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By Ashlei Evans

How to Date Smart with a Greater Expectation!

"Oh! He's amazing and he says all the right things." This is what I have experienced within the first few weeks of meeting someone new. The guy said all the right things leaving me in a trance and somewhat neglecting the standards I initially established. I know I'm not the only victim of the "tired of being single" phase, and I'm not ashamed of it because we have all been there. The problem arises when I choose not to rise above those moments of weakness to refocus my attention on the fact that I actually deserve more.

Dating in this century is considered a nightmare even to senior citizens. My grandmother often reminds me that she doesn't know how I will meet my spouse when dating has become so tainted. In spite of my chances looking slim, I'm hopeful things will turn around. In the meantime, I've focused on establishing expectations for what I look for in a mate. Most people get caught in the feelings aspect and being captivated by love, but I've learned, through observation and experience, that love is not an emotion. It's an action, and most of the time, we use love as an emotion to drive our relationships.

When dating, we should not allow ourselves to be blinded by sweet words that leave us in a cloud of infatuation. So, what should one consider when embarking on the journey of dating? Here are a few tips I have on what we should consider.

There are 4 major areas that will quickly remove the veil of infatuation from our eyes: spiritual, financial, social, and emotional. The idea is not to seek perfection in all of these areas, but to make sure we are on the same page as the person we're considering dating. For instance, spiritually, I am a Christian, so I'm taught that my #1 deal breaker is the guy has to be a Christian. Well, for years I searched for a man who was saved. Guess what? I found a few and quickly realized that being a Christian is the bare minimum. I had to step back and really remember that as a Christian, I should have an expectation of being with someone who can add to me since I have much to offer.

In the area of finances, will this person join my journey to flourish financially, or will they lead me to struggle financially? Socially, do they know how to communicate and function in diverse settings, or will they just argue or sit in silence? Emotionally, do they steal my joy or add to it? Considering these areas really helped me to realize that I'd rather be single and thriving than in a relationship and regressing!

Who we choose as a mate plays a critical role in our lives, so we must be very intentional and knowledgeable about who we are as individuals and what we desire. As we wait for a proper mate and go on dates, we must have expectations, ask tough questions, and focus on building a kingdom so when our other whole finds us, they can combine their kingdom with ours to create an empire!

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