What Christian Dating is Really Like in 2018

**Contains explicit language and topics**

How do I start? I've been in the Christian dating game awhile now - I'm 31, grew up in church, did missions life with Youth With A Mission, and navigated the whole backsliding thing during my years at UCSB (Go Gauchos!). I used to spend hours in Barnes and Nobles as a middle schooler reading teen romance novels, and was most definitely given the book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" once I hit mid highschool. Throughout the years I've had crushes on countless guys who I decided could be the one, while fantasizing about my knight in shining armor coming to save the day by whisking me off my feet.

All that to say the reality looked more like this...

Drunken college makeouts, drunken *after college* makeouts, confused about how far is too far, not caring anymore, then caring too much, talking engagement 4 weeks into dating, people prophesying about who my husband is, asking God who my husband is, getting it wrong, getting it wrong more than once, using dating apps and kissing all the wrong men, having a snapchat boyfriend, dating someone who got famous, hanging out with thirsty church guys, awesome guy friends who are like brothers, deciding to be real about it all, asking God if he really cares, and then being #extrasingle after that...

So like yah, I got questions.

Recently I was in a church women's group and my friend told me how guys were sending girls in church d*ck picks. I was caught off guard, I knew this happened but when asked how many of the women had received one...every single girl raised their hand. This is from Christian men, might I add. Now, I later asked the men how many of them had received near nude photos of women in an attempt to 'draw them in'...you guessed it, every single one of them said yes. Is it just me, or does it seem like this is all happening under the radar because we don't know what's okay to talk about in the open?

May I even say that dating in Christian culture can be so unhealthy because we aren't being honest with ourselves and with others? 

This is dating in 2018 - time to be real. The internet is full of ways to manipulate the other sex through social media and yet we sit in our church groups pretending like our biggest struggle is not having sex before marriage. There's a much bigger problem. 

That problem is shame. 

Recently I did an instagram poll asking if anyone had negative 'prophetic word' experiences where someone prophecied to them about who they'd marry, they believed that it was a sign from God, and then were left broken-hearted when that person married someone else. The results were shocking. Click here to see all the polls (click on 'dating polls' or 'sex polls' in highlights). A lot of people have experienced this. There are others who have had positive experiences, and then most of us are just thinking Christian dating is all very confusing.

"Does God speak in dating relationships? Does He speak to me personally? Does He only speak through the bible? Am I over-spiritualizing things? Am I not involving him enough? Do I pray for my future spouse? Do I just date and trust my decisions? Should I do online dating? How do I handle my sexuality prior to marriage?" - These are the questions many of us are asking.

Looking for approval and affirmation through sexts doesn't feed you. You'll need more and more of it every day, and that won't end well.

An important point we can easily forget is that God is in the business of bringing healing and freedom to our souls. We cannot truly even try to date someone unless we have worked through some of our most painful experiences. It's impossible to love someone else unless you love yourself. We learn to love ourselves when we receive our creator's love for us. This is a three way street and the most important commandment we've been given:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.
— Matthew 22:36-38

We need to go back to the basics and learn how to love. We also need to do this with each other. My life group has become my saving grace - it's a small group of my friends from church who get together and talk about life...the messy stuff. We are 100% free to be ourselves because we truly support one another. It's not just women, it's men and women together. Sometimes church can feel like a show, a place to go and worship with everyone, smile and laugh, and then go to brunch after and leave it at that. This isn't the purpose of church - it's to serve alongside one another and build a family, a community home that's safe and FREE.

One of my friends told me how her pre-marital counseling class was separated into a women's group and a men's group. She said they were only together for a small portion of the counseling. I understand why there needs to be a separation, to avoid talking about too intimate of details with a setting that's not appropriate or comfortable...but I believe this has become part of the problem. We don't have men and women co-ed gatherings where we talk about what it's like for guys to struggle with sexual accountability, or women's struggles with comparison.

We don't know what the other side is going through, and we're confused how to have healthy relationships with the opposite sex. In my head, it would be a dream to create something where men and women are supporting one another TOGETHER. So.... I decided to take that statement and run with it.

What if there was a place where men and women could come together and talk about things like Christian dating in 2018, sex, sexuality, your relationship with your body, dating fails, marriage tips, shame based thinking etc and do so in a setting where we engage, laugh, maybe cry, but all in all....support each other to release the hidden areas that keep us in secret. What if we used improv, comedy, a panel of single men and women, a panel of married couples...things that are out of the box and needed to break down barriers for the single christian to be comfortable and open? I want to do this. I want men and women to be able to meet in a setting that's not the church, and not the bar - somewhere in between...meaning maybe after the event we can enjoy a glass of wine and mingle. I'm all about in-person connection and maybe less d*ck picks. 

SO....stay tuned because I got some things up my sleeve ;) DTR LIVE SHOW coming to the Los Angeles area soon. Also, make sure to follow my instagram and facebook for upcoming announcements, jokes, and event details!

Lots of love,

Kristina