I attend Hannibal-LaGrange University, which is a Christian institution. The school is absolutely wonderful! A good chunk of the student population are true believers and actually strive after Christ. This creates an environment where things are viewed through the lens of scripture, including relationships.

Yet, there are drawbacks to this. Because marriage is held in such high regard by scripture and scripture is held in high regard by so many people at my school, the thought of starting a relationship seems to send a good chunk of my fellow students into a sort of frozen panic.

I think some people are so scared of starting a relationship that doesn’t end in marriage that the thought of going on a simple date is terrifying.

I’m sure it’s this way at many Christian schools and among young adults striving to follow Christ. Honestly, it’s a much better problem to have than having the driving opinion of the student body be an utter disregard for marriage, sanctification of sex, and boundaries in dating relationships. Yet, even though it’s the problem you’d rather have, it’s still a problem.

Let me clarify something for anybody who is confused: If you go on a date with someone, you are NOT required to marry them-you’re not even required to start a relationship with them.

We’ve lost the habit of our grandparents’ generation. In their day and age, going on single dates with several different people was common. Going ‘steady’ with someone typically happened for a short period of time before becoming engaged.

Yet, this didn’t make them unbiblical or undedicated to a holy relationship in marriage. It simply meant that they were less emotionally invested in the societal rite of ‘dating’. They realized that the only point of dating was to find a partner for marriage, and when they found that person, they were ready to commit. By going on singular dates instead of committing to a series of people for a long time, they were not only guarding their hearts from emotional investment to someone they weren’t going to marry, but also meeting a wide variety of people.

Don’t let the word ‘date’ scare you. If there’s someone you’re interested in, a date is only an opportunity to get to know that person a little bit better and see how you get along one-on-one (or in a group setting if you go a group date route). If you’re a Christian, and you’re going to hold to biblical standards of purity, this shouldn’t scare you in the slightest.

You can go on a date with someone, realize you like them more than you thought, and then start a relationship. OR, you can go on a date with someone, realize it’s not going to work, and be transparent with them about it. A date does not require emotional investment afterward-it’s simply a trial run, as crass as that sounds.

So if there’s a person you are interested in, and you think that you would make a good match, just ask them out already. Be Christlike, keep your standards, realize that no emotional investment is required, and you’ll be just fine.