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So you’ve heard that one of the best places to find a nice guy or girl for you to spend the rest of your life with is in the church, huh? Or perhaps you’ve heard that’s where you find the biggest freaks. Either way, you want to date a Christian, but you’re just not sure how to go about it. After all, Christian culture can be a bit strange sometimes. But you’re right to think that most Christians are great people. They’re very accepting, welcoming, and open to exploring new things. For the most part, they’re good people to be in a relationship with, given that you don’t mind adhering to a few (mostly unspoken) “rules.” In order to help you out, I’ve listed a few of those rules and the best ways to navigate them. Enjoy.

Act saved. Being a Christian is all about maintaining appearances. Try not to yell at people in public or listen to any non-worship music (when other people are around) or dress to scantily because people won’t think that you know Jesus. Please make sure you remember your manners. And the more ways you can find to use Scripture in your daily life, the better.

Be the person you think people expect you to be. This idea goes hand in hand with the point above. Christians expect other Christians to act, talk, walk, and dress a certain way. If you don’t conform and fit into their “Christian” bubble, you must not really be saved. Make sure you hang around Christians and pick up their lingo to ensure complete comprehension of their culture and their expectations of you. If you don’t know what to say, be silent — they’ll think you’re really mature and spiritual.

Don’t talk about sex or anything having to do with sex. The Bible says, as singles, we’re not supposed to be having any sex and it makes us rather uncomfortable when you talk about it. It reminds us what we can’t do, and if we’ve done it before, as most have, it reminds us of all that we’re missing. Talking about sex is also uncomfortable because we don’t know how to respond or what to say.

Do talk about marriage. Christians love marriage because it allows us to have sex without other people judging us. Marriage is also one of those things we do because we’re told that we’re abnormal if we don’t want to get married or we’re still single in our later years (for Christians this means early 30s).

Always pray over any food before eating. It doesn’t matter if it’s a four course meal or a stick of gum — you better thank Jesus for that sustenance before he strikes you dead. And it shows other people that you pray when you’re not in church. It’s very important to appeal to people’s perceptions of what a Christian is and conform to that.

Don’t miss church under any circumstances. You didn’t know? You’ll go to Hell if you’re not in church every Sunday. Wednesdays too. When you’re not there, people begin to question your spirituality, and wonder why you’ve backslidden — even if it was only a week’s absence. Being a Christian is all about being seen at church, whether or not you act like you’re saved once you leave. And when you pull onto the property, proper protocol dictates that you should turn down your Lil Wayne CD so others don’t hear it, or quickly turn to a Christian radio station.

Accept it when they excuse their mistakes by saying, “I’m still a work in progress.” That’s our excuse and we’re sticking to it. Mainly because we feel like we need to justify our mistakes since the world sees us as perfect — we have to live up to their expectations! Remember, it’s all about appearances.

While most of these areas could be written differently, I intentionally chose to take a sarcastic, satirical tone because sometimes you have to be able to laugh at yourself. I’m a Christian, so I know firsthand what it takes to date one.

For all the uber-religious people who I’ve totally offended, I’m considering doing a serious version of this list. But I haven’t decided yet. Maybe you can write it for me. Or maybe a serious version of this list isn’t even needed. What do you think?

[Written by Stuart McDonald for For more from Stuart, check out his personal blog, follow him on Twitter, and connect with him on Facebook.]

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