This is a question everyone wants an answer to, but rarely asks. We just ignore, I get why; most of our parents don’t exactly love to talk about this particular subject, but that doesn’t change that fact that you and I want to know, right? Especially since all these fine boys keep asking (as a girl) or fine girls keep walking past you (as a boy). I know, I know. I feel your pain. I’m not going to dictate when you should do whatever you want to do with your life but here are my thoughts, in line with what the bible teaches. And since you are here, reading from my blog, that must mean you trust me to an extent.
Technically, Christians don’t believe in dating, they are more inclined to something called courtship which is just a fancy word for engagement. In other words a Christian relationship ought to begin with a marriage proposal or something like that, At least a clear intent of marriage. There’s no trial and error in a Christian relationship. So keeping that in mind, you definitely can’t be dating/courting if you aren’t ready to marry ASAP (as soon as possible).
Allow me to explain. The reason is because, when you are with someone you will want to be intimate with them in every way, including sexually and as you already know, sex is for the married. I’ll explain that soon in another article entirely. Being in a long term, say 5 to 10 year exclusive non-sexual relationship will be difficult. Apart from the sexual pressure from both ends, in your teens you probably aren’t ready emotionally, mentally and even spiritually to start a family. That’s the time to prepare and grow. And just be that glow-y thing that everyone has their eyes on but can’t get. Haha. I’m kidding but there’s really nothing wrong with that. And if a relationship isn’t going to lead to marriage, there are zero points in going steady at all. I mean if you’re not heading for the altar, you are def ending for a break up. And let me tell you, break ups suck. They are the crappiest of crappy things to go through. Better stay single that rush into a break up.
You should also take a bold step and ask your parents frankly the age at which you are allowed to date. Lol. I know that sounds like too much, especially with Nigerian parents, but if they are Christians and open-minded they will understand and they will give you an answer. Not just any answer but a reasonable answer and you can tell them your thoughts too. Be honest. That way you won’t have to have a secret relationship and you’ll have your parent’s blessings which is important and helpful. Also your parents can help you be accountable and make sure you aren’t doing anything you’re not supposed to be doing. You too, don’t be unreasonable about asking them. What I mean is don’t go asking them something like that when you just finished secondary school and you didn’t make the Jamb’s cut off and so you’re home preparing for another Jamb and then there’s this guy/girl and so you carry your mouth and tell your parents, xyz. See, whatever happens to you is TOTALLY on you. I should also mention here that most secondary school relationships are crap. Prove me otherwise in the comments section.
But let’s be real here, if you haven’t been thinking about marriage, then a relationship isn’t for you. If you don’t even see that happening in the next five years, just relax. I want to believe I am talking to a Christians (most of the stuff you’ll find in this post will seem absurd if you’re not a Christian, that doesn’t mean it’s all untrue tho). You don’t really need a bae; they come with serious responsibilities, not all those fake photos of people projected on social media. And let me tell you, once you get on that I’m getting married lane and there’s a ring on it, you will never have your single self back again. Life is in stages and all stages are to be enjoyed. To zee fullest. Don’t cut your experience in life short.
So if I were to give a concise answer to the question, when can you date? It would go something like this: You can get into a relationship when you are physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally mature enough to get married within a space of 1-5 years max.
But what does maturity look like?
Physically maturity means as far as biology is concerned, you can be fruitful and multiply. Emotionally maturity has to do with how you behave. Would you have a panic attack if bae didn’t check in for an entire day? Do you need constant affirmation from someone else to feel good about yourself? Do you even know what you want? Could you take care of a child 24 hours of everyday for the rest of your life? Some people get married without emotional maturity; those are the guys that hit their wives and the families that ague over who should cook. You should take a hold of your emotions before even thinking of marriage and you should be honest with yourself too. Spiritual maturity is having a personal and intimate relationship with God. You don’t have to know all the verses in the bible but c’mon, you and God have to have a thing. A thing so real, nothing else compares. If that’s not in place, you’re not spiritually mature enough. Mental maturity has to do with intellect and reason. This includes the way you see life, your perspective on issues and people and your ability to think and reason and hold a conversation. School helps with that, so take school and your personal development seriously.
I hope this helps you figure out how ready or unready you might be. In all truth, a relationship is not the apex of your human experience, it’s not that one thing that defines how jaw-droppingly awesome you are. Like I said it’s a phase, a stage, and the one thing that’s constant through all your stages in life is you. So take the time to invest in yourself and be the kind of person, someone else will love and want to spend a lifetime with but most importantly, be someone that you would like to meet and be best friends with.
Love & love—O