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He warned us to avoid disastrous clichés such as "you complete me", and "I couldn't live without you." It's Christian faith, and the profound value of identity in God, that gives you the self confidence you need. Most marriages in human history have been arranged ones, and dating, van der Hart says "is what happens when you have to arrange your own marriage." Instead, he said, we can use Biblical principles as we date and relate, such as emphasis on character formation.

For example, Van der Hart invited us to make certain promises to ourselves as we date.

It just so happens that over the last few weeks Holy Trinity Brompton church in London has been running The Dating Course.

The course describes itself as "for anyone who is single or in a relationship who wants to explore how to date well." Why can dating, especially for Christians, be so hard? Joseph Hartropp had a chance to attend the course, partly for journalistic purposes, but also because he's having a terrible time with online dating and doesn't want to be alone forever. You might meet someone I rather enjoyed the Dating Course.

The course speaker, HTB pastor Will van der Hart, is friendly, funny, and full of genuinely refreshing insight. Lets (not) talk about sex The well-attested Christian preoccupation with sex and marriage was addressed immediately. What might stand out there is the word "attractional".