I don’t think there’s a consensus within the ANR community. Personally, I don’t waste time. I’m completely convinced that an ANR is a huge blessing, so I’m upfront about it. My general principle is first or second date depending on how well we appear to get along, and if she’s an online prospect then it’s always the first Skype video chat. I feel something this beneficial and Christ-exalting should be brought up sooner rather than later. I really don’t want to lead a woman on.
Being candid serves us both. There’s no point waiting until our engagement party to reveal something of this magnitude. I always begin my disclosure by acknowledging how early it is to speak of such intimate matters, but I’m also always sure to let her know my firm belief that the earlier, the better. I have never had a woman get upset at my timing, most likely because of my gradual, cautious approach to broaching the subject, it’s quite the contrary as they always tend to be grateful for my early disclosure. I must reiterate the necessity of cordiality in this kind of situation. Needless to say, there has to be a certain level of safety and warmth between two people before something this intimate is revealed, whether that level is reached on the first date or the tenth, so I usually first chat about spiritual topics and other things for at least an hour before the revelation. Also important: be sure to reveal in a place that affords you no privacy, such as a restaurant. It is my firm conviction that when dating, Christians should have no visual privacy, auditory privacy is understandable.
I’m repeating myself by saying fifteen minutes into the date might be a tad early, and for me, fifteen dates is too long, because I don’t want to end up developing feelings for a woman who rejects this beautiful intimacy.
“Dating has enough pitfalls already. Why open the door to something additional to lust after, after only one date?”, some Christians might object.
Great question. To that I say individual results vary. I don’t recommend everyone follow my M.O. Personally, I don’t view any of the ladies any differently. With me, I honestly see zero chance of an ANR happening before marriage. I still see them the same way – as God’s daughters, with all purity, and I’ve seen little evidence of them lusting after me subsequent to the ANR revelation. To me, the foreknowledge of an ANR in marriage is like having foreknowledge of sex in marriage- and we all fall under that category. So talking about it cautiously before marriage does little to nothing to increase the temptation every Christian couple already faces when dating. Moreover, it’s hard for authentic Christians to have ANRs without being found out because of the major commitment required.