Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m not looking for anything serious right now,” or “I just want something casual,” or “Yes, I DO want to settle down eventually, but I’m just not there yet”?
My guess is you have. I personally can’t even count the number of people I know, including myself, who have said one of those phrases when referring to their dating lives. I can’t speak for other people but back when I said those words, I didn’t wholeheartedly mean them. I simply tricked myself into believing I didn’t have any other option, when the truth was that the guys I was interested in were NOT interested in a “serious relationship.”
Most of my friends faced the same dilemma; the guys we wanted were always the types who kept us at a safe distance and the guys who pursued us were the ones we “couldn’t see ourselves with.”
What is it about the dating world today that this continually happens? Why is it so hard for us to commit?
Obviously, every person comes with his or her own set of issues so there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to this problem. However, I think the cat-and-mouse game does play a significant role in many of these casual dating scenarios.
We not only LIKE the chase – we convince ourselves there is something “missing” if there ISN’T a challenge. I first heard this from the famous romantic comedy, “He’s Just Not That Into You.” And although I watched this movie countless times in high school and college, it wasn’t this movie that prompted me to make changes in my dating life…it was Jesus.
You probably don’t picture Jesus when you think about dating. I know when I first heard the concept of talking to God about my love life I thought, “Yeah right – God shouldn’t have to be bothered with my silly romantic whims.” Then one day it hit me: God is in the big and small. He DOES care about every single detail of our lives, including who we are (or are not) dating.
When Jesus died for me, He saw all of my flaws and still thought I was worth it. This realization gave me a heightened sense of self-worth; I thought, ‘If Jesus loves me enough to DIE for me, I should raise my standards and wait for a man who is willing to commit to a real relationship.”
Upon accepting that, things in my not-so-full-of-love life became very UN-complicated. The gray area pretty much diminished entirely. If I met a guy and he started playing games, I simply dropped the drama and moved on. I prayed about it constantly. I asked God to bring me a man who would pursue me intentionally and respectfully. And he came along WAY sooner than I anticipated – it’s possible!
I tell my single girlfriends all the time – when you meet “the one,” he won’t make you feel insecure. He won’t make you question things or re-read your texts five times before you send them. It will come naturally. You might even say to yourself, “Could this be right? HOW can it BE this simple?” But when that person comes along, and MOST importantly when God is in it, you won’t have to try so hard in the beginning – the effort will be mutual. My parents once told me, “Life and marriage are hard enough; if things are insanely stressful and dramatic at the BEGINNING, the relationship is likely doomed to fail.”
If you’re struggling in the dating department, I STRONGLY urge you to drop the drama and give your situation to God. ADMIT you want to commit. Stop believing the lies that something is wrong with you if you get hurt because you CARE or that you have to settle because there is no one out there you could be interested in who also shares your idea of romance. Stop putting up walls, convincing yourself you don’t want more.
Let go and trust God. He can help you find that romance you are longing for but you have to be willing to leave the drama behind. In the end, YOU are the only person who will lose if you lie to yourself about your desire to find a truly loving relationship.