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Dating Discernment, Securing Forever!

Here are a few steps that I have found to be helpful in my intentional dating journey.

Self Evaluation/Awareness

Before we begin to date, we should evaluate if we are truly ready for the commitment. My generation and the generation following often view relationships as sexual encounters/casual hookups. I approach dating with intention and purpose. My intention and purpose; to discern if I am called to marriage with another. I'm not saying I have to know if I am going to marry someone after the first date, but keeping marriage in mind helps me to be more intentional about the men I pursue and allow to pursue me. I save myself from drama, heartbreak, and stress by doing personal inventory before I begin dating. Loneliness, Attention-Seeking, Problem Solving and Shared traumas are not good intentions to date.

Set Standards

After my self assessment is done I like to make a list of qualities I'd want for my future spouse. Having a "list" can cover a spectrum of desirables, but essentially it's to determine my non-negotiables. My non-negotiables are things that I am not willing to compromise on, no matter what. Ranking my non-negotiables at the top of the list helps me to prioritize by level of importance.

Making a list might seem a little foolish but there is purpose behind it. Setting standards helps to bring me clarity as I discern dating someone and helps to evaluate the relationship as it develops. It stops me from settling for less than I deserve and keeps me from compromising on the things I feel are really important to me.

Evaluate who you're dating

Once I have checked my intentions, set my standards and non-negotiables, it's time to evaluate who I'm dating. Doing this helps to properly discern if dating is a viable option if I'm interested in someone. Reviewing the list of non-negotiables can be very telling. Getting to know someone first by pursuing a friendship can also help when I am unsure about some of qualities he possess.

It is also very important to make sure that we are both on the same page about what we are looking for in a relationship. Casual dating, A friendship or commitment? Whatever the case, make sure you both are aligned on what you want to avoid wasting each others time.

Forward with Clarity and Intentionality

Once I have determined whether or not the person I am interested in aligns with who and what I am looking for it's important that I remain transparent and clear about my interest. If he meets the standards I set, and my intentions are pure, I will allow pursuit! At times I will also pursue. There is nothing wrong with a woman equally playing a part in pursuit.

If the person is a poor match, it's extremely important that I acknowledge that pursuing a dating relationship would not be beneficial for either of us. Having a conversation like this can be challenging but it ultimately helps to avoid a relationship that could be harmful to us both. There is nothing worse than finding yourself in an unhealthy, toxic and emotionally unbalanced relationship that will essentially going nowhere.

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