Him. Ask Him to help you understand why you acted (or reacted) the way you did or why you felt a particular emotion in a given situation. He champions your growth!

 

The great thing is, the more you practice, the more aware you become. And it doesn’t just have to be during interactions with others, you can practice paying attention to how you feel when you are listening to others interact or watching a movie. Take advantage of the many situations you face daily and put them to good use; you’ll grow a little bit more self-aware each day.

 

– Soo Prince (Intern)


How Do I Prepare For A Breakup?

QUESTION


I am in a year and a half long relationship and it is getting worse by the day. To prepare myself for a breakup, how can I prepare my body for it (lowering vasopressin or any bonding hormone that was released to bond me to my girlfriend)?

 

DOC’S ANSWER

Hormones do play a role in bonding (vasopressin, oxytocin, testosterone, and so forth), but relationships in a tailspin and the grief of loss are more than this or that chemical going up or down. Unfortunately, there is going to be pain – sad, raw, and unavoidable.

How do you prepare your body? Eat well and regularly; hydrate consistently; get plenty of rest; exercise; spend quality time talking and hanging out with emotionally and spiritually healthy friends; prioritize the things in your life that matter and cut way back on non-essentials; say no to new duties or dating right now (you’ll be on the rebound and a set up for bad choices); and focus well on your relationship with God. In fact, bring it all to God just as it is and as you are. As Sy Rogers likes to say, bring your dirt to God and do so quickly. I wish you well as you go through this valley.