Dating coach and host of "The Heart of Dating" podcast, Kait Warman, shared tips for Christians looking for love during the pandemic and for singles spending Valentine’s Day without a significant other.
In her debut book, Thank You for Rejecting Me: Transform Pain into Purpose and Learn to Fight for Yourself, Warman shares how she grew through her deepest, darkest rejections and discovered tools on how to love herself and others.
As a young girl, Warman grew up in a tumultuous family. Although her parents did the best they could, she was surrounded by constant fighting. While trying to earn their love and attention, she began to do things to be accepted and seen. That pattern led her to date a plethora of guys as she searched for affirmation and love to combat her many insecurities.
After she found herself in an abusive relationship in college, she eventually broke free and found the strength to turn to God and discover her true identity in Him.
“This process was truly a journey. One filled with countless tears, a ton of deconstruction, and awakening to self-compassion," Warman told The Christian Post. "It’s today that I am thankful and deeply honored to walk next to thousands of men and women on their journey to wholeness and healing as they navigate the ever-so ambiguous world of dating as a Christian.”
The dating coach now offers tools to help people heal from past hurts, walk in strength, victory, and find love in their future. The following is an edited transcript of The Christian Post’s interview with Warman, who offers valuable dating advice and tips leading up to Valentine’s Day.
Christian Post: What inspired you to write this book?
Warman: We all have notes of rejection that color our stories. Whether that is from abuse, betrayal, sexual shame, not fitting in, being uninvited, being told 'no,' or even the brutal stings of self-rejections that come through self-hatred and insecurity.
These rejections can keep us small and scared. They can destroy every ounce of goodness within us, even paralyze us from moving forward. Or they can become things we grow through, learn from, and one day claim as victory.
When I reflected on the pain in my life, I realized this was my story. Tapping into the courage to write Thank you for Rejecting Me, exposed me to deeper depths of healing I didn’t even know I needed.
As strange as it might seem to be thankful for seasons of suffering, layers of shame, and all the lies and fears brought on by rejection, I’ve come to realize that I truly am. Through it all, I’ve finally been able to find what is underneath — the true me. This victory is what I hope to share with others as they learn to fight for themselves and turn their own pain into purpose through the course of life’s rejections.
CP: Many people have made being in a relationship their top goal. Is that the way one should enter into a relationship?
Warman: No, in fact, I venture to say, if you idolize relationships, need affirmations of love to survive, or put the idea of marriage on a pedestal, you probably shouldn’t even date.
Instead, date to get to know another amazing man or woman of God. Date to get curious and learn about someone’s story and background that is different from your own. Date to learn more about yourself and examine things that come up for you in the process. Dating can be an incredibly fun and eye-opening learning experience.
CP: Valentine’s Day is upon us. What are some dating tips you can share during COVID-19?
Warman: Valentine’s Day screams “all the feels,” whether you are feeling expectant and excited about someone you just started dating or are budding in your feelings of love and affection for someone you are seriously dating. My advice? Figure out what to do to uniquely love on someone special in your life.
What is your partner’s love language? How can you serve them in a unique way that will be special and unique to them? We often get wrapped in the cliches surrounding this holiday. Maybe it’s time to think outside the bubble of buying roses or chocolates and do something different and truly meaningful for the person you care about.
And if you’re single, maybe it’s time to finally "drop that hanky" to that crush you’ve been eyeing.
CP: Many single people in the church start out as just friends. How can someone go from “just friends” to dating?
Warman: Friendship can be an incredible basis for a great marriage. After all, you want to genuinely enjoy spending every day with that person. You don’t want to marry someone you don’t like being around! That being said, moving from just friends to dating can absolutely involve a risk. However, I say in my book, “Fully loving and truly living can be the riskiest yet most rewarding gift there is.”
If your good friend is someone you are romantically interested in, this is the perfect opportunity to break the ice and see if they would be open. Keep in mind, it might take a progression and some effort to move from the friend zone into something romantic. But my biggest advice is to take the risk, be prepared for rejection, and know that it may take some effort to move from the friend zone into the endzone.
CP: What are the signs that someone is ready to date?
Warman: There is no perfect time to date, but here are some questions you can ask yourself:
- Do you like yourself?
- Have you spent time processing and healing the trauma and pain of your past?
- What is your relationship with rejection?
- Do you feel healthily self-aware?
Dating will show you so much more about yourself than you could ever imagine. Use it as an opportunity to learn more, be better, and love more wholly.
CP: Can you share advice for anyone spending Valentine’s Day alone and who might believe that love will never come for them?
Warman: Valentine’s Day is not just for couples. I like to see it as a love holiday, which gives singles permission to spread love to others and to themselves.
So many singles are plagued with a scarcity mindset that they will never be chosen, accepted, or loved as they are. If that is you, I urge you to press into learning and loving yourself this holiday.
What do you have to bring to a relationship? How did God uniquely and beautifully design you? What do you have to offer the world? What you love about yourself will start attracting others who love those things as well.
CP: What advice can you share for Christians dating during a pandemic?
Warman: Just because dating is different doesn’t mean it is over. In 2020, over 70 percent of people met online! God works through technology and He can work through both digital and online dating.
Your dating life doesn’t have to be doomed because of a pandemic. It’s your choice to get stuck in the negative or pivot and choose to shift with the changing times. Shake things up, try online dating, give digital dating a shot, ask for a setup, be open as you go out and about, even with your mask on. Find creative ways to do ZOOM dates and thoughtful gestures like special deliveries or hand-written notes. There are so many ways to make dating during a pandemic work for you!