Category Archives: James

Who do I date?

There are so many options out there who do I pick? We wrote a post about this several months ago called So many different choices. This talked about some of what I’m going to discuss here. I recommend you read it for more details.

One thing that is very important is realizing that there are two kinds of people in the world. Ok I hate these generalized statements but this one is kind of true. One is the type of person who is a reactor. This person makes decisions based on those around him, emotions, and circumstances. This person is often insecure in themselves and driven by other people. They need a relationship because they feel incomplete without it.

The other is the type of person who acts on the world around them independently. This kind of person is secure in the fact they are single. They know where they are going in life. They know their values. Hopefully you are working to become this kind of person. And once you are there you will want to make sure you also date this kind of person as well.

Compatibility is huge. Being compatible doesn’t mean you like all the same things. It doesn’t mean that you agree on everything. It simply means that you are at the place in life where you know who you are. It also means that you are able and willing to make the necessary compromises to be in a relationship with that person. If you know that this other person wants to travel the world and you know you don’t than you are incompatible. However, if you never thought you wanted to but honestly would be happy just being with that person anywhere, than you are compatible. Just remember though the more dominant personality will usually win.

You want to date someone who is able to think through and make decision well. This is something you are working through and you don’t want to have someone who is just a baby in this area who could make things complicated.

You also want to date someone you have to work to get. Not in a game playing sort of way where they play hard to get just because. But you want someone who you will value. If you don’t think of them as equal or better than you, how can you really respect them in a relationship?

You must find someone who respects you. This is so important. In fact, I’d say it’s the second most important thing in choosing who to date. You must find mutual respect so that even in areas where you disagree you can see where the other person comes from and not think they are an idiot. You must respect them if you expect them to respect you.

I think the most important thing in choosing someone to date is whether or not they are able to forgive you. No matter how hard you try to be perfect you will eventually screw up. You will make them angry. You will frustrate them. Someone who holds grudges and can’t forgive makes a horrible person to date.

One other thing: make sure you are very sexually attracted to that person. At least if sex is ever going to be a part of your relationship. A lot of conservative Christians make the mistake of thinking that a spouse who loves the Lord and has a good personality is all they need. This is very unwise. Mature married couple confirm over and over again that in marriage, frequent passionate sex is often a barometer of how healthy the relationship is. We won’t be perfect in body forever, but you need someone whom you can see yourself waking up naked next to every morning.


Next up: Should I pursue Marriage?

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Posted by on April 3, 2012 in James


Better to live on a rooftop…

…than with a nagging woman: why nagging is so unbearable for healthy relationships.

We’ve been talking a lot about relationships and what kills them lately. Guys can often be controlling, both men and women can have lofty expectations. One thing that I have seen kill the joy in a number of relationships is a nagging wife or girlfriend.

Before you get defensive, I’d like to say that like controlling boyfriends these women often mean no harm at all. It may just be that you want to make sure your relationships survives because you see so many that don’t and you hope by getting on the guy’s case enough he will take those right steps. Others may notice problems with their man (he likes to smoke and its bad for his lungs) and so they seek to change him by constantly bringing those issues up.

While it is great to want your partner’s best interest, think about yourself ladies: how many times have you almost wanted to do the opposite when your man told you what to do. Even if he said it in a loving way, you may feel that desire to prove him wrong. That’s human nature; we don’t like people trying to change us.

And in fact, we can’t change people. He may give in to stop the nagging but he will grow to resent you in the process and will look for a way to do what he wants behind your back. Real change comes from within, when someone is convinced in their own heart that they need to change, that they want to change, that they can change, and that it’s worth the work that it will take to get there.


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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in James


Controlling Boyfriends (part 3): What can I do to change?

So what if you are that guy who notices he is the control freak and its ruining his relationship? What can you start doing now to change? Are you ready for some hard work? Are you ready to rewrite the way you think?

I can imagine that most guys don’t want to be controlling. I never did and I’d try to rationalize any way that I could. However, by stepping back and away from the situation I could look and see what my actions really were. So step back. Maybe take some time off. Try to see from the girl’s perspective for a while? Ask yourself “am I trying to ensure that a certain outcome occurs. Do I believe that I won’t be happy unless that outcome occurs? Am I actually less happy by working so hard to control the outcome than I would be if I just let things happen?”

This blog talks a lot about getting what you want. You want the hot guy? Be the hot girl? You want an amazing well rounded wife? Be an amazing well rounded guy, with a sense of direction to boot.  You like your freedom and ability to make your own decisions? Allow your significant other that same freedom and don’t spend your hours imagining infidelity and how she might break your trust.


Allow your girl (as if you have a choice) to hang out in settings that include other guys who could and might hit on her. Don’t question what happened. Don’t make yourself present. If you are present (a social gathering you are both attending where she is not necessarily evidently yours) allow her time and space that could invite other men to approach her.

Encourage her to enjoy and participate in activities that you both can’t do together. Maybe you have to work that night. Maybe you plan something with some other people. It’s important to have a life outside of each other. I’ve never been married but I think I can safely say this is important even in marriage. Certainly in dating.

Enjoy with amusement other guys flirting with her even in your presence. Ah this is a hard one. But who is she going home with. Honestly. If your girl is out with you and leaves you to go home with another guy you probably didn’t lose much bro.

Consciously ask more questions and give fewer answers. We love to solve problems (both men and women alike). We want to have a solution for our significant other’s tears and tirades. However, sometimes just asking questions and trying to understand is just what they need: not some well thought solution to a problem.

Try to go an entire week without once telling your girl what to do. Normally you should be assertive and make decisions. But if you struggle with being controlling you may be going to the opposite extreme, making all the decisions without her in mind.

Learn to put yourself in situations where you are out of control. Do this with all areas of life. If you can learn to master the art of controlling yourself when your circumstances are out of your control, you will go a long way in the dating game.

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Posted by on March 10, 2012 in James


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Controlling boyfriends (part 2): insecurity

I remember once having this girl friend. I felt as if I had to constantly keep tabs on her. I was a boy. Not a man. I texted her constantly. Called her incessantly. Chatted with her while in class. Asked her what she did pretty much all the time. Yes I even stalked her once or twice. I could tell you some funny stories. . . .

The point was I was controlling. Why? Because of one simple fact: I was an insecure boy inside. I had to control my environment in every way because if everything didn’t go according to plan I’d have a melt down! People who know me now might laugh, but I’m not lying.

This is the second reason I think we guys get controlling. We are really just insecure. Maybe we have a somewhat legitimate reason: we’ve been screwed before. Two quick points: this girl is not your ex-girlfriend, and if she is the one who screwed you, why are you still with her? If you’re willing to take the risk she must be worth it so stop worrying, if not walk!

I know it’s easier said than done. But sometimes for our own good (yes I’m talking about putting yourself first, before you can give to someone else you have to fill yourself) you have to walk away from a lot of good memories. But even more important you need to find your value in something other than a great girlfriend that does whatever you want her to.

Now some of us are not insecure because of anything to do with the woman we are dating. We look at other guys and think: he gets more girls because he has better abs, and he gets more girls because he has a nicer car, and he gets more girls because he had a bigger . . . These are often deep rooted insecurities that go back to childhood issues. We need to deal with these before we are capable of having healthy relationships.

When a girl feels crowed and controlled by you, especially for no reason, she will begin to feel insecure. She may look for freedom and wish to escape. All the sudden that guy with swag and style and perhaps a bit lower standards than your own look really appealing. And you’ll be left alone, confirming your fears and reinstating your insecurities.

This is why controlling is so unattractive: the number one reason a lot of young people are scared of commitment is that they don’t want to lose their freedom. I don’t want to lose mine. Why would my girl be any different? And for some petting insecurity of mine? Pathetic? Perhaps, but I’ve been there myself and I know it takes years to deal with.

Up next: how to deal with controlling habits.

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Posted by on March 8, 2012 in James


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Controlling boyfriends (part 1)

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There is possibly nothing more unattractive than a controlling boyfriend (except maybe a controlling girlfriend!).

I remember sitting in a coffee shop and overhearing this young dating couple discuss financial issues. The guy was demanding that his girl react to her parent’s lack of support in this situation the way he would react. He was basically asking her to step out of her personality and comfort zone to conform to his way. And he thought he knew just how to do it. He held her hands. Looked deep into her eyes. Put some passion into his voice. He then started telling her “you’re not fine, you’re not fine at all, you need help!” Of course she countered by assuring him she is fine and can take care of herself. But he continued to passionately enforce that “no, you are not fine, you need to listen to me and do what I tell you!”

Ok I don’t know the whole story and I can’t judge, but why do guys feel the need to control their girlfriends?

I’m going to start by standing up for them. Some guys honestly want what’s best for their girls. Girls, how many times have you seen your man make an obviously poor decision and wished you could somehow change his mind. Hopefully you don’t resort to manipulation and nagging (it won’t work on me!). Maybe you’re man is doing the same for you. Maybe he really does know better than you on this particular situation. 

When we see someone doing something we think is going to hurt them sometimes we wish we could control their mind and make them change. We may passionately plead and try. But in the end the decision is theirs. And I think many of us humans have to learn the hard way. And life experience often proves the most condemned decisions end up being the best. So we fight against those who adamantly disapprove of our actions.

Perhaps that’s what the guy in the illustration wanted. He honestly thought he could help his girl out by convincing her somehow to do things her way. In relationships where you as a man feel than your girl is perpetually making poor decisions and you have tried therapeutic reasoning (not boyish whining like I illustrated) you may want to consider a relationship change. Some people just don’t make good life decisions.

Either way we must all realize we can’t change people. We can’t! We can calmly tell our opinion and try to show our reasons, but in the end they make the choice. And often in retrospect if we’d just seen things from their perspective we’d have perhaps thought differently.

So if you feel you must control your girlfriend because she is constantly making poor life decisions, why are you dating her? You can’t save her bro.

And if you sit back and realize you never took the time to get into her shoes, why don’t you stop telling and start asking!

Up next: the other reason that guys are controlling.


Posted by on March 6, 2012 in James


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Won’t my boyfriend be less likely to marry me if we have sex?

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Continuing the theme of sex and dating, I was thinking about one of the most common arguments that older people presented me as to why a girl should save her body for marriage: if the guy gets your body beforehand, he has what he wants without commitment, and will most likely not ask you to marry him.

When I first started dating, I fully believed this idea. As a guy I honestly thought that once I had sex with my girlfriend, a switch would turn in my head and I would no longer love her, I would simply want her body. Sex is a very emotionally connecting part of a relationship so it just made sense that to mess up God’s plan would mess up the relationship.

However, women, this does not seem to hold weight in real life. If a guy is going to respect you and your body and truly loves you, sex will not make a difference in that. Sex is a biological drive that both men and women have (in fact, many women are now openly refuting the myth that men have a stronger drive than women). But its not all there is a to a relationship or to a woman’s value to a man.

While sex is a unique bond that is best made in marriage, it is not the end prize that a guy is looking for. After all, if all he wanted was that couldn’t he just hook up with any attractive girl and save the ones he actually liked to be “just friends” from any ensuing emotional damage?

A guy’s respect and value of a woman is based on much more than sex. At least that’s the way a Christian guy should be. He should see you as a best friend, a companion, someone to pursue life’s dreams with, someone to support him in his endeavors, someone he believes in enough to support their endeavors as well. Sex is a wonderful part of this value, but should by no means be the sum of it.

The danger I see with this viewpoint is that you might start viewing sex as a tool. If I withhold my body from him he will marry me. But now that we’re married I wonder what else I can get him to do for sex. Maybe I should show him I expect flowers and massage before we have sex. Or if he doesn’t help with the dishes he doesn’t get any.

I don’t think a lot of women consciously think it through like this, but I can’t tell you the number of marriages I hear of where this is exactly how it plays out. Some women have made sex such a tool that they will gladly pleasure themselves to reduce their drive when their husband is around, making it even harder for him. In the end these women are hurting themselves as much as their husbands.

So do I agree with “why should he buy the cow when the milk is free”? No. Unless you’re a dairy cow and the only thing you’re good for is milk. Practice abstinence for the right reasons: because it saves your body and your heart for the person you are committed to. Don’t do it out of fear of losing your boyfriend or as a tool to get your way. If he doesn’t value you after sex, he probably didn’t value you before.


Posted by on February 18, 2012 in James


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Why Christian girls are starting to date non-Christian guys?

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Do you know any solid Christian girls who are becoming seriously interested in a non-Christian guy? Does this surprise you or shock you in any way?

There was once a time in my idealistic past where I thought that all “good” Christian girls would automatically eliminate any non-Christian as an option in their dating pursuits. Idealism long gone, I now see Christian girls dating non-Christian guys as quite a possibility and in fact perhaps a growing trend.

In our last two posts we discussed how Christian dating has elevated this idea of abstinence to such a level, making the v-card (technical as it may be) a highly prized possession. While we would not say abstinence till marriage is a bad idea, we are saying playing games with our actions and our words in this area may not be healthy either.

What I’m getting at is this: it seems that very outward signs of Christianity such as not drinking, being a worship major, wearing modest closes, and of course abstinence, have been elevated to such a level as to neglect other perhaps more or equally important areas.

What about the idea of being understanding toward your wife (1 Peter 3:7). Paul talks about loving your wife and not being harsh with her. These ideas of love and understanding make me think that they are talking about empathy: simply understanding a woman’s point of view, thinking through her mindset, and respecting and loving that different view point.

What about the idea of being a leader. We’ve covered significantly the subject of men not being able to be leaders and make decisions and how women struggle with that. Some Christian guys take it too far and become dominant and controlling. This is a much an insecurity and the inability to make decisions.

What about the concept of practicing what you preach? If you’re going to quote scriptures and condemn those heathens who aren’t living according to the Word you better be sure you are living up to those lofty standards.

I could go on. The point is that I see many Christian women struggling to find a good Christian guy who has more than just a few outwardly noticeable morals, a man who realizes that a relationship with his wife means more than just quoting some Scripture and expecting her to submit. Its more than being a worship leader or sending the kids to Christian school. Its a lifestyle of self-sacrifice and joyful servant leadership.

So these girls are looking for that elsewhere. And because of teaching about marriage being a good thing (and it is) and sex before it being a bad thing (once again), these girls are willing to consider non-Christians who seem to get it, even if they may be missing the spiritual aspect.

And certainly Christianity has become an outward shell for many Christian women too, which may have them thinking “if he just goes to church he’s good enough”. If all you want is acceptance in the Christian sub-culture that probably is good enough.



Posted by on February 17, 2012 in James


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Double Standards Anyone?

So why would I bring up such a “touchy” subject related to Christian Dating?

First you should follow me on Twitter here!

Now, what’s the title of our site? Christian Dating Games. One of the games I think that we play as Christians is pretending that because we uphold some small technicality we are more moral than the rest of our fellow human beings. I’ve seen this in many area of Christianity and I think it’s a crucial reason for the mixed confused mess than many dating couples find themselves in.

On the one hand we play all the hard to get, flirting, teasing, value building games of the rest of society. On the other hand we pretend we have these exceedingly high Christianized morals in our physical lives. But secretly do we really want these moral standards at all? Do we find every way around them because we are sincerely struggling against a terrible sin that is hard to defeat (as most Christian relationship “experts” would tell you)?

Or do we find every way around our morals because we really don’t personally know what we believe? But it seems acceptable in the Christian bubble to speak out against sex and natural desires outside of marriage. So we speak out against it. But secretly try to get around it every chance we have because we don’t personally see the problem in fulfilling natural human desires.

Here’s an example of what I mean. As a kid I often got angry (mostly inside, I was good at not letting it show) at people. In fact, I can remember numerous occasions where I actually wanted the other person to die. Basically (like the verse in the Bible that says he who is angry with his brother commits murder) I wanted to have them murdered.

Sounds terrible. We don’t think of little kids being like this. But they are. However, I realized at a quite young age the consequences of such an action. I was terrified of them. Not only that, I also realized that I wouldn’t want them to kill me if I was angry. It was clear to me that killing was NEVER the answer for anger. And of course I saw this at a later age Biblically.

I think a few people see sex before marriage like this. And even today in college or post-college they still see the dangerous consequences. But most of us don’t. We might have been “brainwashed” by Christian subculture to believe it’s bad. And we might hold certain standards. But honestly deep down inside we really don’t see anything truly dangerous or wrong with it.

So we teach one thing and practice another. Here’s my suggestion. Decide what you believe and stick with it. Stop praising your boyfriends to his face for being such an example of Godly purity when what you really want him to do is make love to you all night long (true story btw).

If you find you don’t really believe typical Christian morals, stop pretending you do or making up games to somehow keep you in the acceptable circle. Remember, owning who you are is perhaps one of the best ways to be more successful in dating. And I think we could all benefit from being less judgmental of those with different standards than ours. People are very perceptive and can tell when you reject them no matter how subtly for having slightly different standards.

Genuine people are much happier, have better relationships, and despite being wrong in some areas, seem to be much easier to live with . . . in my opinion.

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Posted by on February 15, 2012 in James


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“Sexual immorality is wrong”: by whose definition?

Be warned this is a candid open post that talks about real issues that Christian singles and couples deal with every day. However, if you are uncomfortable with open talk about sex, don’t keep reading (maybe just do the poll below real quick)!

How many times have you heard in Christian circles that sexual immorality or fornication is wrong. This seems absurd to most people outside of Christianity and perhaps is increasingly rare in practice among Christians. However, it would seem that abstinence (of some sort) is still widely taught. What we don’t seem to agree on is what that really is.

Let me give you a few examples. Coming from the Liberty University (Lynchburg, VA) Christian community, I’ve seen how high Christian girls in particular elevate virginity. But what makes a girl a virgin? I once heard a story of a girl who believed that as long as she prayed before sex, and then prayed again afterward (presumably asking God’s forgiveness) that she was still a virgin. She would tell anyone who asked that she was and in her heart she really was.

Here’s another example: a different girl, determined to keep her virginity, concluded in her mind that as long as she didn’t kiss the guy she could have sex with him all she wanted and it wouldn’t actually count as sex. I would presume she felt sex was wrong, or at least undesirable in her circle, but that what really makes true intimacy is kissing along with intercourse. Interest.

Other’s understand that the most technical definition of sex is vaginal intercourse. Thus anal sex, even with numerous partners, is perfectly fine and leaves them technically still virgins. In fact, I’ve heard stories of girls who have had way more partners than the normal sexually active individual, but because they were all anal, felt they were virgins.

I’ve met guys with a different approach to the situation. Its not ok for you to do it. But yeah me and my girlfriend, well that was different. We didn’t really mean to. And we ended up getting married in the end.

What about oral sex? Or how about fingering? What about touching? Where do you draw the line?

Another school of thought is that the line is not so much drawn by physical boundaries but by how much you love someone. If you love someone and are committed to them its ok to express yourself physically.

I’m not here to tell you how to live or to discuss theology. That’s not the point of this blog honestly. And I certainly don’t condemn any Christian for where they draw the line. After all we all make mistakes and the couple who abstains from all sexual contact before marriage may very well have an unkind attitude toward each other that could in the long be as detrimental to the relationship as anything else.

I will say that I’ve talked to some non-Christians, and they say “what’s the difference? If oral sex wasn’t sex it wouldn’t be called oral sex.”

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What do you think? The poll below is completely anonymous. So please answer honestly and let me know.


Posted by on February 14, 2012 in James



My boyfriend and I are always fighting . . .

More on therapeutic dispute resolution technics…. (First go LIKE us on FACEBOOK)

To begin with you need to start listening. What do I mean by listening? Stop planning what you are going to say next and really think about what the other person is saying. Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you would feel if you were in that same position. Try to see through their lenses (based on their past and their desires for the future).

Once they are done sit back and give yourself some time to process what they said. And then restate in your own words what you think was being said. Summarize the key points of the dispute: “It seems to me that you are saying that we do not communicate enough and that I seem to want to spend time with my friends more than with you.”

This is called restating the problem. They may correct you and don’t get upset if they do. “No I’m not saying that at all!!! I’m saying you don’t know HOW to communicate with me because your too busy with your friends all the time!” Not much different but important in the other person’s eyes. Don’t ever contradict or argue.

Now you need to find some humility. Admit that there is some truth in what they say. Because no matter how perfect you are you can always improve. “I understand where you are coming from. I don’t always pay good attention to you when you talk and I do spend a lot of time with some of my friends.” Even if you feel that there is no truth at all in the accusation try to find something you agree on. “Your right, I could certainly grow in my communication skills and I need the reminder to put you first.”

Also acknowledge their feelings of hurt or anger. Don’t ignore these feelings that they have to you or discredit them. “Is it fair to say that this makes you angry and frustrated with me?”

Once you are on the same page with the offended part of the dispute, you can express your own feelings. You may see the truth that they are presenting but whenever this subject is brought up you shut down because you feel personally attacked. “When you talk to me like this I understand where you are coming from but I feel you have something personally against me and it makes me want to shut down. It’s not that I don’t hear what you are saying but when you raise your voice I feel belittled.”

Sometimes the thing that makes us most angry in a dispute with our significant other is the way they say things. So express how you feel in an understanding way. Acknowledge the truth but also address your feelings.

Finally, you need to ask how you can improve and change what is bothering them. Ask the other person what they would like to see you do differently. “How can I show you that I really want to hear what you are saying? How can I spend more quality time with you and make you feel like you are just as important as my friends are?” Don’t be tempted to simply offer your own solution. If the other person asks you can give you opinion or if they crossed a personal boundary (badmouthing you in front of others for example) you should address that. “I really want to change in those areas you mentioned. If you could take me aside in private instead of badmouthing me to my friends I think I would be more receptive to what you are saying.”

Good luck!

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Posted by on February 9, 2012 in James


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