If you’re not currently in one, chances are you’re longing to be. After all, it seems that everyone else is. (Seriously. Scroll through Instagram for more than a minute and you’re bound to see the start of a new romance along with a few mushy love posts from a laundry list of happy couples).
I think we all can agree that this perception creates a big, gaping void.
We start to feel like we’re missing a key component to our existence—a component that’s meant to unlock the (currently mysterious) path for our lives—and it seems that our journey can’t truly begin until we find this absent piece.
Whether you claim this truth or not, most of us are convinced that finding someone new to love is the best way to eliminate sorrow and bring us peace, purpose, and direction. We believe that a relationship is the ultimate, end-all goal.
We’re ready to find “the one” so we can finally begin our lives.
When we acknowledge this pressure, it’s easy to see why many of us are quick to fill the void with anything that has (even the slightest) resemblance to love, often getting trapped in the never-ending roller coaster ride of moving from one failed relationship to the next.
If that’s you, we want to help you break out of that cycle today by intentionally filling the void with a love that lasts.
It’s time to get to know yourself.
Think about it—at the start of a new romance, we spend a ton of time learning ev. er. y. thing. we can about the other person. In fact, the focus of our daily actions are often motivated by the drive to win this new guy’s heart.
So why is it that, when we’re single, we totally abandon this very same step?
We wouldn’t commit our lives to a total stranger, so why do we treat our own identity any differently?
Now’s the time to get serious and start asking some personal questions.
Who are you?
Let’s build some character, y’all.
Who are you? What do you like to do? What makes you happy? What makes you sad? What fulfills you?
When people introduce you, what words (if any) are followed by your name? Do they go on about your personality and how kind you are? Do they say that you are trustworthy? Loving? Caring?
If something is mentioned about you when you’re away, would someone stand up and say “Oh, ___ would never do that!”?
If you’re finding it difficult to answer these questions, you may want to make it a point to spend more time establishing your character. (→ Set up personal values and policies that you stand beside and will not budge on + make an effort to invest in others by sharing more and building stronger connections).
Don’t hide behind a pretty face—have depth!
Nobody wants to bring unclaimed baggage into a relationship. It’s messy. It crowds things. It gets in the way and causes us to trip up.
The first step is to claim it.
Look back at your past experiences and acknowledge the choices you’ve made.
Then, sort through it.
Examine the pieces.
“Why didn’t this work?” “What was the cause of this?” “How did I contribute to that?” “Did I do anything to hinder it?”
See if there’s any broken pieces that need restored. Acknowledge what you could improve on and find the resources you need to repair the damaged bits (read books. Seek godly counsel. Listen to podcasts. Invest in yourself).
Finally, eliminate. 👇
Only bring what’s necessary
When we take the time to discover who we truly are before we get into a relationship, we eliminate a lot of unnecessary baggage. This helps us gain clarity on our personal expectations for our relationships. We discover what it is that we want and need from others and what we can and are willing to give to them in return.
If we don’t really know what we expect out of a relationship, how will we know if it’s the right thing?
Without taking the time to gain this personal understanding, our relationships are bound to be superficial at best. When times get hard, we’ll be #PeacingOut and looking to move on to the next best thing (and the cycle continues).
In contrast, when we know who we are before we get in a relationship, we’ll be able to give of ourselves in the proper way and it will all be so. much. smoother.
Leave the weight of unnecessary baggage behind.
Selfish vs. Selfless
“The opposite of love is not hate, it’s selfishness.” — Judah Smith
We’ve gotta be blunt for a second; if you think relationships are easy….. you’re wrong.
Relationships take work.
Many people rush into them asking, “what can I get out of this?” without ever thinking to ask, “what can I offer?”
The problem with this thinking is the simple fact that relationships are not for the selfish. In fact, they’re all about giving.
Anddd let’s be real, if we haven’t taken the time to establish who we are and what we stand for, we won’t be able to offer our partners much of anything.
However, if we work this out before we enter into a relationship, when trouble arises, we’ll be able to ask ourselves, “what can I offer my partner right now? How can I help him? What can I do to make it easier?” instead of demanding things we have no control over. Think: “I need him to do this. And he should be doing this for me.”
See the difference?
It takes a mature person to be in a relationship.
We gotta be selfless instead of selfish.
Refocus your efforts
We’re consumed with love. The idea, the emotion, the act… It’s fundamental; we want to be loved by everybody (parents, boyfriends, friends, etc.) and we spend our lives searching to feel that reassurance.
In this exhausting pursuit, we often forget that God is love. It’s no coincidence that we are consumed with it.
We just keep falling for cheap substitutes and missing the real thing.
The next time you start to think “I wish this person would love me” and pray for the strength to wait for it to happen, we hope that you will remember these words and know, you already have access to the greatest love story of all time.
Refocus your energy and place your trust in Him—the compassionate one who loves us unconditionally… and begin to quote His promises, “No good thing will He withhold from those who walk along his paths” (Ps. 84:11). Wait with God and trust Him to lead you to the person you are supposed to be with. Don’t you want your future mate doing the same?
We hope that this post will help you to make the decision to choose to love yourself first. Stop forcing potential relationships and begin to focus on living your best life instead.
You’ll be amazed at the potential relationships that begin to present themselves.