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Dating in Your Mind

Oct 21, 2016 | No Comments

by Sophie Okolo

Girl meets boy. Girl likes boy. Girl talks about boy. Harmless, right?

If you’ve just met someone and find yourself saying things like “We really clicked” or “He’s so nice to me” after only a few interactions, it’s possible you have started dating that person in your mind. Whether you realize it or not, emotions have become invested. And for many, the phantom relationship ends before it ever begins.

Carolyn McCulley addresses this phenomenon in her book “Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye?”:

[O]ur churches often provide the context to get to know single men as friends, we women can start investing more significance in these interactions than is wise. We get all “clumped up” around one guy — until he says something or does something to make us realize he’s not going to pursue. Then comes the disappointment. … When we get stuck in a man’s orbit like this, typically we’re laying claims and forming attachments that are deadly to our spiritual growth and witness.

Have you ever found yourself grieving over a relationship that never happen? In his book “Instruments in a Redeemer’s Hands,” Paul Tripp writes how inverted desires can get us “stuck in a man’s orbit” so-to-speak.

The objects of most of our desires are not evil. The problem is the way they tend to grow, and the control they come to exercise over our hearts. Desires are a part of human existence, but they must be held with an open hand. … Demand is the closing of my fists over a desire. Even though I may be unaware that I have done it, I have left my proper position of submission to God.

As we pursue and live intentionally for marriage, let’s surrender our desires to the One who knows what’s best for us. James 1:17 states “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

This article was originally published by Marry Well on July 20, 2011.

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