Have you considered the specific qualities that attract you to the opposite sex? What kind of person does your heart dream about? Have you thought about what character traits you desire? What character traits you do not want in a dating partner?
Relationships fall apart because many people choose a person to date by physical attraction only. Once they are attracted to that person’s looks the dating game starts. After a few dates the character, personality and quirks of both people are exposed (this may take months ). Only then does the painful process of trying to adapt to that person starts; making the relationship work because now you are physically attached and time has been invested. One day down the road the person will wake up and realize they are not the same person they were when they first started dating. They find themselves not satisfied with anything in life. Their friends and family have told them they are different. Sadly, they have no idea what is wrong and will try to cling to their sweetheart, determined to make “it” work, causing more pain and dissatisfaction.
People who date because of physical attraction are often self-absorbed. They are in the relationship for what it can do for them. There is always one chasing and one being chased. That is not a relationship! It is a train wreck waiting to happen. The wreck victim will walk away with many wounds, little to no self-esteem and their walk with God weakened. No matter how much pleasure dating a sexually appealing, physically attractive, rich, popular, or thrill seeking person may bring, those characteristics cannot and will NEVER satisfy the natural desire of a healthy heart and well-being of a whole person.
Would you stand on the edge of a mountain blind folded? Would you take one step then two just to see how close you can get without falling off? That is what you do when you begin dating without any consideration of what you are doing. You never know when you are going to fall in-love. Dating an emotionally dangerous person may lead you to marry an emotionally dangerous person. Marriage to an emotionally dangerous person leads to divorce, almost 100% of the time. That is a painful plunge off the mountain. Some do not survive and others limp away with many wounds.
THE HEART PROJECT
FINDING A HEALTHY DATING PARTNER EXERCISE
1) On the inside of this heart write down every aspect of what you want in a life mate. This will range from superficial to serious (looks, leisure activities, music, faith, temperament, everything you can think of).
a. Highlight each item you consider negotiable. For instance, you may think that height, weight and music style are negotiable. You would highlight these. Possibly, temperament, faith and education is not negotiable. You would not highlight these.
2) Around the outside of the heart list the things you do NOT want in a mate. Be specific and can range from superficial to serious. For instance, drinking, short temper, drug use, and even being too short or too tall maybe things you do not want in a mate.
3) Next, highlight the things that are negotiable.
4) Look at the list of words on the outside of your heart. Think about why you listed them. Write yourself a letter explaining why you listed each word as something you would never want in a mate.
5) Place the heart where you can get to it easily and refer to it when needed.
6) Each time you are attracted to or considering dating someone, refer to your “Heart Monitor.” Ask yourself the following questions:
a. Does he/she have any of the characteristics listed on the outside of the heart? How many? How many are non-negotiable?
b. How many characteristics does he/she exhibit that are listed on the inside of my heart? How many? How many are non-negotiable?
7) You should not consider dating someone until you know whether of not he/she has any of the traits you have mentioned.
8) Not sure about some of these? Then it is too soon to date. It is time for a friendship. Get together in groups, talk and get to know that person. When you can answer if he/she does or does not have characteristics listed on the inside and outside of your heart you are ready to make the decision to date or not.
Dating someone before you know them well enough can lead to a long and difficult breakup. Isn’t it better to know the person well and avoid the pain of dating the wrong person?