1. A definition of intentional
The intentional woman dates people she likes, people who respect her, and pursues people while being pursued by them. Expecting someone else to ask you out without giving any indication that you like them is asking someone to be creepy, forward and awkward. Your thought process should always be: “I like this person and want to spend time getting to know them and being around them,” and not “This person has asked me out, I am going to go out with them to see if I want to spend time getting to know them and being around them.” You have more agency over who you spend your time with than that. You deserve more than a few awkward seconds between “do you want to go out?” and “yes/no.” You deserve to think about your dating decisions as much of anyone else of any gender.
2. Don’t let the person you are dating stop growing
In an effort to avoiding “trying to change people” sometimes we feel like we have to “accept them the way they are.” And you do. But if you are going to grow with whoever you are dating, you need to expect that person to be growing, too. That being sad, it’s okay to be with someone that still has things to work on, because you won’t date anyone ever if you don’t think that is true. We all need to be growing all the time.
3. Never go on even one date with anyone who you have any reason to not trust.
Do not get in a car with anyone you have any reason to believe will not bring you home when you want to go home.
Do not meet anyone at night who would have any reason to not want to meet you in the day.
Do not spend any amount of time with anyone who you have any reason to believe will not respect and value you.
4. Guard your heart
Don’t let a person you are dating be the source of your every emotion–good or bad. Don’t let that person be in charge of your heart. Find someone who brings you closer to God. Pursue God until you find someone moving in your direction and speed. It is arrogant for a person you are pursuing/who is pursuing you to think that they are in the ultimate position to hurt you, because you decide where people fall in your life and the ones you bring the closest are the ones you trust. Don’t trust people who don’t deserve it, don’t trust people who want the opportunity to be so close to you they could break the good things you have. God have you strength and confidence and peace that is yours alone, who you are dating has nothing to do with your possession of those.
5. Physical touch
Your physical relationship with a person is something the two of you decide together. It is not romantic for someone to kiss you/hug you/grab your hand if you tell them you don’t want them to. No one’s passion for your presence or touch should ever trump the respect that have for what you think and say. It is your responsibility as much as any one you are dating to maintain a healthy, appropriate, loving physical relationship. Also, if someone equates their actions toward you to those that your dad has, that is not sweet. It means they feel like they are in charge of you and they don’t actually feel that way-they are using that as a mechanism to not be tempted by you. You deserve someone with a faith strong enough and enough self discipline that they can feel romantically toward you without taking advantage of you or making unhealthy, inappropriate physical decisions.