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Many guys believe that the key to a great dating relationship is finding someone who makes them happy, makes them feel good and makes them look good. My wife calls this the Arm Candy Syndrome; these guys usually end up alone and full of spiritual and emotional “cavities” or holes that no person can possibly fill.

We are often taught from a young age to approach dating looking for what we can get out of it, instead of trying to bring the best out of the other person. If you need some help in this area, take heart – you’re not alone.

I believe the people who have the best dating relationships (and hopefully, eventually, marriages) are those who are willing to change whatever they need to in order to bring the best out of the other person.

Take a look at these 3 simple steps to transform your dating life:

Step 1: Get a New Attitude

Every respectable lady wants a gentleman; therefore, to attract a respectable lady you need to be a gentleman. A gentleman, in his truest form, is a man who will lead a woman with a selfless attitude. At the end of the day a selfless attitude trumps charm and humor.

2 Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.
Romans 12:2 (NCV)

This scripture talks about changing from within by changing our thinking. Becoming a gentleman is not just about changing your actions and opening the car door for your date (although you should do that), it is about changing the way you think and to beginning to think of others before yourself. Because we naturally tend towards thinking about ourselves, Developing a selfless attitude has to be something we commit to working on daily, not just in dating but in other relationships as well.

How selfless are you in your relationships? Don’t just think about dating relationships, but consider how selfless you are with your family, roommates, or coworkers. Do you genuinely want to help them get ahead? Sacrifice time to help their lives get better? A guy who does these things is attractive to the women around him.

Step 2: Get a New Look (be appreciative, considerate, and thoughtful)

Now, let’s be honest here… You can be extremely selfless but if you don’t have good hygiene and still wear clothes you wore in high school, you’re going to have a very difficult time dating. However, getting a new look is not about obsessing over your appearance alone; it’s about being respectful and considerate. When your goal is to be thoughtful and appreciative, you will automatically look better on the outside. You’ll put effort into taking care of yourself. You’ll clean out your car and fill up the gas tank before a date, you’ll show up on time, and you will have planned well, communicated early and thoroughly.

Check out this quick scripture:

Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers . . .
1 Peter 2:17

Single men – you may need a new look. A new look gives a good impression; it means you respect God, yourself, and the other person enough to put some time and effort into presenting your best.

Ask a friend with style for some constructive feedback – it may be a little hard on the ego but it will be worth it!

Step 3: Get some New Moves

Finally, you need new moves. Many guys have a one-trick pony approach to dating. They use the same move over and over again, expecting a different result. If what you’re doing is not working, change it up – and don’t get down on yourself. We all need help sometimes; take a look at our friend from the movie Hitch:

One easy way to find some new spiritual moves is to look at how the Bible describes love in 1 Corinthians 13 and pick one area to grow in:

Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
1 Corinthians 13:3-7 (Message)

Try not to be predictable. Get ideas from guys who are married or in steady relationships about what helped them and what didn’t. Find out from her friends what she loves. Ask her questions. Write down things you learned from the conversation.

New moves keep the dating relationship vibrant and exciting and you will most likely get that second date.

Written by

Martin Oji

Martin Oji is a contributor to BACC Inspire. He works with college students and young professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Martin is the 4th best basketball player on the Inspire roster.