"He was advised to look at his options. Go date around, see what he liked before deciding on a serious relationship."
This was part of a conversation that I had in the past. The person I was talking to is someone I love and admire, but this part of the conversation made something go cold in me. She explained that a male figure in her life didn't really care about any of the several girlfriends he had dated, but had actually been encouraged to sample around, so to speak, before he got into a serious relationship
I guess this is the attitude out there these days. Frankly, and no offense to anyone, I want no part in it. The thought of being in a relationship with someone who doesn't care for me at all makes me sad and a bit sickened. What ever happened to love and commitment?
I think this is one of the reasons that courtship is a thing, but even if you aren't courting, I encourage you to "date with a purpose."
The dating described above is what I think of as "casual dating." It is something physical. This sort of dating puts the girls in the position of object rather than treasure. Casual dating does not require you to love, or care for a person in a deeper way than "Oh, he's so cute, I think I like him." Or, "She's hot. Bet I can get her number." I actually find the term 'hot' offensive. I want my future someone to look at me with eyes that see below the surface of this flawed body, that see the deeper me, and to say, "YOU are beautiful."
When I think about the conversation above I think of how it must feel to be the girl, and it makes me happy on the decisions I've made regarding relationships. People may be shocked that I've never dated, but I don't want to be someone's "taste test," or one of many, I want to be someone's only one.
This doesn't have to apply to only courtship. When I say "dating with a purpose," I mean have a REASON for you're relationship. Have a purpose. Do you see a future with this guy? Does he fit your standards? How does he treat you?
As far as trying to find someone you like, yes that's a thing that is needed, but putting your heart on the line for the chance of finding "true love" is not worth it. I have a much better solution that can save many a heartbreak: friendship. Yep, the "friend-zone" that has a bad connotation can be great. Want to learn about a person? Be their friend. A person is likely to show their true selves in front of friends more than a significant other.
If you are the one, or if it is the guy, choosing to date someone just because you want to try them out is cruel. What happens of that person really cares about you?
This process, to me, makes relationships appear to be a cheap diversion that you can pick up anywhere, something that makes me fear for the marriages of the next generation. With so much practice trying what they like, it might be hard to break the habit.
Relationships should be founded on a relationship that is already there, or could be there, before they become romantic in nature. The hearts of young people are going to be in so many pieces it might be hard to find enough to give to the person that they may marry someday.
God created romance to be a beautiful thing between two special people. Pray for that other person. You don't know them yet. But pray. If there is someone for you out there, think about, and pray for them. They need it.
Please care about the other young people around you. Don't pull them into a relationship that will end in heartbreak if you know that it will. It may seem cool to have a girlfriend or boyfriend, but I promise that in ten or so years, you will have a new perspective in life, and wonder why you ever "taste tested" in the first place.