Tired of casual dating? Looking for a long-term relationship with the right person? This guide to dating intentionally is for you.
Dating is a tricky process, no matter when you’re dating.
For some single people dating is all about the physical attributes and the excitement of having someone new to spend time with. These individuals often refer to it as “recreational dating.”
Others find that they want more out of dating than just a good time and are looking for an individual who will be in their life for many years (slow dating).
We’ll talk about what these two types of dating look like and how they can help young professionals identify which type best aligns with their relationship goals.
What does dating intentionally mean?
The definition of dating intentionally is different for everyone.
For some, it means committing to date only one person at a time and getting to know them more deeply aka committed relationships.
Others may interpret it as being open and honest about what you’re looking for from the beginning.
No matter how you define it, dating intentionally is all about being transparent with yourself and your partner about what you want out of the relationship.
Intentional relationships take more effort and time, but the commitment is worth it.
For those who want to date with marriage in mind, intentional dating can help you identify if this person will be a good partner for the long term.
What is recreational dating?
Recreational dating is a term used for dating people without any specific goals in mind.
These individuals might be casually dating several people simultaneously or just looking for someone to date regularly.
There is no commitment involved; typically, both parties are aware of this going into the relationship.
How do you know if recreational dating is right for you?
If you’re not sure whether recreational dating is right for you, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I only interested in physical attributes?
- Do I want to spend time with this person because they’re new and exciting?
- Do I just want to have some fun without a long-term commitment?
If your answers to these questions are yes, recreational dating is likely the right choice.
Recreational dating can be a great way to feed your need for excitement and physical attributes while not feeling guilty about putting someone else’s needs before yours.
However, recreational dating might not align with your goals if you’re looking for something serious or believe that both parties should have the same level of commitment in their relationships.
Disadvantages of recreational dating (aka. casual dating)
Recreation dating can result in unhealthy relationship patterns such as:
- Dating impulsively without really getting to know the other person.
- Focusing more on physical attributes than personality and character traits.
- One or both parties are not communicating their needs effectively in dating relationships.
Recreational dating can often lead to hurt feelings and confusion if both people aren’t on the same page.
This is because when two individuals are casually dating, they may not share their feelings or expectations with each other.
This can lead to one person getting attached while the other is still enjoying the dating process (dating scene).
Intentional dating takes more effort than recreational dating but can be more rewarding in the long run.
Unhealthy relationship patterns
There are various signs of an unhealthy relationship:
- One partner is trying to control the other.
- Verbal, emotional, or physical abuse.
- Lack of communication.
- Ignoring each other’s needs.
If you’re in a relationship and see any of these signs, it’s time to get out before things worsen.
What does a healthy relationship look like?
A healthy relationship is one where both parties feel respected, loved, and valued.
It’s built on trust, communication, and mutual respect.
Both partners are willing to compromise to make the relationship work.
In a healthy relationship, there is no controlling behavior or abuse.
Intentional dating might be the right choice if you’re looking for a healthy relationship.
Intentional dating: The secret to healthy relationships
Dating intentionally takes effort, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for a serious relationship.
When you date intentionally, both people are equally committed to the relationship and want to be together long-term.
Intentional dating can often lead to healthier relationships because both parties communicate their needs clearly at the beginning of the relationship.
This prevents one or both parties from getting attached too quickly without understanding whether or not the other person is on the same page.
So what makes a healthy relationship? Here are some common indicators:
- Both parties feel appreciated, respected, and loved.
- There is mutual trust and honesty between partners.
- Partners can resolve conflicts effectively without damaging the relationship.
- Partners have shared interests and values.
Intentional dating can help you find someone who meets all of these criteria. Getting to know someone deeper takes time and effort, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for something serious.
When both people involved in the relationship are intentional about their actions, the chances of success increase dramatically!
How do you know if intentional dating is right for you?
Here are some signs that intentional dating may be a good fit for you:
- You’re tired of playing games and want someone who will be upfront with you about their intentions.
- You want to get to know your partner deeper than just surface-level conversations.
- You’re not interested in casual relationships and want something more long-term.
Intentional dating may be the right choice if any of these statements resonate with you.
Michael Todd on relationship goals and dating
In his book “Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex” Pastor Michael Todd suggests that we live in a world with more and more relationships and less and less love. There’s more and more sex and less and less intimacy.
Todd concedes that we’ve paid a high price in the bargain for our independence. After all, relationships are based on commitment and today’s culture is about limitless freedom.
Todd believes that we’re not built to go through this life alone. So if your goal is to have a healthy relationship that leads to marriage, then intentional relationships are the best way forward.
How do you get started with intentional dating?
The process of intentional dating can seem daunting, but it’s quite simple.
Here are a few steps to get you started.
STEP 1: Define what you’re looking for in a partner.
What does your ideal partner look like? What are their core values and interests? What kind of relationship are you looking for?
Write down a list of places or activities you enjoy doing and look for potential partners who share those interests.
Get clear on your boundaries and be ready to communicate them to anyone you date. This includes things like how much physical contact is comfortable for you, what level of commitment you’re looking for, etc.
- Complete the Five Love Languages quiz to understand your primary love language.
- Complete the Erotic Blueprint quiz to understand your sexual preferences better.
STEP TWO: Identify your dealbreakers.
Deal breakers are the qualities that you absolutely cannot compromise on.
For example, if you’re looking for a serious relationship, finding someone who is also looking for a serious relationship is non-negotiable.
Other deal breakers might include religion, children, or lifestyle choices.
STEP THREE: Be honest with yourself about your intentions.
Before you can be honest with someone else, you need to be honest with yourself.
What are your goals and intentions for this relationship?
Are you looking for something casual or something long-term? If you’re not sure, that’s okay! Just take some time to figure it out before moving forward.
STEP FOUR: Don’t be afraid to be single.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when dating is rushing into things just because they’re afraid of being single. Being single is not a bad thing! It’s a perfectly natural state.
The right person will come along when the time is right.
STEP FIVE: Take your time getting to know someone new.
Don’t feel like you have to rush into a relationship because everyone seems to be moving so fast.
When you’re intentional about dating, you take the time to get to know someone deeper than just their looks or surface-level conversation topics. This allows for real connection and intimacy to develop over time.
Take things slowly and get to know your partner in different social settings.
What could your first three dates look like?
- Meeting for coffee or tea
- Going for a walk in the park
- Going to a museum
- Going out to dinner
- Seeing a movie together
- Going to a concert or show
- Going on a picnic
- Going to the beach or a lake
For more fun date ideas, refer to this resource.
Intentional dating can help you find the perfect partner for lasting love and happiness.
How do you date with intent?
Communicate your relationship goals early
Start the conversation early about where two individuals see this relationship going. If they’re not interested in something serious, then it may save everyone involved time by moving on to someone else sooner rather than later.
Be open about how you’re feeling, both positive and negative emotions. This will help them understand who you are more clearly instead of guessing based on limited interactions.
Remember that there is no need to rush into anything serious with anyone just because they have expressed interest before you have. You can take your time getting to know them and see if they are a good fit for you.
Be prepared to move on if it’s not a fit
Don’t be afraid to say no if someone doesn’t align with what you’re looking for. This includes things like interests, lifestyle, or personality traits. Dating intentionally is about finding the right person for you, not settling for anything less.
What does dating with a purpose mean?
It means that dating is not just about having fun but also meeting your goals.
This could include finding the right person to marry, exploring potential career options or hobbies together, etc.
Dating with intent sets boundaries for both partners, so they know what’s expected of them and where the relationship stands – this will make it easier to communicate later on if something changes unexpectedly down the line!
If you want a long-term commitment, don’t waste time playing games or jumping between different people until you find someone who enjoys similar things.
Dating intentionally can help move romantic relationships forward more quickly by eliminating wasted time and effort from others. Instead of trying out every option available, there are better ways to find what you’re looking for.
Is building a friendship before dating important?
Yes! Building a friendship is important because it helps lay the groundwork for a healthy, lasting relationship.
It’s easier to establish trust and intimacy when two people have already been friends for a while. Plus, it just makes sense – who wouldn’t want to date someone they know and trust?
If you’re looking for something more serious, then take your time getting to know them in different social settings – this will help weed out those who are only interested in recreational dating.
Can you have an intimate friendship?
Intimate friendships are possible, but it depends on the two people involved.
There needs to be trust, communication, and mutual respect for this type of relationship to work. If either person feels that they’re being used or taken advantage of, the friendship will likely end.
Both individuals need to be comfortable with their level of intimacy and what is happening emotionally and physically between them.
Dating intentionally can help you find what you’re looking for without wasting time! It takes patience and effort but is worth it in the long run.
How long should you be friends before you start dating?
There is no set time frame for when it’s appropriate to start dating after being friends.
It depends on the individuals involved and what they’re looking for from a relationship. If one person is interested in starting something more serious while the other isn’t, this may not be a good fit anyway!
Having patience and communicating about expectations are critical components in building any successful relationship – romantic or not.
Being friends for a while before dating can help reduce the chances of things going south if the relationship doesn’t work out. Trust and communication are essential in any friendship, especially when intimacy is involved.
Take your time getting to know them and see what type of relationship you want with them – this will save everyone involved time and energy in the long run!
It’s all about exploring different options and finding what works for you
Intentional dating takes patience, preparation, and communication to make it work! If you are unhappy with your current situation, do something about it! Dating intentionally provides a path toward finding lasting love.
What if I’m not sure what I want?
That’s okay! It’s normal not to be sure about what you want at this point in your life.
There is no need to rush into anything, and you can always change your mind later.
Dating intentionally allows you to explore different options until you find what feels right for you. This could mean dating multiple people simultaneously or taking a break if things aren’t working out.
The important thing is that you are honest with yourself and your partner about where things are headed. If they’re not interested in something serious, then it’s best to move on sooner rather than later.
In conclusion, dating with intent can help young professionals find the right person for them while saving time and effort! Intentional dating takes patience, preparation, and communication – but it’s worth it! 😊👍🏼