4 signs he has no intentions of marrying you

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One of my friends recently updated her profile picture. It was a picture of herself… Alone. Without Steven. Where was the picture of her and him? They have been in a relationship for 8 years!!! I decide to creep; I click on her profile to see no existence of Steven. No sign of their relationship. How do you erase 8 years of your life like that?! Maybe you can on social media but it’s much harder to erase them from your heart. I have a love/hate relationship with these scenarios; part of me is like “aha, I was right” because I somehow can see these things coming but then the harsh reality sets in and I’m extremely sad. Heartbreak is never something to be happy about. I normally brush these off and move forward but this is like the 5th relationship I’ve seen severed within the past month! I can’t help but wonder if I’m the only one that sees this. I wonder if these girls see the warning signs but choose to look the other way. I know I’ve done that. Emotional attachment is one of the strongest forces I’ve felt. I hope you’ll keep this post around when you are in a relationship. Not as 100% factual but as something to consider when you are struggling with a current relationship, current feelings.

  1. You aren’t visible. When I’m with him, I don’t see you. And this is manifested in several different ways. He doesn’t really talk about you. It’s hard to know whether or not he is even in a relationship. He doesn’t do his best to include you in his events. Social media has made this a little difficult, as well, because some people are more private with their relationship than others. But I’ll be honest, I don’t normally post much about a guy unless I’m ready to commit. You want someone who is proud of you. Someone who wants to show you off. Be sure you don’t make excuses for him.
  2. Marriage talk is taboo. He doesn’t like it when you mention marriage and insists on just enjoying the moment now. He doesn’t like to commit to any long term plans. Moving in together is not a step in the right direction either. One of my friends was ecstatic that she and her boyfriend were finally moving in together after ten years- she thought it was a step in the right direction but he was only trying to appease her a little longer which leads to the third sign…
  3. He appeases you. He will get creative to keep you calm. I like to call these “shut up” gifts; things to keep you quiet for awhile. He is basically going through the motions but his heart isn’t really in it. He doesn’t want to hurt your feelings and he likes you, but just not enough. You want a guy who will think about you constantly and buy you things and do things for you simply because he wants to. Because he knows how happy it’ll make you.
  4. He is easily distracted. Basically, he is interested in other people. You have to be on the lookout for this one. I remember being out one night with a group of friends and I started talking to this one guy who seemed rather flirty. I realized he had a girlfriend when she walked over! There is a fine line between being friendly and outgoing versus being flirty and interested in others.

These signs aren’t rocket science but it takes a lot for a man not to string a woman a long and a woman to know when to let go.

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February Fakes: Why I’d date an atheist over a “Christian” Part 1: Jake

February FakesOne reason: because you’re not. You’re not a real Christian and I don’t appreciate you making me feel bad for questing your faith. Things you said, choices you made- something just didn’t feel right. But you were good. A smooth talker. And I fell hard and fast.

It seems fitting to start with you. My Facebook Timehop just reminded me of the time you texted me ONE THOUSAND times while I was on a flight just to have them all appear the second I turned my phone back on. It didn’t seem creepy, possessive like at the time, rather funny and comforting to know I was always on your mind. You’d text me all the time. I thought it was because you really valued me but you were just making me dependent on you. But you were the one with the dependency problem. You always had to have someone. So if I wasn’t “good enough” I knew you’d find someone else fast to give your undivided attention to. This made me so insecure.

You charmed me from the get go. You went to Bible college. Not only did you agree with a lot of my thoughts, you added to them. Your testimony. Your testimony intrigued me. You had a past, a really bad past. But I never judged you for it. It wasn’t until who you used to be started to feel like who you were now.

We studied the Bible together. Now this was scary. We’d memorize scriptures together. You encouraged and helped me to spend more time with God. I was the one that confused my love for God with my love for you.

There was so much hurt from the beginning of our relationship that I knew you weren’t right for me. But you knew just what to say, just what to do to keep me from being open to anyone else. I was your saving grace. I brought out the best in you. All the other girls you attempted to date were second to me and that fed my ego so much. You’d date them until they fell hard for you and then you’d disappear. I knew because you did that to me. Not physically but emotionally. You had wrecked me. You wanted to leave me before I left you. It was a shame that your self worth came from how many girls you could get to fall for you. Your occasional “she reminds me of you” and the songs you’d send me that made you think of me. They were your way of keeping me on a short leash.

I struggled so much. My heart knew you weren’t right for me. I questioned your motives, I questioned your faith. I really did. But my heart also loved the way you’d make me feel. Even if it was all a lie. You were the best manipulator, the best con artist I had ever met. I wanted to believe you really loved God but I knew. Everyone on the outside would say you loved God but I still knew. I was the only one that challenged you; I suppose that is what made you love and hate me at the same time.

Fast forward through many ups and downs. Times when I said I needed a break to think. Times when you needed a break because I had pushed the wrong buttons. You’d always come back. Because you knew I really cared. They always come back.

Christianity was just a phase for you. It took me a long time to come to terms with this. It’s where you felt you belonged and had a family for a little while. It was more about what you could get from God rather than understanding how much God loved you and what you wanted to do for Him. You never had a relationship with God. The second the opportunity arose, you got back with your old friends and became the same person you once told me you were. I think that’s the true test of just how strong our faith is. Are you a Christian based on culture or based on your personal relationship with Christ? When you have that personal relationship it doesn’t slip away so easily. It’s stronger than any family bond you’ve ever experienced. It was bittersweet to watch this transition. To know I wasn’t crazy when I was the only one challenging your faith. The Holy Spirit is a wonderful gift that we tend to suppress for the sake of “not being judgmental.” It’s nice to see the real you now. For once I get to see the real you. And as sad as it makes me to see you living a life so contrary to who you once said you were, I’m glad you aren’t claiming to be something you never were anyway.

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Read the intro to February Fakes here

I was afraid to break up with you

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I have yet to meet someone who has enjoyed breaking up with someone. Sometimes someone may feel a sense of relief but the act itself is never fun. Someone always gets hurt. The only way to avoid this is to never date. But we all still date, risks known. Whether we choose to acknowledge or deny those risks is up to us.

I was afraid to break up with you for you. I didn’t know if you could handle it. You had been through a lot and I knew you had let your guard down with me. I didn’t want you to regret that. Our relationship was your life. What would you do if I left? I honestly didn’t know if you were stable enough without me. This is hard to write. I didn’t know it had gotten this far. The same thing that attracted me to you was the same thing that is pulling me away. I can’t mean that much to you. It’s too much pressure. Aside from wondering what will happen to you, I never wanted to hurt you. Ever. While I still think you’re a great guy, it’s possible to be a great guy and just not right for me, right?

I was afraid to break up with you for others. We say do what’s best for you but we all know others are always affected by our actions -by our decisions. It’s never just your life. Our families- so intertwined. So much pressure, so many expectations. What would they think if I broke it off? Could I still be friends with your family? They’ve treated me like I was their own. I don’t want to lose that. I don’t want them to think I was just using you. I don’t want them to think I don’t love you. Because I do love you. I’m just not in love with you.

I was afraid to break up with you for myself. You had become my life. I don’t know if I could do this on my own. I was so scared. What if I don’t find someone better? Who would I talk to if I needed to vent? Who would celebrate with me when I’d graduate? I was so afraid to be alone. Is it bad to say I was afraid you’d hurt me for hurting you? How did it get this far? I was afraid to be with you and afraid to be without you at the same time. This is all too much.

And then I learned the best thing for everyone- you, me, our friends, our families was to break it off. I’ve known all along. Because it’s not fair to you, not fair to me, not fair to our loved ones for me to continue to live a lie. As hard as it is now to be alone, it’s harder being with someone I know isn’t right for me. I’ll have to learn to live without you again. But I can. Sometimes we have to take one step back to take two steps forward.

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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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Single but not alone

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I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile now but life has a way of creeping in and stealing ALL my motivation. However, I think this weekend is the perfect time to get these feelings out. Around this same time last year, I wrote a post entitled “4 months, 4 holidays, 4 ever alone” It’s funny how things can change over the course of a year. I remember thinking last year how crappy it is to be alone during four of my favorite holidays, two of which are very romantic, in my opinion. I was also sick last year during Thanksgiving so it’s possible that contributed to my sulking, as well:p.

I feel like God has been ridding me of anyone and anything lately. I’m not the type of girl who always has to be in a relationship but I am the type who always has to have a potential. A prospect. Someone that could be “the one.” This year is different though. I wish I could put into words how I feel. For the first time, in a long time, there is no one. And it’s a strange feeling. I keep getting these reminders, these quotes, these scriptures. Reminders there is something bigger than my future husband. It seems so silly when you write it or say it out loud. But isn’t that how we live? Pinterest boards. “Dear future husband” letters. Going out. Staying in. Dating sites. If we were honest with ourselves, if we took a good long look at our lives, I think we’d be surprised how much of our time, how much of our lives are centered around a person we have yet to meet.

It’s funny how we hold onto to the hope of at least one. Because then our hope is justified. At least there is a possibility. I’ve lived a majority of my life like that. “Well, if it really comes down to it, I could always marry <insert name-of-guy-who-has-been-friend-zoned here>.” Why do we do that? Because the unknown is terrifying. We like to plan, we want to feel we are in control of our lives. So we make up stories in our heads to comfort ourselves. Sounds crazy when you write it down but it’s scary how true it is.

But this year, I have no one. No one as a back-up. No guy I could make it work with. No guy worth settling for. I’ve let go of them all. I don’t think my circumstances have changed too much. I think I’m just better at accepting reality. Actually not just accepting but embracing reality. Coming to terms with what I really want and desire most. I’ve seen a lot of relationships and marriages that have made me appreciate my singleness more. I think all too often we take our singleness for granted, as if its sole goal is to search for someone. But this time has allowed me to grow closer in my relationship with God. I’m reminded of when Paul is talking to the Corinthians about having an undivided heart. And I now understand. There is such a peace and freedom just in having Christ. I never feel “alone.” God’s love has filled me in ways I can’t begin to describe.

Sometimes I miss the good morning and good night texts. I miss knowing there is a guy thinking about me. I miss not having a date to certain functions. Instead I get awkward conversations. I’ve gotten everything from the “don’t worry, he’s out there” to “enjoy it” with the look of ‘I’m miserable in my marriage so please enjoy your singleness for the both of us.’ So many people say singleness is a gift but it doesn’t feel that way when you desire to be loved and have kids. I know it’s hard at times. And sometimes you start to lose faith, start to lose hope because you can’t see. You can’t see your future with anyone you know. So it freaks you out. You start to doubt and start to wonder if you’ll be forever alone. But do you know what hope and faith mean? They reach beyond what we can see and they trust. They trust God. And it is in those moments I’m reminded of the things I love. Things that make me not miss it all. Do I still hope to someday get married? Absolutely. But hope is not hope if you have a plan of how to make it happen. Hope is waiting for the unseen, the unknown, with excitement because you know that whatever God has planned for you is far greater than you could ever plan for yourself. Hope is letting go and trusting in something greater than you. There is no need to justify being single because while you may be single, you are certainly not alone.

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Taking a break or breaking up

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Breaks breaks breaks. There are many types. Your partner is off in the military and you are forced to take a break, one person isn’t sure of the relationship and requests a break, the actual break-up, and the break needed after the break-up. Whew. That’s exhausting just talking about it. But I’m only going to make two points in this post:

Taking a break? Break-up.

If you or the other person feels the need to take a break, the relationship is probably already over. You don’t take a break from your family. You don’t stop being a parent, a sibling, a son, or a daughter for a period of time. You don’t take a break to decide if you still want to be a part of the family. You may get mad but you know you’ll always be related. And in that, there is a sense of security. Commitment regardless.

What makes a relationship so amazing, so stable, and so secure is knowing that no matter what, you and the other person will never leave. Taking a break pulls that level of trust from right underneath you. You aren’t yourself. You wonder if you are good enough. You wonder if this will happen again. If you are not willing to work through it with your partner, it already shows where your real desire lies. When you really love someone, when you really know that you are with the person you want to spend forever with, you’ll fight. And this isn’t fighting.

I think this happens a lot with couples that haven’t first figured out who they are on their own and they get frustrated. Unfortunately, their partner is the one who ends up suffering. Don’t look for your identity in another. You can’t. And it can cost you a good relationship down the road if you think you can.

In short, there’s no sense in being in a relationship if one person already wants out.

Breaking up? Take a break.

And if you do break-up, take a break. I don’t care if you feel like you don’t need one or you both agreed to be friends, take a break. There are too many emotions that are still so raw. You have to learn to be single again. Otherwise, one or both of you are going to hold onto the hope of the relationship. Not necessarily because you love each other, but because you don’t know how to function on your own anymore. That’s dependency. That’s comfort. That’s safety. But it isn’t love. The only time I’ve seen people be able to be friends directly after a break-up is if both people never really cared about one another in the first place.

I think this is one of the hardest, yet best things you can do for yourself. You miss the daily texts, you miss the venting sessions, and you miss the sharing of corny jokes and dumb articles. It’s like you have to retrain your body. And it’s funny how you’ll think of any and every excuse to try to talk to your ex. “I know they had an important test today, I just want to say good luck.” “Their mom had to go to the hospital, I should probably make sure she’s okay.” Anything and everything in between.

Don’t prolong your pain and don’t cause pain for someone else. Be honest. And communicate. Our hearts and emotions are a tricky thing. I’ve seen myself hold onto someone I knew I didn’t care about simply because I wanted to feel loved. But being loved and feeling loved are two different things. You can’t move forward if you don’t let go of the past. It’s amazing to see what God does to your heart as you trust Him and do the best you can.

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The wedding gift I wish I didn’t have to give

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One of my friends recently got married and shared some of the rawest and realist words I’ve heard in a long time. Most people won’t have the courage to admit these things. We like to pretend our lives are fine. We like to pretend the choices we make don’t really have an impact on others. Oh how we wish our past was only our past. But it’s not. And the choices you are making today will have an effect on those around you, including your future spouse. Here’s Ashley’s story:

My whole dating life had been long-term relationships that lead me to my marriage. My first was when I was 14, the boy was 18, and we dated for one year. Then he went to college and I haven’t spoke to him since. I remember thanking God that I didn’t give him my virginity because that relationship sent me into my next very bitter. When I was maybe 16, I was neck deep in a relationship with a boy a year older than me. I had a group of friends that encouraged sexual deviance, encouraged experimentation, encouraged partying and after a while I gave into that temptation. I tried things I’ve to this day never admitted to because I remember thanking God that I was alive because I’ve seen people die from less. And after we lost our virginities to each other I felt so emotionally naked that we broke up two weeks later. That’s the first time I sat dissecting every inch of me wondering what was wrong with me.

It wasn’t long until I started dating the nearest male who called me pretty because I didn’t believe it at that point. I remember thanking God for Kody. Kody was 24 and I was 17. I vividly remember thanking God for a man, a man that treated me so well. I grew so scary dependent on him. He was my everything. I stopped partying. I stopped cheerleading. I stopped playing tennis. I stopped student government. I stopped anything that took time away from time I spent with him. Kody died a week shy of our one year anniversary. I don’t remember much except praying at his funeral, praying that “God please be real, please have him” because it was the first time I was scared of where my choices would lead me. I moved out of the state because my dad was terrified I was going to kill myself. I didn’t walk at my graduation because I didn’t leave my bedroom for a month. I didn’t take my final exams, I only passed because my school board felt bad.

When I moved to Florida, I met this boy who acted so innocent and sweet that I fell in “love” with him three minutes into conversation. Three years later I have a restraining order and ongoing court appearances that was left behind during that mentally and physically abusive on & off again relationship that was mostly secretive anyway. I used to pray to God everyday that he would stop. And the worst part is I had been saved in that time. In that time I was lying to my church, my accountability partners, my friends, my family… Everyone. I was lying to myself. I still lied even after we broke up and told people he was great and we just didn’t work out. I was so shamed. I am still shamed but I am no longer afraid of persecution from people who know the truth. Now that you know my past, I hope when I advise you guys to take matters of the heart seriously, you will. Because these soul ties I created, these men have pieces of me I can’t erase, and I can’t have them back. These are men in which my HUSBAND has to share me with spiritually. There are damaged parts of my heart that my husband is dealing with, damage he didn’t create. I can’t express how important it is to guard your heart.

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