Well the unthinkable in my life happened; I started dating someone. Yes pick yourself up off that chair, brush your dusty knees off, no you’re not dreaming. It’s true.
About two months ago I started seeing a wonderful person. It was kind of sudden, very unexpected but truth be told it’s been a great journey thus far. Yes, I’m well aware it’s only been two months, but already I have learned a great deal about myself and mindsets I had that I didn’t even know I had. This post really is for you single people out there. Especially the Christian ones because I have news for you…you probably have mindsets and disney fairy tale views that you don’t even know you have. Trust me when I tell you the past few months have been a complete rewiring of everything I thought I knew about romance, ‘healthy’ relationships, and expectations.
Here are a few things i learned.
1. You’re dating a human, not a fantasy – “oh Tim” you say, “of course I know that”. Only you really don’t until you start dating someone and realize that this person can’t read your mind. That this person doesn’t fit into you’re nice, neat view of that special someone. Do you know why? Because they are a human being with their own thoughts, desires, habits, attitudes, preferences, and views. You’re dating another human being, not the person you made up in your head. Seriously, stop wondering what it’s going to be like because you’ll be pretty much wrong. I mean you can day dream about being with someone all you want, just understand that you’re mostly wrong about the actual person you’ll be dating because the person you’re thinking of isn’t a person..it’s a daydream.
2. No matter how much I knew that hollywood gives a false view of romance I still bought it – I mean can you blame me? We are bombarded with it everywhere. Yes Yes I know that we Christians think we see through it…..but we don’t. Instead we combine Jesus with Disney and the result is crap like this. We are saturated with culture’s view of love and romance and no matter how much we tell ourselves we don’t buyit but secretly we do. Yes of course I knew that no woman will be my answer in life but it wasn’t until i actually experienced it that I understood it. You might think that you see through hollywood’s smoke but you’ve still inhaled it.
3. He/She Won’t be your ultimate fulfillment – Understanding that this girl will never fully answer all my questions, never calm every nerve, and never be perfect is at first terrifying and then completely relieving because you realize that you’re not her end all be all either. My relationship with Jesus is my center, but she is with me on this journey, not my journey. Of course I couldn’t be more thrilled to be pursuing this person and yes, it’s great to be with her and I love to spend time with her. But I don’t have to see her every single second of every single day. This person isn’t my answer. Jesus is and because of that we have healthy space in our relationship.
4. No butterflies does not equal I’m falling out of love – I imagine anyone in a serious relationship or marriage is laughing at me right now. Truth be told it sounds ridiculous. But one day when I woke up and didn’t have raging feelings for the person I’m dating I thought to myself “well this must be it, for some reason I don’t like her anymore” which of course is complete poop. Once again I bought the lie that feelings = relationship. This another great mirage of our culture and especially our media. From movies alone we are left to assume that to like someone, or to love someone means to have strong, constant, crazy feelings for them 24/7/365. What a shock it was to me when that didn’t happen. Once again I knew it wasn’t true, but I didn’t understand until I experienced it.
5. Friendship is just as important as the romantic – Another mind blowing revelation that I’ve learned in these past few months. My friendship with this girl is just as important as the romance. I’ve had fun just being with her not having to hold her hand every second of every day. We’ve had moments where we’ve laughed so hard we both started crying, these moments that our often overlooked in our culture’s view of dating have often been the most intimate and important in our relationship. Sure I take her out , we go on dates, but most of that time is spent as great friends enjoying the company of each other and usually ends up with us laughing till our heads explode…or binging on a few Office episodes.
Look, I don’t claim to be some relationship guru because I’m two months into a relationship after 5 years of being single. That isn’t the point of this post. The point of this post to wake Christian singles up. Dating Sarah is so much better than dating the person I made up in my head because Sarah is a real human being made in the image of God and the person I made up was made in the image of me.
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