In today’s digital age, approaching someone with genuine interest can be a slippery slope, especially when the words “God told me we should be together!” slip out. Trust me, I’ve been there, and it isn’t a memory I’m eager to revisit.
Resisting the urge to serenade someone with a guitar or to shower them with flowers on the first encounter is a skill. While grand gestures are touching, diving into them too soon can overwhelm or worse, give off the wrong impression. As they say, timing is everything. Before trying to win someone’s heart, win their trust. Seek first to understand and then to be understood.
And while we’re on the topic of the digital age, mentioning your late-night Instagram deep-dive isn’t the best way to start a conversation either. Respect their privacy. Just because information is public doesn’t mean it’s up for discussion.
Surprisingly, some of the challenges faced in Christian courtship echo those adolescent years we all remember too well. The reason? Our faith teaches us the sanctity and importance of relationships. This reverence, though beautiful, can sometimes make interactions seem heavy or loaded.
So, how do you navigate this? How do you engage someone with sincerity without crossing boundaries?
1. Seek Common Ground. When I first met John, our movie tastes were galaxies apart. He’s Team Marvel; I’m Team Tear-jerker. Rather than getting lost in a potentially divisive topic, he wisely steered our conversation toward our shared interests – education and volunteering. The ability to find shared ground is an invaluable skill, not just in dating, but in all social interactions.
2. Listen. Truly Listen. Have you ever forgotten someone’s name moments after they told you? Guilty as charged. The art of listening, truly listening, is a hallmark of great communicators. Being present in the conversation, actively seeking to understand, and remembering details signals respect and interest. Also, pick up on non-verbal cues – they often tell a story words don’t.
3. Personalize Your Approach. Once you feel a real connection, don’t hesitate to personalize your interactions. I fondly remember how John, after our initial chat, sent me a DVD of my favorite movie with a simple note. It was a thoughtful gesture that truly resonated. It showed that he valued our conversation and wanted to cultivate our budding friendship.
Finally, remember that authentic relationships take time. And in our age of digital immediacy, this can be easy to forget. Be patient, be genuine, and always keep God at the center. Whether you’re asking someone out for coffee, or embarking on a deeper connection, lead with respect, understanding, and genuine curiosity. And remember, every successful relationship starts with a simple, sincere conversation.