Over the past 6 months I started dating again. I wasn’t looking for a specific type; I kind of just went along with the flow, going wherever felt right. If you have read my other entries, you probably know all of this already and none of this is a surprise to you. It has definitely not been the easiest of times and at times, I have doubted myself so much and have gone through some of my lowest lows. I don’t think I had a specific goal that I wanted to achieve, it was more of the need to move past feeling stagnant and doing something about my feelings of loneliness rather than wanting to ultimately marry someone some day.
Since I do live in a pretty secular city and the avenues of which I chose to meet people were pretty secular too, most of the people I met were Non-Christians. As a Christian girl who has numerous staunch Christian friends who have in the past with other friends discouraged the dating of Non-Christians, I knew dating them would be an issue, but I did not really care. I guess that speaks volumes of where I am in my walk with God. I got to a place where I felt quite distant from him. This could be attributable to a variety of factors of which I don’t care to list. All the same, I went ahead to see what was outside the realm of evangelicals.
Hooking up vs dating.
Before this, I’ve only dated good Christian boys (okay that’s a lie, the occasional bad boy did slip through the cracks), these boys wanted to date with the intention of realising whether we would be suitable to be married one day. Also, normally, they already seemed to like me before asking me out and when they do, I already know their intentions and feelings. It’s relatively safe because we talk about our feelings before we court.
On the other hand, since a lot of my dates with Non-Christian boys were pretty much blind dates, I really had no clue whether they actually liked me or not. Given, this would probably be the same if this were a blind date with a Christian boy. All the same, it was difficult to adjust to not really knowing whether this person actually likes me or not. On top of that, I really had no idea what their intensions were. Did they just want to hook up or were they really looking for something more? Okay, obviously Tinder being the medium did not help.
Even as I type, I can see the obvious flaws in my judgement and therefore experiences. I’m a Christian girl and to be perfectly honest, I don’t exactly follow the ‘I date to marry’ protocol, hence I am pretty sure plenty of Christian boys don’t either. Also, many Non-Christian guys out there date with the intention of finding a suitable partner for marriage. In my experiences, I learnt that whoever the date is, asking them what they want and what their expectations were is quite essential to avoid getting messages mixed up and ending up in a awkward situation.
Sex vs abstinence
Oh, this one’s BIG. Yes yes, both Christian boys and Non-Christian boys whether they deny it or not have sexual desires, it’s normal and well if I said Christian boys don’t want to have sex and visa versa for Non-Christian boys, I will be remiss. I guess in my experience, it’s not about whether they have sex or not but rather their thoughts and feelings towards it. I mean, it’s more the understanding why I don’t want to have sex rather than not actually having sex. I guess the only way to make this point clear is to give an example, a personal example. Sometimes we mess up and we go in the wrong direction. Boundaries are crossed and because of that, it’s safe to assume, there are feelings of guilt involved. It’s easier in my experience to explain and share why I am upset with a Christian than with a Non-Christian. They respect your decisions and your beliefs, but sometimes, they don’t really understand and share in your feelings. Obviously, this could solely be because I am a horrible communicator, I am certainly not ruling that out.
It’s hard to lump a whole group of people into one of the two categories and then succinctly dust my hands off those boys because they are deemed inappropriate for me. It’s not like that at all. If anything, I’ve learnt how dating outside my religion has been incredibly eye opening and shown me that you really can’t judge a book by its cover. After trying this out and figuring this out on my own instead of people just telling me what I should do and what I should not, I’ve come to my own conclusions for which I can now stand by. I think part of me needed to know for myself in order to be able to stand by my own convictions and not just have theoretical knowledge.
It’s really my belief that it isn’t wise to date a Non-Christian. It’s not that they aren’t as charming or that they are sex-crazed monsters because that is far from the truth. It’s mainly because as Christians, we do have a relationship with God. This relationship pretty much defines us and is the reason for our being. Without God, without Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, I personally know I will not be who I am. As far as I run from God at times, hiding from him because of how sinful I am, I know he is always there, he is with me in my darkest of nights, he is always my saviour, always holding me, knowing and feeling my sorrow and sharing in my pain. Someone who doesn’t believe in my God probably wouldn’t completely understand this relationship. On top of that, it’s hard to talk (not impossible) and to share with the other about our walks with God, what we are learning from God and what are learning from other Christians. It’s such a huge aspect of our lives that we wouldn’t be able to share with our Non-Christian partner. Obviously, the argument is that you can share it with them, nothings stopping you from sharing. But I guess there is a difference between sharing and walking with someone. I want to be able to pray with my partner, read through the Bible together and confess to each other our sins and find comfort in knowing that our Father hears our prayers and forgives our sins.
There’s nothing stopping you from dating that person, because the Bible says you can’t marry Non-Christians, nothing about dating them. It isn’t wise, but I’m not sure whether it’s wrong fullstop. However, in my opinion having dated a few, it isn’t the best of decisions. If you know you can’t be with this person in the long run, WHY THE HELL ARE YOU WITH HIM/HER IN THE SHORT RUN? I don’t like wasting people’s time, money, energy and feelings. No matter how clear you are about how it isn’t going to work out in the long run, somebody will get hurt. Somebody’s heart will get broken. On top of all of that, what kind of impression does this give the Non-Christian? Will this make him/her hate Christians? Our actions whether we like it or not are a reflection of Christ. Are our actions a good reflection or a bad one? Is dating someone in the short term, just because we enjoy their company, because they make us happy something that is selfless, sacrificial and something that Christ would do? Nope.
Part of the reason why I’m writing this post is because I am dating a Non-Christian. And as much as I care about him deeply, I know this isn’t going to work out. I guess this post was me rebuking my own actions and my own stupidity and my own selfishness. I feel constant judgment (from myself) for carrying on even though I know the outcome will be bad and yet I continue. A part of me just wanted to close my eyes and ignore every single voice inside my head telling me that this was a bad idea and I did. But the more I think about these things the more I know what I am doing is hurtful to the boy I claim to care a lot about. I know what I have to do, yet no guts to do it.