The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7 ESV)

There is an old expression. Maybe you’ve heard it. Maybe you haven’t. It isn’t used much anymore. But it needs to be used more. The saying is “putting the cart before the horse.” This little gem of wisdom is all about the the natural order of things.

There is a question that is commonly asked more than any other. When and how do I bring up the subject? Do I join a dating site and create an ad? Do I just start a relationship? Do I marry this person in hopes that he/she may be interested?

There is no set answer. No exact time frames to follow. There are no easy answers in life. There are no magic bullets. Every situation is as unique as the individuals involved. What works for one person may not work for another.

Two common mistakes people make when approaching this subject are as follows.

1.) Seeking the ANR before the actual relationship.

2.) Bringing it up way too early. An example would be during the early dating phase.

The first one is easy to address. And all it really takes is self-control. Don’t mention that you  want an ANR. Especially on dating sites. ANR is still shrouded in taboo. If you mention it in your profile you are asking for trouble. Women will pass men over thinking they are freaks. And women will get offers from tons of men only interested in their breasts.

Seek the relationship first. Get to know the person. Learn about them. Start building a bond. If you have a healthy relationship the subject of ANR will probably come up. You must go through the process first. ANR requires a strong partnership to work. This is the time to build that partnership.

The second one is much harder to address. But if you are in tune with each other already you will be able to recognize signs of interest. The best way is too ask questions. Let the relationship progress. Ask questions based on this progress.

Bringing it up on the first, second, or third date is not generally a good idea. Remember, ANR is still considered “taboo” and he/she may look at you weird or start running for the door.

If you are bringing it up at the same time in every relationship, and are still getting rejected. Change your approach. Doing the same thing every time expecting different results is called insanity.

I know you are craving the intimacy that ANR offers. But don’t let that desire overrule your good sense. Constant rejection is hard to deal with. And if your are not careful resentment will set in.

Put your relationship before the ANR. If you put your ANR before your relationship you won’t have one. If you put your relationship before your ANR you will have one. Use wisdom and understanding. And be careful to not “put the cart before the horse.”