On some dates, it feels like your feet don’t touch the ground. But then, there are the dates when all you can think about is your feet hitting the gas pedal as you drive away. The date may have started out well enough, but somewhere between the appetizer and dessert it skidded to awful with a resounding thud.

While bad dates can be frustrating, they don’t have to derail you from staying confident and ready for the right date to come along. Remember, it only takes one great date to make all the bad ones obsolete. But before that happens, it’s time to be honest about your dating reality.

Lies We Tell Ourselves

From the very beginning of my relationship with Tim, I knew my future husband was different from all the others I dated before. We laughed at the same jokes, enjoyed easy conversation and reveled in each other’s company. I didn’t want our first date to ever end.

This is the exact opposite of most of my previous dates. But I would try to convince myself that each guy was pretty good, or at least good enough to date. It took about a year of counseling before I finally realized I was settling for mediocre men and mediocre relationships.

I didn’t actually want “good enough”; I was looking for the best relationship God had to offer. I didn’t have to settle for a guy with lukewarm faith. I didn’t have to compromise my sexual purity, and if a guy wasn’t a good fit, I could say no to a second date and move on.

If you find yourself replaying conversations and kicking yourself for something you did or didn’t say on a date, then it’s probably not the connection you truly desire. The right one will stand out from the rest.

Knowing What You Want

My husband has a great saying: “If you don’t know what you want, you won’t know how to recognize something good when it comes along.” I found this to be so true in dating. For far too long, I floundered in dating because I wasn’t sure what was really important to me. If a guy had some of the things I liked with a healthy dose of things I didn’t like, I would make excuses for the bad stuff and try to focus on the few things that seemed acceptable.

But God doesn’t ask us to compromise like this. Once I realized that character, integrity and a passion for Christ were my non-negotiables, it made it easier to identify the type of man I wanted. Figure out what is important to you and what you won’t stand for. Journal and pray about it, and then stick to your guns.

The Honest You Is The Best You

God created each of us uniquely and we come in all different shapes and sizes, with gifts and talents and abilities crafted by the King. If you know and remember that you were made in the image of God, then a stranger’s approval or disapproval will not shake your core identity. And truthfully, when you own who you are and accept yourself unconditionally, you will be the most attractive you because it allows others to be themselves, too.

Take a fresh approach to dating that includes brutal honesty at its core. It might seem strange at first, but you’ll soon realize that you’re wasting less time on the “good enough” dates so you can find your perfect match.

You may also be interested in Dating Discernment: How To Figure Out Who’s Best For You

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