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Dating is Tough!
I get it, the world of dating is a whirlwind of emotions: joy, fear, heartbreak, love. Then when you focus on christian dating specifically, it gets a little more complicated! Dating as a Christian is not easy, but I promise that adding Christ to your relationships will make them more valuable, enjoyable, and amazing. Preparing yourself for a Christ-centered relationship is no easy task (and neither is being in one) so here are some books to help you along the way!
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1. Emotional Virtue by Sarah Swafford
If you want to read my post on how I used this book for youth ministry, click here. This book is great to read before getting into a relationship. If you are struggling with figuring out how to find a relationship, it is a great read! Sarah walks you through how to improve yourself, the importance of solid friendships, and what to look for in a relationship. She also gives many warnings on things to look out for, like what she calls the “cycle of use”! Though the book seems to be aimed at college students, I personally thought that it contained mainly information that I was already familiar with. Due to this, I would recommend it for high school youth, or anyone coming up on entering the dating scene.
2. The Old Fashioned Way by Ginger Kolaba
This book is good for those who are getting serious about looking for a relationship, or are already in one. I read this book a while ago and it was really helpful in understanding boundaries in relationships. It is based off of a movie, but you do not need to watch the movie in order to understand the book. Some of the ideas presented came off as a bit much to me (one of the characters would not step foot in his girlfriend’s apartment if she was inside) but it has a powerful message. One area that I particularly liked was the explanation of where (and why) boundaries should be set with others while you are in a relationship.
3. Aprender a Amar by
Okay, so this one is a little obscure (and in Spanish) but it is a great read. The book covers 30 common questions about love and dating, and briefly explains the Catholic Church’s response. My boyfriend and I read this together during the beginning of our relationship, and it was a great way to start meaningful discussions. This is great for someone at any stage in the dating world, as it simply serves to further your understanding of church teachings.
4. Devotions for Dating Couples by Ben Young and Dr. Samuel Adams
This book is a little different, as it is actually a devotional (to learn about why I love devotionals, including this one, check out Devoting Through Devotionals). It is also meant to be specifically for serious couples (there’s even a scary warning about this in the beginning!). This book had a lot of memorable anecdotes and good points, but the best part about it is the discussion questions. We occasionally felt like the reflections lacked substance and “meat” but this was made up for in the questions provided afterwards. This book truly helped my relationship grow, and forced us to talk about things before they became problems.
I hope that you will be inspired to read one of these books! They have all played a role in my dating life by shaping the way that I understand Christ-centered relationships. Do you have any other books that you would recommend for those figuring out the Christian dating scene?