To find true love, learn how to slow it down and plan to succeed – make it last.

The real secret to holding a man’s interest is to maintain the mystery.

There are a few different schools of thought. One of the more traditional is getting back to how it was over one hundred years ago.  You may have heard about it – when people actually stayed married! Okay, okay, perhaps not all should have stayed married, especially in cases of abuse.  Pre-dating suitors were invited to ‘the coming out’ balls where marriageable men and women would gather in chaperoned situations – including the drawing room of the woman’s house to get to know each other  (with no opportunity to fall into temptation from physical attraction).  This allowed innocence to be maintained and also allowed for close family members and friends to observe the gentleman caller to protect the cherished daughter and also to spot ‘red flags’ in the character of the man or both of them as a possible couple.  These ‘red flags’ were signs of inappropriate/ungentlemanly behavior/attributes.  Many novels and films famously depict these customs particularly those written by Jane Austen such as ‘Emma’ and the love that grew between Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice.

Another option is courtship (this may sound like Christian dating but no, it is quite different again.)  It is where two people have the intention to get married and take a long term view.  Then through mutual friends/associations they attend the same social events, chaperoned of course, to check each other out.  Then over a period of time if they seem to be suited and the interest is there they can undergo further and closer contact under supervision.  Courtship is reserved for Christians who are already spiritually and emotionally ready for the commitment of a Christ-centred marriage.  At each stage the two people pray for guidance and are lead by a couple who are leading by example in their own marriage and who are more mature spiritually and emotionally.

So to slow things down, especially if you are already seeing the person and want to make sure he is the right one

1)      Limit the communication

a.       In length of time in responding particularly in the early stages – get back to him two or three days later

b.      The type of communication – don’t get caught up in texting, MSN or Skype chat.  If you do want to talk – either email letters to get to know each other, or talk on the phone or see each other perhaps once per week face to face

c.       Topics and depth of conversation – talk of general things and lighter, safe topics.  Perhaps education, family (although not divulging secrets or dramas), the weather, current activities, your favourite books/films

d.      Safety in numbers.  Just as in pre-dating days, be chaperoned by older more responsible people – so you are not tempted to go off and ‘snog’ in the corner or worse…

e.      Ask your close friends or family what they think (although remember sometimes you may be unaware of an ulterior motives rather than your highest interest)

If you can think of any other ways, please let us know by commenting.

Stay tuned for the next post which is on how to prepare yourself to find your true love.