Asher Witmer

rediscovering Jesus

One Ridiculously Simple Way to Start a Relationship anyone can do it, but almost everyone is scared of it

One week before asking Teresa Janae Miller out, I drafted an email to her Dad. Before hitting send, however, I chickened out and waited a few more days.

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I was scared! I was afraid of being turned down. Afraid I was doing the wrong thing—that it wasn’t God’s will. Afraid of entering another relationship that would only end in pain. I had to be certain I really wanted to do it before sending my two-paragraph inquiry about Loren Miller’s daughter.

When I finally mustered enough confidence to send it off, I was stunned how easy it was. Within fifteen minutes I got a reply wondering if I could call him right away. Only, I didn’t see the reply until about an hour later.

I gave him a call and, even though it was late and they were heading out on a trip across the US the next day, he answered the phone and we talked for quite a while.

“This is an answer to our prayers,” he said. “You need to call her right away in the morning. She’s been waiting for this.”

I actually don’t remember what all he said, this is just what it felt like he said. I was blown away! Elated. Freaked out. Glad I wasn’t rejected. Unsure if I was ready to get this serious about it.

But long story short, we fell in love and got married eight months later.

Most of us won’t ask someone out only to discover they’ve been waiting for us to ask for several months. And if you’re a lady, most of you won’t wait and wait on the man you admire only to eventually be asked out by him.

And no one just “falls in love.” That was a cliché way of wrapping up a host of struggles we sorted through in a few months’ time.

The fact of the matter is, many of us experience pain and uncertainty in our romantic journeys. I had dated before, and in that relationship, I was convinced God had led us together. But it ended in separation.

Because of that experience, I was scared stiff to pursue another girl. How was I to know we wouldn’t just break each other’s hearts? How could we be sure this was indeed God’s will?

These fears almost kept me from doing the simplest thing to finding out the answers to them—just asking Teresa out.

There is only one way to find a wife, one way to figure out if marriage is a possibility, and it’s really quite simple: pursue a girl.

But it’s not entirely that easy, is it? Asking a girl out carries tremendous weight, doesn’t it? Deep in our hearts, in a place we don’t necessarily have words for, we’re plain freaked out.

What if I get turned down? That feels like I’m not good enough.

What if we date and it doesn’t turn out? That feels like a waste of time and unnecessary pain.

What it’s not God’s will? It feels it could only be God’s will if it turns out in marriage, and how do I know it will before I ask?

On the flip side, if you’re a lady and you long for a relationship, one ridiculously simple way to start is by giving the guy who asks a chance. But that’s equally scary.

What if he’s not a good man? You don’t want to be stuck in a bad relationship for the rest of your life.

What if you don’t get married. Again, that would feel like a waste of time and unnecessary pain.

How are you supposed to know if taking a guy up on his offer to court is God’s will or not?

Many of the dating strategies, today, seem based more on trying to create a pain-free way of finding a spouse than actually healthy ways of relating.

The problem is, the very nature of romance is that it’s extremely risky. You lay your heart on the line. And to love anyone or anything is to enter the possibility of being deeply hurt.

As artist, Jason Gray, articulately put it, we must “bring our heart to every day and run the risk of fearlessly loving without running away.”

If you’re not ready to risk pain, you’re not ready for romance. But if you want romance, it cannot be done without (at least) the potential of pain.

Furthermore, dating isn’t about ending in marriage—it’s about seeing if marriage is the right next step. Being turned down (or not asked at all) feels as if they reject you as a person. . .if you think you make a good match because you are something great.

But that’s not how relationships are formed. People don’t become your friend because you are an amazing person. At least not in healthy relationships. They become your friend because you care about them, you are naturally friendly toward them, and you have discovered common ground.

So be friendly. Get to know each other. Romance was never meant to be a source of security for one’s identity. If she says no (or if he never asks) it doesn’t say anything about who you are or how much worth you have.

It simply means you’re not a match. At least not now.

I think we freak out about God’s will more than He does. If it’s not God’s will, will it happen? And does God have a specifically unique will in mind for us?

Or, has He given each of us the wisdom and emotions to sort through and discern what is in-line with His will as we are increasingly filled with His Spirit and study His Word? What if He intends us to figure out, for ourselves, who we want to marry?

Isn’t that kind of freeing?

What if our desires and affections can guide us in romance? If we don’t like someone, we don’t have to date them.

At the same time, we are broken. We all struggle with self-centeredness. And no one develops lasting romantic love simply by “falling into” it. Giving someone time, attention, and the opportunity be pursued (or to pursue you) all plays into the building and shaping of romantic affection for each other.

In other words, you don’t have to know marriage is the end before you date a person. But also, trust your gut.

Now, I realize this doesn’t solve everything. In fact, it solves very little: getting started. There are many more questions to sort through, such as what if she says no? What if it doesn’t work out, what then? What if you ask many different girls and they all turn you down?

If you’re a girl, what if no one ever asks you?

Those are each deep and relevant questions, but the fact is many people today aren’t even getting started.

So, in short, I’m not sure we should take dating so seriously. Yes, take finding a future partner seriously, but not so seriously that you’re scared stiff to pursue (or be pursued). Give it a chance. It doesn’t have to work. But finding out if it could, really isn’t that difficult.

Just ask.

If you’re ready to walk across the room and ask a girl out, but aren’t sure what to talk about on the first date, I’ve created a PDF just for you! Click here to download your free copy of Nine Conversations Worth Having on Your First Date.
Why is asking someone out so terrifying these days? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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About Asher Witmer

I am a son of God, husband, father, and difference maker. I love helping people sort through hard questions they face and rediscover Jesus. I have written three eBooks dealing with church frustrations, and send out daily posts addressing faith, church and relationships.

  • Samuel Stoltzfus

    Spot on. This is how I’ve felt for some time.