Over the years I’ve learned a lot of lessons in love. The good, the bad. Honey, I’ve seen it all! With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought I’d take the opportunity to share my past dating mindset.
When it came to dating in my twenties, I spent too much time prioritizing the wrong characteristics in men. It took me a while to come to a point where I was able to shift my mentality from seeking attention from the wrong men, to one that was based on self love and letting God lead me to my partner. I cringe when I think of some of the qualities I thought were most important at the time. I was convinced that the man for me was someone who was popular, obsessed with me, had jealous tendencies, and could put me in my place with a thick accent and even thicker pockets. Sounds romantic, right? Thank God for growth, and the discernment later on in my twenties to be able to find my best friend, and wonderful husband, Charles. Here are three of the most significant lessons that I’ve learned along the way.
- Know What You Want.
It’s important to put a lot of consideration into the qualities that you seek in an ideal partner. I used to believe I wanted a man that was popular or an attention seeker. However, as I later learned, when it comes to maturity, people like that typically can’t commit their hearts and minds in a way that’s desirable.
- Be confident and comfortable with who you are.
It’s so important that you’re satisfied with the person you are inside and outside of your relationship. If your plan is to find yourself along the way or to have a partner to complete you–don’t do that. Relationships aren’t exactly 50/50. Each partner should be bringing their 100% effort and commitment to make their union last. Otherwise, in your pursuit of attaining a fake version of yourself, you’ll be molded by that relationship or your partner.
- Never enter a relationship with the hopes of changing your partner.
Do not go into a relationship thinking that you are going to make or mold someone else into your desirable partner. Nine out of ten times, they won’t change. You should be able to love your significant other for who they truly are. Once the rose-colored glasses come off, and the honeymoon phase is over, reality sets in and that is the person you’ve committed to. One very important question that you should be asking yourself often is: “Are they worth fighting for?”. Your answer should always be a resounding, unequivocal, “Yes!”.
4. Never chase after a partner.
This may seem self-explanatory but you’ve got to let them leave. You can never make anyone do what they don’t want to do. Making moves outside of your alignment is just like chasing after someone that isn’t yours.
5. Pray for God’s guidance rather than making decisions and asking Him to bless them.
Before my husband, I was guilty of setting my sights on a guy, dating him, and then becoming convinced that he had to be my future husband. I’d even waste time praying to get them to act right and treat me as their wife. Not the best approach. Our goal should always be to move with the guidance of God’s will, not our own.
As my personal mentality evolved, so did my dating preferences. No longer were they based on lust or external influences (peers, pop culture), but rooted in the confident woman I was becoming. I was able to attract a better quality of suitors and eventually transformed my love story from one of heartbreak to happiness and marital bliss.