Dating, courting and relationships are all words I have avoided for some time now. After dating and being in a long-term relationship that did not work out, I decided to take a break from love and re-evaluate.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know some of you may have gone through a really bad breakup, were cheated on or horribly mistreated. And after the initial shock of that kind of trauma, most of your friends might recommend that the best way to get over a bad situation is to jump right into another one. But what if there was another option?
TYPICAL DATING STORY
Now my story was not anything that you would include in a tell-all book. No cheating, no mayhem, definitely no restraining orders or any horrible breakup stories so bad that you can’t even be in the same room EVER again.
My story was the typical idea of trying to recreate what society has defined as happily ever after and trying to figure out what that looked like for me. But in doing so I started to let the desires to have intimacy, sex and have all my emotional needs met cloud what I thought was the right way to function in a relationship. I allowed myself to think that because I didn’t have all the crazy drama that some of my other friends dealt with, that my situation could last the distance. I overlooked small issues that eventually turned into big deal-beakers because in my case, we didn’t argue a lot, we always had a great time and I thought if I treated him with respect and like my potential king, he would do the same for me. But sometimes that is still not enough.
PEACE AND HEALING
Forgive Yourself and your Ex
- Well first things first, I want to acknowledge that even though the relationship didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean we have to hate the other person. For most sane people, there was another reason in addition to physical attraction or lust that you made you decide to commit yourself into a relationship with another human being. Sometimes neither one of you had the right individual tools to make things work together, or mistakes were made. At the end of the day there was a reason you were in each other’s lives good or bad. Take the good and bad and learn from it so the next time you open your heart, you can check these lessons off as learned. And forgive your self and them so that you can move forward with peace of mind.
Explore your Whys
You should try and take a moment to evaluate the good and bad. Most importantly, explore why you allowed certain things to happen that you would normally not put up with from most. For example, I know my ex was my weakness and my kryptonite. I am a very strong woman, but certain things he said or did always made me bend my rules or values to try and keep him happy. Now you would want to blame your partner for you breaking your rules, but this was all me. The real questions I had to ask myself were:
- “Why was I so weak around him?”
- “Why did I think he was the one?”
- “Why would I stay with someone who did not share all my values? “
- “Why did I break or bend my rules around him?”
SEX vs. LOVE
So after sitting alone in my apartment, taking time to think and re-analyze, crying to my friends and God, the answers finally became clear. W are clouded by the emotions and desires to have that one special person love us and by attachments sex introduces and creates between each person you are intimate with. I needed to understand and learn what was the difference between what was real love and euphoric love brought on through sex and intimacy.
Sex Clouds your Judgment
Sex is like alcohol. It actually could be considered a drug or something you can get addicted to. Sex releases endorphins, oxytocin and a host of other chemicals, which produce a general sense of well being, including feeling peaceful, pleasured and secure (Source: Ask Men). How could anyone clearly say no or evaluate a situation with 100% certainty if you are crazy and drunk in love because of sex. Then add on a night out drinking or putting yourself in questionable situations (aka Netflix and Chill or cuddling) and all hope is lost to not fall for the okie doke or keep your clothes on.
Discernment is Key
Sorry to tell you, but clearly you can’t 100% know if the person is the one if sex is involved from the start. Now I can’t tell you that you can’t have sex. But if I had used the discernment that the bible teaches through waiting to have sex until I was married, maybe I wouldn’t have had to go through a painful breakup like I did.
But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself.
My mind was so doped up on having that person near, that I threw caution to the wind, played monopoly with my heart and ended up with the “go straight to jail” card and then had to start all over again. It only became clear once sex was in jeopardy that we really only cared for one another, but true love with honor and respect for each other was not fully present.
Season of being Single and Fabulous
Now that I have been out of a relationship for sometime, I have had a chance to rediscover some things. Not having sex for a while has given me much clarity to weed through my emotions, and determine what I really needed and what were things I wanted but now realize did not add value to my life.
- I realized that I am worth the wait. For the right woman, a man will bend over backwards to show they are in it for the long haul. And if you are not the right one, well… you already know what happens eventually.
- Waiting to have sex will help you quickly weed out the rejects that don’t have the right skills or values to walk on your journey with you. Also if your mind is clear, you won’t need 5 years to know if the person you are with is the one. It will be evident very early on if the person fits in your life or if its time to move on.
- I also realized being single was not a punishment but a blessing in disguise. It’s a time for self-reflection and growth. One thing being single is not is waiting for a new man to come around or for an old one from our past. Being single is about spending time learning about you, rebuilding your bond with God and having the time and discernment to find out what your individual purpose is before you go into forming a unity with someone else.
- When else will you be able to find time to find YOU? Not while dating and having to spend time nurturing and fostering that partnership. Now is the time to start that new business you’ve dreamed of, traveling the world on your terms or maybe its time to start and break some habits. Only when you are focused on a better you will God reveal to you a partner who is on their own individual path that you can now both join and walk together on.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I am so grateful of my misadventures with dating so far. I have been blessed to get to know a few incredible men on my journey. It doesn’t matter if the road together was unsuccessful, but about the important lessons I learned along the way. God does not rule our lives with an iron fist. He gives us the choice of free will. He knows if someone is not the right one, but still He allows us to navigate life as we choose.
Just keep in mind that living a life with free will also has consequences for those choices as well. I am definitely hardheaded and have gone through life the hard way. But I am blessed to always find the lessons learned that God has for me to help me continue to get closer to the path He has chosen for me. Keep your head up, know that God only wants the best for you and you are special and wonderfully made for the right one.
It is ultimately up to you what you will put up with, give up or fight for in life. You with God’s help control you future and destiny.