One of the most common mistakes Christian singles make while trying to date someone they like is that they express romantic intent before building a connection with this person.
The stronger the connection two people have before any romantic interest is expressed, the more likely that two people will actually progress into dating after the interest is expressed. When you barely know someone, you are less likely to date that person. But when you already feel a connection with this person, then you are much more likely to give dating a chance.
So here are 4 ways you can build a connection with someone you want to date.
- Create a Group Activity and Invite Them to Join You All
Remember, our goal here is not to express interest and let them know you like them. Rather, the goal at this point is to build a connection with this person first. If you invite one person to a group event, this is not a sign you like them. So if you are trying to send someone a signal that you do like him or her, this is not the best option. You would want to invite them to spend one-on-one time with you if you wanted to send that message.
But by inviting someone to attend a group event with you and others, you will be creating a low risk, low pressure opportunity for you and this person to get to know one another better. By spending time in a group and having meaningful experiences together, connections are naturally formed.
After a connection is formed, it will then be more realistic to try to take it to the next level with this person. If you express romantic interest before establishing a connection first, often times you will get rejected because the person will fear making a commitment with you because she or he does not know you that well yet.
- Let Them Know Things About Yourself You Don’t Share with Everyone
Don’t share your deepest, darkest secrets. Don’t share your greatest fears. Don’t reveal things that should be talked about in a counseling session. Don’t share your romantic feelings with this person yet.
But one way to build a connection with someone is to share with them personal information about yourself that you don’t share with everyone. This isn’t something you would want to do right away. But if you have a decent friendship with someone and you want to take it the next level, you can start this process by being open with them about who you are.
Things you could share are your dreams for the future. If you want to be a missionary one day, talk about this and see how they respond. If you want to become a doctor one day, talk about your reasons why and what drives you to accomplish this goal. If you really care about a certain social issue or problem in society, express your passion and concern.
When you share personal information with someone, it shows that person that you value them and trust them. So the key is to only use this approach when you actually do value and trust someone. And we certainly cannot guarantee that this person will feel connected to you after you open up to them more, but many times when you open up to someone, that person will open up to you in return. When two people start having meaningful conversations and sharing parts of their inner thoughts and hopes with each other, very often a new connection is made in the process.
As Jesus said to his disciples in John 15:15, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” Jesus took his relationship to the next level with his disciples because he opened up to them. This is true of all relationships. Connections are build through opening up.
- Really Listen to This Person and Ask Meaningful Follow Up Questions After They Say Something
We live in a very loud world. Everyone is trying to say something at the exact same moment, which makes everyone feel like no matter what they are saying, no one is really listening. Because most people are totally inundated with information, their brains start coping by naturally blocking out more and more incoming information.
Because of this, it is truly rare to find someone who actually listens well to other people. The art of listening is becoming a foreign pastime. So if someone does begin to open up to you or if someone does say something that often times just gets lost in the sea of noise, but you take the time to truly listen and ask meaningful follow up questions that give this person even more opportunity to express him or herself, then very often this person will value you and appreciate you.
The key hear is to really listen and not just try to come off like you are really listening. When you try to fake this and make the person think you are a really thoughtful and insightful person, you will usually come off as disingenuous and your efforts will probably push this person away rather than draw them in.
So when this person is speaking, don’t be thinking about what question you will ask next. Truly give them your undivided attention. Listen well. And when they are done speaking, ask a question that you genuinely want to know next. Don’t ask them something you think they will want to talk about. Ask them something that you really want to know more about that relates to what they previously said.
Be the type of person describe in James 1:19 where we are told to be quick to listen and slow to speak. When you really listen to people and ask genuine follow up questions, this is an excellent way to build a connection.
- Serve Together
One of the most interesting things I have been learning about human relationships over the past few years is that the more difficult an experience is that people go through together, often times the stronger the bond will be after that experience.
One of the best examples of this principle can be seen in war. When men and women literally fight for their lives side-by-side, they form a connection that no one else will be able to understand. When soldiers fight for each other, their bonds will last for a lifetime.
Likewise, when Christians serve together, especially when they serve in difficult places together, they form connections with each other that cannot be formed in any other way. My wife and I met on the mission fields of West Africa. We served orphans, widows, people with diseases, and all kinds of people in poverty in the war-torn country of Liberia. Because of this, we formed a bond with each other that catapulted us forward in our relationship.
I’m not saying this will always happen. But whether you make a romantic connection with someone while serving or not, the normal friendships you will form through serving together are worth it in and of themselves.