13 Steps to Successful Dating
New Life Ministries
Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend offer this advice from their
book, God Will Make a Way: Personal Discovery Guide.
1. Begin with pursuing God (Matthew 6:25-34) and become the healthiest
person you can become.
2. Get your relationship needs met outside the dating context.
3. Learn your patterns (old relationship patterns from your original
family, seeking completion for something you lack in yourself,
idealistic wishes for yourself, inability to set boundaries, fear
of closeness or intimacy) and work on them so you do not repeat
4. Date according to a few nonnegotiable values (faith, honesty,
sexual purity, etc.). Avoid vileness, faithlessness, perversity,
slander, evil, pride, deceit, and lying.
5. Expand your tastes. Be open to going out with people who you
would normally not have on your list.
6. Be yourself from the beginning. Don't adapt to what you think
the other person will like. Be who you are and give the other
person the freedom to do the same.
7. Don't put up with bad behavior, and set good boundaries.
8. Take your time. You would not allow a stranger into your house
without proper identification, but many people allow virtual strangers
into their hearts, minds, souls, and bodies.
9. Stay connected in other relationships. Members of your support
system are the ones who are most objective about the people you
10. Get active. Network with friends and family, pursue the things
you enjoy, join others who have the same need, use your gift of
hospitality, and do something structured.
11. Look in the mirror. Is something about your personality,
behavior, or the way you come across to others getting in the
way of meeting people?
12. Keep yourself sexually pure. Honor sex as something holy
and keep it confined to the marriage relationship.
13. Abide in God - and have fun! God is the one who will make
a way, so walk with Him daily. Pray about your dating life and
ask Him what He wants you to do.
Excerpted from God Will Make a Way: Personal Discovery Guide
by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
Used by permission of New Life Ministries. New Life Ministries
has a variety of resources on men, women, and relationships. Call
1-800-NEW-LIFE or visit www.newlife.com.
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