Dear Internet,

I’ve noticed there have been a lot of articles floating around Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media that spew relationship advice, claiming there’s a “one-size-fits-all” way to date.

Once upon a time, I would have soaked up all of their advice, wanting to prepare myself for when I would eventually start dating. I browsed Pinterest, reading Christian and secular articles alike, and I couldn’t really find anything conclusive.

But after all, no wonder all the advice seemed different everywhere I looked– no two love stories are the same. 

So here’s why I’m begging you, dear Internet, to quit telling me how to date.

Dear Internet, there is no "one size fits all" way to date, so please quit telling me how to date. Your story is not my story.

It’s more personal opinion than anything.

I once read a secular blog post that explained what to do/expect on the first date and then the second and third.

On the opposite side of the coin, I also read a Christian book on dating that outlined exactly when everything should happen in a relationship- right down to the proposal.

My question is, when does it ever go exactly that way?
The answer? For the author of that blog post or book.

Their story, although beautiful, isn’t my story. 

I don’t want to have everything outlined for me. That sounds like no fun whatsoever. So many factors come into play with a relationship, and it’s impossible for the authors of these articles or books to know them all.

Additionally, the authors of these sources don’t know me.

They don’t know my background, my current situation, or anything about myself and the guy in question.

They don’t know what I personally struggle with. They don’t know my love language.

Instead of seeking advice from the authors of blogs or books who don’t know me, I should seek advice from those who do know me. Godly council. Be it found in a parent, a friend, or a person at church.

Those people know me. They can get to know the guy I like. They can provide me with personalized accountability and advice. They can walk alongside me and any future boyfriend.

Most importantly, they can encourage me to pursue Jesus first, before I even consider dating.

Random people I’ve never met can’t provide me with those insights.

And don’t even get me started about broad, one-size-fits-all boundaries.

*Eye roll*

Again, once upon a time I ate that stuff up. I didn’t want to do anything wrong and I certainly didn’t want to be impure.

Back then, I heard a story about a couple who didn’t hold hands until they got engaged, and that couple was praised for their stance for purity. And being the legalist I was, I worried for a hot second about whether or not I should hold hands with any future boyfriend.

I’m being dead serious.

I’ve never held a hand with a guy {unless it’s during prayer :) } because I’ve never had a boyfriend. I’m looking forward to it, and there’s no way on earth I’m waiting until engagement to hold a guy’s hand.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think that couple’s story is absolutely beautiful, but I know my story won’t be a carbon copy of it. 

Related: God Writes Unique Love Stories

There’s so much debate among Christians about hand-holding, hugging, and kissing. I’m sick of it. I’ve formed my personal convictions, and I’m sticking to them.

But even on that note…

When I start dating, I don’t want to date your way… nor my way.

Say what now?

:)

I want to date like how I want to do everything else in my life… God’s way.

The problem is, the Bible is annoyingly silent when it comes to dating. 

However, it does talk a lot about relationships. Relationships between us and God, believer and nonbeliever, friend and friend, and man and wife, just to name a few.

And the common themes I’ve noticed? Love. Respect. Self-sacrifice. Loving God. Unity. Humility. Grace. Forgiveness. Compassion.

I want to follow Jesus, not a “5 Step Dating Plan.”

So please, please, please quit telling me how to date.

I don’t want to be tempted to follow you instead of Christ.

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