10 Cringey Dating Tips Christians Need to Stop Saying

Colossians 3:18-19

In this article, I’m going to be talking about 10 cringy dating tips that Christians need to stop saying.

However, just know that this is meant to be a lighthearted article. Some of these tips aren’t that bad. There will be some truth in some of these sayings. In many cases, these tips are mostly cringy because of how Christians use them, when they say them, and who they say them to.

1. Attraction Shouldn’t Matter If You’re a Christian

I understand why Christians say this. They are trying to counteract the lie that attraction is the most important quality to consider when it comes to dating. The world certainly is obsessed by fleshly desires; Christians should certainly emphasize that true beauty and strength are really on the inside (1 Peter 3:1-7).

However, to say that physical attraction shouldn’t matter at all when Christians are choosing a spouse is not only completely detached from reality, but it’s also unbiblical. Sex is commanded in Scripture for husbands and wives (1 Corinthians 7:1-5). Biologically, however, two bodies can’t have sex without some level of attraction.

2. The Man Should Lead and the Woman Should Follow

Christians emphasize the male leadership in relationships because of what the Bible says about the roles of husbands and wives in places like Ephesians 5:22-33 and Colossians 3:18-19. However, these verses are clearly talking specifically about husband and wives, not single men and women who are considering marriage together.

The man should see qualities in a woman that would show she can be a good wife and the woman should see qualities in a man that would show he can be a good husband. But dating is not pretending to be married. It’s gauging whether two people should get married. Before marriage, the boyfriend and girlfriend both need to be leading themselves.

For more on this, you can read my article called Should a Christian Boyfriend Lead His Girlfriend?

3. Don’t Date. It’s Not in the Bible. Only Court

It’s true, dating is not in the Bible. However, what’s ironic about this statement is that neither is courting.

I’m not saying courting is bad. I think dating and courting can both work and both have problems. Either way, the real key is that you pursue marriage with the biblical principles God has given us (Psalm 119:24).

If he wanted all Christians to date or court, he would have specifically commanded that in the Bible.

For more on this, you can read my article called What’s the Difference Between Christian Courting and Dating?

4. Ask Her Father for Permission (advice to men) or Make Sure He Asks Your Father for Permission (advice to women)

This idea comes from the courting model. If the woman wants the man to ask her father for permission, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. And if the woman still lives under her father’s roof and the man and woman are younger, having the parents involved is wise.

However, this advice is very cringy when it just doesn’t fit the situation. What if the woman doesn’t have a Christian father? What if she is self-sufficient and thus is not a child by biblical standards anymore?

I get it. This advice usually comes from a place of respect. I just think for adult women there are better ways that a man can show respect to her. As an adult, we are called to still honor our father and mother (Exodus 20:12), but we are not called to obey them anymore as though we are still children.

For more on this, you can read my article called Do Christian’s Need Their Parent’s Permission to Date and Get Married?

5. God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

We say this phrase because we all know God does require us to participate in the process of receiving what he has planned. It’s wrong to just sit there and do nothing.

However, this phrase is not in the Bible like many people think it is. Additionally, it does make Christian singles feel like they are single because they are doing something wrong because “Hey, God hasn’t helped you, thus you must not have helped yourself yet.”

That’s a wrong application of biblical principles regarding personal responsibility. While we do need to play our part, ultimately the results are in God’s hands (Proverbs 16:33).

6. The Woman Is Always Right or “Happy Wife, Happy Life”

This advice is often given to married couples, but the concept is also expressed in dating too. It’s wrong on many levels. It makes it seem like the woman is more important than the man.

Also, if a man does have this mentality towards a woman, she will lose respect for him. He shouldn’t be a pushy guy who is constantly telling her what to do. But if he is a push over and is obsessed with making her happy no matter what, he will either attract a high maintenance diva or he won’t attract anyone because women want a man they can respect, not a man who sees himself as her personal servant (Ephesians 5:33).

7. Never Give Someone a Chance if You’re Not Instantly Attracted

In point 1 we discussed one side of the overreaction Christians have towards the concept of attraction. However, Christians can just as easily think attraction really is an unchangeable component (Proverbs 31:30).

It’s not wrong if you don’t want to give someone a chance because you are not attracted to them. Definitely don’t ever force yourself to be with someone you are not attracted to. But you also want to have a mature view of attraction. Physical attraction is connected to the heart as well as to the eyes. If your heart changes towards someone because you get to know them, sometimes (not all the time) your eyes for this person change too.

8. Just Do What I Did

This comes off extremely prideful, as though everyone who is married is automatically a relationship expert and everyone who is single is less knowledgeable about relationships. God’s plan for who gets married and when is just not that simple.

God has a good plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139:16). As Oswald Chambers said, “Never make a principle out of your experience. Allow God to be as creative with others as He is with you.”

9. The Idea that All Pastors Are Also Great Matchmakers

This one isn’t so much a statement or advice; rather it’s a danger to believe God is putting you and someone together simply because your pastor (or spiritual leader or mentor) is encouraging you two to be together.

The fact is, pastors don’t have special matchmaking abilities just because they are pastors. When you read the qualifications of a pastor in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, believe it or not, matchmaking is not present! I know, shocking.

Prayerfully consider your pastor’s advice. But if you don’t like someone, don’t date them. It’s not disobeying God by rejecting your pastor’s opinion about your personal decisions.

10. When You Meet The One, You’ll Just Know

I have a confession. I’ve said this one to people before. In fact, I would still say in some situations.

For example, after you’ve gone through a long season of dating and done your best to apply biblical wisdom to know if you should marry this person or not, I do believe there is a supernatural peace God will give you when it’s time to marry someone (Philippians 4:6-7, Proverbs 3:5-6). In that sense, “You will just know.”

However, this is terrible advice for people who are not already in a long-term relationship. You’re not going to “just know” this person is “the one” when they walk into the room for the first time. That’s infatuation and wishful thinking. They might be the one. They might not be.

You’re only going to really know who to marry by going through a wise process and seeing biblical evidence.

Related Article: 10 Dating Tips Satan Uses to Prevent Your Godly Marriage