Here’s an often-debated question: Should Christian singles date more than one person at a time?
The reason it is debated so often is because it is such a murky question. Before we can begin to attack the question, we have to consider: what is the purpose of dating? And shouldn’t we be “courting” instead of “dating”?
What is the purpose of dating? According to today’s culture, it is a way to meet someone, to date a member of the opposite sex, to have someone accompany you (or accompany you) to an important event or (depending on how mundane you are) a way to get a regular sexual partner. Courting is considered a date, but with a very important caveat: you are viewing that person as a preparation for marriage. Therefore, courtship is often considered much more serious.
So back to the original question (now that we have a working definition of dating), should Christians date more than one person at a time? what do you think about it?
I personally think it’s a bad idea. Why? Because, with all things, the more factors you throw into the pot, the more confusing things will get. Let’s say you’re going out with Bill (who you like), hang out with Tim every once in a while (because he has a really cool car), and you’ve just started seeing Steve (because he’s so cool). What do you think will become of all these relationships? You like Bill, but most likely he will get lost in the confusion while you juggle him and two other men. Tim is great, but he doesn’t have much to say about himself. However, you get a personal high from being seen in his Corvette, so you keep wasting time with him. And Steve? You may or may not like him, but you don’t know because you don’t have the time or energy to spend a lot of time with him. So you’re dating three men, but you’re not having much fun. Are you still having fun?
I think it’s easier (and much more productive) to date one person at a time. In a perfect world, I would even recommend courtship, rather than dating. That way, both of you will know that what you are doing is meeting and preparing for marriage with that person. But I recognize that we don’t live in a perfect world (and most men and women aren’t ready to commit that much until they’ve spent more time with one person), so my best advice would be to just spend time with one. person. (When I say in previous chapters that you should ‘keep your options open’, this generally applies to someone you are just meeting. If you’ve been dating some people casually and finally decide who you want to be serious about, then it’s time to finally close those options).
Why? Because your life is busy enough as it is: you have church, you have family, you have friends, and possibly school and a job. Dating more than one person will definitely detract from all of these things. I think your time will be much better spent doing things to build your life, your finances, and your relationship with God. And, as I mentioned in a previous chapter, does being single mean putting your life on hold? When you are single, you are focused on God. And in serving you. As a married person, you will begin to focus more naturally on pleasing your spouse. So, since you know that will happen once you get married, it’s important as a single person to make sure that God is your main focus so that you can have this relationship to build on (the one that God has) when you’re married (because Having a strong relationship with God is what will allow you to have a strong relationship with your husband.) And you won’t be able to focus on your relationship with God if you are dating multiple people at the same time!
So if you are dating more than one person right now, seriously consider why this is the case. Don’t you find any of them very satisfying as a potential partner? Are you trying to be a gamer? Are you just not looking to be serious right now? Or do you just think this is the norm?
And, once you’ve answered those questions, consider whether that’s the best use of your time. Only you know what is happening in your life, so only you can make that decision. I just hope (and pray) that you make the best decision for yourself.