Notice, the title to this blog is NOT - "10 Ways To Get Hitched" or "10 Steps Towards Your Best Relationship Yet." No - these aren't the secrets to finally getting your crush to go out with you.
It can be easy, especially in Christian circles, to focus on whether or not someone fits the criteria to our "list." Oh you know what I'm talking about. You may not have written it out on paper, but everyone has at least a mental list of what they want in a mate.
I want to share 10 things I think can take the focus off of trying to "find the one" and help us focus on "becoming the one." I don't believe that being single is "off-season" for relational-sanctification. In fact, we can grow even more in this time if we allow God to do His work in us.
So here's a few things that can help you. It's not an exhaustive list, but I know it will be beneficial to you!
1. FLIP YOUR LIST AROUND
Do you measure others by the same standards by which you measure yourself? Are you looking for things from a potential mate that you yourself are unwilling to possess? Make sure that you start with YOU before you demand certain things from other people. It's unflattering.
2. GET GOD INVOLVED
How's your relationship with God? Since that's primary before any other relationship you will have, it might need some more attention before you rush into something with someone else. Without the proper connection to God, your foundation for any other relationship will be off. Focus on building your life in the right order.
3. FIGURE OUT WHERE YOU'RE GOING
It's pretty important to know the direction your life is heading in before you involve yourself with another human being. Why? Because if your lives are heading in two opposite directions, being in a relationship is only going to hinder you. Figure out your goals, ambitions and dreams before you find someone to partner with, that way you can choose wisely and move in the same direction together.
4. DEAL WITH YOUR PAST
Had bad relationships? NO relationships? Deal with it. Don't let past hurts, bitterness or fears determing your future. The people you are going to meet shouldn't have to pay for the mistakes of others who have gone before them. We all have baggage, but that doesn't give us an excuse to let others have to carry it as well. Work through your stuff.
5. TEMPER YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Did your dad raise the bar so high that no guy could reach it? Did your mom coddle you so much that no girl could ever measure up? Are you measuring your potential mate to a future version that is so far down the road in maturity that you've given them no room to grow and develop now? Do you have unrealistic expectations of what a relationship should look like? It's good to do some self-discovery to find out the "why" behind your expectations. This way, you can set healthy standards without holding onto unrealistic expectations.
6. FACE YOUR FEARS
Living a life driven by fear is fun for no one, especially you. In fact, you'll miss out on most of what God has for you. Don't allow the fear of failure, rejection or even success keep you from moving forward. Do stuff even if you're afraid of it. Failure isn't fatal - it's vital to growth!
7. GET GOOD FRIENDS
Having quality people in your life who can call you out on your crap and encourage you, all in the same conversation, is a must. Doing life alone is always dangerous. Get some good friends in your life who can help you through your season and make you better. They'll tell you when you're settling... and when you're just being an idiot!
8. HANDLE YOUR MONEY
Even if you're a Christian, money makes the world go 'round. Learn how to manage it. Live on a budget. Save. Figure out how you view money. If you're a big time spender and they're a big time saver... you're going to run into some issues. Tithe. And listen to people who can teach you about how to handle your money.
9. CONTROL YOUR SEXUALITY
If you're struggling with temptation now, it'll only be magnified once you get into a relationship. Your problem with porn will turn into a problem with your significant other. Deal with that before you get into a relationship. Find accountability and take control of your body. Sexual struggles are only complicated by relationships, not solved by them.
10. BE OPEN
Don't become so close-minded that you end up with your eyes closed. God has a funny way of working in our lives. Build friendships and get to know people. You may just discover God's best is nearer than you thought.