Sometimes, I think about the difference between intentional and intense. For starters, I have a love/hate relationship with intentional because of its overuse in "millennial speak," but I get why it initially caught wave — that is, if a word can catch a wave. #totallydude
When do I think about this most? Well, it's usually whenever dating comes up in conversation. I wonder, "Does the fine line dividing these two words and one's interpretation of that line make or break a budding relationship?"
Why do I care about this? I feel that it's something that brings great anxiety (well, maybe only some anxiety) to guys looking to date, which begs the question: When is too much, and when is just enough?
Ultimately, this is a "let go, and let God" type of situation, but I realize that phrase can also be overused, casting shadow (and maybe shame) on the desire for advice. That said, I've listed a few thoughts below that hopefully can help those wading down the fine line(s) of dating.
- Lead with humility. You can share about your life and your interests, but don't showboat.
- Don't ask questions solely as a way to give your answer or viewpoint on the topic. Ask with sincerity, listen, and follow up after the answer is given.
- Share your intentions early, but leave space for the other person to say, "No thank you." After all, dating is an evaluation process for marriage.
- Communicate along the way. It doesn't have to be a weekly pulse check, but conversations surrounding feelings and intent should happen, especially as the relationship progresses.
I realize I don't have a whole lot of experience or authority to speak into your viewpoint on this, but I will say the following: Above all else, please be honest. Even if your honesty (especially around breakups) is potentially hurtful, trust that honesty is the best policy, and don't delay. Even this type of honesty can be received well when it's delivered with intentionality.