There is something I feel is missing from a lot of relationships lately, according to what I hear from people on a daily basis:
By this, I mean, dating for an actual purpose. It doesn’t have to be for marriage (everyone’s long-term goal is different), but it should be for something. Even, if that something, is simply building a foundation that will support a relationship in the long term. That, in itself, is a worthy goal.
Problems arise, though, when we just kind of ‘wing it.’ I don’t think it’s a coincidence that people are so frustrated and confused when it comes to dating these days, how can you not be confused, when there doesn’t seem to be any structure to anything anymore?
I’m certainly not saying dating should be calculated – it should be fun, carefree, natural, and romantic. But I do believe it should mean something and serve a purpose.
If you meet someone and just want to have a fling, or hook up, or do whatever you want to do – then by all means, go nuts. But if you’re looking for something serious, here are a few ways that dating deliberately will help you cultivate something you can enjoy for years to come:
Dating deliberately creates building blocks
Each new ‘step’ we take with someone we are dating, serves as an added layer to our relationship. Have you ever seen the inside of a rock formation where there are layers of sediment that have built on top of each other over time?
Picture each step you take with someone new, to be an extra layer of rock added in to the foundation of your relationship, making it stronger and more difficult to break. The first date, the first kiss, the first night together, becoming exclusive, meeting each other’s families…
All of these things, when approached consciously and deliberately, help to build the necessary foundation for a solid, long lasting relationship.
Dating deliberately actually makes YOU a better person and partner
It requires you to put in effort for another person’s enjoyment, learn about them, and learn about yourself in the process. When committing one’s self to efforts such as these, one cannot help but to develop internally as well. We become more aware of the world around us, what people want and need in order to be happy, and how we can help give it to them.
If making others happy isn’t good enough for you – remember that people are willing to do more for those who do more for them.
Dating deliberately helps you build TRUST in the relationship
One of the biggest factors in relationships failing these days is lack of trust. Either lack of trust during the beginning stages, or even after commitment has been established.
If a man takes the time to court a woman, it requires him to build a foundation for the relationship. Relationships do not simply appear out of thin air. They take time, energy, and commitment to build – much like a house. But a relationship without this trust and friendship is like a house built on sand. It may look good from the outside, but it will have nothing to keep it standing when the weather gets rough.
If a woman has a clear view that you’re willing to build this foundation with her, it will limit her insecurities and help build her confidence in you, which will allow you to do the same in return.
Dating deliberately makes intimacy more enjoyable
Through the process of courtship, men and women tend to develop a stronger emotional connection than if they had simply jumped into a relationship or a “friends with benefits” scenario. What many people don’t realize is that a stronger emotional connection, especially for a woman, translates to a stronger physical connection.
People think of intimacy as strictly physical, but in reality – it is built through small actions that show each other you care, romance, chivalry, and courtship. Intimacy, therefore, is in reality built outside of the bedroom.
Dating deliberately helps you actually find the person who’s right for you
Many people get so caught up in finding the “perfect” person, that they might miss the person who is actually perfect for them. Additionally, I have heard from many men (“nice guys”) that women just don’t appreciate their efforts or personalities, and they get discouraged.
It is important to stay true to yourself, your nature, and what feels comfortable to you. If someone (man or woman) is pushed away by your kindness, then instead of being discouraged, try to see it as a positive sign that you learned early on in the relationship that they weren’t the right type of person for you.
The right type of person for you will appreciate the small details you notice, the kindness you exude to those around you, and the effort you put in specifically for them. Through the courtship process we learn if a woman (or man) is going to be appreciative of what we do for them and how they will respond.
If we jump into a relationship, as many do these days, we are left complaining about how they “changed” after a few months of being with them, and then breaking up. In reality, nobody changed at all – you simply learned who they truly are.
If we take the time to practice courtship, we will eliminate these surprises down the road and truly learn who we are building a relationship with at the proper time to do so – in the beginning.
Show someone your respect for yourself as well as for them, by keeping courtship alive.