TRIGGER WARNING! I will be talking about dating relationships, if in this place in your life those words make you bitter, pissed off, sad, or confused, its probs best not to read this, at least not today.
There’s a lot of dating advice out there even Aziz Ansari (from Parks and Recreation) is dishing it out. What I simply want to do is offer my perspective cause while I’ve only been in one relationship it has been a really good loving, healthy relationship. I’m not going to give any of our secrets away, but I will give you what I know about choosing a partner* and none of them have to do with finding someone with killer abs**.
- Be with someone who shares your values Seriously. While I of course, live as a disciple of Jesus, I fully realize not everyone does. I think having Jesus as your best friend is legitimately the greatest thing life has to offer, there are some people who do not think so, it’s a good thing we aren’t dating. So many times people date people who don’t see eye to eye with them on core values. You don’t have to see every issue the same, but there will be problems if you value monogamy in a relationship and your partner does not.
- Be with someone who inspires you to be better and aspires to be better Now let me make it clear so there is no confusion. Adults cannot change other adults, you can only change yourself. That clarified when you have a good influence on your life, you want to step up to the plate. Your partner says she loves to read so you start buying the books she reads to read with her and picking up the daily newspaper. You realize your constant lateness hurts your partner, and you don’t want to hurt him, so you get better at being on time. You know they’re the best so you step up to be the best as well.
- Be with someone who lets you be yourself Along with not changing you, your partner should allow you to be yourself. You should not be shamed for your weird sense of humor, the friends you keep, or your penchant for Oreos and peanut butter. Remember no adult can change another adult. You can certainly bring up how a partner’s behavior affects you (and you should, communication is important), but you can’t change them, and a partner who punishes you for you being true to yourself is a partner not worth staying with.
- Be with someone who will learn how to love you You know the love chapter in the Bible that starts with, “Love is patient“? Well, it’s true, love is patient, because to love another person fully, intimately, and unconditionally takes time. It’s a learning process. They should be willing to learn how to love you, and you should do the same. Be with someone who will listen and respond when you tell them you like handwritten love letters, hugs when you’re scared, and hate sarcasm. It makes all the difference.
Notice that none of these things were specific. Each relationship is incredibly unique, and while there are a lot of important things in relationships, communication and honesty being two major ones, these are some factors that I’ve seen that have blessed our relationship and been a factor in successful relationships I know.
Glitter on lovelies,
*I think it’s important to not assume the gender of those reading or the gender of the person the reader is attracted to so I will use the term partner rather than boyfriend/girlfriend. Good to keep it inclusive, glitter crew.
**Seriously, don’t get hung up on physical attraction, while I think it is actually important, it also has remarkable ability to grow. I was not at all physically attracted to S. Objectively, I thought he had great hair and was handsome, but he didn’t get my blood pumping by any means. Our physical chemistry now? Well, let’s just say, the blood gets pumping a lot. As I got more and more attracted to his mind and his soul and his being through his care for me, my attraction for him in every area grew, now he’s the epitome of what I find physically attractive.
“It has made me better loving you… it has made me wiser, and easier, and brighter. I used to want a great many things before, and to be angry that I did not have them. Theoretically, I was satisfied. I flattered myself that I had limited my wants. But I was subject to irritation; I used to have morbid sterile hateful fits of hunger, of desire. Now I really am satisfied, because I can’t think of anything better. It’s just as when one has been trying to spell out a book in the twilight, and suddenly the lamp comes in. I had been putting out my eyes over the book of life, and finding nothing to reward me for my pains; but now that I can read it properly I see that it’s a delightful story.”
― Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady