Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Nancy Van Pelt
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000204
00:30 Hello I'm Shelley Quinn and welcome
00:32 to another Issues and Answers.
00:35 You know if you are 30 or over and you
00:37 are single or if you know someone who is
00:39 30 and over and they are single then you'll
00:42 want to call them and tell them to stay tune
00:44 to this because we are gonna be talking
00:46 about the dating game for singles and
00:49 particularly for that age group today.
00:52 I wanted to share this scripture with you and
00:54 its Psalms 16:11, one of my favorite verses
00:57 in the Bible. It says, you will show me the
01:00 path of life and in your presence I find
01:04 fullness of joy. Well we have someone
01:07 here today who is going to help us see
01:10 what God's path is for those who are single
01:13 and how to, learn how to love smart and date
01:17 smart for the singles. And I'm referring to
01:20 our special guest who has done over a 1000
01:23 seminars, she's written 28 books and she has
01:26 been in 55 countries and it's my pleasure to
01:29 welcome Nancy Van Pelt. Nancy, I'm so glad
01:32 you are here today. Thank you I'm
01:33 delighted to be here. Well this is gonna be
01:36 really, I think something exciting because we
01:38 have so many people who write and call
01:41 3ABN and they're asking us, do something for the
01:45 singles, and when we talk about smart love
01:47 for singles that has something that we
01:49 really need to be trained in. Yes.
01:53 Because singles have special problems,
01:55 especially after they pass that age 30,
01:58 get into that age bracket beyond that
02:00 and then especially also following death
02:03 or divorce. Yes. And what do they do in the
02:07 dating game. Amen, amen. Now you are
02:10 married, your husband is Harry and you had
02:13 three children, so you've been through
02:16 a lot of this you've seen it not only in
02:20 your ministry but in home, in raising your
02:22 children and you know about his dating
02:24 game, tell us a little bit about how you
02:26 became really focused on this issue.
02:29 I had written a book called Complete
02:31 Courtship which was about dating for
02:33 young adults and then the singles began
02:36 hearing some of these principles that I was
02:39 dating and they said, Nancy, we want you
02:41 to come to singles' retreats and focus on
02:44 some of the same issues and just
02:46 upgrade it a little bit. So I was doing that
02:49 but then I thought no this is not good
02:51 enough, the issues that singles faced are
02:55 entirely different then they are when they
02:57 are teenagers, yes. So I thought about
02:59 writing a book, so I wrote a book called
03:02 Smart Love: A Field Guide for Single Adults.
03:05 And then I teach singles ministries you
03:08 know conferences and so forth.
03:10 Praise the Lord. Well I know that you are
03:12 very big on the idea of pacing a
03:15 relationship and you've actually kind
03:17 of divided this down into seven steps in
03:20 a relationship, why don't you talk about
03:22 the dating relationship for us.
03:24 Alright, I believe that pacing a relationship
03:27 is so important. You see it's called
03:30 the dating game, well you know we don't
03:34 play a very good game if we don't
03:36 know the rules, right. And people don't
03:39 know the rules so they can't play a good
03:41 game but one of the rules is learning to
03:44 pace a relationship, runners have to learn
03:47 to pace a relationship or they burn out
03:50 before the end of the race. So I have divided the
03:53 dating game into seven stages.
03:56 And singles have trouble accepting
03:58 these seven stages because they think
04:00 that they can fall in love faster than a
04:04 teenager can. They're mature, but
04:07 you know what it doesn't matte whether
04:09 you are 70 or whether you are 17 falling in
04:13 love always affects you the same way.
04:16 And when you are 70 it could even affect
04:19 you a little bit more deeply because it's
04:23 been so long since you felt the
04:25 accelerating feelings of love, right, it could
04:28 fool you into trying to raise through
04:31 these stages too fast. But I'll tell you about
04:33 some of these stages. Stage number one is friendship.
04:37 Now what does friendship has to do
04:39 with a relationship? It has everything.
04:42 Amen. Your best dating relationships
04:45 are going to come from your circle of friends.
04:48 So one of the big rules for a single to do
04:52 then is to have a wide circle of friends and
04:55 keep that friendship circle going.
04:58 This is how they're going to meet a lot of
05:00 new potential partners. But in friendship
05:04 there is no love, direct love feelings at least
05:06 certainly not at the beginning but you can
05:09 see a person easier and you can see them
05:12 after they get a speeding ticket,
05:14 you can see them after they've had
05:16 a hard day at work. You can be with the
05:18 opposite sex and get to know them faster in
05:22 a friendship level then you could on ten
05:25 formal dates, where you dress up and you
05:27 go out and you're both on your best behavior.
05:30 That's what I was just getting ready to say is
05:32 that, you know and this is something that
05:35 we don't really, a lot of us at least don't like
05:38 to refer to any relationship as a game.
05:41 But truly the dating courtship there is that
05:45 peacock standards what I call it,
05:46 where you know you've got someone
05:48 who is on their best behavior,
05:50 they're spreading those peacock
05:51 feathers and you don't get to know someone
05:54 as you said but being a friend is critical to a
05:58 relationship if it's going to be a long
06:00 lasting relationship and especially if
06:02 you're gonna marry someone I can't
06:03 imagine being married to someone
06:05 who isn't a really good friend.
06:07 A genuine, yes. And very often when
06:11 I am dealing with a married person,
06:12 a married couple for example I'll say,
06:15 do the two of you like each other?
06:18 Like each other. Well what happened?
06:20 They can't stand each other, what happened?
06:23 They fell in love so rapidly; they forgot to
06:26 move through these stages that I'm talking
06:28 about right now, slow enough so they found
06:31 out if they like each other to start with.
06:34 Okay I'm gonna ask you a question,
06:36 do you think that we really "fall in love"
06:39 or, 'cause they I think that we grow in love
06:42 in that state, you know I stayed single
06:45 for a long time, I had a mother who have
06:48 been married multiple times and then I didn't
06:50 want to repeat that mistake.
06:51 So I stayed single a long time, developed
06:54 a career and there were many times
06:56 when I thought I was in love, I was even
06:58 engaged a number of times before I met my husband.
07:02 And it's interesting when I met my
07:03 husband we really were more, we went
07:06 through that friendship then we became
07:08 business partners and worked together and
07:11 I saw him in every imaginable situation
07:15 and we knew each other inside and out
07:17 before we really began dating.
07:19 That's the way to do it. You know we, we talk
07:22 about a soldier falling in battle, we talk about
07:25 leaves falling off a tree, that isn't the way
07:28 we fall in love, it's just a term, right,
07:31 that we use. And it's much better to
07:33 say that we grow into love, amen.
07:36 And a tree grows, how long does it take
07:39 a tree to grow, it's a lengthy process, right.
07:43 But we don't want to slow down the
07:44 process of falling in love. That's you know,
07:47 once those accelerate feelings takeover then
07:50 we just kept put the brakes on it.
07:52 But stage one is the, the friendship stage, right.
07:56 Alright. Stage two is the date, is casual dating.
08:02 Alright now what keeps it casual is that
08:06 you are not in love yet and it's an extension
08:09 of the friendship you already know the
08:11 person and now you are seeing that person alone.
08:16 No, the group is no longer with you so it
08:19 takes the relationship to a new level but
08:21 there is no commitment, you are still free to
08:25 date others, should there be other people
08:27 in your life. But because you are
08:29 alone you get to know that person on a
08:31 different level so it's, the relationship keeps
08:34 growing and I like to see people stay in that
08:38 casual dating relationship for a good period of time.
08:41 So they really get to know one another.
08:43 Now, I can already see that there's
08:45 probably some problems in that
08:47 if you are coming into a causal dating
08:50 relationship, how do you keep it casual
08:52 on both sides. Well, if you got someone,
08:56 what kind of activities would you recommend
08:58 so that you are not letting one person
09:01 their feeling start blossoming and
09:03 growing where they want something more
09:05 faster than the other. You've asked a very
09:07 good question because I talk about two kinds
09:10 of dates and I'm not talking about good
09:12 ones and bad ones. Right. There are two
09:14 kinds of dating activities, one is the
09:17 spectator date and one is a participation type date.
09:21 Now what would we do on a spectator date,
09:24 you're going to sit and watch.
09:26 Well what kind of examples can I use,
09:29 going to a sporting event, going to the
09:31 movies probably the most popular date in
09:34 America, going to plays or a concert,
09:37 those are spectator type dates.
09:39 And they have some advantages because
09:42 anybody can buy a ticket and go and sit
09:46 but what's the purpose of dating.
09:49 The purpose of dating is to get to know the
09:51 other person when you are sitting in a
09:54 movie for example what are you getting
09:57 to know about the other person, nothing.
10:00 Next to nothing, there is no time for
10:02 conversation or anything like that,
10:05 so it defeats the purpose of dating.
10:08 So I recommend to people the
10:10 participation type of date what I am talking
10:14 about, let's talk about cooking a meal together.
10:18 If a couple were to plan a meal what
10:21 would you learn? You would learn about
10:23 the other person's likes and dislikes.
10:26 If you were to go shopping together,
10:28 what would you learn? You could learn more
10:30 about their likes and dislikes but you could
10:32 add to that now, how they like to spend money?
10:35 Then if you come home and you prepare
10:37 the meal together in a kitchen you begin to
10:40 learn how you work together as a team.
10:43 So you can learn so much more about any
10:45 kind of an activity where the two of you
10:48 can participate. It slows things down,
10:51 you're not spending time in a dark movie
10:55 theater or sitting around listening to
10:57 music or watching videos and DVDs that
11:01 kind of thing which can lead to heavy
11:03 physical involvement. So it has many, many
11:07 advantages. So that's how you
11:09 keep things casual. Okay and in the
11:11 casual stage you just hit on something that
11:14 I think is probably very important, in the
11:16 casual stage you are going to be to keep
11:19 things casually, you've got to avoid
11:20 that heavy physical involvement or just,
11:22 exactly, even that kind I mean what
11:25 would recommend not going any further than
11:28 a hand holding or a hug at this casual date stage.
11:32 I can't lay any hard guidelines on that but
11:36 couples have to look at what is appropriate
11:39 for our level of involvement here,
11:41 we are casual friends. I maybe dating this
11:44 person I maybe going skiing with this one
11:46 and off to it, so I may have two or three
11:49 partners, how much emotional and sexual
11:54 energy do any of us have to invest in that
11:57 many people. And when you're talking
11:59 about that we are not talking about
12:02 the truly, well I start to say intimate acts,
12:05 but what we are talking about sexual
12:06 energy, we're still talking about keeping
12:08 things very Biblical, being very pure, yes.
12:12 But there is something even the intimacy of
12:16 exchanging the kiss for example that is
12:19 very intimate act and if you're still dating a
12:23 number of other people, in my mind
12:25 anyway if I was going on a casual date with
12:27 someone, it seizes to be casual once you
12:30 start kissing, exactly. Okay. It changes the
12:33 focus, right. And kissing leads to more,
12:39 you see whatever level of intimacy
12:42 we've achieved this time we want to take
12:44 it to another level another time, so every
12:48 person has to figure out. They need to know
12:50 my steps to pair- bonding, now that's
12:52 something that maybe we should do a
12:54 program on, the steps to pair-bonding are
12:57 what help people lay down guidelines and
13:00 what makes this so difficult Shelly is that
13:04 30 something singles many of them have
13:06 been married previously, yes.
13:09 So they're not used to putting limits on their
13:13 physical affection for one another.
13:15 So where is the stopping place when
13:18 you are no longer, you've been married
13:20 and you've been used to going through the
13:22 12 steps to pair- bonding on a regular
13:24 basis suddenly you reenter the dating
13:28 scene, you're supposed to stop
13:29 some place, people don't know where the
13:31 stopping place is. So then if you are doing,
13:35 I mean, I can't imagine being single
13:38 again, I mean just can't even imagine it
13:40 but there are so many who are single out
13:43 there that what, they've got to do is
13:46 I would say number one you are really
13:48 praying about who you are being friend,
13:51 I mean your friends, who you're going to
13:52 start a casual dating relationship, yes.
13:55 And pray together, I mean I would believe
13:57 that, that would be a very important thing
13:58 to begin, the beginning of your
14:01 relationship is to pray that the Lord will help
14:03 you develop this friendship to see if
14:06 you should go any further as into this
14:08 more serious dating relationship and ask
14:11 and set, I mean would you recommend that
14:14 you actually sit down and talk with one
14:16 another before you begin a casual dating
14:18 relationship and say let's set some ground
14:20 rules here, here's what we're going to do and
14:22 here's what we are not going to do because
14:24 we are not making a commitment to one
14:26 another to be exclusively dating one
14:29 another and we don't want our friendship to
14:32 be ruined here, so there's got to be some
14:34 kind of ground rules, isn't there?
14:36 Yes, and I recommend that,
14:37 that does not mean that you start dating
14:40 somebody and say hello my name is
14:42 Cynthia and I don't sleep around. Yeah.
14:45 But setting your ground rules,
14:47 there needs to be some spiritual
14:49 oneness and of course I recommend this.
14:53 But the trouble is now I believe in what
14:54 you're saying Shelley, but I want you to
14:56 know something when two people,
14:58 two single people think they are falling
15:00 in love and they pray about it, they God,
15:04 they say that God, I think they're hearing
15:06 anything that God wants them to hear,
15:09 you know they're just believing that all and
15:12 I'm not so sure all of that is from God.
15:16 Okay. So they do need to use their head
15:19 and their heart through this whole process.
15:22 Right. So once you've gone from your, just a
15:26 group activities with friends and you know
15:28 that you all have something, there's
15:31 something that's attracting you to one
15:33 another then you begin the casual
15:35 dating where you're gonna set some
15:36 ground rules and say we're at least not
15:38 going to I mean if we're still dating
15:40 others, we're going to keep this more of a
15:43 friendship, it's just two friends out doing
15:46 activities together and you recommend that
15:48 you're doing the participation type
15:51 things that you, yes, and learning about
15:53 one another. So what's the next stage?
15:55 Alright, the next stage is called special dating.
15:59 They still have not committed themselves
16:01 to an exclusive dating relationship but
16:05 they've spend some time; they know that
16:07 they're becoming more special to one another.
16:10 Now this and it can mean also two, for
16:12 two single adults who are both out in the
16:15 business world with jobs, their company
16:19 that they work for may have an annual
16:21 Christmas party or 4th of July picnic, yeah.
16:23 Who are they going to invite?
16:26 They are going to look around in their
16:27 circle of friends or in their special dating
16:31 relationships for somebody to invite,
16:33 so it means one of two things either a
16:35 special occasion event like that or it means
16:38 that the relationship is growing.
16:40 Now stage four then is where we move
16:43 into an exclusive dating relationship
16:46 and this is where the picture changes
16:47 because you are no longer dating around.
16:50 The two of you have an understanding that
16:53 there will be none of that and if there is
16:55 then of course the great break up will occur.
16:58 So there's, that's stage four then is a
17:00 commitment level, that's for the
17:02 commitment level. Okay. And of course
17:05 this has much greater meaning for a single
17:09 adult than it does for a teenager, absolutely.
17:12 Because as a teenager all 12 and 13 year
17:15 olds you know are going steady, but for
17:17 the single adult, when they get to that level
17:20 they are seriously looking one another
17:23 over and it can mean a lot.
17:25 This stage is an important stage
17:27 because this is where you can do some
17:28 serious evaluation. Once you become
17:31 formally engaged it's much too
17:32 difficult to break up. But this also changes
17:36 the relationship because they are
17:38 spending more time alone together,
17:41 this is where couples will declare their love
17:44 for each other, it's much more serious,
17:48 this is a good time for them to test their
17:50 communication skills. If a couple can not
17:53 communicate now they are not going to
17:56 do any better when they're married.
17:58 I was in the bank last week and I was
18:03 asking about some royalty money that
18:04 was being transferred and the banker said,
18:07 what's royalty money? I said that's when you
18:09 write a book. And he says, what do you
18:11 write about? I said I write about
18:12 dating relationships, are you married?
18:15 No, he said I'm living with somebody.
18:17 And he was telling me about he said, I need
18:20 to break up with her because our
18:23 communication is no good. I said if your
18:26 communication is no good now, what do
18:29 you think will happen later on should you marry,
18:32 and he said I've got to go home and change things.
18:35 But see once a couple is living together it is
18:37 so difficult to break up that relationship.
18:41 So a lot of this can go on right now in stage four.
18:47 Serious evaluation of how you communicate,
18:51 studying out your conflict resolution
18:55 skills, do you have the same likes and
18:57 dislikes, do you have the same values?
19:01 It's your values, your goals, absolutely, and
19:03 your belief system. These are what matter
19:06 in the end, absolutely. And this is a good
19:09 stage that, now are we, this is the next
19:12 stage engagement or, we have one stage
19:15 yet, okay, that's engaged to be engaged.
19:19 Alright. Now, I like that I've referred that
19:22 stage before. Well it's when the couple is
19:24 talking about getting married, but you see
19:27 it's not a formal out, I'll tell you in a
19:29 minute what a formal engagement is, but it's
19:31 just the talk stage. Someday when we're
19:34 married, someday when we have enough
19:36 money, someday when our past is
19:39 settled and the divorce is final and all
19:42 of this, then we'll get married.
19:44 But nothing is nailed down, so it's an in
19:47 between stage between four which is
19:50 the exclusive and six, which is
19:54 the formal engagement. And you said something
19:56 that I've just got to pick up on because
19:58 you said someday when the divorce is final.
20:01 So there are people who are separated but
20:05 not divorced, who are entering into the
20:09 dating game while they are waiting for
20:10 divorce, which I think you would probably
20:13 agree is a very unwise decision.
20:20 I take an extremely hard stand on people
20:27 dating while their divorce is still in
20:28 process and I don't care if they have been
20:29 separated 13 years, they are still married.
20:34 We have two kinds of people, married
20:35 people, dating people. Married people
20:37 simply do not date, and anybody who
20:41 date somebody who is in the process of
20:43 divorce or still married they are very
20:46 emotionally unstable and they are setting
20:49 themselves up for big trouble. Absolutely.
20:52 And it's something that you can't foretell
20:54 the future there so. That's right.
20:56 Now, let me ask this then once you get,
21:00 how do you know when you're in that
21:03 stage of dating where you are engaged to be
21:06 engaged, how do you know when it's time,
21:09 when it's right to say this is it?
21:11 I believe in people using their head as
21:14 well as their heart and there is a test, really?
21:17 That I want everybody to know about and to
21:21 take and it's called prepare.
21:24 And there are different versions of
21:25 it, if you have been married previously
21:27 and you still have children at home,
21:29 it's called prepare MC. If you have been
21:31 living together it's called prepare CC.
21:34 And this prepare test is a 125 questions,
21:38 it measures you in ten different areas,
21:42 finances, sex, your communication,
21:44 your goals, equality, all kinds of things.
21:48 And it can tell you within 86 percent
21:52 accuracy whether you will go through a
21:54 divorce or not. Any couple that
21:57 misses this opportunity to test their relationship
22:01 is really missing so much. Do people take those,
22:05 I mean what if somebody gets a low
22:07 score, do they really take it seriously and
22:09 say okay I can't have anything to do with
22:11 you, because we flunk this test.
22:12 Well you see after you take the test then
22:14 you go into counseling and you
22:15 work through the areas that you do not,
22:18 you do not agree on. Okay. And so it's a
22:22 powerful tool yet I know couples that
22:25 will not take it or well, where one
22:28 refuses to take it. How would you get
22:30 that resource? You have to find a
22:33 trained counselor, its in my book Smart
22:36 Love, how to contact the headquarters but a
22:39 person has to be certified in order to do this test.
22:42 And the test is called prepare, prepare.
22:44 Okay, yes. So now walk us through the
22:46 last stage here, now you're engaged,
22:47 alright the last stage is, still dating, right.
22:50 The last stage is a formal engagement
22:52 and several things happen here to make
22:55 it formal. First of all there is a public
22:57 announcement to family and friends,
22:59 this is so important when you become
23:02 formally engaged your family needs to
23:04 know, your parents want to know,
23:07 everybody needs to know, so it's no
23:09 longer a secret. A secret engagement
23:12 is no engagement at all, somebody is
23:15 fooling somebody. There is a reason why
23:17 people, well we don't want to tell anybody
23:19 yet, why don't they want to tell anybody?
23:22 Engagements are public affairs.
23:25 So perhaps the reason they don't want to tell
23:27 someone is because they're afraid of what
23:29 the family's going to say, afraid of
23:31 disapproval and that would be a red flag to me.
23:36 Red flags. Okay. And secondly a gift of
23:40 some kind needs to be given by the
23:42 prospective groom to the prospective bride,
23:45 this formalizes that she has something
23:48 special in her possession that has
23:51 been given to her by the greatest man on
23:55 earth that she can cherish forever.
23:59 And sometimes it can be any kind of a gift,
24:02 sometimes it's a ring, sometimes it's a set of
24:07 dishes, or a piece of furniture.
24:11 Then the third thing, a watch, a watch, yes,
24:15 it can be anything that she cherishes.
24:18 And so these are some of the things that
24:21 make an engagement formal, so then we are
24:27 we know and then a formal engagement
24:28 really again take your time you're not
24:32 married yet, this is your last opportunity
24:35 for a close look at our relationship.
24:39 And about 1/3rd of all engagements, formal
24:42 engagements, to break up an engagement is
24:46 still a far cry from being legally married
24:49 and it is not a signal that we are almost
24:51 married so we can began a sexual relationship.
24:54 No, I'm sorry that is still not God's plan for
24:59 the unmarried. Absolutely not.
25:01 You know I look back in my life and as
25:04 I said I was engaged a number of times and
25:06 thought that I was "in love."
25:09 But one thing that happened Nancy
25:10 when I was just 13 years old I remember
25:12 a babysat for a woman was a
25:16 Christian but she'd married a
25:18 non-Christian and her husband wouldn't
25:19 allow her to go to church and I used to
25:21 go to her all the time and say, are you
25:24 gonna lose your soul over a man,
25:25 so I prayed when I was 13, Lord don't let
25:28 me lose my soul over a man.
25:30 And it was interesting that I would sometimes
25:34 I would become engaged and all of a
25:36 sudden it would be like God was showing
25:38 me that this man not going to walk in the
25:42 kingdom and I get really serious with
25:44 God and really serious with the man
25:46 about making Christ the foundation of our marriage.
25:49 And as I said a number of times that I was
25:51 engaged I look back now and my husband
25:55 I know that the Lord really prepared the
25:57 two of us for one another and we went
26:00 through a two year period basically,
26:03 we dated six months, broke up but then we
26:05 continued to be friends and we
26:08 became business partners and we are so
26:11 well suited for one another.
26:13 And there is something that I look back on
26:14 any one of the other engagements I think
26:16 I would have been divorced. Yeah.
26:19 So the engagement, this whole process
26:21 when people might say we don't want to wait.
26:25 You're just actually saving yourself some
26:28 heartache down the road by making
26:30 certain that this person. I tell people all the
26:33 time, I tell young people the second
26:35 most important decision you'll ever make in
26:37 your life, that's right, is who you marry.
26:39 The first is whether you accept Christ as
26:41 your savior but that second is who you marry?
26:45 That's right. Now this entire process,
26:48 I have one I call the two year rule.
26:50 I don't think anybody should be
26:53 marrying anybody until they've completed.
26:57 This two year process all these seven stages
27:00 right through to marriage number seven,
27:03 should I believe take two years, not to rush.
27:07 Marriage is too important it is lasting.
27:10 And to rush through this at this stage just
27:13 shouldn't be done, I don't believe that,
27:14 that is God's plan for any single's life.
27:18 Sometimes they say well we're so,
27:19 I'm so old, better you take your time before
27:22 you get married, then live a lifetime of regret.
27:25 Yes, and unfortunately there are many who
27:28 had married too soon and do regret it.
27:30 Nancy, thank you so much for being here
27:32 today, what a joy it has been and I just,
27:35 I know we are gonna have you back to talk
27:38 some more on Smart Love for Singles.
27:40 And now we just want to thank you for
27:43 joining us today as well and please watch
27:46 again next time because we are going
27:47 to invite Nancy back and we're going to be
27:50 talking about God's advice
27:52 for Smart love for singles. Bye, Bye.