I recently read an article concerning being “too” intentional when dating. I was little caught off-guard by the title. I was wondering if the writer was going to go with that train of thought or just go somewhere else with it. I have tried to use somewhat catchy titles in posts to get someone’s attention. It’s part of being a writer. Although what’s really bold and catchy is truth. And there was definitely truth in what the author was saying.
You CAN NEVER Be Too Intentional
Either you’re intentional or you’re not. There isn’t a “hyper” intentional or “less” intentional. It’s not a scale where there’s extremes and everything in between.
The dictionary describes intentional as “done on purpose; deliberate.” There isn’t “somewhat” deliberate or “too” deliberate. You’re either all in or all out. So to make things clear … you have to be intentional to date.
Romans 12:9 says that “love must be sincere.” Love is free from pretense or deceit, proceeding from genuine feelings.
A date is the pursuit of something meaningful. So in dating, that meaningful pursuit is marriage. Dating is a means to marriage. If you’re not OK with that, then don’t date.
You CAN Be Too Intense
I understood the heart of the author. I believe a more descriptive word for what he was trying to say is intense. You can be too intense. Unlike the word intentional, intensity is measurable. You can be less intense, or you can be more intense, and you can be anywhere in between.
Here are three issues that arise when you are too intense:
1. You scare people off.
When you come on date #1 asking, “So how many kids do you want to have? If I can’t have kids, what will you do? Are you okay with adoption? How big of a wedding do you want to have? If I get a job out of the state, will you move?” you come off as if you want to get married tomorrow. I see this in women who want to have a baby more than getting married. It’s like what’s the quickest way to have a baby? Get married! That scares people off.
2. You don’t ask the right questions.
You’re so busy thinking about being married, that you forget to ask the right questions. Some people are not OK that you struggled with porn. Some people are not okay with you being divorced. Those things that you believe are no longer an issue can become an issue if you don’t take time to get to know a person and disclose information at an appropriate time.
3. You miss out on the fun.
I appreciate what the author was talking about when he referred to being “hyper-intentional.” You’re so focused on the future, you miss out on making memories with someone who could be your future spouse. Dating should be fun.
It’s very important that we don’t confuse intentional with intensity. Those are two different things. The problem I see with most people isn’t that they aren’t intentional; it’s their lack of intention. The last thing anyone needs is a reason not to be intentional because they might risk being “too intentional.”
One last thing I would like to mention usually takes care of the everything that I previously mentioned.
Be healthy enough to date.
I find that the healthiest believers don’t fall into the pitfalls above. They are patient. They are not afraid to have an open dialog. They are not afraid to slow things down if they need too. And they are not afraid of rejection.
When you have a balanced view of dating as a means to marriage, but also have an open hand in the relationship, you have a pretty good understanding of what sacrificial love is. And then you are ready to date with intention.