Stages in the dating process

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CARDIFF, WALES - JULY 24: A couple sit on a bench outside the various pubs and clubs in Cardiff city centre on July 24, 2010 in Cardiff, Wales.The Coalition government is widely expected to introduce new laws to give increased powers for local councils to curb binge drinking and to take action in areas plagued by alcohol-influenced crime and disorder.Before continuing with this column, please review the preamble included at the beginning of this series, "Biblical Dating: How It's Different From Modern Dating." * * * PART 3: Just Friends » As Christians in dating relationships, we want to avoid hurting one another and dishonoring Christ by "defrauding" (see NASB translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:6) our brothers and sisters in Christ by implying — through word or action — a higher level of commitment to that person than we have made before God.Because this sort of (perhaps unintentional) deception is a particular temptation in a dating context, we need to be deliberate about avoiding it.The first thing that should happen if it has not happened during the initiation of the relationship is that intentions should be established.Whatever that conversation looks like, intentions should be clear and it should be the man making them so.

Knowing about them may happen in various ways, for example a man may see a woman in a bar or a sales person hears of a possible customer from a colleague.

That's where the following practical suggestions come in.

Note the phrase "practical suggestions." These are not sacrosanct biblical principles.

I get asked a lot of questions about dating but I felt the easiest way to start a series of posts addressing dating was to say: You need to go into dating with a reasonable level of trust and self-esteem.

Let’s imagine that you go through life and engaging with people that you have just met and don’t know enough about them to know exactly how much you can trust them, it’s best to have reasonable level of trust and increase or roll back accordingly based on your interactions with them. If you imagine that the idea of dating is about discovering other people and seeing how much you ‘click’ and whether you have enough going on to forge a relationship, this period is for you to learn about one another…even if what you learn is bad news.

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