Adults: Christian dating and Relationships
Some churches very occasionally teach about singleness, and they sometimes teach about marriage, but they almost never teach the practicalities about how to get from 'A' to 'B' in a godly way.
We need to create a healthy dating culture in the church if we're going to help make Christian marriage possible, and the resources below show practical steps that churches and individuals can take to help do this.
NB. Terminology in the UK is a bit different to the US! Usually for UK Christian adults:
'Dating' = getting to know each other with a view to seeing if you want to be in a 'going out' relationship (exclusive, romantic)
'Going out/relationship' = getting to know each other with a view to seeing if you want to get married
7 Reasons Your Church Needs More Men: How to lead a gender balanced church supporting healthy singleness, dating, marriage and youth (The Engage Network, 2018)
See Chapter 8 ‘Dating and relationships: what would it look like if things were working well in the church?’
How to get a date worth keeping (Dr Henry Cloud, 2005)
Comprehensive and indepth book addressing emotional, spiritual and practical issues in dating. Essential reading.
See also helpful topical and Q&A video advice from Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend (American Christian Psychologists) at www.cloudtownsend.com/video-advice/channel/Dating
Dare to Date (Aukelien van Abbema, 2017, UK)
Drawing on her personal Christian dating experience, and work as a Couples Psychologist and dating course leader, Aukelien's book is "invaluable advice on how to date well" (from the Introduction by Nicky and Sila Lee). Full of really helpful insights, stories and strategies that will improve your dating life.
Listen to the Woman to Woman interview on Premier radio with Maria Rodrigues. Podcast episode "Christians should be better at dating!"
Boundaries in Dating book
Essential reading - practical but comprehensive advice for Christian couples who are in a 'going out' (UK) or 'dating' (US) relationship
(Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend, 2000) Small Group Study DVD and workbook also available.
The Dating Dilemma (Rachel Gardner and Andre Adefope, 2013, UK)
Accessible, understandable and packed with practical advice for Christians who want to do dating and relationships well.
More helpful articles, bible studies, podcasts, blogs and stories at: www.relationshipdilemma.com
Speakers and courses available: Relationship Dilemma Course
Single, Dating, Engaged, Married: Navigating life and love in the modern age (Ben Stuart, 2017)
Amazing Love - 8 DVDs by Dr Henry Cloud: Ideal for church/group teaching and discussion sessions.
Eight 60-minute sessions. A cohesive series, but sessions can also be downloaded as audio or video files individually. Available from the 'Store' at www.cloudtownsend.com
"When love works well, it is an amazing experience, everything else pales in comparison. It enriches our lives and gives us a sense of fulfillment and joy. Join us as we journey deep into the inner workings of love. This series will teach you practical skills that you won't learn anywhere else. It will enable you to improve your odds of getting and keeping the love you want."
1. What love looks like 2. Extreme dating makeover 3. Dating made easy (men only) 4. The ties that bind
5. Lovedoctor.com 6. Sex night for singles? 7. Love's slippery slope 8. Why love breaks down
God will make a way (Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend, 2005), particularly chapters 9-11 on Dating and New Romance, Marriage and Relationships, Intimacy and Sex.
Sex before marriage?
Many people find themselves confused by sex and sexuality. Some are trapped in sexual patterns that may damage their self-esteem or even ruin their ability to form a lasting relationship. In this booklet Nicky Gumbel combines a biblical approach to the subject with realism and honesty.
New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating (Andy Stanley, 2015) U.S. pastor and bestselling author Andy Stanley provides practical, biblical, uncensored advice to anyone who is dating or thinking about marriage.
'Would like to meet': The real-life diary of a 30-something Christian woman looking for love (HopefulGirl, 2013)
Perceptive, funny, true-to-life and a great read about dating for both men and women.
Hold Me Tight (Dr Sue Johnson, 2008). This book shares advice and practical exercises on how couples can develop and nurture increasingly healthy relationships by establising secure emotional attachments.
Pure (Linda Marshall 2010). Originally written with students in mind, but relevant for others too.
Faith For A Mate (New Testament Church of God, 2017)
An online course: How three women met their husbands. www.faithforamate.com
Nicky and Sila Lee (Founders and Leaders, Relationship Central, Holy Trinity Brompton Church, London.
Exploding the myths around dating and marriage
Christian dating websites and introduction agencies
by Jackie Elton, Founder/Director, Christian Connection
by Jackie Elton, Founder/Director, Christian Connection
Christian Connection: www.christianconnection.com
“The UK’s leading online dating site for single Christians.” Dating, events, meetups, message boards, blogs, success stories, advice, polls and more.
Christian Café: www.christiancafe.com
Run by Christians. US based.
Friends First: www.friends1st.co.uk
Run by Christians. UK based introduction agency.
Run by Christians. UK based. Free site.
Christian Mingle: www.christianmingle.com
Run for Christians but not by Christians. US based big company running several sites.
Catholic Match: www.catholicmatch.com
Christian Single Mix: www.christiansinglemix.com
Online Dating: top tips for success (2014)
by Dr David Pullinger (Researcher, Author, Director of SingleFriendlyChurch.co.uk, and a member of the Engage Steering Group)
Top tips that are easy to remember, fun and easy to read, based on research, tried and tested.
Recommended by both Christian dating websites and the UK Online Dating Association.
Dating Dynamics: Series of 3 talks by Rev'd Will van der Hart (Pastoral Chaplain, Holy Trinity Brompton Church, London
1. Ready to Date: https://www.htb.org/media/ready-date
Getting ready to date positively, is about developing an awareness of your real intentions and ambitions, and an ability to express who you really are as a person. This seminar helps you to ask the questions (and offers some answers) that have the biggest impact on both being and finding a successful date.
2. How to Date Well: https://www.htb.org/media/how-date-well
Regardless of the setting, a good date depends on connection, chemistry and character. This seminar helps you to foster good connection, identify good chemistry and value good character.
3. Your relationship and the Future: https://www.htb.org/media/your-relationship-and-future
How do you know if your date has relationship potential? How can you know if your relationship has a future? This seminar helps you to discern the way ahead and also gives some insights into how to respond if things are not moving in a positive direction.
The myth of "The One": Article by Dr David Pullinger exploring the concept of meeting 'the One' person who is right for us.
Top 20 things to look for in a Christian partner: Article by Dr Wyatt Fisher (American Christian Psychologist).
Supporting Christians who are in ‘mixed relationships’ (where one partner is a Christian and the other is not – usually Christian women)
Dating from Connectedness: Series of 5 talks by Aukelien van Abbema (Dutch Christian Psychologist).
"Living a full and fulfilling life as a single person usually includes dating. How can we learn as much as possible, have fun in dating when things have become frustrating, or when we have been hurt? The challenge is to stay, or get, connected to God, yourself and the people you love around you. From that solid base, dating becomes more fun and an experience that shapes our character and our life."
Single and Connected to God / Connected to yourself / Connected to friends and family / Connected to the people you date / In a (dating) relationship…now what?
Events and social groups
Events for Christians: www.eventsforchristians.co.uk
Twenties Thirties Forties: www.ttfonline.org.uk
South East Christian Singles: www.sesinglechristians.org
Northern Lights: www.northern-lights-singles.co.uk
Cheshire Christian Singles: www.cheshirechristiansingles.org.uk
Christian Socials North West: http://christiansocialsnorthwest.webeden.co.uk
Harvesters (West Midlands): www.harvesterstogether.org.uk
Bedford Christian Singles: www.bedfordchristiansingles.co.uk
Bridges Singles (Suffolk and Cambridgeshire): www.bridgeschristians.org
South Coast Events: www.sceneportsmouthplus.com
Special Events for Single Christians (holidays): www.specialeventsforsinglechristians.co.uk
Oak Hall Holidays: www.oakhall.co.uk
Richmond Holidays: www.richmond-holidays.com
Goldhill Holidays: http://www.goldhillholidays.co.uk