(and before you enter any relationship)
There are so many people who ask me about relationships, either because of my poetry or my parents’ marriage and there are so many of my friends who are dying to be in a relationship. Anyway, a girl recently messaged me and asked me what I look for in a relationship and I wrote to her and explained. But even better, it helped me to explain what led me to the process of actually writing down what I would expect.
You see, so many of us have an askew view of relationship and dating that comes from our single lives. It’s when we are single that these views are cemented in our brains and so we end up in the wrong relationships or in a right relationship but at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons. We date for fun, because we are bored, because someone asked, because all our friends are dating, because it is expected, because that person is hot, because we want to ‘see where this is going’, for the bragging rights, to pass the time, as a hobby, to numb emotional pain, for sex and because ‘we make a perfect match’.
And this things do not happen overnight, they happen because of a precedent and standard that we set when we were still single. So then we go ahead, we get hurt or we mess up something great because of this. Marriages are failing everyday because of this. This is the reason people have first loves, great loves, lost loves and the ones who got away. Most us break our own hearts by the standards we unknowingly set in our singleness. The things we settle for in our minds long before we settle for in life are the things that destroy us. So before you decide to start dating or get into a relationship ask yourself these questions. And if you aren’t looking to be in a relationship right now, this is the best time to ask these questions because you have a clear head and a balanced heart. And if you’re already in a relationship, then review these things to gauge where you are at.
Why am I single?
Is it because I don’t have options, no one has asked, you have unrealistic fantasies or you are genuinely waiting for the right person? These make such a difference because if you are just single because no one has asked or you are busy then the minute time is there or someone asks then you will just date them. Also if your expectations are unrealistic then you will never acknowledge something good even if it smacked you in the face.
Am I waiting patiently or desperately?
You see, waiting patiently is about waiting with hope and faith that your time and person will come but not obsessing over it but going around living life, enjoying it and doing good. Patience ensures that you hold steadfastly to God’s promises and know that it will happen according to His good and perfect will so you do not manipulate the circumstance nor are you in a hurry. Desperation on the other hand is the mother of invention. So you will manufacture emotions, characteristics and excuses for the wrong person. You will manipulate yourself into situations to place yourself before someone and force their hand, you will push and connive. Have you done this in the past? If so, are you still feeling the same emotions right now in you singleness or have you arrived at a point of joy and peace?
If I am desperate to be in a relationship, why?
what drove you to this point of desperation? Is it heartbreak, jealousy, pain, unmet expectations, fairy tale fantasies or just good old fashioned rushing? Why do you feel like you need to be in a relationship and if you feel that desperate then are you actually ready or are you trying to cover up some deeper issue? Take the time to write down these issue; anger, resentment, pride, envy, pain, guilt or even just neediness.
What are the qualities I am looking for in a partner?
What would make an ideal partner for you? List down all the things that are imperative and those you can be swayed on. Make sure, you list them all, be they physical, emotional,spiritual or even material.
What are my aspirations and expectations for a relationship?
These are the things that you would like to accomplish in a relationship, the stages you want. What are your love languages (what makes you feel loved and cared for)? These are milestones that are important to you, things that you want to grow through. Be clear and specific about this so that you can know when a relationship is not edifying you. Is marriage a goal? If so is it an end-point like that is what you would be working towards or is it just a milestone in the long journey of getting to know each other? Remember that marriage is for life. Also, when you say marriage, do you think wedding or an actual lifetime partnership?
Do you believe in ‘the one’?
that there is a specific guy that God has set apart for you? That you were made for a purpose and so were they but your purposes intertwine at some point and merge into one?Or do you think you can make it work with anyone as long as there is chemistry and effort?
What things are key to building a lasting relationship to you?
These are paramount because you will pray and work towards them? Is it friendship first or do you think that the friendship comes after the romance? Do you want communication?honesty? Do you want this things from the start or do you believe you can get to them later? Write them down.
I’m I honest about my past,fears and pains?
Before you enter a relationship, you should be ready to be open and honest about your past, not to anyone else but yourself. Are you really healed from that past heartbreak? Is there a body count? if so, have you addressed this, forgiven yourself and them for that? Do you realize that it does not make you any less worthy of a great relationship or great love just because you have had sex this number or times? Are you still bitter? Have you forgiven that ex who really really hurt you? Have you faced your fear of commitment or failure or whatever else you fear that has kept you from loving fully in the past?
Are you willing to sacrifice for a relationship? and if so what is the limit?
Are you rigid and selfish? Because if so start working on that now and praying for the fruit of the Spirit. Relationships require sacrifice so if the first answer was no then you aren’t ready. But if it was yes, what are you willing to sacrifice and what aren’t you willing to sacrifice? Make sure to be clear because when you love someone, you might not remember these things but having them written down will be a good reference point.
Am I using scripture as my reference for all my expectations and points? Am praying about it?
Because the bible is the manual to life. God created marriage before the fall of man(and work) so it is one of the purest and best things about life. This should be your aspiration and if it is then you should use the manual to get there and maintain it. Have you used scripture? Are you listening to God’s voice on the issue or do you just want to go your own way?
In the end remember this are just reference points for you. You should always look through them, pray over them and update them because so e things change with time and age. Also remember that these are to keep you on track, so that you do not end up just dating for the sake of it. Ask God for lots of wisdom because it is not an easy process and can be very painful. I hope this helps you clear your mind, your priorities and also gives you clear prayer points.
Please comment below any important questions you think I have missed or any stories, inspiration, encouragement or criticism you would like. I would love to interact with you.