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In a relationship, who do you think is more likely to say “I love you” first — men or women?If you are like most people, you might be tempted to say women.One of our bedrock governing principles in biblical dating — and in how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ generally — is not to “defraud” our single brothers and sisters by implying a greater level of commitment between us and them than actually exists (see 1 Thessalonians 4:6).I discuss this principle more fully in “Principles for Drawing Boundaries” and “What Does a Biblical Relationship Look Like?Can this level of emotional intimacy happen between people who have been dating for a shorter amount of time? But the longer a couple dates, the harder it becomes to avoid it.Scripture calls Christians to “flee” from sexual immorality (1 Corinthians ), not to “see how difficult we can make the temptation and still prevail” or to “see how close to the line we can get without sinning.” In my view, Scripture teaches clearly that there is to be romantic physical intimacy outside of marriage.Happiness was associated with feelings of romantic excitement, especially for those who had long-term relationship goals (people looking for a commitment in a relationship rather than sex).
If we act like we’re married before we’ve made that commitment, we’re defrauding (and sinning).
When looking at actual relationships, however, men were more likely to profess their feelings first!
62% of participants reporting on past relationships and 70% reporting on current relationships stated that the man said “I love you” first.
We might even say that getting to know one another better and more deeply is (up to a certain limited point, of course) the very of a dating relationship.
When two people are dating — especially when it’s going well and two people are really into one another — the desire to spend more and more time together, to know each other better and better, to confide in each other more and more often and exclusively, is overwhelming.