In the fifth grade, I somehow managed to inadvertently charm the hearts of 10 starry-eyed girls, which meant that, before I even turned 10, I had in both my metaphorical and literal lap 10 potential candidates to be my first ever girlfriend.
Helga was Russian, like her name suggested, and every time I saw her she’d wave at me, even if it was the second, or third, or seventh time our eyes had met in the past twenty minutes.
Tricia lived right behind me, and sometimes when I went through the back to take out the trash she’d see me from her room and bang on the window. Sometimes I wouldn’t look up.
Carol sat next to me in class and guffawed every time I told a joke. I told a lot of jokes, but most of them were probably elementary at best (ba-dum-bum).
I don’t remember the rest of the girls. I suspect there weren’t actually 10, maybe four or five at the most. If there were 10, then some of them didn’t reveal their identities. I still call it the “Year of the 10,” but as a joke, really. I also tell people that this, unfortunately, was the highest point of my woman-wooing career. Also as a joke.
Twelve years later, it still gets laughs.
Laughing is the only thing you can do sometimes. I find myself laughing when I pray. Not because the concept of praying is laughable, although to some people it may seem like nothing more than making a ball with your hands and talking to yourself (a pretty funny image actually, if it is true). For me, it’s more or less because the things I ask for are ridiculous.
I have prayed for a scooter. I have prayed for my dog to bite me less. I have prayed to grow up, or at least look grown-up, to maybe get some acne or something. I have regretted that prayer.
I have prayed to get into Stanford. I have prayed for a good roommate. When I got drunk, I prayed for forgiveness. I was drunk while praying.
I have prayed for a job. I have prayed to not get fired from that job. After getting fired from that job, I prayed for McDonald’s breakfast to still be open or so help me God.
I have prayed to meet someone mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved. I have prayed for someone that could actually understand the crap I write. I have prayed for my soul’s recognition of its counterpoint because yes, Wedding Crashers actually had a profound effect on me. Pray, pray, pray, it was all I did for a while; for pillow talk and an excuse to be vulnerable and the freedom to stare into someone’s eyes without speaking; for a friend that is a girl, for a girl that is a friend, and for safe passage across the cruel, lexical bridge between the two.
My friends have girlfriends. As if that is some kind of persuasive argument.
Steven and Jamie are my friends. Here is a wedding toast I wrote for them:
Hey y’all, I’m Simon. The best man.
Just wanted to say a few words.
I met Steve on the very first day of my freshman year at college. I needed a screwdriver to fix my bedpost, so I walked the three steps to his room and asked him if he had one. He did. Steve’s been fixing everything in my life since. From my laptop problems to my girl problems to even my teeth problems (he wanted to be a dentist, you see), I would not be standing here right now so upright and handsome if it wasn’t for him.
But I never got to return the favor. See, there was only one thing Steve ever needed, and it was that special someone in his life. Someone who could make him work. And play. And go to sleep with a smile on his face and wake up with a bigger one. And he found that girl, Jamie, who is sitting right there next to him now, sitting there with the biggest smile on her face, just a couple months into the school year.
Steve and Jamie, when I look at you guys, I see two people, hearts beating as one, breathing as one, living as one. Loving as one. There’s nothing to fix here. I know it will work just fine for the rest of your lives. Congratulations Steven and Jamie on your beautiful wedding.
I wrote that toast my freshman year. Now I’m living in a suburb of Connecticut and working a full-time job at a collectibles company. On weekends I take the Metro North to the city to see Steve and Jamie. Scrunched up on their living room couch, I fall asleep to the sound of their giggling. I have witnessed them date for four and a half years, and as far as I know, they have never gotten in a fight — or married. Yet.
There are many things that are uncertain in life, but this isn’t one of them: I will be giving this toast at their wedding.
They sometimes pray at weddings.
During a traditional Christian wedding ceremony, there is an opening and closing prayer; the first is an invocation, the second, a blessing. The kiss comes immediately after the blessing.
Muslim weddings follow ceremonies with lavish dinners, where the newlyweds read prayers, a Qur’an placed between them. They can look at each other, but only through mirrors.
In a Buddhist wedding ceremony, the bride and groom handle the preparations. At a certain point the bride will bow down and pray to her ancestors as a way of saying goodbye to her family.
A Jewish wedding day is also a private day of atonement. The bride and groom include Yom Kippur confessions in their mincha, or afternoon prayers.
Modern Hindu wedding ceremonies require the couple to walk around a fire as the priest prays for their happiness and health. Traditional Hindu weddings can last up to five days.
I have only been to one wedding. My thin and small-framed, native Chinese, God-loving aunt got hitched to a tall white man who believed only in the value of nutrients and daily exercise. During the reception, Aunt Katy led my confused grandfather to the dance floor, as deemed by tradition. He stood stiff, never smiling the whole time. This, too, was deemed by tradition.
There was no prayer at that wedding, though.
“Dally, let’s get married and get three puppies and two—”
“Noo Dawn — four puppies. And three kids. And I really, really, REALLY want to name one of them Dante.”
“Okay that’s fine. But can we also get an alpaca?”
I remember watching Dallas and Dawn on the El during a chilly winter evening ride to downtown Chicago. The wind would seep through the train every time it stopped. I remember watching Dallas take his glove off his right hand while Dawn did the same with the mitten on her left hand, just so they could hold hands, so they could feel the creases on each other’s palms and the thin bones on their fingers.
Many Sunday mornings I have heard my pastor say, “There is nothing like the warmth of God’s love.” Or: “Love, because God loved us first.” Or: “Pray, because to pray is to love.”
It has also become apparent to me that one should sing in order to worship God. (Or: to love God). It turns out I have never been a good singer.
I remember reading the words on the projector and thinking about a girl instead.
Your love is amazing, steady and unchanging
Your love is a mountain, firm beneath my feet
Your love is a mystery, how You gently lift me
When I am surrounded, Your love carries me
Hallelujah, Your love makes me sing
Hallelujah, Your love makes me sing
Tim Keller, author, speaker, and founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City once told me that the very concept of love is best explained by God, for God is love. Sitting among a crowd of 500, I interpreted it as a question of perspective. Which one is ultimately better? What a believer sees, or what a non-believer sees?
I suppose it is nicer to associate love with a higher power, rather than with a chemical reaction.
(This is not to say all non-believers use science to explain abstract concepts like love. It’s just that in this case, love — without science, without religion — must be harder, maybe even impossible, to explain. And maybe no explanation is necessary. Love is love. But then I find myself thinking about what Keller said: “Who is really taking the leap of faith here?”)
“What are you thinking?” she asks me.
Love, love, love. Love for my dining hall pasta.
It is Tuesday afternoon, which means for dinner they will be serving made-to-order pasta. I am a big fan of that pasta, probably because the year before I lived in a dining hall with far inferior food, to the point that every day, I was forced to endure the same bland, over-cooked combination of noodles and marinara sauce. I am looking forward to 6:00 pm because this is when I will go downstairs and tell the cook that I would like some delicious ribbon pasta with chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, basil, garlic, and Alfredo sauce.
We hide beneath my dark blue checkerboard covers, just the two of us, and her eyes, coffee-colored in the lambent light, keep pulling me closer. So I stop looking.
“Nothing,” I tell her.
Nothing, I think, staring into darkness, Nothing must sound better than the most delectable pasta in the world.
I hardly ever pray with people. I wonder what my prayers would sound like to them. Or to God.
I pray for many things, most of them trivial, material, even selfish — things you ask Santa Claus for, not God (unless the two are actually the same). Would they judge me for it?
I pray and often end up telling a story that nobody wants to hear, rambling till it becomes ranting, and then I mutter a quick “Amen” and am done with it. Would they fall asleep?
I pray and plead (more or less just plead), try and try and try to convince God that not once was I ever in love, not once, that sometimes things just happened and it was nice and also not nice, and if it was nice, it always turned out to be not nice when it ended.
And I ask him if these things were just a form of preparation, because I have never been in love and I needed to be prepared for love, but now that I’ve had nearly 23 years of preparation, maybe it was time to test it out, to see if all the difficult preparation has been worth it.
Would they laugh and call me a hopeless romantic?
Would God answer?
There isn’t really a formula. No step-by-step directions. Just knees sinking to the floor, hands clasped together, and eyes buried behind wavering lids. Throw a word or two into the wilderness and you might get a reply. But God, like that girl you charmed while walking up four flights of stairs when the elevator broke, doesn’t always call back.
Steps Questions & Answers Related Articles References
wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 38 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time.
wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has over 865,825 views, and 93% of readers who voted found it helpful. It also received 20 testimonials from readers, earning it our reader-approved status. Learn more…
Do you want to have God at the center of your dating relationship? Would you like God to influence the love you show another person? Here is some advice that can help you pursue God’s will in your dating relationship.
- Remember that God’s Love is the ultimate.
Knowing the love God has for you means that you do not have to seek fulfillment in how anyone
makes you feel (a weakness of human love): the most perfect love comes from God, and it is always yours. He will do much more to
fill the love-space than a person ever could. Approach your dating relationship knowing that God
likes you and loves you, and there is plenty room for wonders of love, marriage, mature family love, i.e.: constancy (not fickleness) thus enabling you to build and love your own family, of course. (Christians: Always remember He sent His son,
, to die for your sins.) Make sure you are strong in your loving relationship with God. This means knowing that He is always there to help you along the way.
Him. Make God the most important in your life. Make Him the love of your life.
Know the ideal match for you. Date someone that you would consider marrying. Choose a person that has a similar desire for God, one that will build you up in your faith. If you are already in a relationship, positively encourage one another in pursuing God. Help your boyfriend or girlfriend to keep God the focus. Understand that Christians are not to be “unequally yoked” that is, if they are not willing to accept the faith, the relationship might have to be sacrificed.
Pray about your dating relationship. Give everything over to God. Let God know that you are asking His approval. Talk to God about the problems that arise. Thank Him for the opportunity to be in a relationship and the happy times you experience. You can also pray with your boyfriend or girlfriend. It is a good way to help each other out with whatever stresses life brings. By praying together, you are experiencing God together. Though, it could make the focus more about you two building intimacy—still there is a tendency to bring out one another’s faults in prayer; therefore, avoid prodding, interrogating, judging; instead, help each other in order to build trust; love and forgive each other as the Lord’s Prayer models for us.
Talk about God. Make an effort to bring God into your conversations. Not only will it help in keeping God on your minds, you will also find out about each others beliefs. Talking about a spiritual subject changes normal conversation into one of eternal significance. Discussing God also allows you to build up each others knowledge and confidence.
Read the Bible. Keeping God’s words in your heart helps you to remember the love and promises He has for you. Try reading the Bible together. It is fun, spiritual and good for conversation. Different verses will help you along the way in your relationship.
Get involved with Church. Make sure your boyfriend or girlfriend and you are active in the body of Christ. You will feel good about sharing God’s love. He calls us to serve Him.
Be careful with physical affection. Hugs are great. God created physical affection to be good. But be careful in how much physical permission you give one another. A relationship can easily turn sinful if physical bonding occurs too quickly. Everyone is different. But if you feel guilty at all for actions, it may be good indication that you are going too far. Avoid physical actions that might cause lustful thoughts (such as sitting on lap, laying on each other or sensual kissing and massages). Save sex for marriage. Talk about your physical actions with each other, making sure you are both comfortable and feeling great. Understand what might be innocent to one or another might very well be dangerous to you.
- Show Christ’s love to each other.
Make sacrifices for each other. Watch a chick flick. Go to a basketball game. Be willing to serve one another. Put one another above yourselves. Find how to show love to each other. Use the love God has shown you and bring it to your boyfriend or girlfriend.
- Bring out all of “The ‘Fruit’ of the Spirit”:
notice it is
we are not to pick and choose the ones we prefer . This will work to relieve stress in relationships in this World of troubles.
- Cheerfully realize this is a package—not bits or pieces: “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness (kindness), goodness, meekness (gentleness), faith (faithfulness) and temperance (self-control)… Against such things there is no law.”, Galatians 5:22-23 KJV (parentheses NIV). Read those again and again…
- Have Fun and Praise and Glorify God.
Smile and know that God is with you. Enjoy the life that God has given the both of you. Whenever you get the chance, praise God for whatever He has poured into your life. Trust and know that God has your back. He wants what is best for the both of you.
Cherish your own personal ‘God time’. Make sure you spend time alone with God. You need moments of reading the Bible, journaling or praying just between you and God. Since God is your ultimate love, it is good to have that time alone with Him.
- Keep in mind the reality that God is real.
While having a special someone can bring great happiness in this world, realizing the eternally wonderful nature of God’s love is something you do not want to miss. God is real. His love is real. God is love. Realize that God is working in your life right now. His forgiveness is real and His promises are real. Give the love God has given you to your boyfriend or girlfriend. God’s love is perfect. Let Christ’s love reign in your dating relationship. Let the love you have for each other be a banner to the world displaying God’s goodness. Remember though, “You are not your own, you were bought at a price” – therefore God must reign in your relationships. We are called to be holy, because He is holy. We might very well have to “honor father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even own life–“; our dating relationships are no exception. Remember, as C.S. Lewis has said, that love that becomes a god, becomes a demon. Submit all your love, therefore, to the one that is Love, and He, like a gardener, shall prune our loves which are so fickle and temporary by nature, into beautiful gardens which we may share with all our relationships including our dating relationships.
How do I deal with being single?
Being single is a time to reflect upon what is it is that makes you happy, what you can do to improve upon yourself. Right now might not be the time to be with someone, because deep down inside you have to learn how to work on you, love you first in order to love someone else. Do what makes you happy, find yourself, think about the future, what goals you wish to seek, think about yourself, and when feeling discouraged, pray. Being single can bring you closer to God, as you’ll have more time to work on your relationship with Him.
I have a girlfriend and we had sex before I accepted Jesus Christ into my life. Can we marry, as we’ve agreed to abstain from sex until after marriage?
Getting married is a big deal and a lifelong commitment, so don’t marry just so you can have sex again. If you love her and you’re absolutely serious about making this commitment, then of course you can marry her.
I’m dating a guy that believes sex makes us intimate. I have tried talking him out of it, but it’s not working. What should I do?
If he loves you, then he will listen to you and respect your wishes. Intimacy can be gained in plenty of ways besides sex — laying and talking together, walking and holding hands, or just being together can all build intimacy. Sex is easy, but intimacy is harder. Let him know that you will not change your mind about this, but that you would like to practice building intimacy with some other methods.
Is it OK for Christians to have crushes on each other?
Definitely. It’s just part of human nature.
Should a Christian guy pursue a girl he really likes?
Yes. Christians believe in marriage, so pursuing a girl you really like is the first step to that end.
How do I deal with emotions and sexual feelings when dating a Christian guy?
Just make sure that you don’t push things further than he is ready for, as Christianity supports abstinence up until marriage, and then only with your spouse. As for emotions, open and honest communication is always best.
Is it only about a girl’s outer beauty?
Although looks are what draw people to each other initially, it is personality that keeps them interested.
What do I do in a relationship when I feel that I’m being pushed away?
Back off, walk away. That other person may not know how to tell you it’s over. Maybe when you do leave, absence will make the heart grow fonder, and all the little things appreciated about you will be missed and your phone will start ringing.
How should Romeo wait for his Juliet?
Be respectful of all females. The right one will come along eventually and she is definitely worth the wait. In the meantime, study Shakespeare and continue to improve yourself as much as possible.
Is it okay for a black boy and white girl to have feelings for each other?
It is definitely okay. If someone says it isn’t, they are racist.
Show more answers
Ask a Question
200 characters left
Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered.
- Don’t fall into society telling you what you two should be doing, and just trust God’s timing. In the right time, di not wait more instead do your part. Lest you may be too late.
- Never underestimate the importance of communication! While maintaining a clear understanding of one another is important in all relationships, romantic relationships cannot flourish unless you and your partner are willing to discuss any issues that pertain to your relationship. If you’re nervous about discussing your faith lives with your boyfriend or girlfriend, realize that your partner will likely appreciate your openness and concern for the well-being of your relationship.
- Establish boundaries with your significant other. Don’t do anything that makes you or them uncomfortable.
- Also try reading different Christian dating books.
- Work on putting emotions aside both cannot be upset at the same time, this will cause things to become toxic and it will cause your relationship to fall apart little by little practice compromise in dating so that if marriage is in the future you guys will know how to handle conflict and hard seasons in a holy, god fearing- god honoring manner.
- Keep in mind God is first and should be the foundation and base of every relationship.
- Be sure to guard your heart spiritually. Limit your fantasy and idle daydreaming and focus on reality-—so daydream of how you may succeed in real-life goals: education, college, career and your own new-family as you grow up. Ask God to protect you from the total heartache of being desperate for “how a person can make you feel.”
- Remember that a person cannot fill the holes only God can fill. Do not set yourself up for disappointment. We are all merely human. Be willing to forgive and forget. Love as Christ would love. God loves you more than any man ever could. You keep running; don’t stop. Just keep looking up to Him and be focused solely on him.
- Remember that—Biblically speaking—unless the couple in question is married before God, they must abstain from sexual relations. Make sure both parties in question are aware of this and have agreed to be respectful.
- Avoid temporary relationships that sidetrack you from your real-life goals with things that will not stand over time—and for eternity—and can not satisfy your longings.
Categories: Faith and Belief | Youth Dating
In other languages:
Español: tener una relación centrada en Dios, Italiano: Avere una Relazione Sentimentale Centrata su Dio, Português: Ter um Relacionamento Amoroso Centrado, Русский: сосредоточить веру в Бога в центре ваших отношений, Deutsch: Eine religiöse Beziehung haben, Français: avoir une relation amoureuse centrée autour de Dieu, Bahasa Indonesia: Menjalin Cinta yang Terarah kepada Tuhan, العربية: إشهاد الرب على علاقتك, Nederlands: God centraal stellen in je relatie
- Send fan mail to authors
Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 865,825 times.
Did this article help you?