I was reading a book that my friend Dietrice let me borrow called And The Bride Wore White by Dannah Gresh; it's an absolute MUST READ for any young woman of any age, and as I read it, I came across the Loose Lips Contract and Strategic Exit Phrases. I took the liberty of pasting my own below.
Loose Lip Contract
I will keep my lips loose on a date. I commit to do the following(Gresh):
A. I will begin each dating relationship with a "tennis-ball" load of questions. Once I have found someone who meets my "dream" list, I will date him using these guidelines for conversation(Gresh):
I will not discuss marriage to him until he romantically and lovingly makes the commitment to ask me to marry him(Gresh).
I will not discuss sex, physical contact, or my physical desires with him(Gresh).
I will keep physical contact to a minimum: the line stops at holding hands;
I will restrict our meetings to public places and remain vertical.
I will communicate a desire to live a lifestyle of purity(Gresh).
B. If I ever find myself out of bounds, I will cease immediately and point myself towards these strategic exit phrases:
Isn't it cool that God is watching us every minute(Gresh)?
Hey, have I told you that my father dusts me for fingerprints when I get home from a date(Gresh)?
Did you know that my dad was in the military? He knows about one hundred ways to kill someone and not leave any evidence.
Did you know that my dad owns four shotguns and a Cadillac?
I think I just started my period.
I don't feel well, can you take me home?
I recently got over a UTI and I have to pee. Can you take me somewhere?
You probably shouldn't get too close. I have a pretty strong can of mace that can explode any minute.
Is my taser on? Let me make sure it is.
I think this is going too far, too fast. Please get off of me.
SIGNATURE: April Morton
DATE: September 14, 2012
Please be aware that this is Dannah Gresh's Loose Lip contract but it is tailored to myself and the last eight exit phrases belong to me. This contract is not particularly formal, but it is very useful. I would encourage you to make your own following the same format as the one listed under Documents in the tabs above. I urge you, please don't take this contract lightly. When you write your eight additional exit phrases and sign your name you are committing to walk this out through hell or high water. Commit to it. Also included on this site is a page on the levels of intimacy in relationships also found in the book. Something that the author, Dannah Gresh, advised was to write out where your line was; in other words, where you will not go in regards to intimacy, until you are married. When I was completing this activity, I had determined to have my line stop at holding hands. I vowed that I would never kiss a man again until I'd met the man that I was going to marry and he had proposed. Needless to say, this was easier said than done.
It took a while before the seriousness of my commitment sank in and I made many mistakes in relationships along the way. But when I seriously committed to this contract, I went out of the dating game for a while. When I finally did start seeing someone again, while I maintained purity, I lowered my standard. I behaved like a woman on the verge of getting married rather than what I was: a single,unattached woman of God. Neither of us had any claims on the other and our parents and even our mentors saw that neither of us was ready or mature enough for that type of commitment. We were in the throws of puppy love, not GOD ORDAINED love.
Once that relationship was over, and I had gotten past my grief at losing him, and my anger at having my heart broken, I began to discover something that I hadn't realized about that relationship. That relationship had been so all consuming to me, that I had thought it was the ultimate, but looking back, I was willing to overlook all reason to be with him. Things had happened so quickly and I was so completely head over heels for him, that I had begun to neglect the wisdom of people in my life who I had already asked to keep me in line; and no one could say anything to me contrary to what I was feeling because how could they understand?
My lesson to you, dear reader, is don't EVER abandon the wisdom of people in your life. Always value it because it could save you from heartache. When I was with him, No one was on board with my decision; not because my choice in who I wanted to be with wasn't of any value, it just wasn't what was best for me. "You have to ask yourself, how of God the relationship really is, if you have to hurt yourself or others to keep it," these are the words my pastor said not too long ago in regards to this very issue. I was hurting myself by neglecting the wisdom that would have saved me from time wasted and from heartache.
What I've come to understand is that when the time is right, and you meet the person you believe that God intended for you, "there will be agreement from everyone that matters (Michael T. Smith)" that this relationship is God ordained. I've realized that struggling to find something that I never needed to piece together has been completely unnecessary. "God knows exactly what you'll need for the correct season of life that you'll need it in (Michael T. Smith)." You don't need to struggle to be in God's perfect will for your life and you don't need to struggle to make a man fit the criteria for the man. At the end of the day, the person you have forced to fit that mold will never truly fit that mold, they'll simply be what they were:a man. Only the person God intended for you will truly be everything you ever wanted and then some. But make sure you know what to look for, because when that time comes, the experience of it is completely beyond anything you could have ever dreamed. When that day comes, you want to be able to say with confidence, "You were worth waiting for."
To my husband,
Those very words are what I've always wanted to say to you. Pretty words in a page-and-a-half length letter would never have compared to those five words: You were worth waiting for. I'm writing today in a room next to some windows overlooking the St. Johns. I hope these words reach you well. As always,
I've loved you since today.
April Morton, Author of I have loved you since... is a writer, student and designer with a love for all things bridal.