“Intention” is a word we seem to use all the time. “That’s not what I intended.” or “Her intentions were good.” We use it to describe our feelings about what we planned or desired; we intend to do something. I’ve reflected on this a lot, and I believe when we as humans talk about the intentions we somehow place a catch in there for ourselves as if to say, well, I wanted to do it, but something else happened. I invite you to consider instead not your intentions, but God’s intentions and the plans He has for you, especially around the idea of intentional dating and finding your soul’s mate.
What Is Intentional Dating?
Intentional Dating is the idea of slowing down and taking our time. It’s discovering what it is we truly want, or what God truly wants, for us in a partner. God created us to live with purpose and meaning. Jesus tells us, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10.
When we slow down, we can be still and listen to what God wants for us. We can hear the answers to our prayers when we ask about the qualities and characteristics that are most important in our soulmate relationship.
Intentional dating also involves knowing what patterns and behaviors may be keeping you from finding a fulfilling partner. Where does healing need to take place in your life? Do you need to develop better communication skills? Are you experiencing habits related to codependency that make it difficult for you to establish healthy boundaries? Do you need to deepen your faith so you understand the shared values in a partner that will stand the test of time?
Any of these things can be discovered when we slow down and reflect.
How is Intentional Dating Different from Traditional Dating?
Traditional dating seems to be focused on “material” factors. Often, first impressions matter. People in traditional dating usually connect based on location as they meet through work, school, they are introduced by friends, or maybe they are at the same place at the same time. People also seem to judge traditional dating on appearances. Is the person the right height? Are they attractive? Do they dress on trend?
Depending on where people might connect for a first traditional date, getting acquainted may be difficult. Movies don’t allow for many conversations and noisy, crowded bars are also challenging places to get to know another person.
When people take the time to date intentionally, they first do the inner work to know who they are authentically. While this may be difficult work, it’s so valuable because you don’t end up hiding the best parts of who you are in order to be liked and accepted by another person. This is vulnerability and is integral to establishing a true connection with your soulmate.
You’ll have also taken the time to establish your boundaries on what’s acceptable and non-acceptable behavior in a potential partner. Sometimes when we date people in a traditional dating experience, we have a tendency to ignore “red flags” when they pop up and make excuses that they aren’t that bad. When you slow down and are honest about God’s plan for your happiness and prosperity, you’ll know He will do you no harm. This means your soulmate will be a healthy, long-term, loving partner to you.
What Are the Benefits of Intentional Dating?
I remember my grade school teacher telling me, “Haste makes waste.” I think that couldn’t be more true when it comes to dating. Slowing down and taking our time when it comes to something as important as healing ourselves and finding our soulmate establishing a lifelong partnership is one of the most important things we will do here on earth. There are so many benefits to intentional dating:
Relationships are more successful in the long run
Since intentional dating encourages slowness and reflection, there is time to integrate what you need and desire the most in a partner. Clarity comes from dating experience and being able to reflect on which dates went well and which dates did not. I believe that God doesn’t waste anything and the lessons that come from the dating journey lead you closer to your future husband/wife.
Relationships are stronger
Intentional dating allows us to feel more emotionally safe and establish a stronger connection. This results in a deep emotional intimacy in your relationships creating stronger bonds that develop into thriving, fulfilling relationships.
Partners are happier
I believe that each person is uniquely created with God’s paintbrush. The intentional dating process is designed to encourage you to become your true and authentic self, leaning into vulnerability. Because of this, we attract partners who value and appreciate us for our unique gifts, not in spite of them.
A relationship in which you can be fully yourself will lead you closer to one another and God, creating holiness and more joy.
How Do I Get Started With Intentional Dating?
You can start intentional dating just by setting the goal and having quiet time with God in prayer and reflection about your goals for soulmate, how you can best prepare for a healthy relationship through healing, and by reflecting on your dates establishing what went well and what didn’t before moving forward and deciding if you’d like to continue that relationship.
God’s plan for you is not a race. You don’t need to compare yourself to your friends or what’s going on in social media. He designed you to prosper and not suffer, so don’t ignore red flags in relationships and sacrifice your happiness in a race to settle down.
If you’d like support in finding your soulmate, I’m opening the doors to my Intentional Dating Program, and eight-week journey including personalized one-on-one Zoom dating and coaching. You can learn more about the program here and schedule an appointment to apply here.
Let Intentional Dating be the Roadmap to help you find love!