However, Scripture is clear that it doesn't matter if someone has been married or not, sex with someone other than your spouse is still fornication (I Thessalonians 4:3, I Corinthians 6:9).

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One way to avoid the temptation of settling is to know what's acceptable and what's not, to both you and God, before you start looking for love.

This is where slowing down before getting into a serious relationship helps.

And as with any loss, big or small, time is needed to grieve and to reassess who you are, where you've been and where God wants you to go.

Healing is also necessary to follow God's command to" do unto others what you would have them do unto you," (Matthew ).

She was ready to date and had taken time to seek God and heal after her divorce three years earlier.

She thought her lunch date had done the same, but she quickly discovered otherwise. During their lunch, his eyes filled with tears and anguish.

Scripture warns believers to "guard your heart" (Proverbs ).

For the single parent, this means that you will have to do some "guarding" for your children by not involving them with your suitors too soon in a relationship.

Whenever Sharon meets someone new, she hopes that "this is the one," and Branden does, too.

Sadly, when Sharon's relationships don't work out, not only is her heart broken, but so is her son's.

If you start dating prematurely, you could be hurting — rather than honoring — those you date.