5 questions to ask yourself before committing to a relationship

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I have a hard time committing, I’ll admit it. But part of the reason is it’s hard for me to commit to someone if I don’t see a potential future with them. The break-up process is a painful one no matter how it happens, so if there are ways to avoid that, you better believe I’m all about it! In an effort to minimize heartbreak and stay focused on what matters most, there are five questions you should ask yourself before committing.

  1. Would I want my kids to be like them? This question allows you look beyond the outer layers of attraction and excitement and really see a person’s character. Are they kind? Loving? Giving? Value humility and purity? Do they show respect and honor? Or are they rebellious? Rude? Selfish? Or easily angered? It is so easy to be blinded and want to nurture infatuation feelings, but the truth is, the person you marry will have a significant amount of influence over your kids- and you! You want to trust that they will be a good role model and train up your children in the right direction.
  2. Would I want to be with them if we couldn’t have kids? This is a hard question to ask but a much needed one. As I started to get older, I started to question whether or not I should attempt to compromise on my standards for the sake of not letting my best child-bearing years pass me by. And then I realized how horrible this thought process is. And I also realized how many people I know who did get married because they wanted kids so badly and are now divorced. While kids are a blessing, having kids with the wrong spouse can be detrimental. Furthermore, there is no guarantee on even getting pregnant so it is vitally important to be with someone you would want by your side to help you through that process should it happen. The person you commit to should be a commitment for life, someone you want with you through all the good and bad.
  3. Am I growing closer to God or further away? There are people that will come into our lives that you will help and mentor, others that are acquaintances, and others that’ll challenge you to be the best version of yourself. The person you commit to should fall into the third category. This is why it is imperative for believers to be equally yoked with other believers, those who will help them with the temptations in this world. You want someone who will pray with you, call you out, and support you. If the person you are with is pushing you in a direction of compromising your faith, morals, and/or values, it is not a good sign.
  4. Do I feel more myself around them? This is oftentimes why people say the best relationships start out as friendships. You want to be able to be your true, authentic self without fear of rejection or judgement. Some people have a way of calming our insecurities, while others heighten them. If your relationship with someone starts out with a date, do your best to alleviate the pressure of a looming relationship no matter how old you are for the sake of building a stronger foundation should things progress. A relationship built on attempts to impress will not be able to withstand the challenges of everyday life. Furthermore, when you are with the right person, the pressure to perform should diminish as their passions and words ignite your passions and words, resulting in a fire lit deep within your soul. This is not something you can force, and no checklist can accomplish this.
  5. Do they love Jesus more than me? This is crucial. So many people seek someone who will love them most, not realizing the need for loving Jesus most in order to adequately love you. A love for Jesus will naturally result in love for you because it will become part of who they are. Jesus is love so a love for others is a natural result. When someone seeks to love outside of these parameters, love then hinges on who you are, your actions, and their feelings toward you, thus resulting in an unspoken pressure to perform. This environment is the breeding ground for insecurity, with no true stability. Someone who is able to love, honor, and respect God will be able to love you the only way you truly desire to be loved.

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The unrealistic realism of Christmas movies

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I think there is a reason we are attracted to these sappy Christmas movies. They are full of goodness, happiness, and love. It wasn’t until I was talking with my friend who shares the same unhealthy movie obsession as I do that I realized how unrealistic they appear to be. I mean who meets, falls in love, and gets married all in the same month?! But you get caught up in it and don’t realize it’s crazy because so much of the story makes sense. So here’s six lessons I’ve learned from these time stealers.

1. Be with someone who brings out the best in you

Oftentimes in these movies, the girl or guy is already in a relationship. They are good relationships. Comfortable relationships. Good partnerships. Relationships that make sense on paper. But then they meet someone who makes them feel alive. Something more. Being around this new guy or girl has a way of bringing out the best in them. Loving life. Being a better person. Doing what they love. Wait for this.

2. Be with someone who falls in love with who you are, not what you are

I always love when you start to see the guy fall for the girl but then it is solidified when the girl shows up to some event dressed up. The guy is just in awe as she lights up the room. Nothing else matters. She’s stunning not necessarily because of her looks but because it finally hits him that all of these feelings he’s been having for her are something more than a friendship. It wasn’t the looks that attracted him to her, but her looks are now a bonus. Wait for this.

3. There has to be something more important than the relationship

What I love about these movies is that love has a way of finding them rather than the person out on the hunt looking for it. Or they are looking for it, but it ends up being someone completely different. The point being, they are able to be their true selves around this person because they aren’t all caught up with thinking this might be “the one.” They are focusing on making a difference, helping their family, or pursuing their dreams. They are willing to sacrifice their own happiness for something greater. God can only fill that hole and these people are already whole. The new relationship complements their life rather than completing it. Wait for this.

4. Notice the little things

Everything starts to remind him of this girl. The way she is making him feel alive again- bringing out the best in him. The guy could be in a bad mood and all upset but she always makes him feel better. She makes him laugh. He makes her feel like she can do anything. They remember little things about each other. They care. And it shows in their actions. Wait for this.

5. You might have to fight for love

 There always seems to be something (or someone) that almost ruins this new love. An old flame. Miscommunication. Jealousy. It’s so easy for us to just want to give up sometimes. To think it may have just been too good to be true. We tend to want easy. As if easy equates to perfect. But it doesn’t have to be easy for it to be right. Talk. Clarify. Engage. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let my head wander because someone didn’t text back. Because someone was going away for the weekend. It’s almost like we are scared to send a double text. We are scared to be the one who cares more. But the right one is worth fighting for. Wait for this.

6. When you know, you’ll know

“How did you know Claire was the right one?” “I just knew. And you already know.” I remember this quote from one of the ones that had me crying the whole time. It was a young man torn between his childhood sweetheart who was the only girl he’d known and this new girl he met that made him feel alive. One was safe. The other was unknown. But she was worth the risk. He knew he loved her and loved who he was around her. He loved the type of person she was. Just like something in us already knows someone isn’t right for us but we try to make it work anyway, I think something in us will know when we’ve met the right one. Wait for this.

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Dating means letting go, marriage means holding on

I think we have it backwards. Too many people stay in relationships they should have left long ago while others exit when they should have stayed. Maybe it’s just me but I often see these people in dating relationships that just seem miserable. And the excuse is always the same, “Yea, but I love him/her.” Really? What is it you love so much? Okay okay, I don’t want to come across negative but what I really want to tell these people is that they aren’t married and it won’t get better. I think we often think it will. We hope it will at least. And it does in some ways. But I think we forgot the whole concept of dating.

Dating means letting go

Many people who are just dating say they are basically married. What?! If they don’t say it, it’s often implied. It’s fun to think about. We date because we want to be married, well really because we want to be loved. And marriage signifies that. But the whole point of dating is to get to know someone to see if you want to be married to them. You can’t possibly know if you want to marry them until you get to know them. So it’s okay if you end up breaking up- you aren’t married! That is what happens. Yes, we often feel we can’t. We don’t want to quit. We don’t want to fail. We want to work through it. We want to be loyal. All great qualities but it’s simply tragic when it’s wasted on the wrong one because you didn’t think you could break up for whatever reason. It is hard to do but it’s life and it happens. Contrary to what your heart wants to do, you need to balance being “happy go lucky” with objectiveness to see if this is actually the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. No one can be mad at you for breaking up when you are only dating. Well, unless you were a jerk about it;)

Marriage means holding on

So what leads me to believe these people are running into marriages instead of breaking things off? The numerous divorces I see happening in couples just a few years in. That’s what. What happened? What went wrong? We exit marriages quicker than we exit work when the clock hits 5 o’clock. I think a big problem is the fact that people want to get married but they aren’t ready for marriage. At least not with the person they picked. Numerous reasons I am sure. But just like dating is the opportunity to decide whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, marriage signifies that commitment to actually spend the rest of your life with said person. Commitment. Fighting. Loving. Choosing the other person first. Constantly. So if you’re not ready, don’t get married. If you don’t know the person well enough to know, don’t do it. Marriage is losing its value in our society, but don’t let it lose its meaning in your life.

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Please date other people

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These are some of the toughest words I’ve ever said but also the most needed. We all want to feel like we are the only one, that we are special, we are worth it. It makes us feel loved, valued, and appreciated. I love feeling this way. But there is something I need more. I need you to date other people.

I need to not feel pressured while I’m getting to know you. I don’t want to know that you are putting all your eggs in one basket with me and that if I decide we aren’t meant to be, your life won’t be destroyed. I don’t want to cause another heartbreak. I don’t want to be the cause of pain. But it’s that or stay with someone I don’t’ really love. Both options aren’t right. There should be more options. That’s what’s kept me away from dating for so long. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I have many guy friends who have been hurt by that one woman. I don’t want to be that woman. Ever.

I need to know you aren’t wasting your time with me.
I need to know you can be patient with me.
If I’m the only one, please don’t make me feel guilty; I tend to shut you out and run.

I need you to date other people for you too. It’s so easy to like someone when they are the only one you have. You make it work. You even change yourself if it’s not working. But I want to see the real you. And you deserve to see the real me too. When you date multiple people, you can compare and learn more about what you like and don’t like. I’ve heard people say you shouldn’t compare but I’m not sure why. You deserve the best. And I believe the best is worth waiting for. We could all settle today if we really wanted to. Lower our standards enough and there’s somebody there waiting. But that’s not what we want and we know that. Don’t settle for Mr. or Ms. Right Now.

Do you know how much more valuable I’ll feel knowing you have dated other girls and still chose me?! I really can’t commend you if I was your only option. Take your time. Get to know me- before being sold on my great looks and dashing personality:p Okay, I’m halfway kidding but this does happen to me a lot more than I care to admit. And I don’t like it. It feels good for my ego but deep down I don’t like it. My heart, the most important and valuable thing about me, is minimized.

Why is it that the best relationships started as friendships and some of the worse ones involved people who jumped the gun? Think about it. I’m looking for something that’ll last; not just feel good right now. And for me, dating multiple people allows me to be myself more and truly get a feel for what I’m looking for. So many people stay stuck in bad relationships because they don’t believe there is anything better. Oh, but there is. You just have to be willing to wait for it. As one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard states- “You’ll never leave where you are until you decide where you’d rather be.”

I’m not acting like this phrase is easy to say or hear. It requires you to be vulnerable and take risks. Sometimes people use this phrase because they really don’t like you and feel guilty about it. But it requires a lot of strength to say. You risk losing a person you might truly love in hopes of obtaining someone that truly loves you. When you hear it, you don’t know how to take it. Are they caring about you or do they really not care about you? I hate it. God tells us to guard our hearts. So be yourself. Love. But take your time. Trust that God will show you the right one when the time is right. You both will know. After all, you’re only looking for one ‘right one’ anyway;)

*date as in having many friendships with guys/girls that you may be interested in. I DO NOT mean being physically involved with those people. That’s another sure-fire way to distract you from reality. signature

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Rebounding is not always such a bad idea

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I’d like to preface this with what I would hope to be common knowledge given the title of my blog but just in case- I do not mean rebounding in any physical manner. However, I do believe rebounding in other ways may prove to be very beneficial and healthy.

Going through break-ups are rough. Unless you decide to not have a heart and cut off all emotions (which I have seen before) you will experience pain and heartbreak when you go through a break-up. While I have not done any studies on it, I do think that you experience more pain with the ones you cared about the most, the ones you allowed inside your heart. It’s so crappy when it happens because part of you never wants to experience that hurt again but at the same time it’s rewarding because even after all the pain, at least you can feel and have the capacity to love. To me that’s everything.

Nothing is a substitute for time after a break-up. However, it is what you do during the time after a break-up that affects your healing process most. I think we all deal with it in unique and different ways. I’m a huge fan of closure and for me, I sometimes put myself through more pain because it helps me to truly get over someone and have no regrets. While my healing process may be different than yours, I don’t think it’s really all that unique. I question the relationship- if I could have or should have done anything different. Was it my fault things ended- were my expectations too high? I remember the good times. I stalk social media pages and wonder if they are missing what we had. Because truthfully, while we may miss each other I think what we miss the most is feeling loved. I tend to close myself off to anyone else because I know I am vulnerable and just want to feel loved again. So I don’t look for anyone else for awhile, I won’t open myself up until I feel completely healed.

It sounds good in theory but what happens during that time of healing? We don’t go out and we don’t allow anyone in. That forces us to only think about that one person we had. So in hopes of feeling loved, we try to convince ourselves our ex wasn’t that bad because we don’t want to be alone. This is why you see so many people go back to their exes, back into bad relationships. This is why people settle. And it’s so scary because I’ve been there so many times.

I went through a break up not too long ago and I am now currently talking to a guy that recently got out of a relationship, as well. My old self would have said this is a recipe for disaster. “Don’t talk to me, I need to be alone for a long time” would be my response. But this guy is fun and honest and real. We are able to talk and communicate about what is going on inside of us. I have a feeling we will always be friends no matter where our paths may take us. We think a lot alike and have very similar interests. It’s a different feeling than I am used to and I like it. I am so glad I met him and that we came into each other’s lives. I’ve already learned so much more about myself because of him. When you don’t see anyone else, you naturally think it won’t get any better than what you had. He reminds me what it is I really want when I had forgotten in my previous relationships. He gives me hope. Likewise, he was hanging onto the thought of hopefully getting back with his ex because that’s all he knew, all he saw. Meeting me has reminded him of what he is really looking for, things he didn’t think were out there. It’s crazy how in some ways we came into each other’s lives to renew our hope. Some may call it rebounding and that’s okay with me. But this kind of rebounding shouldn’t have a negative connotation. We aren’t using each other. We’ve set boundaries. We like each other and we appreciate each other. It gave us fresh eyes to move forward and to move on.

I sometimes wonder if we hadn’t come into each other’s lives if we would still be hurting or wishing for something in the past because we saw no future. Society tells us it’s wrong to rebound and not fair to the other person. And I would agree, especially if you are using someone just to feel better about yourself. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with putting yourself out there in order to heal and do what you need to do. I still am a firm believer in self-reflection and alone time. Don’t rush into something just because you are lonely, but don’t close yourself off just because you’re scared. There is so much hope out there, so much love. Give yourself another chance. You left that person for a reason and God has that perfect one for you out there. Go explore and never settle.

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There is no such thing as right person, wrong time

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Seriously. I’ve heard this numerous times and I just read an article entitled something along the lines of “The joys and pains of meeting the right person at the wrong time.” Umm what?! I’m sorry, but do you realize how rare it is to find the/a right person? And let’s be honest for a second, maybe it’s just me, but if I found what I thought was the right person, I don’t see how or why the “wrong time” would have to stop us from being together. So what do these “wrong times” really mean?

  • The “I just got out of a relationship and need to be single for awhile” excuse. I’ll let you in on a little secret- 99% of the time this line is used as a nice way to reject someone. The other 1% actually recognizes what is going on inside them and hopefully expresses it well enough to let the other person know they can still enjoy a friendship with one another. Besides, starting out as friends is always a plus. The right one will be patient. So tell me how this was really the right person at the wrong time again?
  • The “I just think we are headed in different directions” excuse. Basically, something else is more important to me right now and this relationship is not worth it. You are a great person but more than likely not the one I’m supposed to be with so I’m okay with letting you go. Love always finds a way and if I really thought you were the right person, I’d find a way to be together, while still pursuing my dreams. It’s not rocket science, but it does require two people who both feel the other is the right person for them.
  • The “I’m just too young and don’t know who I am yet” excuse. Legit excuse. However, who says you can’t figure out life with the right person? If anything, I think the right person would be a complement to you and would only help to strengthen and encourage you. But then again, we often get this confused with the wrong person who we like but something deep down in our gut tells us something is wrong. Therefore, this wonderful excuse was born.
  • The “We live in two different places” excuse. While I understand this is a hard one, I firmly believe it’s doable. After realizing how rare it is to find someone you actually like and could see yourself being with for the rest of your life, I honestly believe that with the right person, you can make anything work. This might include giving up on something that is not that important to, compromising, or managing a long distance relationship for a certain period of time. I think we forget that one of the greatest things about being in a healthy relationship is having someone that loves you no matter what and encourages you to achieve all the dreams God placed in your heart. The wrong one will not understand this and have a cookie-cutter life planned out and run the minute things don’t go according to plan.
  • The “This could never work long term” excuse. This one is open-ended. Our families don’t get along. We have different beliefs. You annoy me. Really, this could be anything. We like the person for whatever reason but we don’t want to be with them for the rest of our lives and that’s okay. There will be many people we like for different reasons but that does not mean they are the right person for us. It’ll work with the right person no matter what obstacles may come your way.

What all of these have in common is the fact that they weren’t the wrong time; they were the wrong person for you if you were willing to let them go. Let’s call it what it is. Besides, would the right person really leave you? That doesn’t sound like the kind of right person I would want to be with anyway. And if I’m not willing to work through it or make it work, I deep down don’t think they are the right person either.

Maybe we just need to redefine the term “right person.” Sometimes a right person will come into our life only for a season. We grow, we learn but it doesn’t necessarily mean we are to spend the rest of our lives with this person. This term “wrong time” has such a negative connotation. Embrace the time you have with those at given times in your life. Some come for a lifetime, others for a season and that’s okay. These people can be the right person at the right time. They are a great person, cool person but not the right person (marriage), for us at least. So can we please stop lying to ourselves? Can we please stop using this as a cop out to avoid rejection or rejecting someone else. It’s not the wrong time- it’s just that we are don’t see this going anywhere further and that is nothing to feel bad about.

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50 notes-to-self regarding relationships

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While I have mixed feelings about checklists, these notes-to-self serve as reminders and guidelines to help me remember truths I have learned from past relationships.

  1. Avoid any physical aspect for as long as possible in a relationship; this will ensure you really like them and not just those feelings.
  2. Ask yourself if it’s him you like or just the idea of him.
  3. Try your hardest to not default to guys you know like you to feed your ego during a break-up. Use this precious time to run to God.
  4. Trust those gut feelings (Holy Spirit) and be brave enough to walk away when you know something doesn’t feel right.
  5. Be strong enough to not make excuses; brave enough to acknowledge red flags.
  6. If talking about God pulls you apart rather than bring you together, run!
  7. Be with someone that truly values and appreciates your best qualities.
  8. You shouldn’t have to talk yourself into it…
  9. Respect and trust for him will either increase or decrease- watch for this and adjust appropriately.
  10. Wait for someone who can love, support, respect, and challenge you and knows how to balance the four correctly.
  11. Love is and always will be the most important thing. You’ll be able to recognize it; he’ll either have it or he won’t.
  12. If he views it as a sacrifice, it isn’t love; love trumps all.
  13. Be with someone who doesn’t give you the option to say no to something he knows you really want/desire.
  14. It will be easy for him to give you attention in one-on-one settings; watch how he treats you when you in groups.
  15. Be with someone who loves you as Crist love the church; after God, and because of God, you will be his #1.
  16. Never be with someone who demeans, belittles, or judges you.
  17. He must have a personal relationship with Christ.
  18. He will never attempt to question your relationship with Christ or come between it.
  19. Wait for someone who is humble. Genuinely humble, not just says he is. Always desiring to learn, grow, and be better than he was yesterday- together.
  20. There is a difference between doing things out of love and out of obedience.
  21. If I don’t feel loved, I’m probably not. Excuses do get old.
  22. Be with someone who cares about my feelings, even if they aren’t always right.
  23. Wait for someone who is proud of me and who I am proud of.
  24. Be with someone who could live without me but will fight and do whatever he can to make sure he doesn’t have to.
  25. Be with someone who enjoys being with me.
  26. He will know what Ephesians 5 means.
  27. He will understand that one of the greatest things he can do for his kids will be to love their mother/his wife.
  28. Wait for someone who gets excited about God with me.
  29. He will be someone I want to submit to.
  30. Don’t rush the relationship. Wait. Watch. And enjoy. Time will tell.
  31. Can I see him being my best friend?
  32. Wait for someone that will encourage me to lead and teach and do what God is calling me to do.
  33. Don’t be with someone who is legalistic but does have strong morals, values, and convictions.
  34. The thing he will love most about me is my heart for Christ.
  35. He will love me as much as I love him because we will both have Christ’s love.
  36. He will fell like the luckiest guy in the world to have me and I will feel the same.
  37. Wait for someone that will challenge me to be better but love me no matter what; love is unconditional.
  38. Watch for someone who is proactive and offers to help and solve problems before you even realize you needed help.
  39. Never judgmental but pushes you to grow in love.
  40. Wait for the one that truly believes that you were worth the wait.
  41. Don’t let anyone abuse you- physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
  42. You will have fun with him no matter what you are doing.
  43. He won’t have any unhealthy bromances.
  44. Always step back and wait to see if you really like him or you are just emotionally attached; there should be definitive things you like about him.
  45. In the beginning you will see actions; in time, you will see motives.
  46. Time heals. God heals. Sometimes you’ll have to wait for God to mend your heart. Sometimes you’ll have to wait for your feelings to catch up with what you already know deep down.
  47. Wait for someone who initiates and sacrifices.
  48. A real man will use his power to love.
  49. He will value godly things above worldly accomplishments; he will understand God’s heart.
  50. I won’t have any doubts and I’ll just know.

-the virgin heartbreaker

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