Finding love ain’t no crystal stair. In fact, for many of us, it’s a stack of cracked milk crates leading to late nights at the office, Saturday night twist set tutorials and the always heartwarming text, “wat r u wearing?”
Naturally, you would think with God on our side, finding “bae” would be pretty simple, but dating while Christian often comes with its own set of challenges.
Don’t let the Word Network fool you, there’s more to church girls than Hillsong, subtle cleavage and taco night at the Singles Ministry meet-up. So, for all the single saints tired of explaining why tonight’s date is not an audition for America’s Next Top Husband, this one’s for you.
1. Intimacy versus sex; there is a difference.
Everyone knows the Golden Rule for single Christians is no flings without the ring. Because closed legs are a pretty big deal in the church world, alternative courses of action must be taken when it comes to getting close to the opposite sex. Depending on the level of sanctification, booty taps may be okay, but at some point an authentic emotional connection must be made while both parties remain clothed.
2. There is love outside the sanctuary.
Of course, the dream is to find a mate who loves the Lord and appreciates the value of a new Easter outfit, but who’s to say they can only be found in the church? If the only options for love resided solely within the four walls of the sanctuary, we may as well grab a cat and a Mumu now. Take away the married men, the sexually ambiguous and the wanna’ be players, and we’re basically left with divorced deacons and the resident church perv. We’re good.
3. You can keep, embrace and flaunt your sexy.
Whoever said pulling out a freakum dress wasn’t an option for believers was truly mistaken, in addition to being fashionably blah. Go to any Black church on Sunday and you’re liable to see more bedazzles, glitter and heels under one roof than in Prince’s closet. Contrary to Sister So-and-So, falling in love with Jesus does not mean we’ve ended our relationship with swag.
4. Pimpin’ ain’t easy and neither is celibacy.
We luh God; we really do. But there are certain places a Bible can’t reach. Now, is that a pass to call Tyrone? Not quite, but we may have thought long and hard about it, sent a few texts and maybe turned the car key to see if there was enough gas to get from point A to point B in the event we decided to swing by. Yes, abstinence and celibacy reign supreme but thoughts happen (followed by prayer, gym time, Chipotle and a gallon of ice cream to erase any visions of #NetflixAndChill).
5. Ruth and Boaz were cool, but if possible, we’d prefer to not wait 40 years to find bae.
Yes, good things come to those who wait. He may not come when we want Him…insert other clichés, but we’ve officially entered cuffing season and Saturday nights get a little lonely sometimes. Waving an empty hand as you channel your inner Beyoncé sans the leotard always makes for a good time with girlfriends, but there are also moments — moments of too much idle time where a woman wonders when love will pass her way. Not lust, like or one night, but that Olivia Pope, Nina Mosley can’t eat, can’t sleep, get my hair my wet in the rain kind of love. While everything happens for a reason and in its due season, sometimes a girl wonders which is coming first, the season or pre-menopausal hot flashes.
6. Sometimes dating is just dating.
Despite No. 5, the thirst for finding a mate is not as real as some would have you think. Believe it or not, we don’t all spend our recreational time updating our ChristinMingle.com profiles or trolling Saturday night church musicals for the next Mister. Sometimes it’s okay to go out and have a burger, literally a burger and nothing more. No ring, no promises of a ring, no introduction to mama, no #WCW, no Facebook proclamation of love…just a burger. Being single is one of the best times in a young woman’s life. It’s one less Christmas gift to buy, there’s no husband to cook for (if you’re into that type of thing), no kids to tend to and we have the freedom to be as unapologetically selfish as our heart desires. Why give that up prematurely?
7. Relationship Goals: Love, marriage and the baby carriage (in that order).
Of course, life can get in the way and the order sometimes gets remixed, but this is the ultimate goal. No shade to anyone who put the horse before the carriage, but hook-ups and one-nighters just aren’t our thing (well, most of us). Love and all that comes with it is a beautiful thing and should be handled with care. So please, enough with the attempts to make a good girl go bad because this rule isn’t going anywhere. Besides, if Bey can do it, so can we.
8. The turn up is possible.
This is a tricky one, as too much turn up can easily be grounds for being labeled the church backslider, or at minimum land someone a Sunday at the altar or a terry service. Are we in the club popping Molly? Probably not, but we’re good for more than a War Room movie night.
9. Yes, there are rules we must obey and at the end of the day, we’re okay with that.
Like it or not, there are rules to living a life of Christ. While the urge to say “F— them all” is very real sometimes, hell is too hot and we love God too much to throw our religion aside. Loving while living a Christ-filled life isn’t for the faint of heart, but to love us is to love God which can’t be that bad. So grab a wine cooler, your Sunday best and enjoy the ride. Well, not literally.
This article originally appeared on JetMag.com.