More thoughts on dating and boundaries

[I’ve had a lot of questions based on a post I wrote about bad boundaries. So, I asked a couple of my fave ladies their thoughts on five questions.  Today’s thoughts are from my dear pal and ministry partner Theresa. She’s the one who taught me about the question:“are women crazy”?]

1. What is your current stage of life?  

Married with a kid.  (That’s so weird to say!)

2. Do you think guys and girls can be friends? Do you have male friends?  Describe those friendships!

It depends on what you mean by friendship. Can I have the same kind of relationship with a guy that I have with my good girlfriends, sure. But is it healthy and wise? Not for me. I know my heart. And I know that deep down it’s easy to cross boundaries in the most innocent situations. And so I’ve chosen to guard my heart. To guard my heart and fight the temptation to connect with a guy in a way that was only meant for my husband. Sure, I have male friends. But those friendships are in the context of my relationship with my husband. And I save the deep stuff for him and my girlfriends.

3. What is one thing you wish you’d done differently in regards to male friendships when you were single?

I wish I would have guarded my heart emotionally, not giving to guys what they didn’t ask for. I wish I would have enjoyed the friendship for what it was rather than wishing it was something it wasn’t  I wish I would have been thankful for what God had given me rather than dwelling on what I thought I was missing out on.

 4. When you were single, what was your view of dating?  What is your current view of dating?

Not much has changed in my views of dating over the years. To go on one date with a guy, no strings attached, I think it’s fine and fun. But to commit to dating a guy, I always took that a little more serious. I didn’t want to commit to a guy I couldn’t see long-term potential with. You marry who you date. So why go down that path with a guy who isn’t the type you’d want to end up with?

5. What boundaries did you (do you) have with guys?  What is your current view on that?

As far boundaries, I know my heart. I know it’s dark. I know what I’m capable of. So I’ll put up every and any boundary necessary and pray that the Spirit protects my marriage and gives me the grace to pursue purity. On a practical level, a couple of my boundaries are:

  • I don’t share with guys things I wouldn’t share with my husband.
  • In the absence of my husband, I keep discussion pretty surface and brief.
  • I don’t have long personal phone conversations or Facebook chats.

These aren’t just rules for me, but they are perimeters that help me keep my heart in check when it comes to other guys.

Thanks T!  

I would love to hear from others of you out there how you would answer these five questions!  Email me or comment below.

5 thoughts on “More thoughts on dating and boundaries

  1. Fabs, it seems like your blog dwells so much on marriage and guy/girl relationships even though you are not married! Honestly I find it hard not to see my life in terms of something that is lacking when I read your blog despite the fact that you seem to protest that I shouldn’t feel that way so much!

    The things you wrote on the “blessings” of singleness all take a fairly masochistic view. Is it possible to genuinely ENJOY being single in your view and not just in the sense that it allows you to “long for death” or experience some of the rejection that Christ experienced etc.? I’m pretty sure that you wouldn’t advocate viewing marriage just in terms of all the horrible suffering that it will put you through.

    I just wish that someone in the church would model singleness as a positive thing and really mean it. I need that so much and I have a feeling that there are tons of other people (especially women) who do too.

    1. Jill, I appreciate you speaking so honestly, however, I have had a very different experience with what has been shared in the area of singleness and male/ female relationships from this blog. I think this is an honest look inside the heart of someone struggling well with something hard ( kinda like Paul did his entire ministry )and doing it in a vulnerable brave way that personally is a breath of fresh air. I will take someone modeling for me reality over fairytale any day. Singleness is positive!! It’s positive because God says it is and if I’m single, which I am, then that means the best thing God could possibly think to give me right now is the gift of my current state of singleness. Praise God! However, that doesn’t mean I always see it that way. I think as a Christian, single woman it is important to remember that it’s okay to struggle, especially with something like singleness.

  2. Hi Sarah (and Fabs),

    It’s not really so much that I think that struggles of singleness aren’t real and shouldn’t be represented it’s that it seems that the church is constantly showing or telling me (mostly implicitly) that there is NOTHING good about being single (aside from making me long for death etc.)

    I guess I’m frustrated with the fact that all the things that get talked about as the “blessings of singleness” seem to be on the surface and in experience, bad things. Not so for what gets talked about as the blessings of marriage.

    1. Hey gals! Thanks for your thoughts!

      Jill – I know exactly what you’re saying. There sure are great things about singleness; really sweet and great things. But I wrote that series because I think most people think of blessings as things like: great financial freedom, or the ability to manage your own schedule or be available for anyone who needs you at any time. Those are all GREAT blessings that can be used for eternal value.

      But for me the greatest blessings I have tasted have come through earthly suffering. I don’t think that’s bad news. I get more of God through the parts of singleness that have been hard for me and I’m not ashamed to call that a blessing. More of God is the GREATEST blessing I have ever enjoyed. I don’t personally mind if that comes through a sweet and perfect day or a rough and lonely one, but for me, it’s come more through the latter.

      And I guess I think that’s why Scripture talks about suffering as a gift.

      This blog is my story of how God works in me. I can’t apologize or regret the way He speaks in my life. I have friends who LOVE singleness. And He has worked differently for them. Hope that makes sense!

  3. An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little research on this. And he in fact ordered me breakfast simply because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this matter here on your web page.

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