Thursday, March 05, 2009

Relationship Questions

I have an interesting job. I work with married couples. I work with singles. The singles I work with are primarily in their 30's,40's and 50's. They're working. A few have never been married. Some widowed. Most have been divorced. They come to our church for good reasons I think. They want to meet people, grow, and to hear things from a faith perspective. Many are dedicated Christians. More than a few are 'searching' again. They'd say God has not lived up to expectations based on past experience. Some aren't sure if they believe or not. But all of them are here.

We try to talk about things that has direct bearing to their lives. So, we're doing a series called 'Realationships'. And so we're talking about love, sex, dating. We're talking from a biblical perspective and trying to address the real questions real singles ask.

What follows are the questions and concerns of the singles I deal with. These folks are honest, straightforward, and truly want their questions addressed. Let me know what you think, huh?

Questions about love, sex, dating, and relationships

Where do you go to meet people?

At what point is it appropriate to take a relationship to an intimate level?
How does one date in mid-life? What if children are still living in the home? What if their parents are living with them?

Any advice about dating someone who’s never been married?

How do you overcome the fear to trust again? Fear of intimacy, of judgment, of the unknown?

Why do people rush to judgment so quickly when dating?

What do men/women want on a first date? Who pays?

What does it mean to be a gentleman/lady in today’s world?

What qualities should you be looking for in a person?

Why are expectations so much higher when you go out on a date in mid-life?

How do you explain to your children that you are ready to date?

How and where do you find normal people to date?

AT what point do you get involved physically?

Who pays for a date?

How do you develop a dating relationship so you remain respectful of the other person?

What are the ‘communication’ issues that need to be addressed?

How do you have a relationship and not get involved physically?

Why would you not want to get involved physically?

Is it God’s best for us not to have pre-marital sex?

Is being married God’s best for us?

When should we introduce someone we’re dating to the family?

Once we’re in a marriage why don’t our attractions to those of the opposite sex get turned off?

When is the appropriate time to reveal our past?

How does someone know if they are ready to date?

What is the purpose of dating?

How do you assess the potential of a relationship?

Any tips on how to negotiate a relationship?

How can you find someone who will be ‘loyal’?

How do you find someone to trust and who will trust you?

What role do finances play in a dating relationship especially in light of the current economic climate?

How do you find love …God’s way? Is there a biblical way to do relationships?

How do you find out someone’s faith commitment?

What if the person you’re dating has children?

How do you deal with someone’s ex?

People have baggage. How do you know they’ve dealt with their stuff?

What’s the difference between lust and love?

What is appropriate dating?

How many dates does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop (when do you reveal your expectations)?

What are God’s standards for a relationship?

Do men view love differently than women?

How do you communicate with someone that you’re interested in them?

How do you know when it’s OK to open up your heart?

Sex- yes or no?

How do you screen out problematic people?

What is a kind way to end a relationship?

As a woman, how do I approach a man without him thinking that I’m a flirt?

How honest should you be about yourself?

Is there such a thing as casual dating?

How to give and get respect?

Do you think that any serious relationship needs to start as a friendship?

How important is the ability to accept differences and not want to control everything?

Who pays for what? Is it better to go ‘dutch’ in the beginning?

If I say ‘no’ to sex what is the possibility that the other person will leave the relationship?

I seem to make the same mistakes relationally over and over again? What do I need to do to break that cycle?

How do you avoid bringing your scars and wounds into a relationship?

How long should you maintain a platonic relationship before you begin dating?

How do you cope with your physical desires before marriage?

What is the definition of a date?

Can a woman ask a man out on a date?

Is there really a soulmate out there?

How do you recognized relational red flags? How do you make sure you’re not seeing red flags based solely on past experience?

How do you deal with a misunderstanding?

How do you know that ‘this person’ is the one?

How do you bring up STD’s?

What do you do when there’s too much chemistry and too much attraction?

What do men want in a relationship? What do women want in a relationship?

How do men/women change as they age from 20-60?

How do you remain true to yourself in a relationship and still compromise for the relationship?

Do you think men/women have different dating agendas?

What is a definition of love? For a man? For a woman?

Why marry?

How do you let someone down nicely if you’re not interested?

Why is it so difficult when you are in a relationship to define what it is?

How do you make a relationship successful when a woman longs for relational closeness and men seek a physical closeness?

As a single Christian can you have an intimate relationship outside of marriage?

Where in the Bible does it say that you can’t have sex outside of marriage? If you have sex outside of marriage will you burn in hell?

Is dating the same as when TV was black and white?

How do you recognize a wolf in sheep’s clothing?

How do you balance different expectations?

What’s the best way to resolve conflicts?

What are relational non-negotiables and boundaries?

What if two people have different sexual standards?

How long should singles date before commitment?

How in synch should you be in a ‘religious’ sense?

How do you compensate for differences in income and spending?

Age differences –what’s appropriate?


Anonymous said...

So many questions so little answers. Since these answers will effect so many peoples lifes I pray the wisdom and knowledge of the teacher or teacher's is sound.

Mike said...

So do I. My prayer is that God would use the teacher in a way that would honor God's truth, wisdom, and love.

I do believe that there are answers. I'm not sure the answers are what everyone wants to hear.

T. Michael Cart said...

What a great post. It is interesting to see the distribution of questions.

This is an area of great concern for believers. We have a longing for relationship and the internal need to grow in Christ along side a companion.

We struggle with God's timing in all areas of our lives, but nowhere else does silence from God affect and discourage us more, than in the areas of love and dating.

T. Michael Cart

Bleucwo523 said...

Mike-great questions! One question that came to me last night is why is being "picky" in choosing relationships a bad thing. I don't understand why people think that's such a bad thing. Yes, that would be true if I only wanted to date men who are a certain height, build, career ect that statement would hold water. However, if I choose not to date someone because of our religious beliefs are different, judgements in lifestyle-smoking, excessive drinking ect and how they treat others is different that mine and that is where I'm being picky, to me that's not a bad thing. It's making wise choices and protecting my heart so that I don't get involved with someone who I know it will not work out or will lead me to making bad choices in my life. Something "to chew on" as Vickie used to say

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