We were created for relationship. Being in a relationship with one another is such an integral part of us, we need it. It is basically like a plant that needs water and sunshine to grow; we need relationships to grow. Friendships have birthed out this innate need in us and it definitely plays a big role in our happiness.
Digging deeper, we seek emotional intimacy. This spirals into us having the need for a more romantic relationship with the opposite sex.
The in-between state is where we often can fall and fall hard, this is where our desire for a romantic relationship can have the ability to cloud our vision. At the same time, if looked after properly it can set up us to be great partners in future relationships.
Recently a friend sent me this:
“She is beautiful. But you really cannot comprehend it until you understand that she is the result of the pieces that she refused to let life take from her.”
This hit me and hit me hard. It made realize that in the world of dating we need to preserve our beauty by not allowing every single person who comes along (the wrong one) take pieces of who we are with them. I felt that throughout the years of being in that in-between state of being single, these tips have really helped me maintain God’s beauty, my value and being at peace with my “relationship status.”
1: Cultivate an intimate relationship with God
This is where we learn love in the purest form and oh, what a gift when we come to understand this love and pour it out on others, especially our partners.
2: Know who you are
When you know exactly who you are, you will attract a man/woman who knows exactly who they are. You won’t lose your purpose in a relationship but rather just grow much more stronger in it.
3: See every situation with Grace
Grace upon Grace upon Grace! This makes forgiveness natural and beautiful. It turns an ugly situation into something beautiful.
I have been married for 3 and half years now. Marriage is the best! I love that I can do life with my best friend. Now I am not saying marriage is easy because at times marriage can be challenging, after all you are making a life commitment to living with a someone else who is different to you; in some cases maybe even completely opposite to you in a lot of ways. On top of that you and your husband have grown up in different backgrounds and cultures even. I can only speak for myself but it definitely was like that for me.
I am English, born and raised in the city of Cape Town with what the world would say a normal family situation (a mom, dad and a brother). My husband on the other hand is Afrikaans and was born in Bloemfontein and raised in the small Town of George (about 4 hours outside the city of Cape Town). His mom raised him and his 2 brothers and he grew up without a dad. Now just those few things alone show that we are quite different and there are many other things that I could point out that make me and my husband different.
By the world’s standards, people say that the measure of a relationship is if you are both COMPATIBLE with each other eg: do you like the same things, the same music, doing the same things on the weekends etc…. In my opinion this has become a very dangerous way to get to know someone and determine whether you will spend the rest of your life with them. Below are a few myths that I think we should be aware of when trying to find the right partner!
1: Are we compatible?
Like I said previously, if we base everything on being compatible with someone, I can guarantee along the way you will be disappointed. People change constantly, for instance when you start dating that “perfect” guy chances are he is trying to put his best foot forward, if you like romantic comedies, he probably will too because he wants to spend time with you, if he likes outdoors sports, chances are you will probably give it a go even if it’s not really your thing – why? Because you both want to impress each other, it is just human nature.
Eventually when some time has passed and you both get comfy with each other your true colours will show and then your default reaction will be, aah we just don’t like the same things anymore how is this going to work? My advice would be, instead of trying to find the things in your partner that suit you why don’t you look into their heart. I know that sounds so cheesy but your heart is the one thing that is true and genuine. Learn to be happily incompatible with your partner. Me and my husband are opposite in a lot of ways but when it comes to the heart issues of life we have the same values! Those are the things you need to be paying more attention to, not whether he has a six pack or if he likes the same music as me.
2: I need to be attracted to him
Ok, so I am not saying that looks are not important, because they do play a part in being in a relationship. However, again by the worlds standards, in order to find the right person you need to first be attracted to them before you can go to the next level in the relationship. Most people from what I have seen go from zero to hero in a matter of days. The danger with that is that let’s say you lay eyes on a really HOT guy, you are so attracted to him that your judgment gets clouded whether you want to admit it or not. And before you know it you think you are in love. Just think for a moment, do you really know him, what kind of morals and values does he have, how does he treat women in his life? Like I said, I am not saying that looks don’t matter, I am just saying be cautious before you decide to run off into the sunset with your prince charming. Looks are temporary and if you are not attracted to his personality then you will run into problems down the line.
3: Relationships tie you down
The one myth that gets me most is when people say, relationships hold you back from doing what you really want to do in life. This is such a lie. A sign of a healthy relationship is that your partner should be supportive of your future goals and they should cheer you on. Also if you are dating or married to your best friend, you should want to do everything with them. A healthy relationship should propel you more into your future and it should grow you and challenge you. Don’t let other people’s bad experiences prevent to from being in a relationship because you are scared the same thing that happened to them will happen to you. That is simply not true.
4: If I am single something is wrong with me.
You could be that girl that has fallen in the trap of feeling that you’ll only be normal or successful in life if you have a boyfriend or if I am married. This couldn’t be further away from the truth. Now I know it sounds opposite to my previous point but what I want to get across here is that there is NOTHING wrong with being single for a season in your life. It does not determine your value. It does not make you less of a woman because you don’t have a man in your life. If you are in that season of your life where you are single embrace it, learn to love it, learn to grow from it, learn to love yourself in that time, learn about yourself so that you know who you are giving to someone else! Do not let people, media, TV, etc. make you think otherwise. Make sure you are 100% happy with you before you give of yourself to a guy. A relationship is not two people bringing 50/50 it’s two people each giving 100%.