There is no “U” in desperation. There should be no “you” in desperation, either.
In the dictionary, we find desperation defined as a loss of hope or a surrender to despair. A state of hopelessness leading to rashness.
Does any of this sound like anyone’s dating life that you know? Yeah?
Let’s talk about it.
Desperate dating leads to poor choices and casual dating, which usually leads to unintended, ugly and unwanted consequences (which all begin with “you”).
Some of us may not see our casual dating as harmful or desperate dating. However, we Christian counselors, life coaches and caring friends and family members see desperate or casual dating as very harmful because of the extent and depth of the consequences.
Let’s start by reviewing the above definitions of desperation and see if they apply to how you are dating or thinking about your singleness.
• Have you lost hope that there are any good candidates within reach?
• How do you feel when you see happy couples interact romantically?
• Do you feel sentenced to live a life of lonely singleness?
• If you don’t have children yet, how’s that desire to have a child coming along?
• If you do have children, what have you exposed them to in your quest to be in a romantic relationship?
• In the past, what good things have you given up so you could date?
• How long did it take you to get out your last relationship, and what made it finally end?
• What good things are you willing to give up to date and be married?
• What do your responses tell you about your level of desperateness to be in a relationship?
• Are you starting to see any connections between feeling desperate and making unwise romantic choices?
After figuring out Who Jesus is, deciding who we will marry is the most important decision we can make. We, of all people, cannot afford to be desperate for anything except more of Jesus. He is where the peace, love, joy, stability and strength are.
We cannot throw away our dignity and worth and ignore our destiny for a few minutes, days, months or years of attention and pleasure. It’s not worth grieving our spirits, shredding our hearts, trashing our bodies, emptying our wallets and wasting our time to chase after the empty promises of the devil … while the Lord keeps trying to prepare us for His glorious best.
We don’t need to be desperate.
We may not like where we are socially and romantically, and that’s okay. He gives us permission to not like everything that’s in our lives, but He does want us to trust Him. How much do you trust Him?
Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. –John 14:1
We sometimes feel like we’re sitting on our hands while God is doing wonderful things in others’ lives. Can you be genuinely happy for others when God blesses them? Can you learn to both trust God actively and be content during what feels like an excrutiatingly extra-long season?
I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am. I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. –Philippians 4:11-12
Christ’s single, who did you let steal your hope? Was it your ex, an unkind family member or the last person who married someone you were in love with and hoped to snag?
Let your status as a prince or princess of God speak life to your worth, not to create an entitlement mentality, but to hone a strong warrior spirit that is willing to fight every lie and distraction that comes from the enemy. Firmly grasp your hope back out of the devil’s hands. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Let the Spirit of God teach you personally not to be desperate, but to walk in dignity, boundaries and strength. You will start seeing different results in your life.
You may not get married right away, but at least you will further develop the character qualities you’ll need to sustain such a deep relationship. And that will keep the U — and the “you” — out of desperation.