With Valentines day coming up, I can understand if you have caught the love bug. So, I thought I would give you some dating advice that I have learned over the years. During dating, before dating and even after dating. If you're single please still continue to hear me out. It's never too early to get this!
I have noticed and watch a lot of young couples who date just to date. Maybe it's out of desperation, boredom, maybe the girl is just wanting attention to the extreme and would date anyone to get it. Or perhaps maybe it's just a huge fun game to them. Dear friend don't date just to date. I watch them closely and no matter how much fun their having someone always gets hurt and it's most likely the girl. It breaks my heart for them to be heartbroken because I know it's not God's plan for His daughter to be hurt. Dating is a very serious matter and should not be played with. Date with the intention to marry the man of your dreams. If you just so happen to get married, great. If not, be respectful because that man is someone else's future husband.
if you don't understand that the Lord is your husband first, you will mistakenly expect your boyfriend/husband to be your god. Boyfriends and husbands make really crappy gods if you ask me. And if you expect this man to be perfect you will be exhausting him and putting him into an incredible strain. Jesus wants you to know that He is your 1st Beloved, Heavenly Beloved and Perfect Beloved. You can't love your boyfriend/husband until Jesus is your first love.
It is very important for both you and your boyfriend to not rush anything!! Don't lower your standards for any guy. They are not worth it! No not even you're future husband is worth lowering your purity standards before marriage. If he loves you,cherishes you, and honors you(Which if he's your future husband he better!) he will respect that, honor that, and most likely even thank you for that! Don't settle. You deserve to be treated like a princess. Because well, you are one! The Lord tells us for the husbands to love us like He loves the church. Make sure The Lord is your filter in all things including relationships. Do not give away anything that belongs to your future husband. That includes much more than intimacy.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. - Phil 4-8
I believe it's always important to seek council from family and friends because they see the big picture when you get lost in emotions. If your family, church family and friends all say he's junk. I would definitely consider their thoughts to be accurate ;)
While dating and building a friendship & possible long-term relationship that could lead to marriage, keep 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 constantly in mind. And ask these questions along the way: Do I believe that he would love me for a lifetime no matter the state of my health, weight & appearance? Or if I experience success or failure? When I'm not at my best or even at my worst? Will he love me the same when times are good as when times are rough? Will he love my children in this way? Will he love me if a time comes when I can't fulfill all his hopes and dreams? And, will I be able to do the same? Is this is character now? Don't think you're going to change him, marry a man who has that character now (or wait for him to grow up before you marry him.
Make sure to be patient. Pursue God and let Him lead someone to pursue you. Your eyes should be so fixed on God that you don't even notice someone is pursuing you until they want to tell you they are. It's much more fun to be the one pursued anyways ;)
And while you're 'waiting', pray for your future spouse. Pray that they keep pursuing their faith and have a heart for Christ. And work on becoming the person who you're looking for is looking for. And don't fake who you are. It's a lot of back tracking and lies to cover previous lies in the end. plus if he's the man God has chosen for you than there is no need to even try. Girl the dudes gonna love ya!
So this is my advice to you if we were having a nice coffee conversation at the closest Starbucks in the wintery weather. I hope you are encouraged & blessed.