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These guys didn’t guard me from every mistake or failure — no one can — but they played a massive role in helping me mature as a man, a boyfriend, and now as a husband.

And I wish I would have listened to them more in dating.

Most people will float along with you because they’re excited for you, but you need a lot more than excitement right now — you have plenty of that yourself.

You desperately need truth, wisdom, correction, and perspective.

My golden rule in dating is a warm, but unpopular invitation to — has dried out and gone stale in your life.

But to be accountable is to be authentically, deeply, consistently known by someone who cares enough to keep us from making mistakes or indulging in sin.

The people willing to actually hold me accountable in dating have been my best friends.

I’ve had lots of friends over the years, but the ones who have been willing to press in, ask harder questions, and offer unwanted (but wise) counsel are the friends I respect and prize the most.

The truth is that we all need a third wheel — in life and in dating — people who truly know us and love us, and who want what’s best for us, even when it’s not what we want in the moment.

I could go on, and if you’re a part of almost any kind of Christian community, you probably can too.

Even though we’re following Jesus, and reading the same Bible, and aiming for the covenant of marriage, our dating advice can be surprisingly wide and diverse.

Only people who love Christ more than they love you will have the courage to tell you that you’re wrong in dating — wrong about a person, wrong about timing, wrong about whatever.

Only they will be willing to say something hard, even when you’re so happily infatuated.

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