They Do Exist.

5 Tips For Dating A Little Happier by Kayte

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is by Kayte! She’s an indie singer/songwriter who loves burritos, talking to strangers and not knowing what day of the week it is. She lives in New York City and writes about life as a feisty, Christian 20-something at longcitywalksblog.com. You can check out her music at kaytegracemusic.com and follow her on Twitter at @kayte_grace. – Lauren

I’ve had many a girltalk about the twinkly, colorful fun-ness of dating … and probably almost as many about the surprising insecurities that surface in the push and pull balancing act of falling in love with someone. Wanting the feelings to be equally strong. Wondering how what they’re learning about you is being received. Your dreams, your family, your past. Things like that.

I’ve thought about the times I’ve felt most confident – most sure footed – while in a relationship and this is what I’ve realized. I hope these thoughts are helpful, and as always, leave your thoughts as comments. Let’s talk about it!

1. Keep your outside-of-the-relationship passions burning hot.

It is so easy to become consumed in your beautiful relationship, and if you’re not careful, you can each begin to neglect the outside-of-the-relationship pursuits that attracted you to each other to begin with. Remember how in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, when Andie was reeling the guy in, she kept a healthy level of focus on her successful career and wore slick little, business casual numbers to after work dinner dates? And then how, once she had him, she all of a sudden insisted on wearing matching Burberry outfits, lost her edge, and started using their baby pictures to synthesize what their future children would look like…and then scrapbooking the pictures?

Yeah. It’s funny, I’m just now noticing that in Proverbs 31, more than half of what’s celebrated about this uber-woman is her outside-of-the-relationship “hobbies,” which include, among other things: dealing raw wool and linen, buying real estate, running a farm, caring for the poor and designing her family’s clothes. These outside-of-the-relationship passions and enterprises are listed right along with feeding her children and edifying her man in her list of “noble,” priceless qualities. Crazy huh? So stay passionate. About everything. Keep learning. Keep growing.

2. Choose discernment over neurotic over-analysis.

So you’re wondering what he meant when he said, “Yeah, you look great!” If you’re still trying to figure it out four hours after the initial comment, it may be time to ask your brother, instead of 6 different girlfriends, what he really meant. And your brother will look at you and shake his head and wonder why you’re even asking. There’s nothing to decode. He just meant that you look great!

We’re programmed by women’s magazines that write articles like, “What Your Man Really Means When He Says” that some women forget how to let something mean what it means. If something strikes you as a comment you’ll be mulling over for days, you can just ask, right there in that moment, “What do you mean, [insert pet name]” and voila! Instant clarity. Feels a lot freer than being locked in the closet of your mind, wrestling with the same sentence for hours, right!? Right.

3. Know your love language & communicate it.

Unmet, unarticulated expectations may be the greatest enemy of relationships. It can leave you feeling unsure of someone’s heart towards you if the way that they’re loving you doesn’t actually feel like love to you. I joke that I have the same love languages as puppies: quality time and physical touch. I’d choose a full day of city adventures over a piece of jewelry any day. But everyone’s different. Learn what feels like love to your person, and then get good at it. And don’t forget to share yours with them. It may feel silly now, but I guarantee you, it’s so, so worth it.

4. Give of yourself in proportion to articulated commitment.

Sounds romantic, right? Ha! But seriously, giving more of yourself (emotionally, physically, or even just in the amount of time you spend on him) than what matches the level of your commitment can just make you feel entitled to your guy’s declared love and commitment, rather than allowing the guy feel compelled or excited to commit any more of himself to you. Free yourself from those suffocating expectations and from that icky entitlement or desperate hope that causes discontent! Freedom feels good :)

5. Lose yourself in worship on a regular basis.

I’m very much a feelings person – I even wrote an article here on GWP about it. And for me, if my feelings towards a guy are way more powerful and compelling than the feelings I have towards God*, I can subconsciously begin to place more mental and emotional energy into my relationship with the boy. It’s important to be reminded that passion isn’t just for earthly romance, and that euphoric feeling of love-gone-right is most strongly felt when I run to my Savior. It somehow liberates your relationship from some of the pressure of being your only source of rich love, when you have something infinitely richer with God.

*Don’t worry TOO much about feeling consumed by a new love in your life. We’re created that way, and for a variety of healthy reasons. That crazy attraction and passion for someone indicates that you’re a healthy person, not that you’re sinful or that the relationship is inherently bad. If you start feeling bad for thinking or spending too much time with your boyfriend, don’t let guilt pummel you into the ground. Simply create some space for yourself and use it writing and praying about how you feel. The key to health is balance, not panicking from fear-based or guilt-based rules. Just a little reminder from Lauren.


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32 Responses

  1. This is some nice advice! Thanks. :D

    January 2, 2013 at 6:12 am

  2. kirs10writes

    I recognize some of my own foibles here. Thanks for the sage words.

    January 2, 2013 at 7:08 am

  3. Elizabeth

    Great advice!

    January 2, 2013 at 10:34 am

  4. blanchej

    Thanks so much! I needed this today. Favorite point: lose yourself in worship on a continual bases.

    January 2, 2013 at 10:43 am

  5. clairikine

    I appreciate both this post and Lauren's note at the end.

    January 2, 2013 at 10:46 am

  6. Taylor

    Excellent post, Kayte. Thank you for sharing!

    I have seen quite a few friends hurt by investing disproportionate to their commitment. As for #5, I think key word is *focus* It's fine to be head-over-heels as long as the *focus* on our walk with the Lord is Jesus. It can be easy to shift our attention to "honoring God in my relationship," a good thing that can distract from the BEST thing- the Lord Himself.

    January 2, 2013 at 10:51 am

  7. Jean

    Loved this article! What's Kayte's blog link?

    January 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm

  8. Doreleena Posey

    Well I must say, young lady, that I wish I had this attitude and foundation when I was your age. I might not have made as many mistakes and might have avoided a lot of heart ache! Besides music, writing is your calling Kayte. And believe it or not, at 58 years old I am not dating, although I'd like to and these will be good tips that are "ageless" and "timeless". Thanks for bringing an "old dog" some new info vs. tricks! "Tricks are for kids!" (that was a real old cereal commercial–ask your dad, he probably knows ;-)

    January 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm

  9. Kirsten_O

    Try to actually be yourself and not who you think that person wants to be. I think it's really hard to be honest about this. Without meaning to, we all put on that best face. But you can't keep that best face on forever, and I feel like I've seen couples get married without ever really seeing one another's Real Faces. Surprise! Things didn't go so well after the I do's. Be real. Be honest. Be yourself, warts and all.

    January 2, 2013 at 11:07 pm

  10. achosenwarrior

    perfect article to start 2013 for me. each point spoke right to me. thanks so much!

    January 2, 2013 at 11:24 pm

  11. Great advice, but being touched as a love language is great, unless your guy doesn't even hold your hand or even a peck on the cheek without me forcing him.

    January 3, 2013 at 1:50 am

  12. Great article for both those who are currently dating and those who are starting the journey. I really enjoyed the tip in number 5 and the note at the end. So often we choose different parts of our life to include God in but he wants to be in it all especially when it's relational. Communicating with God just as much as we communicate with whom we are dating is paramount. Often time when we begin to cultivate a new relationship i.e. dating we mistakenly decrease nurturing our relationship with God.

    January 3, 2013 at 9:50 am

  13. Many of my friends have difficulties while getting acquainted with a girl. In its 25-30 years, they are still lonely.

    January 3, 2013 at 10:43 am

  14. Eve

    Best advice ever:

    "Be continually gracious with your boyfriends/husband’s sin, and be continually ruthless with your own sin."
    http://becominghiseve.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/be

    January 3, 2013 at 10:11 pm

  15. I just noticed and simply adore your little note at the end, LD! "The key to health is balance, not panicking from fear-based or guilt-based rules."

    January 8, 2013 at 8:15 pm

  16. Fantastic tips! Every single who are into dating should know these tips.

    February 27, 2013 at 4:05 am

  17. This is such fantastic advice! Thank you!

    March 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

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  19. eah. It’s funny, I’m just now noticing that in Proverbs 31, more than half of what’s celebrated about this uber-woman is her outside-of-the-relationship “hobbies,” which include, among other things: dealing raw wool and linen, buying real estate, running a farm, caring for the poor and designing her family’s clothes.

    August 13, 2013 at 8:48 am

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  26. Well I must say, young lady, that I wish I had this attitude and foundation when I was your age. I might not have made as many mistakes and might have avoided a lot of heart ache! Besides music,

    July 21, 2014 at 6:55 am

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  28. Thanks for these tips. I'm sure these advices can help someone have happier datings.

    December 5, 2016 at 3:32 am

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