It may be hard to imagine, but growing up I was a serial dater. (Did I just hear you snort?) This is not to imply that I’m done growing up, (I still don’t know how to do taxes, change an air filter, or fully understand what a 401k is…) but turns out having a husband changes your relationship status permanently. Boom, grown up-ish.
Anyways, for those of you that aren’t familiar with the current dating climate, allow me to paint you a picture. You walk into a bar (because you trust your impaired judgement when looking for a partner for the rest of your life), and you see a really cute guy/girl. You meet, think they are just perfect, get a small taste of how good relationship feels, and you’re hooked. Then, whether it be hours or days later, you get one of these famous lines.
“I’m just not looking for anything serious.”
“I’m focusing on myself right now.”
“Let’s keep this casual.”
This is not an all inclusive list, as there are many variations of such cop out phrases. But what is your immediate reaction? You know what you should do: walk away. Laugh. Pat yourself on the back for dodging a bullet. ANYTHING but what you actually do: Agree. In that moment you actually convince your heart that it can settle for brief stents of artificial intimacy.
“He just needs to get to know me, he will change his mind.”
“He’ll realize that I am what he wants if I just stick it out.”
This pivotal moment is where I want to stop you. Because these thoughts, these lies that you sell yourself as truths, are enabling the selfish pattern that our world is all too familiar with. Fulfilling the desires of our own flesh, regardless of the damage it does to the hearts of others. Chasing the honeymoon without the marriage, the cake without the calories.
I have heard the longing of so many hearts lately, friends saying “If I could only have what you have: a family, a baby, safety, consistency… then I would be happy.” And don’t get me wrong, this part of my life is hands down my favorite… but hear me: It is hard. It takes work and sweat and anger and tears.. compromise and bending and molding and intentionality. Relationships done out of the context of love and respect can do some serious damage to all parties involved. Connor and I didn’t just get lucky, we face new challenges every single day. We did things out of order, yes. But we are also fiercely committed to our marriage, and wild about one another. I won’t speak for Connor, but I can’t shake feeling like I won the lottery waking up next to him every morning.
No, my point is not to brag on my marriage, because 67% of the time I feel like burying Connor in our backyard. (These days people are so diabolical I don’t think anyone would look there. I digress..) My point is to stress the importance of finding the soul that compliments your soul. This is arguably the most important decision of your life (behind accepting Jesus as your Savior, of course). So wait. Please, please wait. Don’t give your love and commitment, your heart, away to those undeserving. You can’t force a square peg in a round hole. BE THE SQUARE PEG! This may mean you are alone for a while, maybe a long time. But I promise there will be a square hole. A person that will leave you asking the question, “What did I do to deserve someone so great?” It will save you a lot of heartache to spend less time trying to change the round hole, and more time learning to recognize a square one.
I know you feel that longing. The ache for relationship. To feel understood, accepted, and loved unconditionally. To never have to face any aspect of your life alone again. That feeling was put there by your heavenly Father, and HE was meant to fill that void. The parter, the love on Earth.. that’s just extra. So, are you trying to force a human into a Godly role? Spoiler alert: They will let you down. They will fall short. Every time. If you don’t know the love of your Savior, you simply don’t have a love to set the standard. You will accept less… like a nothing-serious-not-exclusive guy in a bar.
If you were just skimming for the main points, look no further (I’ll even organize them in bullet points for the speed reader) :
- You are unconditionally loved and accepted by a Savior who intricately created and knows you. Take the time to let that soak in. Accept that truth.
- Imitation intimacy will leave you feeling emptier than being alone. Trust me.
- You were created for relationship, so intentionally pursue the real thing.
- Take your time, You are worth the wait.