One of the biggest deceptions in society today is that you have to be in a relationship in order to be happy, which is so far from the truth. The radio is filled with songs talking about loving someone all night long, and the television shows are filled with sexual explicit ads. Talk about trying to keep your eye and ear gates pure! Many singles feel pressured to be in a relationship by a certain age. I know I did, and sometimes still do. I was tired of seeing others in relationships while I was still alone.
People would tell me to just wait on God. Man, I didn‘t want to hear that! All I wanted was for God to send me a wife and nothing else. What I didn‘t realize was there was a process I had to go through before I could even be ready for a wife. I had to realize that living single doesn‘t have to be as hard as we make it. Just as there are commandments given in the Bible to live by, I believe that there are certain dating principles needed in order to have a successful relationship. So I’ve come up with ten dating commandments that I believe will help you with successful dating that will lead to a successful relationship.
Commandment #1: Thou Shalt Be Honest
The best and most important way to begin a relationship is by being honest from the start. It lets the other person know that you are trustworthy and there is low potential of them getting. Honesty refers to a facet of moral character and denotes positive, virtuous attributes such as integrity, truthfulness, and straightforwardness along with the absence of lying, cheating, or theft. Its telling the truth even if it means the other person‘s feelings may get hurt. Lying to keep them from getting hurt will have a bigger impact negatively later down the road because you have to keep telling the lie so they won‘t find out the truth.
And it gets hard for men because women will ask the same question in different ways just to see if your answer will change. You also have to be careful how you are honest. Saying exactly what‘s on your mind at any given moment is not good. You have to think about how you‘re going to say it before you say it. So as the old saying goes, ―honesty is the best policy.
Commandment #2: Thou Shalt Set Boundaries
Setting personal boundaries are like invisible force fields that protect the heart. Many people look at boundaries as walls, but rather when we establish healthy boundaries it provides a way to distinguish what we choose to let in and let out.
Commandment# 3: Thou Shalt Ask Questions
One of the main reasons people get hurt in relationships is because they don‘t ask the right or enough questions. So many singles especially miss this because they are looking at the person‘s outer appearance or what they have. I learned that in management and business you should ask open-ended questions that begin with who, what, when, where, why, and how, will call them to give you more specific and not just yes or no answers. You also have to ask specific questions in order to get specific and detailed answers. Here are some of my favorites:
- “How is your relationship with God?”
- “Why are you single?”
- “What do you like to do for fun?”
- “What is your family like?”
- “What are you looking for in a relationship?”
- “Where do you see yourself in the next five years?”
- “What do you feel is your purpose in life?”
- “What does honesty mean to you?”
These are just a few important questions to ask. You can find additional questions and resources on my website at www.nateholloway.org. The answers to the questions you ask will give you a better insight on how that person is and how they will be in the relationship. And you will have a red or green light on going further.
Commandment #4: Thou Shalt Not Have Sex before Marriage
Here‘s the vicious cycle that many couples go through each weekend: first of all he calls up, then of course, you dress up, he then picks you up, later that night to sex you up, the next morning you finally wake up, realizing that you‘ve totally messed up, now wondering why he no longer calls you! I hate to break the news to my female readers, but many guys only show a form of love in the beginning in order to get sex. The minute you tell him that you’re not having sex with him; he will either respect you or leave you. But in the same way some men give a form of love to get sex, there are an equal number of women who are giving sex in order to get love. God didn’t say “Let the marriage bed be undefiled” in Hebrews 13:4 to rob us of physical pleasure, but to give it to us in fullness at the right time. Just imagine what it will be like when it’s ordained by God. Yeah Buddy! Remember, when done right, you should be having the best sex
Commandment #5: Thou Shalt Pay Attention
Another reason we get hurt in relationships is because we don‘t pay attention to the red flags in the beginning and throughout the dating phase. When we first meet someone we are attracted to, there is a phase where we are filled with infatuation and excitement. Because we are lonely and we like this person so much, we overlook the flaws and red flags that pop up, hoping that they will change as the relationship evolves. This is a big mistake. Even though that person may be doing their best to mask those flaws, you should never let your need for companionship blind you from seeing what‘s clearly in front of you. The deeper you get into the relationship and the more comfortable they become with you, the masks will come off and you will discover who that person really is, baggage and all. By then you are in it so deep, you‘ve become too emotionally attached and can‘t let go. Then, one of two things will happen. You will either break up, or go through months of heartache and pain, or you stay with that person and suffer through a relationship filled with disappointment and
Either way, you are left unhappy realizing that you wasted a tremendous amount of time dealing with that person. So what do we do? We get involved with someone else without evaluating what went wrong in the last relationship. Get that person out of your system first. And spend some time alone evaluating the pros and cons of that relationship. Then you can move on successfully.
Commandment #6: Thou Shalt Date in Groups
Group dating is when you‘ve already been on a couple of dates with the person or this is the first date and you want your friends to meet them and give you their opinion. Dating in groups is a great way of getting to know the other person outside of your two party circle. And it will allow your friends to give you feedback on something you may have overlooked that can be hurtful in the long run.
Whenever I meet a female that I‘m interested in dating, it‘s very important to me that she meets my close circle of friends. The reason for that is because they have seen me go through some major relationship hurts and I trust their judgment about the women I date, and because I didn‘t listen when they were right about the previous relationships. You have the element of interaction with different people and conversations. So, if the date is going badly, there are other people there to take up the slack. Then, it takes some of the pressure off you of being the blame for the date if it goes south. What‘s most important, you get to see how they interact with other people, and how you fit into each other’s circles.
Commandment #7: Thou Shalt Not Settle
This commandment is very important, because it can cause a world of hurt or happiness in your life. Are you currently in a relationship that you‘re having doubts about? Are you trying to convince yourself that you love that person? Are you having a hard time letting go of a relationship that you know is not right for you because you‘ve been with them for a number of years? Do you find yourself making excuses for that person? If you answered yes to one or more of those questions, YOU ARE SETTLING!
Deep inside, when you first met this person, you knew they were not the one you really wanted. But you went with it anyway because you thought they would change or you were tired of being alone. It happens like that for a lot of people. The problem with settling in relationships is that you put yourself through a time of constantly trying to make that person into what you wanted in the beginning. And when you add sex into the equation, it gets even harder to break away because you have bonded with them spiritually therefore creating a soul tie.
You constantly question if you should be with them. Things are okay maybe two days out of the week and pure hell the other five days. Then you realize that you are constantly talking yourself into this relationship, saying things like, “No one is perfect,” or, “They are a really nice person,” or, “I’ve been with them for two years and I just can‘t walk away.” Settling for less than you deserve is the wrong way to enter a relationship. You may feel like it‘s hard to break away from
the relationship. And it can be. But you just have to make that hard, heart breaking decision, to get out of that relationship, to get closer to God and start over.
Commandment #8: Thou Shalt Not Play Games
This is one of the problems that I have with the dating scene. I feel that a lot of women play too many games. If you‘re not interested, say it. Don‘t go three or four months down the road, then fall off the radar. Then when they finally respond to your phone call, the only response you get is, ―It‘s not you, it‘s me.‖ Whatever! When they say that, it‘s definitely you! (I had to vent a little. Now that I‘ve gotten that out).
What I‘ve found is that many women and men play games to see if they still have it, to keep control of the situation or to keep their options open. Generally, men and women play games because either they are insecure or they are immature. One of the most annoying games played by men and women is the phone game. They give you their number, but don‘t answer when you call. Then an hour later, the text ―what‘s up‖ to your phone. Knowing they saw you calling the first time. They do this just to see if you‘re going to keep calling. Another game is playing hard to get. Now this is easier for women than men. Men have a rule that we don‘t call you for at least three days after we‘ve gotten your number and we wait at least a week before we ask you out. But women are masters at this. They will say they want to go out with but will never set a date. Then when you ask them when they are available, they say, “I will let you know.”Or they use the nice guy to treat them good and buy them things, while they date the bad boy. Playing games with a person can cause a lot of hurt especially if they really like you. So, refer to Commandment #1 and just be honest.
Commandment #9: Thou Shalt Be Open-Minded
Being open minded in dating is very important. Now when I say ―open minded,‖ I‘m not talking about sexual exploits. I‘m talking about being open to things the other person likes and is passionate about. When I was engaged back in 1996, I gave up a lot of the things I was passionate about because she was not interested in what I liked. So I gave up my passions and indulged in hers. And that made me very unhappy. You have to be open to try to be involved in
some of the things the person you‘re dating likes. For example, I like doing cultural things like going to museums, ballets and operas. But a lot of women that I meet think that‘s lame. But they won‘t even give it a try. You should at least try some of the things the other person likes at least
once. You never know, you might really enjoy it.
Commandment #10: Thou Shalt Take Your Time
Many couples break up because we don‘t take our time entering into the relationship. When we meet someone that might fulfill our needs and expectations, we tend to jump right into the relationship before really getting to know the person. You have to learn to take your time and truly get to know the other person before entering into a relationship. Getting to know that person will take more than a couple of dates. And PLEASE don‘t think that you can use sex to
determine compatibility. That‘s the worse way to start a relationship. Couple who get to know each other without having premarital sex have a better chance of having a lasting relationship. Couples who get to know each other have a better chance of having a lasting relationship. You have to take time to learn each other‘s character, and learn what determines your compatibility. You have to take the time to see how the other person adapts to situations and changes in life.
Written by Nate Halloway
Nate Holloway is a radio host, relationship coach, business and management consultant, a minister and a media favorite. He is the “keep it real” source singles and businesses turn to when they are looking for straight talk on relationships and business. Nate Holloway’s first book, Lets Be Real about the Single Life, teaches single men and women how to be happy by themselves before they find a mate. He shows them how to view singleness as an opportunity for happiness instead in a negative way. Nate Holloway’s smart advice is sure to give singles a fresh outlook on dating and guide them toward loving, fulfilling relationships.