To Stay or Not to Stay in a Dating Relationship


Relationships can help and hinder your walk with the Lord. Make sure you know which one it is.

Hi Mike & Amy,

I recently read your book, Don’t Date Naked, and it was really good. Anyways, recently I have entered into a relationship with a guy, and it’s going okay. We both are seeking God, and believe that He is leading us down a path towards marriage, and that is our long-term perspective. Neither of us want to waste our time in a relationship that isn't headed down that path. (Mainly because of previous history)

However, both of us come from quite dysfunctional families and a fairly messy history, and are very much still in the process of healing and breakthrough.

We both tend to jump into things quickly, and then think about the consequences later, which in past history, has not turned out so well! We are aware that this relationship has the power to spur each other on for greater healing and draw us closer to God, or to tear each other down and drag us away from God.

So, should we stay “just friends” for now, or what?!




Dear Confused,

Thanks for your email and I appreciate your honesty and transparency. You are asking the right question, but I hate to tell you that there is very rarely an easy answer to great questions.

The most important thing is for you to get healthy and right with God. Sounds like you are working toward this and I want to encourage you to keep it going. Remember, whatever you are suffering before marriage does not go away during marriage. I hope you are in counseling with a trusted Christian and learning how to overcome your family background.

Usually this is something that needs to be done when you are not in a relationship. I’m not saying to end the relationship, but be honest about your readiness to be in a significant relationship.

The love of a human can give us a glimpse of heaven and of God’s love, but it can not substitute for it.

Don’t let a dating relationship keep you from achieving the kind of spiritual and emotional healing you need. If it hurts your growth, get out immediately, if you can honestly say that it is helping, then stay with it. You might want to ask some trusted people if they think the relationship is helping or hurting you. It’s always wise to seek the counsel of others.

Peace be with you,

Michael Smalley

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