Updated: November 6, 2022
One of the questions I have been asked when giving advice for Christian teen dating is, “Am I ready for a relationship?” We can be used to asking the question to the other person but there are times when we feel like we need to ask the question to ourselves. Sometimes, it doesn’t feel as if we are and that can leave us in limbo about whether or not we should take the opportunity to jump into something that could be good or not.
It’s okay to step back and think about your wellbeing and the wellbeing for someone else. Oftentimes when I was dating, I jumped into relationships I wasn’t ready for and I ended up hurting others and myself. It’s okay to take the time necessary to reflect on yourself to make wise decisions before investing in someone else.
For those of you that don’t know, I had (she is now a young adult) and have a teenage daughter. There are certain signs I wanted/want to see in my daughter before she would be allowed to date.
What are those signs? I’m sharing these signs with you so you can ask yourself if you are ready for a relationship.
Christian Teen Dating: Am I Ready for a Relationship? 7 Signs to Look Out For
Sign #1: You are emotionally stable.
One of these signs was for her to be emotionally stable (stable meaning healthy, strong, bearing fruit from the Holy Spirit).
I knew this had to be requirement before I would allow her to affect someone else’s life especially during the teenage years because it’s a tender age. Damage can be done if we are not careful.
Are you emotionally stable for a relationship? Some of you may already know the answer, some of you might not, and some of you may not even care, but I want you to really take this time to step outside of yourself and take a look within.
Relationships are an investment and an exchange between two people. The question is, what are we exchanging and is it healthy? As followers of Christ, we want people to experience life with us as a way to bring them closer to God and not pull them farther away from Him or question His existence altogether!
When I say, “emotionally” I want you to understand that emotions aren’t the problem. However, not being in control of them is. I’m sure we have all seen an example of what that looks like.
If my daughter wasn’t emotionally stable, I would not allow her to date. The reason being is this, I would not want to put on somebody the responsibility of her emotional health because they could not fulfill her need. Only Christ can do that. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t try to make her happy because that’s not their “responsibility”. A fruit of a healthy relationship is happiness. What I’m saying is, if she is internally and emotionally bleeding, it’s not in their expertise or power to fix it. Again, only Christ can do that.
Sign #2: You know who your God is.
Knowing who your God is, as a Christian that is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, will release the expectation and burden that whoever you decided to date needs to fix you or be your whole world. You can enter into a relationship whole in Christ. If you feel like they need to complete you versus complement you, then that’s a red flag.
I want my girls to know Who God is and where He belongs in their life.
Again, no one can handle glory, worship, and all of our needs the way the Lord can. If we put this expectation on anyone, it will destroy both you and them. Therefore, possibly ruining something that could’ve been really good.
If you feel like you already did this and are kicking yourself for it, repent to the Lord and ask Him to heal you of any leftover feelings that may be hindering you from moving on. He may lead you to ask the person for forgiveness or not. If the relationship was too toxic and it may open up doorways the Lord wants shut, He may have you heal without the other person’s participation so don’t be surprised.
We also have to remember that He is concerned about the other person’s life as well so if we aren’t being good stewards of other people, He will take them out of your life.
Sign #3: Your identity is in God.
This may seem similar to Sign #2 but this is different because with Sign #2 you know who God IS and for Sign #3 you know who you are in Him. Our identity must be in Him because He never changes, He will never leave us nor forsake us, He stays with us always.
If our identity is in someone else and they leave, then we fall apart and are left in pieces. When our identity is strong in Him, then if someone leaves it may hurt us but it will not destroy us. I’m sure we have seen what that looks like in other people’s lives. Some people I know will still talk about past relationships like it ended yesterday but it’s been like 20 or 30 years since it last happened. We don’t want that to be us.
Our identity must be in Him first.
Sign #4: You can be independent.
Are you able to think for yourself? Are you firm in your convictions? This means not being swayed from those important things in your life, like God. Do you have your own opinion and are not afraid to voice it? Of course, with gentleness and respect. Do you have activities YOU like to do? Are you okay with just being by yourself?
It’s important to know how to be independent because it’s difficult for people to take advantage of someone who is not afraid of being alone if it means they can stay true to their convictions. It may save you from entering into relationships that are abusive, manipulative, and toxic.
It’s okay to know how to be independent first. I used to be in relationship after relationships since I was 12 years old and it wasn’t until I think I was 25 where the Lord had me stay single so He could teach me how to be a lady in Him. I learned a lot of bad habits, toxic behavior, and world ways. I needed to be independent first in Him so I knew how to handle the next relationship He was going to give me. I needed to know what I liked and didn’t like so I could be able to voice that.
Please note, independent meaning living single. We are called to be in community with the body of Christ and not be isolated. Independence is different from isolation.
Sign #5: You are producing fruit in your life.
We don’t want to be a stagnant people. If we aren’t producing good fruit in our life, then what are we doing? You want to be active in the direction the Lord is calling you to. It could look like getting a degree, applying for a job, working in ministry, going to therapy, or however the Lord is calling you to grow.
We don’t want to wait on a relationship in order to do something with our lives. Even if you want to be a stay-at-home-mom, you are taking cooking lessons, learning how to clean, or knowing how to maintain a budget. We are all called to be active in this life. Anything that doesn’t move is dead. If we feel dead, then this is where therapy work needs to be done. We are called to do our work.
Denying ourselves means we are choosing to do God’s will instead of our own. That’s a healthy place to be. Even if it’s Christian teen dating! You may say, “I’m too young to think of these things!” Remember, the habits you create now will carry over into your future. Learn how to bear fruit.
Sign #6: You have standards.
Do you have a standard or do you just say “yes” to WHOEVER will show you attention? When someone has standards, then this is a good sign they are ready to be in a relationship. Why? You know what you want and you’re not going to settle. Relationships are investments and we need to be aware of where we are investing our time and physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energy into.
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” (Eph. 5:15-17)
I didn’t know I needed to have a standard and because of that I ended having so many awkward and unnecessary situations come up that were dangerous, inappropriate, and embarrassing. Pray to the Lord, ask for Godly advice, and set a standard for what you are looking for in someone. Having standards is healthy. The world will come against you but that’s okay because we are called to live differently than them.
Sign #7: You are willing to learn.
Being in any type of relationship, requires the ability to learn. We are all different and it takes learning about one another to make relationships work. We want others to learn about us. We want them to know what makes us happy, sad, annoyed, or excited. It’s not unfair for them to expect the same from us.
If we are unwilling to learn and expect everyone to cater to us, then we have made ourselves God and that’s not okay. In Christian teen dating, it can be difficult knowing how to do this if we haven’t had the best example but that’s when we ask God for help.
I know I want my daughters to be able to learn how to care for others and not just worry about themselves. I’m sure you have seen what this looks like. I know I have to be an example with that in my own relationship with my hubby so my girls can see how it’s done. However, if I was unwilling to learn, then my home would look a lot different than it does now.
Be open to learn.
This list isn’t the end all list of signs to look out for when asking yourself, “Am I relationship material?” With Christian teen dating, there are going to be a lot of moments where you may feel ready and then not. Spend time with God and ask Him if there are any signs HE would like to add on! Pay attention to anything pops up even if it doesn’t make sense at first. He will lead you in the right direction.
Even asking the question shows you are looking out not only for yourself but for others and that’s something to celebrate.
I pray you realize we are not perfect and perfection isn’t a prerequisite for entering any relationship but we are called to be healthy and if these signs help you figure that out, then praise God! I also pray you will hear God every step of the way and be sensitive to the time when you are given the okay to move forward. I pray all of this in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ, amen!
Baskets of Blessings!
Jesus, family, ministry, and lots of coffee! My heart comes from being a young teen girl who didn’t know much and found Jesus in a dark time. My ministry focuses on the heart of God for this generation to make Godly decisions especially in the area of purity. A blog for all ages because God’s Word is eternal and has no age limit!