At New Covenant M.B.C. there is an active Singles Ministry that candidly addresses the issues, situations and struggles of singles because Pastor Fred Crouther believes in incorporating all segments of the church’s population in ministry. The Single Adult Ministry properly reflects Pastor’s values, verbally and non-verbally and provides a crucial ministry to single Christian adults. Often the question is asked regarding the appropriate time frame before a couple should become engaged to embark on a lifetime journey of marriage. In a two-part series, the Five Stages of Dating Relationships will be offered to help single adults navigate through the various stages of their dating relationship. If you know someone who can benefit from these articles, be sure to share them. Compliments of an article by Assemblies of God Single Adult Ministries (which I found to be on point on this issue); the five stages of dating relationships for singles, are:
Stage 1: Preparation. This first stage plays a huge part in the life of a man and woman and highly influences the success of their romantic relationship. It also affects the quality of each of the other stages and is really the foundation for all of them. This is actually the time a person intentionally spends before getting into a dating relationship, preparing him/herself to be a quality, dateable individual. This stage could last between 2 years to several years, depending on what age a person actually begins intentional self-improvement and enters a relationship that eventually leads to marriage.
Stage 2: Infatuation. This is the time period of initial and continual attraction between two people. Attraction is based on many physical and external traits of interest such as stature, eyes, hair, scent, smile, outward appearance, certain personality traits etc, and is fueled by the realization that someone is attracted to you and desires you. Significant differences are hardly noticed. This stage could last from 2-5 months depending on the maturity, life experiences of both individuals and frequency of time together.
Stage 3: Illumination. This is the time of discovery in the relationship. It is a time of finding out that although you are still attracted to one another, you are now recognizing some weaknesses or flaws. The other person is probably noticing weaknesses and differences in you as well. Differences of opinions, character, convictions, lifestyle, values, personal habits of eating, working, relating etc are now surfacing. This is the stage where “crisis” situations begin to arise, and need to arise so that each person’s true colors of conflict resolution will show. The crises come when speaking your opinions and perspectives, (which should be and need to be spoken), that are in disagreement with the other person and may tend to cause hurt feelings. These conflicts can be tiring and usually this is when a couple begins to question the validity and permanence of their relationship. If the relationship does not progress to this stage before emotional commitments are made, there will be much turmoil in the marriage. This stage could last 3-5 months.
Next Month: Part 2
The writer does not assume responsibility or liability for any injury, loss or damage incurred in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize information or recommendations made in these articles. Rather, the objective is strictly informative and educational. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.