In my last blog, I talked about how a former abuse victim can discern if she* is ready to begin dating. If you have decided you are ready to date, the next question is, how can you meet the right man? Here are some suggestions:
Spend your time in the places you would like your future husband to hang out. If you would like him to be a churchgoer, find a bible believing church, join a single’s Sunday school class, and get involved. Do this not just to find a husband, but also to make friends with other Christians, (this is where I met my second husband.) If you have children and you’d like to marry a man with kids, join the PTA, go to the park or the pool, or Chuck E. Cheese with your kids. You will get to see how potential dates treat their children. If you are a cyclist, join a cycling group. Are you a hiker, a painter, a writer? Most recreation centers have groups or inexpensive classes in all these things. If you currently do none of these things but want to learn, join a class! Even if you don’t meet a husband, your life will be enriched.
The great thing about meeting a potential husband in a group is you will get a chance to become friends with him first – to see how he treats his friends. Is he kind and thoughtful, or is he a jerk? Is he responsible and someone others count on? Does he show up on time? My husband tells our teens you can discern almost everything you need to know about a potential mate as a friend before you have a single date with him.
The only thing you can’t know for sure is whether he will be abusive. Usually, you can’t tell if someone will be abusive toward you until you begin dating him, because an abuser won’t act controlling toward you until you move toward an exclusive relationship. I will talk more about possible red flags in my next blog.
I know many people have found their mates via on-line dating sites, but I am not a fan of this. Why? For one thing, with on-line dating, you would have a difficult time getting to know him as a friend and watching him with others before you date. Secondly, I know several women have said the men they came in contact with made them feel “dirty.” One or two said they later found out some of the men they dated were already married! Lastly, it is difficult to remain safe when you begin dating someone you know nothing about – except what he says about himself on a computer screen.
However, I do know a few couples that met via on-line sites and are happily married, and I know that with God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). I would encourage you to try to meet men in a more traditional way and wait on the Lord before signing up for an on-line dating service. If you do eventually sign up for one, look for one that is above-board and has many safety guidelines.
Check out my next blog for some safety guidelines you can use to weed out potential abusers.
However you find your potential mate, remember Proverbs 18:22 says:
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
Until next time,
*In this blog, I refer to the abused person as “she”, and the abuser as “he”. The same principles apply if the abuser is the female and the victim is the male.