Accordingly, when we are speaking of "dating" we are referring to something more than just friendly relationships between people of opposite persuasion.
We are talking about a peculiar kind of relationship that is beyond mere friendship. If dating includes giving one's heart away or any sort of exclusive relationship-claim whereby obligations are imposed upon another person without an eye toward marriage, then not only may Christians not date non-Christians - they may not date Christians either!
The right balance, for those not called to singleness and celibacy, is to look for someone of spiritual compatibility, but to understand from the start that this is someone with whom you will share hardship and struggles as much as the much-advertised (literally) delights of Christian marriage. No matter how perfect the match, this is going to require some work.
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What is it to have a commitment to another that can be broken for any reason? If dating includes considering one for marriage, then obviously Christians may not date non-Christians because Christians may not consider marrying non-Christians any more than a man may consider marrying another man. If dating does not include considering one for marriage, then what is the Christian's purpose in dating? Those words mean commitment; yet when dating, the commitment only goes as far as the "feeling." What does it mean to say "I love you" if you may break up tomorrow because you found someone better?