building Bliss.

love-valentines-dayIf you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that I sometimes talk about/write to my future husband. I’ve confessed to writing letters to him and to praying for him. But in order to get there, to walk down the aisle someday, there are a number of things that have to happen first. Things like, you know, actually going on a date. Or…lots of dates (not in the I’m-going-to-date-a-million-guys sense of the word “dates” but more of the it-takes-time-to-let-love-grow sense).

In order to prepare for our marriage someday (God willing!), we also need to prepare ourselves for those dates, for spending time with that wonderful guy who has his eye on us. It is important not to rush from the first date straight to wedding planning, but we also need to take time to prepare for dates. Sure, as girls (hold on for a second guys, I’ll get to you!), we prepare for a date. We pick out a great outfit (after trying on at least 10 different options/combos). We do our hair, our makeup, we make ourselves smell good, and we wait to be picked up or we meet up with our date. Now, when it comes to guys, I’m just guessing, but I imagine it involves picking out a clean shirt, checking to make sure your wallet is in the pants you are wearing on the date, combing your hair, and picking up/meeting your date. But shouldn’t there be more? If we are looking towards marriage at some point, whenever that may be, shouldn’t we do a little more to prepare for dates? I certainly think so!

Often times it is easy to forget to prepare physically, mentally, and spiritually for a date, but it is so necessary if we are looking for something more than just another date in a string of dead-end dates.

So…how can we ready ourselves for a date?

Whether it is a first date or your 50th date, here are some of the things I’ve done to help get myself ready for dates:

  • Pray. It might seem silly, but offer up a quick prayer for your date before you see them. Pray that God would open your eyes to see whatever it is He wants you to see on this date. Pray that God would guard your heart with His love.
  • Choose your outfit carefully. I won’t get all preachy about modesty, but wear something you are comfortable in and that makes you feel great, but keeps the focus more on you than what you aren’t wearing.
  • Pray some more. Don’t be afraid to pray during the date either – say grace together, spend a few minutes in an adoration chapel, go to Mass together, or pray together at the end of the date and ask God to watch over the other in your absence.
  • Don’t envision every possible conversation. I think girls do this more than guys, but don’t try to plan out every conversational topic for the evening. Let the conversation flow. Feel free to ask the Holy Spirit to help guide the conversation, but be willing to follow His lead.
  • Pray after the date. In case you’ve missed it, prayer is a key element of any relationship. Pray for your date and pray that God would continue to guide and guard both of your hearts along His path. Ask Him to show you where to go. Praying in this way will make it easier for your heart to rest in God (where it should be) rather than relying on your significant other to be your God.

Here’s my last bit of slightly random pre-date advice: don’t rock out to ridiculously cheesy love songs. While they are wonderful and get you feeling all mushy-gushy, they can cloud your judgement and clear-headedness if the chorus is on repeat in your head throughout the date. “Settlin'” by Sugarland is a great song that puts me in a good mind-set and reminds me to stand strong in what I’m looking for in the first place.

Thanks to Real Catholic Love and Sex for hosting the “Building Bliss” link up!

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