Ten Dating Tips

Yesterday in chapel at Cedarville University I preached through 1 Corinthians chapter 7. This chapter addresses more than just singleness, but since my audience included over 3,000 single University students, I focused my closing application on my audience and ended with ten dating tips. If you didn’t hear the full message it does provide some context on my thinking. I am interested in what you think. What would you add to or take away from the list below? Let me know in the comments section.

Ten Dating Tips[1]

  1. Don’t waste your singleness: If you have the gift of singleness, then don’t waste it by coveting someone else’s life. In fact, you have the trump card. I’m just being like Paul…and Jesus. Paul indicates in 1 Corinthians 7 that in some situations it is better to be single. Even if your singleness is temporary, use it for God’s glory.
  2. If you have the desire to marry but not the opportunity, be content and trust God. Coveting is a sin. Too many people try too hard for the “ring by spring” and end up spending their single life longing for marriage and their married life longing to be single again. Be content and trust God no matter your circumstances.
  3. Do not have any type of romantic relationship with someone who is a non-Christian. You should not marry a non-Christian if you are a believer, which means you should not date a non-Christian.
  4. Do not pursue a serious relationship until you are ready to marry. That means spiritually and practically.  Have you repented of past sins, overcome serious struggles like pornography? Have you forgiven yourself and gotten over past sins? Whatever your baggage is, make sure that you are over it and then tell the other person early on.
  5. Do not expect marriage to fix you or make you happy. If you are miserable while single, then getting married will only make two miserable people. Marriage is part of God’s plan to make you holy not happy. So while I hope you find as much joy in marriage as I have, the ultimate goal is glorifying God and not idolizing marriage.
  6. Set your expectations appropriately. There is no Mr. Perfect so ladies lower your expectations of what marriage will be. Disney has set the standard too high, but at the same time, do not set them too low and settle or you will end up miserable. Guys, you are not marrying your mom. Don’t be a slob, and don’t play Xbox all day long anymore.
  7. He should initiate and she should respond. There is a blood stained cross and empty tomb that demonstrates we are worth the pursuit. If Jesus pursued His church and men should love their wife as Christ loved the church, then men should pursue. Men step up. Women, help us out. We are not that smart. Women, please place yourself in front of the right man like Ruth did Boaz. So don’t stay at home and pray or say you are married to Jesus.
  8. Don’t be superficial. Marriage is about more than appearance. Outside, inside, personality, intelligence, work ethic, sense of humor, financial wisdom, integrity, especially love for Jesus and primary theological issues all matter. Marry someone who will be a fit for every season of the life that awaits you together.
  9. Guard your heart. This means many things but especially no sexual contact until marriage. A guy will wait if he loves you. A guy will wait if he can spiritually lead you. If a guy won’t wait for you, then you will never know if he can control himself when he is traveling or working with someone else. Dump him immediately. If you are currently in a relationship where you are having sex, then you are not right with God and cannot hear correctly from the Holy Spirit. The best thing to do is repent, stop having sex, end the relationship, and seek the Lord for an extended period of time to determine His will for your future.
  10. Find someone that loves Jesus more than they love you. If they love Jesus more than you, then they will continue to grow spiritually and they will not divorce you for their own happiness because they realize that God hates divorce.

[1] This list comes from a brainstorming session with my wife. We are indebted to books we have read, sermons we have heard, and others who have posted on the internet. I don’t have a source to reference, but I am not claiming that these are original with us. They have resulted from years of thought and study of others. After all, there is nothing new under the sun.



  1. Very very good!
    Love the “pursue” piece …. & so does Joy!

  2. Dr. White,
    Thank you for your thoughts and message yesterday! I really appreciate it.
    On the top of your head, what are some books or resources you’d recommend for someone either in a relationship or considering a relationship that would be moving toward marriage? (Not just playing around.)

  3. Daniel Mullins

    May 1, 2014 at 1:10 am

    This was one of my favorite chapels of the year. I’m glad you shared this list on your site. It’s no coincidence that I stumbled across this tonight, because I have been struggling with coping with my singleness this week. Thank you.

    Also, I love the Ecclesiastes reference in the footnote. One of the most overlooked books of the Bible.

  4. Buck Thornton

    July 2, 2014 at 11:44 am

    Excellent 10 tips on dating. I would like to add 2 more dating tips that I have learned from a middle aged perspective.
    #11. Find someone who is Complimentarian and knows/ has studied the scripture why this is paramount. If he will not lead as a father and husband/ love his wife as Christ loved the church as a Godly man you will have problems. If she questions your authority or turns to friends/ family/ other authorities to bring you down she is not for you, but against you ( proverbs 31, her goal is to tear down, not build up). A house divided against itself can not stand, which lead to # 12.
    #12. For the divorced/ dating a divorced person. Find out the reasons for the divorce and whether it was biblical grounds, and if there has been repentance. Be open to whom God sends to you. God is a God of 2nd chances through His grace. For those with “personal convictions that #12 rule should be “divorced persons are unable to remarry”, remember that if Jesus has forgiven and made clean/ new creation in Christ we can’t look at the stains that Jesus has removed and know better than Christ. If we choose to see stains where Jesus has made white we are calling unclean what Christ has made clean. Jesus cleansed lepers. We can’t condemn a person for the sin of another marriage partner.

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