But before anyone can get married they have to go through the process of getting to know a person and pursuing love for them (at least if you practice the Western tradition of pursuing marriage). It’s also hard, excruciating, joyful, hurtful, and incredibly fulfilling — at least this is what married people tell me, and from watching them, I believe it.Although it is not crucial to be good friends before you start dating, the better you know someone the, well, better. Although “to have fun” is not the purpose of dating, dating should be fun. Marriage will be one of the hardest things you do, so set a joyful precedent.There will be differences, but they do not have to break the relationship. I mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating: always pursue health.Last time I appeared on this site, I said that I would lay out my position on biblical dating and then turn it over to all of you to determine the rest of the column's topics by your questions. As many of you will know from the Boundless blog, The Line, the last piece generated many posts and comments, from the challenging to the supportive, the general to the specific.In addition to what all of you saw on the blog, I have received dozens of questions and comments in e-mails, which I and the folks at Boundless have culled through to see what the most pressing questions seem to be.Avoid doing anything you will regret once you are married. In other words, do not focus on how you are being perceived, but instead focus on how you are making other people feel. Not only do they know more about life, dating, and men and women; but they know you pretty good, too.One question you could ask yourself is “If I were married, would I mind my spouse knowing ‘that’ about me? Whether it is when, who, or how, honor what they think.
Either way, the quality of your life is what you make it.
Judging from both frequency and "passion," the most pressing questions arising from the last piece involve physical involvement — which I'm about to cover, initiation of relationships (especially the bit about involving the woman's father), and the practical details of how one of these relationships works.
All of these topics will, Lord willing, be covered in future columns.
Feel free to interact with those of the opposite gender.
It is not inappropriate; talking to someone does not mean you have a “crush on them” nor does it mean they have one on you. You do not need to flirt in order to have fun with those of the other sex.