I am about to take a leap of faith and do something I never thought I would be able to do. I am going to open up my heart and share my views on dating. I have learned a lot lately, and I am not saying I know everything there is to know, but I want to share what I have learned.
I am often known as the girl with high standards. Just the other day my mom joked with me that when I finally bring a guy home she will know it must serious for me to have finally deemed someone worthy. While my family and I joke about my dating life, there is still one aspect about dating that I keep at my core – I will not date just to date or have a boyfriend.
Since the ending of my relationship almost two years ago, people often ask me if it’s hard being single and if it’s hard seeing my former boyfriend date someone else. To answer these questions, we have to dig deeper to the root of the situation. Is it hard seeing the young man I thought I would marry one day date someone else? At times, absolutely. Are there times it’s hard being single? At times, yes. Does this mean my life is hard or incomplete? Absolutely not. While there are times my heart may long for the affection and infatuation of another, I will not pursue a relationship in efforts to obtain the desires of my heart.
Too often I feel people find their self-worth in relationships. Society will teach people that relationships are created to complete us, fulfill us, and make our worlds go round. I feel this is especially hard for those my age. I also feel this is one of the biggest lies a person could ever tell. I do not agree with the idea of finding a “soulmate” and I believe a relentless pursuit of this idea will only let us down.
We can pursue relationships like the world will end tomorrow, but if we fail to consult God every step of the way, we will find ourselves as disappointed as our soulmate search. In their purest form, relationships ultimately glorify God and God alone. If I am not in a relationship that displays something greater than myself and the relationship I am in, then I have missed a step along the way.
Overtime, the biggest lesson I learned concerning dating is that when I pray to God he truly wants to know everything, and I mean everything. I realized that even if I had the tiniest crush on someone, God wanted to know. Not only was I sharing my heart with Him, but I was also seeking His guidance in the process. By asking my Father if the feelings I felt developing were from Him or not, I began to save myself from a world of hurt. This was where I decided I would never pursue a relationship unless God gave me the green light first (though there are still times this is hard). This was also where I desired if it were in God’s plan for me to marry that my future husband would do the same for me.
I learned I can tell God all day long how much I want a guy who is tall, country, and loves baseball as much as I do, but if he is not a man of God, if he does not desire to grow and challenge his faith daily, if he does not have the servants heart of Christ, and if he cannot be courageous for his Father, then he will never be a man worth pursuing. I understand this is a lot to ask of someone, especially since I am a very, very flawed person. However, these are all Godly aspects worth pursuing (and I am talking to myself as well). I cannot expect only his love for baseball to be the missing puzzle piece to make our relationship whole. I cannot expect these earthly qualities to complete me because my completeness is not of this world.
Our Heavenly Father makes us whole in ways no one else can. I learned no one, not even my high school sweetheart who I loved more than life itself, can complete me the way I long to be completed. To reference C.S. Lewis, my heart longs for something greater than this world, and this longing can only be filled by God. When I finally learned this, I found joy. Being single wasn’t “hard” anymore because I realized being single was serving a greater purpose in my life. I firmly believe God is using this time in my life to further transform me to look like Him, and ultimately further His kingdom.
As far as relationships are concerned, the only relationship currently worth pursuing is one with my Father. Beyond that, I simply must have faith when that right person comes along, God will reveal him to me and he will run toward God with me. Since I was 15, I have had the phrase “a girl’s heart should be so close to God that a man should have to seek him just to find it” written on my bathroom mirror. I will forever stand by this statement. I only desire a relationship that will draw me closer to God. I only desire a relationship in which he and I can serve God together. I only desire a relationship that is from my Father and will ultimately return the glory to Him.