How Should a Christian Date?: It’s Not as Complicated as You Think – Eric Demeter

How Should a Christian Date Eric Demeter
How Should a Christian Date?: It's Not as Complicated as You Think by Eric Demeter
Published by Moody Publishers on September 7, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Marriage
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No matter what you might have heard, God didn’t mandate a divine way to date. What He did do, in the Bible, is lay out principles for wise and healthy relational living among believers. His boundaries for us are wise and good. But exactly how you apply God’s principles to your dating life is up to you to figure out. All you need is guidance, not micromanagement.

How Should a Christian Date? doesn’t try to boss you around. It just offers wisdom about the relevant principles in God’s Word. Eric Demeter—a single guy who has given this subject a lot of thought—separates the truths of Scripture from the baggage of Christian dating subculture. He talks to you like a big brother or favorite uncle, not your mother. You’ll cover topics such as:
Busting 12 Myths of Christian Dating, How to Meet People & Have a Good First Date, Clearing the Fog in Sex and Physical Affection, Getting the Best from a Breakup, Take Dating One Stage at a Time.

There isn’t one “Christian” way to date. But there are ways that Christians should handle themselves while dating . . . and those are the truths to live by.

This is one of those cases where you really can judge a book by its cover. When I first saw this book advertised, I was delighted with the guy on the cover giving his friend a panicked running monologue of all the things he thought he needed to discuss with a potential love interest. It rang so true, and piqued my interest in the book. I am happy to report that the interior content lives up to the cover, and the book is full of practical, realistic, down-to-earth advice and humor. Even though many Christian books about relationships are dogmatic, systematized, and overly niche, this book is non-prescriptive and applies to people from different backgrounds and Christian denominations.

Practical Wisdom

How Should a Christian Date?: It’s Not as Complicated as You Think reflects a range of different life and relationship experiences, drawing wisdom from Bible passages, research, counseling, and personal stories from the author and people he knows. Eric Demeter writes as single guy with lots of life and dating experience, and his perspective is unique and refreshing in a market mostly saturated by single women’s and married people’s advice. Demeter writes in clear and biblical terms about the benefits of both single and married life, and breaks down a number of common myths that Christians believe about dating and marriage. After he lays this foundation, he shares practical advice for finding a partner and pursuing marriage.

Demeter addresses core issues that people need to address within themselves and in their relationships to have a healthy dating life, and he outlines the basic stages of a relationship to help people stay on the same page with their dates instead of assuming that something is more or less serious than the other person thinks. However, he doesn’t presume a specific pathway to a successful future marriage, and his framework applies in many different contexts for people with different backgrounds. This book also offers practical wisdom and advice for navigating common issues such as finding a date and asking them out, handling communication and expectations, maintaining sexual purity, handling break-ups well, and pursuing lasting love after marriage.

A Few Critiques

Every reader will approach this book from their own perspective, and different people will have different areas of agreement or disagreement with the author. Because he writes in a very casual, conversational, and open-handed style, he encourages reflective thought rather than trying to force a particular opinion on people, but I do have a few specific critiques I want to mention. These aren’t deal-breakers, but they do keep me from giving the book five stars. My main concern is that when Demeter writes about “in sickness and in health,” he only references the unknown future, not existing disabilities or health issues. I found this oversight disappointing, and hope that he will include insights and illustrations related to this in future writing.

I also think that this book should have included guidelines for how to tell a potential spouse about trauma or baggage from the past. Demeter references the importance of these conversations, and he encourages his readers to build a solid foundation of trust first, but I wish that he had offered specific advice for how to handle conversations like that. Also, I would question his recommendation to wait until engagement before discussing trauma or baggage. That could be wise in some cases, but in others, someone might feel manipulated that their partner waited until that stage to drop a bombshell. It would also be very painful for someone to wait until engagement to share about a challenging part of their past and then learn that their fiancé can’t handle it. I think that this book would have been stronger with a chapter devoted to the nuances of this issue.


This is an exceptionally good Christian book about dating. I would recommend it to both teenagers and adults, and it could be great for a group of friends to read and discuss together so that they can encourage and support each other in pursuing healthy love lives. This would also be a good selection for parents to read with their teenage kids, even if both parties feel like dying of embarrassment at some points, and dating and engaged couples could greatly benefit from working through this material together and letting it spark meaningful conversations that clarify their values, goals, and future as a couple. How Should a Christian Date? is a funny, practical, engaging, and down-to-earth guide, and I highly recommend it.