As a single girl, I’m possibly one of the last people anyone wants to take relationship advice from. But over the last few years I’ve learned some things, both from my own experiences and learning from other people. Too often I see people buying into some of these ideas and concepts about relationships that just aren’t true (and yes, I’m guilty of believing those things too at times). But as I’m learning, I want to encourage others’ on the journey as well. So here it is – my five relationship lessons:
1. Relationships are not like the fairy tales. You’re not gonna meet that special someone, sing a love song to each other and then live happily ever after. Relationships require work. They require sacrifice and selflessness. Beginning a relationship involves awkwardness - getting to know each other, learning how to work together, and love each other. Relationships involve choosing to trust someone.
2. That person is not always going to do what you want them to. They’re not perfect, and they’re certainly not a mind reader. They’re not always going to remember to send you a good morning text. They’re not always going to be able message you back straightaway. They’re not always going to know when you want a hug, or how to say what you want to hear.
3. Love is a choice. It’s a constant choice to see the best in a person. It’s a constant choice to forgive wrongs. To do what is best for them, not just for you.
4. Though leaving is hard, staying is harder. Staying is also a choice. Relationships involve risk of hurt… There can be fear in that too. It’s a choice to stay, when everything in you feels like running the other way as fast as possible.
5. Relationships will not solve your problems. Dating someone, even if it’s the person you’re going to someday marry will not suddenly make your life perfect. It’s not suddenly going to take away all your work or uni stress, your financial pressure, or family problems. Yes, you’ll have someone there to walk the journey with, but ultimately, all of those things are still your responsibility. They cannot fix it all for you.
I know – it all sounds harsh and reading it like that makes relationships sound ultra-boring. But the thing is – they’re worth it. I believe love; true love with Christ at the centre is worth it. Yes, relationships are work – but when you’re with the right person – the work has purpose. The right relationship – draws you both closer to God. It brings out the worst in you as you realize your own selfishness – but then it brings out the best in you as you choose to put aside yourself to serve someone else. Choosing to stay, choosing to trust, choosing to love – it is a hard journey. But I believe it is well worth it.