In this article I am going to call it “dating” and define it as “the process of finding a spouse.” I do not claim to be an expert: I realize that many varying opinions about dating float around Christian circles jumping over each other, getting mixed together, and consuming some people.
It is not inappropriate; talking to someone does not mean you have a “crush on them” nor does it mean they have one on you. You do not need to flirt in order to have fun with those of the other sex.
Although it is not crucial to be good friends before you start dating, the better you know someone the, well, better. Although “to have fun” is not the purpose of dating, dating should be fun. Marriage will be one of the hardest things you do, so set a joyful precedent.
There will be differences, but they do not have to break the relationship. I mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating: always pursue health.
But before anyone can get married they have to go through the process of getting to know a person and pursuing love for them (at least if you practice the Western tradition of pursuing marriage).
It’s also hard, excruciating, joyful, hurtful, and incredibly fulfilling — at least this is what married people tell me, and from watching them, I believe it.