by Motte Brown
Every dating couple risks getting hurt to some degree. Emotional pain, however, can usually be lessened by taking a measured approach to relationships. Here are three dating ‘don’ts’ that could save you a lot of heartache:
1) Don’t say ‘I love you.’ At least, not yet. Even though you might think you love this person, protect your heart and hers by saving that statement for the right moment. I like the advice that saying ‘I love you’ should follow or be followed by ‘Will you marry me?’ or ‘Yes, I will marry you!’ Following a difficult break-up, I’ve never once heard someone say they were relieved that they had told someone they loved them while they were still together. It’s usually the opposite.
2) Don’t be physically intimate. There’s a reason God says “two shall become one.” Once you’ve had sex with someone, a breakup can feel like ripping off your own flesh. It happens with other forms of intimacy like passionate kissing, too. The more physically intimate you are with someone before marriage, the more damaging it is to you and your relationship whether you break up or not.
3) Don’t drag out a relationship. Sometimes people get stuck in a pattern of continuing to date even though they know they will never marry. It’s very tempting to just keep “hanging out” instead of making a clean break because you’ve grown comfortable together and you know it will mean being on your own again. But the sooner you break it off, the lesser the impact will be on each of you.
Our culture would have you believe that severe heartache is just a part of single life. It doesn’t have to be. It’s why how you date is as important as who you date.
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