Today, dating typically starts with outer attributes. Is that person pleasant looking, sexually attractive, doing well, or well-connected? If yes, the next steps are dating, and then caressing and sex. If that works out fine, then both parties might consider commitment.
But sex is a powerful force. It can muddle up our thinking. Relationships should start from friendship to see if both sides can understand, accept, appreciate, and work with each other, preferably towards common goals. Then they move on to deeper friendship, romance, and commitment, before going to sex.
Fulfillment in sex comes from deep physical intimacy and full commitment from both sides. So, sex and marriage should be tied.
Masturbation focuses on just giving ourselves satisfaction. After reaching climax, one can feel emptier and lonelier. Also, masturbation depends on fantasy and is addictive. Don’t let it control you.
Don’t try to know everything about the other person before committing. We are imperfect. Your relationship with your spouse depends on God, and your intent to honor Him and to honor your commitment. Also, God continues to work on us. So, don’t be too cautious. After we have spent some time with a person and we really like that person, we should trust God and commit.
What if we are constantly being rejected in dating? Try to identify the reasons. Ask your close friends for suggestions. Then move on and seek out other opportunities.
Some want to remain single. That can be a good choice. Paul recommended being single (1 Corinthians 7:1-7), and Christ was single on earth. Though God said it was good for Adam to have Eve (Genesis 2), happy marriage is difficult to have because we are imperfect. A spouse can reprogram your self-image, which could inflict damage on you.
So, don’t be fixated on getting married or being single. Some idolize being single because they value independence. Others treat being single as a plague. Avoid both.
For some, being single comes easily. That is a gift. But for most, it is better to be married.
Ask God for guidance, and thank God for the outcome, whether you are single or married.
Summarized from a Tim Keller sermon: