Everyone has hangups. We are human. But in the universe of Christian dating, said hangups are often not what they appear on the surface. Religion is dressed up as wisdom, fear of intimacy is passing as holiness and narcissism is calling itself “waiting for God’s best.”
What’s interesting is how many of these hangups are alive and well in non-religious relationships as well; in church, we just add our special twist by dressing them up in fancy, Sunday clothes. So let’s get brutally honest and talk about Christian dating Hangups!
1. 'The Rules' Hang Up
Being “ruled by rules” is a majorly destructive force in Christian dating. The need to “be right” kills our ability to be authentic and have grace for others and ourselves. Religious rules might make us feel safe and self-righteous, but without love, all they do is strangle relationships.
2. 'The Shame' Hang Up
Shame tries to drive us in many ways, but the end result is always the same, crash and burn. Maybe it stems from comparison, rejection or not feeling holy enough, but shame left in the driver’s seat will always lead to dating wreckage. Instead of dealing with shame head-on, a lot of Christian singles try to hide it by being overly religious, when inside they are suffering and sabotaging their relationships.
3. 'The Perfection' Hang Up
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As one of my friends put it, “The search for the Proverbs 31 Victoria’s Secret Model” or her male counterpart. A lot of Christian singles have so elevated the idea of the perfect match that they’ve become intolerant of the smallest flaw. Even worse, they bring God into their unrealistic expectations by saying they are “waiting for God’s best” when really they just haven’t found someone who can live up to their unrealistic expectations.
4. 'The Past Mistakes' Hang Up
Feeling like it’s impossible to be free from past mistakes has many Christian singles stuck in their tracks. This is exacerbated by the “everything’s perfect and great!” image prevalent in a lot of church cultures. Singles who have made mistakes don’t feel free, to be honest about their struggles and stay trapped by the belief that they don’t deserve to be with anyone.
5. 'The Future Mistakes' Hang Up
If the hangup of past mistakes wasn’t enough, there is also the threat of future mistakes! Again, that destructive image of the “perfect Christian” with all the answers floods the dating culture with fears. Instead of getting to know one another naturally, singles feel the need to have it figured out before date one. Which is of course impossible. So date one never materializes. The threat of making a mistake is just too great.
6. 'The God Do It All' Hang Up
Another way of putting this hang up is passivity. Feeling very lonely and very mad at God for not bringing you a date while you sit at home every night. It’s a beautiful thing to trust the Lord, but He also loves to do things with us. It’s unfair to blame God for loneliness or a lack of dates when you refuse to be an active participant in your own life.
7. 'The Vulnerability' Hang Up
Dating disappointments have left many Christians in a state of lockdown. They’re afraid to date, or once on a date refuse to show who they are. Adding to the mess is anger or feelings of being forgotten by God. These are really hard feelings to face, especially because they hit a lot of religious guilt buttons. But if you are running from disappointment or anger in one area of your life, it’s going to affect other areas. Choosing vulnerability with God and with dating partners is scary, but is the key to real connection.