[This post is part of the 10 Books On… series]
A close friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) asked me recently about books on relationships (or more specifically, relational ethics). Though not all of these are necessarily geared toward relationships, specifically dating relationships, they are what I would consider helpful books for developing a good relationship ethic, or a good relational IQ. Since a good dating relationship is a romantic subset of good relationships in general, books that help you learn how to relate to others in godly way will naturally help any dating relationships you enter.
There are a plethora of dating books out there, but to be honest, the best advice I could give you on dating is to focus more on being “the one” rather than finding “the one.” Spend time developing your character through grace-driven effort, grow in your knowledge of God, and your relationships will be much better off. If your relationship with God is healthy, and you find someone of the opposite sex who also has a healthy relationship with God, it will not be that difficult to develop a healthy relationship with each other.
What I’m implying then is that bad dating relationships grow out of a bad relationship with God on the part of one person or the other. Rather than focusing too much time and attention to getting the dating relationship down, it is much more productive to focus your time on developing your character and your relationship with God. To paraphrase, Pslam 37:4, if you delight yourself in the Lord, you can pretty much date who you want, and if they are doing the same, you’ll probably have a pretty good relationship.
Obviously, it is a little more complex than that. But, that’s what I would consider the starting point for healthy relationships in general, and by implication healthy dating relationships also.