How can you tell if you are too picky or just waiting for the right match? Some of my friends have dated tons of guys and frown on me for not having had a relationship yet. Yes, I would like a relationship, but I do not want to rush into something hastily, especially if I am not interested in anyone at the moment. Is it better to date people even if you don’t feel ready, or to wait until you think it is time? I’m not sure if I am being reasonable and cautious or acting in fear from inexperience.
There is nothing wrong with waiting until you are ready to date.
The problem comes when we use “not being ready” as a phrase to cover up being scared. Those are different things. A lot of young people seem to operate on the idea that one day, they will meet someone and ‘just know’ that person is perfect for them; and in that moment all insecurity and fear of rejections will magically leave their body and that is how you know you are ready to date. Life doesn’t work like that.
If you don’t have any major issues you need to work out (like a past trauma, or some major obstacle in your walk) and you want to be in a relationship, congratulations you are probably ready to start dating. And you certainly aren’t going to get more ready to be in a relationship by avoiding interaction with the opposite sex.
You say you don’t want to rush into a relationship hastily. That is a very smart instinct. However, one date is not a relationship, and going for coffee with someone you know enough to be interested in isn’t exactly “hasty.”
If you grow up in a place like I did, that has a lot of lakes and rivers that people swim in, you get told a cardinal safety rule: never dive into water that you are unfamiliar with. The idea being that if you just dive in, there might be shallow spot or a tree hidden under that water that you could hurt yourself on. That is a good kind of attitude to have about dating. Don’t dive all in if you don’t know what you are getting into.
But, not dating at all is like hearing that advice and saying “okay, so this one irresponsible action would have a bad outcome, so i’m just going to never swim.” That’s not the right idea. You want to swim. Swimming is fun, it’s relaxing and it looks great in a pair of jeans. I may have lost track of my metaphor there, but you get the idea.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to take dating slow. But waiting for the clouds to part and a wonderful spouse to be delivered to you from on high is not taking it slow, it is doing nothing. Asking someone you like out to get a cup of coffee and seeing how it goes it taking it slow. The longer you put off that first step out of fear, the more of a huge impossible thing it starts to seem like.
If you don’t feel ready to date, that is totally fine. I would advise to ask God His thoughts on the situation though. However, wanting to date and not doing so out of fear is a problem. The truth is, it’s not as hard or scary as you think.
-Matt from The Bridge