About 4 years ago, I posted two articles on my thoughts of dating relationships (part 1 and part 2). They were written 2 years before I actually started dating, and were a reflection of my thoughts and attitudes towards dating at the time. Now that I’m standing at about 2 years into a dating relationship, I wanted to look back and see if my thoughts back then were any different to today. I had forgotten that I had written up more generic thoughts and ideas about the topics, rather than specific ideas I was thinking through at the time. Nevertheless, there are 5 things I’ve learned whilst dating which I feel augment my understanding of dating and marriage from back then. Disclaimer: I am not married, so listen to my experience as you may; as always, discern all things through God’s Word.
In the last post, I offered the idea that when seeking out friendships, what most of us earnestly desire is not a large number of relationships, but rather deeper and closer friendships. Such relationships take time to build, but given the ease in which we can connect and network with people all around the world, it has been harder to focus our time and attention to build such relationships (some of us may feel like we’re surrounded by too many people – and this is true compared to pre-Internet days). In this post, I will clarify a few implications of the previous post and then move on to give a few suggestions as to how we can go about building deeper and more meaningful relationships.
If you were given the option between:
- Talking to one friend for an hour; or
- Talking to six friends individually for ten minutes each
Which option would you pick? On one hand, talking to just a single friend for an hour gives more room to grow that friendship and to get beyond the surface formalities of “How are you going?” On the other hand, talking to more friends for a shorter period of time gives more opportunities to catch up with multiple people and allows you to manage more friendships simultaneously. Some of you may have opted for an in-between option; perhaps chatting to three friends for 20 minutes each instead. And perhaps how we decide to use an hour for our friends depends on what we aim to achieve in our relationships.