What if you never had to have your heart broken? What if dating is a lot more simple than we make it? What is the purpose of dating? How should dating look like? These questions and more are asked and tackled by the book, Outdated By Jonathan Pokluda, a pastor who serves his church in Waco, Texas.
I haven’t gone through a book like this for a while, so sinking into a book that made me think and reevaluate my motives and my heart was something I found to be refreshing. Like my other book reviews i’ll break this book up into its elements but before then I would like to share my intention in reading this book.
This particular pastor has a weekly podcast called “Becoming something.” It’s basically a podcast directed towards young adults taking the bible and tackling different subjects. By far, his most popular segments were on dating. It’s what is on everyone’s mind.
As a pre-marital counselor and pastor he decided he was going to take all that he had learned on the subject and provide a simple guide for those with questions. Hence the book.
I have had a rough time at dating. My last serious relationship ended maybe three years ago and before then I had been in that relationship for a total of three and a half years. No simple way of putting it; I did not know how to be in a relationship. I knew what the goal was but at the time I was so passive and naive that I allowed the relationship get out of my hands. I had allowed the bitterness of past issues build up until I could not take things anymore. I could not clearly communicate and so probably left her with more questions than answers. unfortunately it did not end as I now wish it should’ve.
That being said I learned a lot about myself since then. I never wanted that to happen again and I want to be better prepared for my next relationship. That being said I found all this stuff about dating very interesting and I resinated with what he was saying. so I decided to get this book. Not only to know what I should be looking for in someone else but to learn what someone should be expecting of me.
There is only one real element to this book so I will break it up into questions asked and basically say what I’ve learned from it. (Don’t worry I will be short)
- Why We Date
There’s a difference between dating for fun and dating for a purpose. As a christian that purpose is marriage. There’s an end goal in mind. But many nowadays date because it’s something everyone does. If you don’t have someone then it feels like you’re missing something. Movies, TV shows, social media; they all show relationships as the pinnacle of happiness. The church says that there are those who have the “gift of singleness.” But if it is a gift why do we want to throw it away so fast? The thing is that we have idolized dating so much that to stay single feels like a curse. but its not. To understand why we date we need to understand the purpose of dating. Marriage is the not the ultimate goal, but to be married well is. Dating is a construct of getting to know another person to decide whether they are someone you can potentially see your life with. Anything other than that will leave you unsatisfied.
Being single isn’t a curse either. You’ll never be more free, have fewer responsibilities or greater opportunities to take chances than when you are single. It is blessing. it is also a blessing to married.(not one to talk about personal experience, but I mean it has to be, if God says so.) But only if you seek to date in a way that is responsible.
- Who We Date
There’s a lot of lies we fall for, for example “the one”. Out of all eight billion people there is one person that the universe has specifically assign you that will hit all the right markers. This is false. The truth is there are many people to chose from but only a handful that are really worth giving your life over to. we have romanticized it. This idea of the one actually came from the Romans that said that people used to have four arms and legs. Zeus came down and split everyone in half and now we have two parts of one soul looking for each other. But that’s not true. He says that this idea only leads to trouble when you expect that other person to already know what you want because he/she is your soul mate. The reality is that marriage takes communication and work. what makes it magical is knowing that despite them not knowing everything about you or even if they aren’t the most compatible with you they still love you and will stay by you.
Then comes the lie of love at first sight. He says that research shows those marriages don’t last. That if outer beauty is the most important thing in their life, then it gets old. literally. the most important thing in a person is who they are and who you are. This part of the book really made it personal. It made me reflect on who I was and what I was looking for. It made me think of all the things I should be working on for when I do meet someone who I could potential want to marry.
- How We Date.
This I can say is when he gets the most vulnerable. He shares insight into his life. Before he became a pastor he was someone who went around. His goals impure. His life a mess and it wasn’t until he came to know Jesus that everything turned around. I love that he shares a good part of his story because it really shows what God can do to a heart that has gone through the ringer; battered and bruised. He basically summed it up with this. If you date someone date in a way that leaves them better off than they were before, if it turns out it does not work out. Why? because you don’t want to leave them with baggage nor do you want any baggage too. If it does work out, awesome, now you have a partner for life. if it doesn’t that’s good too because you and they leave intact.
Overall as you can tell this book has been really beneficial for me. Theres a ton more stuff in this book that I would not be able to unpack in this overview. It was a good book and I’m excited to see where God leads me next.
anyways with that I will end this blog