Maybe this is your first time dating or your return back to the arena. One thing is for certain, you want to start this journey the right way. You want this first date to be led by Christian principles that guide your thoughts and actions. You want this time to be different.
Well, that’s a great attitude to have! With a mindset like that, you’re already miles ahead of your “competition” and the various other dating strategies out there that have always felt so counterfeit. If you keep that determination, you will definitely make the right impression on the right person.
That’s the reason for this list of simple but effective tips for the first date. Whether you’re a man or a woman, these tips are applicable to everyone. Following them will help you filter the bad apples from the good fruit.
Select an Appropriate Location for the Date
Do not go to a bar or nightclub for the first date. There is nothing inherently wrong with alcohol, and enjoying it in moderation can be enjoyable, so don’t think this is a bash of drinking responsibly. However, whether they know it or not, a bar or nightclub just sends the wrong signals to your potential suitor.
Think about it. You wouldn’t take a business client to a loud nightclub in order to discuss an important deal together; an office is more appropriate. You wouldn’t lead a group of Christians into a bar to worship God; a church is more appropriate. Similarly, you shouldn’t take your potential wife or husband to an environment unbecoming of your intentions with them.
There are more appropriate options. You want to stand out from the world, not blend in with it.
First impressions are important for every aspect of life. That’s why I recommend doing something outdoors and enjoying God’s creation for the first date. Taking a long walk together is an appropriate metaphor for the relationship journey that you both hope to be starting. And while you are enjoying the nature that He created, don’t miss the opportunity to talk about His divine nature also (Romans 1:20).
Be Honest Throughout the Date
This might seem like a foregone conclusion. Of course, you would be honest on the date, right? What’s so big about this tip? It actually digs at something beneath the surface of behavior.
Sometimes we’re dishonest without even trying to be. In our attempts to make a good first impression with someone, there might be a tendency to exaggerate our accomplishments or agree to things that simply aren’t true.
Here’s a good example. The date is going wonderfully, and you’ve already mentally decided to go on a second date with them. Then…it happens. They reveal themselves to be a sports fan who enjoys watching a particular team. Their excitement in conversation about their favorite team will almost inevitably turn into the dreaded question, “do you like sports too?”
If you’re a sports fan, then replace the above example with something you don’t like or aren’t particularly interested in. Would it be okay to feign interest in what they enjoy for the sake of keeping the spark alive? Must brutal honesty be the killjoy of conversation?
The answer to both of those questions is no. Proverbs 12:22 notes that lying is detestable to God, and He delights in those who tell the truth. But Proverbs 16:24 says that kind, pleasant words are sweet like honey to the hearer. In the wisdom of these verses resides a third option and a prudent answer. It might even seal that second date for you.
“I’m not the biggest or smallest of sports fans, but I really like seeing people get excited about their passions!”
Be truthful with what you say while leaving room for them to still feel appreciated. Don’t sacrifice your integrity for their enjoyment. Doing so will only cause bigger problems for you both in the future.
You can reconfigure that example to fit any subject or scenario. However, if your date is determined to part ways because of something minor like this, then you’ve probably dodged a bullet anyway. You’ll have saved time and money that can be invested into someone more mature.
Ask About God During the Date
Ask questions! Questions are windows into their world, and their answers will give you quite a view of what they see. You’re bound to be surprised with some of their answers, even to the more stock questions.
However, no question is more essential than the question about God. Does God exist? If so, who or what is God? Do they follow a particular religion? Why or why not?
Sometimes you might know these answers going into the first date. Maybe you met this person at your local church or have known them for quite a while already. However, if you don’t know their answers, this is definitely the most important question to ask them. Find out what they believe.
It directly affects how you approach a relationship with this person. If they are also a Christian, then great! You will both have foundational principles in common to build a healthy relationship based upon higher bonds of spirituality.
On the other hand, the Bible doesn’t specifically talk about dating an unbeliever, but it does address marriage to one (1Corinthians 7:39). God’s instructions are clear concerning marriage; Christians are not to enter into an unequally yoked marriage with an unbeliever (2Corinthians 6:14-15). The endpoint of dating is marriage, so the math doesn’t really add up when it comes to dating an unbeliever.
A romantic relationship with an unbeliever is a gray area of Christianity that’s more black than white. It can’t be justified or leveraged as an evangelism effort. It’s highly recommended that this potential romantic relationship be substituted for a friendship until the person chooses to become a Christian.
May God bless you and give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).
Written By: Nicholas Lakin
Nick is an academic scholar, budding theologian, and thoughtful teacher of the Bible. He has a passion to see others grow in their knowledge of God for the purpose of glorifying Christ. He’s also a graduate of Liberty University and a former United States Army soldier.
His academic works range from commentaries and exegetical analyses to nuanced details regarding the Hebrew and Greek languages of the Bible. His future endeavors include Chaplaincy and founding a nonprofit organization that’s conducive to ecumenical orthodoxy across Protestantism.