At The Porch we talk a lot about community, and we also talk a lot about dating. One big reason we talk about being in community is because it’s the best way to get wise counsel, avoid mistakes, and make smart decisions. And we talk about dating because it’s one of the biggest decisions young adults make, and it’s where a lot of unwise choices and mistakes are made.
So, obviously, it makes sense to be in community before dating someone, and lean on that community to help you make good dating decisions. It’s what we mean when we talk about “dating in community.” But what does that look like? How do you “date in community”? Does it mean you only go on group dates? That you let your community group decide who you should date? Is there some kind of interview process where your community group grills a prospective suitor to see if they are worthy of the job?
To help clarify, here are some details on what we mean by “dating in community,” and how your community group friends can be a big help to you as you navigate your way through a dating relationship.
Before You Date
Before you ask anyone out, or agree to start a dating relationship, your community group should help you decide if that’s a good idea. Here are some things you should process together:
Your community should agree that you are healthy enough to date, have the right intentions in dating, and are looking for the right type of person. If not, press pause on dating until you can agree that you’re fully lining up with God’s Word on these things.
Getting (and Going on) Dates
Your community group can help you get dates, and can also help make dating more fun, safe, and successful.
Growing the Relationship
As you spend time dating someone, whether it’s date #1 or date #100, your community group can provide perspective from God’s Word (most important), as well as advice from any experience they have (less important, but still helpful). Here are some things to talk about in growing your relationship:
Proverbs 11:14 says that where there is no guidance, the people fall, but in an abundance of counselors there is victory. Whether it’s ending an unhealthy relationship, maintaining a healthy one, or taking a great one to the altar, your community group can help you experience victory in dating.
What questions do you have about dating in community?
(With help from Luke Friesen)