Sunday, October 3, 2010

They Commit Too Soon

Mistake #13

As the president of her sorority, Claire was a gorgeous girl who had plenty of attention from guys.  She was caring, always wore a smile and because of this everyone considered her a friend.  Once she met a guy she liked, she was all his.  They hung out every day, talked on the phone until they were about to fall asleep at night and he was all she could talk and think about.  Soon, they had the Define The Relationship (DTR) talk when they decided that they were going to date exclusively.  After a few months (or a couple of years) they decided that one no longer felt the same way about the other and they split up with broken hearts.  Why were so many hearts broken in Claire’s life?  She committed to relationships too soon!

This is such a common mistake.  You meet the man of your dreams and want to get to know him and you want him to know you.  You say “Yes” to all of his invitations because you have so much fun with him and the attention he gives you feels so good!  You become emotionally attached to him quickly because you share so many of your hopes and dreams with him.  Our mentor, Mark Robinson who has served as Collegiate Minister to thousands of college students, called it Serial Monogamy.  Girls move from one very serious relationship to another.  Christian girls are particularly prone to this mistake because they don’t want to give any piece of their heart away to a guy that they might not marry.  So they convince themselves that this may be Mr. Right!  And they let their guards down.  Here are some guidelines to follow to avoid making this mistake:

·         Slow down.  Have fun!!!  Take your time getting to know him.  You don’t need to rush.  Don’t be quick to define the relationship.  Just enjoy the carefree, fun time that come with dating casually! 
·         Be slow to reveal you heart.  Study the They Reveal Too Much Too Soon post.  These are some of the best guidelines in this blog.  Remember: if he just happens to be the guy you choose to marry, then you have the rest of your lives to get to know each other!  You don’t have to do it in the first week.
·         Do not spend too much time with him.  Remember, you are a busy girl in high demand by so many interesting people!  You have a busy schedule filled with enriching activities!  You have time in your schedule to hang out once in awhile but you won’t clear your schedule to fit him in.  Remember, be a challenge.  
o   First Month: You should see him no more than twice per week.
o   Second and Third Month: You should not hang out with him more than three times per week.
o   Fourth month and beyond: After the third month, if you are still very interested in him, your family and friends are in agreement (see Mistake 17) and if HE BRINGS IT UP FIRST, defining the relationship as exclusive is acceptable.  (Note: If he really likes you he will WANT to define the relationship.  You should never, ever, ever bring this topic up.  Defining the relationship is a way for him to tell other guys to keep their hands off of you.  If he doesn’t want to define the relationship, he is keeping his options open.  Therefore, you need to keep your options open as well.)  Please, enter an exclusive relationship with extreme caution.  After you are exclusive do not see him more than 4 day per week.
o   Engagement:  After you are engaged, you may see him up to 5 days per week.  We recommend never seeing him more than 5 days per week until you are married.  You need a few days apart from each other to be able to evaluate the relationship clearly, keep up your relationships with your friends and family and maintain your identity as an individual.  He needs to marry you to have complete and unlimited access to you.
·         Use caution when getting physical!  Again, be a challenge.  Keep in mind, if people see you holding hands they will assume you are together and you will be considered off of the market.  Other guys will not approach you.  By withholding touch you have the power in the relationship.  He will always wonder, “Will she let me hold her hand tonight?  Should I make my move?”  Absolutely no kissing before you are exclusive.  As we discussed in the They Kiss Too Soon entry, kissing leads to commitment by default.  You want to make the decision to enter into an exclusive relationship with a clear head.  You don’t want your emotions, resulting from your physical relationship, to cloud this huge decision.   

Remember:  Have a great time without the pressure and limitations of a relationship.  The stage of casual dating is really fun!  Enjoy it!

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