Some people know that I have a passion for talking about dating and singleness in the Christian Perspective. I love it! I love it because I had to research for myself and my struggle with singleness (sorry if that sounds corny). I hope if you are reading this no matter who you are that you know that many people struggle with singleness. It is funny because I think there is this weird idea that as a Christian we are expectant of a relationship and marriage. That isn’t true. Nowhere in the Bible does God promise marriage. It’s funny that marriage is what many people especially Christians go after. Trying to change their status from Single to Dating to Married. Most discussions that I grew up with were about dating, marriage, and sex. There wasn’t much about singleness which some people might experience for most of their lives if not their entire lives. I want to focus this post on singleness and awkwardness of dealing with crushes.
I have grown up crushing on boys hardcore. Meaning that when I crushed on a guy, I was head over heels. I did this thing I like to call dream dating. Dream Dating is when you spend your free time thinking about dates you would go on with your crush. Maybe even thinking about what futre marriage life. I would make these false ideas of whom the guy was in my head almost creating an entirely different person. I didn’t think it was wrong. I thought I was daydreaming. What’s wrong with Daydreaming? Well when I read the book that entirely changed my perspective on dating and singleness, Lady in Waiting by Debby Jones and Jackie Kendall, I learned how this Dream Dating was, in fact, hurting me.
I was putting expectations on a relationship that was not there. I was creating an idol in the crush and making an entirely false idea of who they were. I was not putting boundaries on my thoughts or emotions. I was not practicing self-control. Now I do a much better job of being able to stop myself in my tracks. However I am not perfect. After reading, Lady in Waiting four times I thought I had it all down. I thought I knew better. Recently, I am frustrated with myself because I feel myself going into old habits. I’m grateful I serve a God who is full of Grace. While somedays I become discouraged I like to remind myself that I don’t have to be perfect and I’m not a finished product but part of a process.
Something related to dream dating but a little different is when you have a friendship with a guy right? Its one of your good friends maybe someone you are crushing on. However, it isn’t a date. You are just friends hanging out. Perhaps you and your crush are even hanging out with a group of people. Let’s say he does things like spend all of his time with you or always sits next to you. Maybe your crush says things that sound flirty. You go home from this group hangout and text your best friend about everything you talked about that night. How he made an effort to sit next to you. Maybe he even did something for you like got you coffee or threw away something for you. Most girls would see this as signs that the guy likes the girl. That he finally is slowly making moves. Maybe your friend confirms this when you text her all about it that it sounds like potentially that he likes you! Woohoo! All your dreams come true. Unfortunately, this might not be the case. This scenario is called crush calculating.
This crush might just be hanging out with you. Your crush might think about how great of a friend you are. He might enjoy spending time with you. He might be trying to figure out he feels. However, this doesn’t mean he is ready for a relationship. It doesn’t mean that he for sure likes you.
Ladies and gentlemen. Can we protect ourselves from these holes we dig? Can we take a step back from the desperate need to be filled by someone else other than Christ?
I’m going to be real with you the other day I was struggling with everything I have written about so far. I felt this overwhelming sense to journal about it. I wrote in my journal, “Jesus protect me from me.” Because while it might be easy to blame your crush for being flirty or sitting next to you. The whole situation also might be you creating it in your head. It might not be your crushes fault that you put expectations on a friendship. It might be your fault.
Now that I have been extremely negative I want to encourage you. First off, if it scares you that you might be single for the rest of your life, you need to take your fear to the Lord. Take the time to develop your Relationship with Christ. He will fill the holes you feel. Don’t roll your eyes. This is the truth! Get into the word. Read through the Book of Ruth or read about the prophet Anna in Luke! Anna has an incredible story. A woman who had it all but lost her husband. She worshipped the Lord every day and never left the Temple! What a woman. Talk about a positive and loving attitude for the Lord. Read more about here in Luke 2:36-38
Next, if you are reading this and feel that you Dream Date or Crush Calculate let me give you some things that I have done that have helped me along with this.
Dream Dating Guide
1. Recognize that you need to change how you think about the opposite sex. Katie, what does this mean? It means that when you like someone and start to think about your future before you know where they are from or their favorite color you need to stop. I know this is easier said than done but you can do it. If you don’t have self-control in singleness why would you have it when you are dating someone or married? I learned that wisdom from Lady in Waiting. So start exercising that muscle now. When you find yourself beginning to dream date change your thought to your favorite tv show, musical, or music. Start to sing your favorite song. Pray or Journal. There are literally so many ways you could redirect your thoughts. Maybe even color in a coloring book? Get creative. Discuss with your friends and find yourself an accountability partner.
2. Speaking of Countability... I feel like finding a friend with whom you can discuss this with is so important. Find someone you can talk through how you feel and be honest with yourself and them. You might be surprised how many people dream date. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with your friends. Trust that you won’t be judged. We grow in Community and suffer in silence. So go out and talk to someone you trust.
3. Recognize that you aren’t perfect. As I mentioned I still struggle with dream dating and crush calculating and I am not in any way perfect or have cured myself of it. I have gotten a lot better. I used to spend hours dreaming of dates and crush calculating. Now that you are going to fail but that doesn’t mean you should give up. Jesus and your friends are going to help you get over this. Find freedom in your thoughts! Trust me it is worth the journey.
Crush Calculating Guide
1. Take the time to reevaluate your motives when hanging out with your crush. Be real with yourself and your feelings (Don’t swallow those emotions either). If you like someone that is fine. If you want to hang out with them, that is entirely ok. Just make sure you set boundaries with yourself. If you think you can’t handle a one on one hangout as friends don’t do it to yourself. Do a group hangout. Have a friend there that is aware of your feelings if possible.
2. If you hang out with them in group settings, set boundaries like I’m going to talk with other people and not focus on this one person the entire time.
3. When you are done hanging out with your Crush, don’t rush to the phone and text or call your bestie. Instead, pray about it!!! Take a second and journal about what just happened. Surrender that friendship to the Lord. This will help you take a step back and gain a new perspective.
4. All right, so you are dying to tell a friend. That is ok! You can tell a friend but make sure you tell them about how you want a real perspective. Tell your friend that you want more than someone being a cheerleader over a nonexistent relationship and ask for prayer. This is what being intentional with your feelings looks like and protects you from yourself.
I think crushing on someone comes with many struggles. I’m barely scratching the surface on the interactions that can happen and emotions involved. I probably will write ten more posts on the struggles I face with my own singleness. Isn’t that the best part? I know that I’m not the only person in these struggles. I know plenty of people, who go through these same things. If you don’t have that community get involved in your local church or youth group; find a staff member or group leader you can talk about these topics with at a coffee shop. I’m sure they will be able to help you through it. If you want more advice or have specific questions feel free to email me at email@example.com. I hope this post is encouraging that you are not alone. That first we need to be whole in Jesus before we can add anyone else to the mix. Take the time to work on you. Also, don’t be afraid to write to Jesus about your crush. He wants to be apart of that process with you. Our God has no limits on how He wants to be there for us.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”