In my last post, I laid out relationship non-negotiables, the filter you use for every person you have an interest in or go out with. Knowing what you want will ultimately help you navigate these relationships and bring much more clarity than if you don’t have them at all and rely solely on feelings. Definitely go read that if you haven’t. There are so many case studies and examples in my own life and my friends that I can present, and I venture to say will be woven throughout most posts, but I selected one anecdote in particular for today.
I recently had a dear friend call me upset about a guy who she’s liked for almost 2 years after she found out he’s dating someone else. To her, it feels devastating because in the back of her mind, she was still waiting for him. I know how distracting it can be to wait for one specific person to “come around.” They did go out briefly , but he ultimately ended it with her because he felt that he needed to be single and not date anyone at the time. She thought that when he was ready, he would come back to her. So, when she found out he was dating someone, she felt betrayed, as if he had lied to her.
I’ve seen this time and time again where a guy thinks he’s not ready for a particular relationship when in reality (sorry, this is going to be harsh) it wasn’t the right relationship or at least not at the right time. I’ve been told so many times that you often find love when you’re not looking for it, and if that is the case, then him spending a season single is putting him in a position where he is not going to be looking for it. He will be growing, hopefully personally during that time, and it is not unreasonable that the right woman comes into his life during that season. It wasn’t that he was trying to get away from you, it’s that even though he may have not been able to articulate it exactly because he probably did actually like you, you weren’t the one.
If you’re supposed to be his wife and he knew it, he wouldn’t let you go. He’d be miserable without you. But he did let you go – he took the risk of when he comes back, you’d be taken. It wasn’t right for him.
So what do you need to do? Yes, keep putting yourself out there, going on dates or meeting people, and even creating opportunities to be pursued (we can talk about all that later), but if he’s not actually pursuing, he’s not ready. If he was, he would pursue. It’s okay to have him as an option, but it is not okay to wait for just him. Why? Because the challenge is that you could be so focused on that guy, that you don’t recognize your actual man when he comes. It’s ok to date, have interests, but you need to wait to be pursued (again, something I will write about in the future).
Back to the story: my friend rebutted that she’s tired of God bringing these guys into her life, and that it almost seems as if she’s setting them up for their wives. What she isn’t realizing is that it’s not God that’s bringing these guys into her life “as a tease,” it is her opening her heart to guys in her life and thereby subjecting herself in a vulnerable way to the wrong ones. She is ultimately the one establishing herself as that role in their life. If she goes out with someone and they’re not meeting her non-negotiables, but she keeps spending mental energy on that prospective boyfriend, it’s not God. It’s her forcing something that God didn’t intend. Here’s what it is: God may have given you a nice friendship or acquaintanceship as an exotic sports car and you drove it off-road.
In God’s eyes, He wants your heart pure for your actual husband to come in and pursue you – not torn and broken by other guys who simply passed through.
The reason this is a case study in having non-negotiables is because if you can filter every interaction through those, then you are stronger to mentally walk away from a potential relationship that has an inevitable ending or due compromise. Having said that, my friend may argue that this guy did have her non-negotiables and if that is indeed the case, but he does not want to mutually date or be with her, then perhaps she (ahem, or you) don’t meet his non-negotiables and personally, I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t wholeheartedly want to be with me.
This whole situation requires faith in knowing it is already done, that someone is selected for you, and that there is an ideal partner for you. I can honestly say that despite being frustrated or impatient at times, I could still rest in the faith that God has a husband for me. I have never known or understood the timing, but because I have peace that it will happen, I have always wanted to do single well and not mess up my ability to be an example and encourage other women. However, most importantly, I have wanted to be ready for that time, baggage free.
Friends, we all can look back and likely recognize areas that we have compromised things that are important to us. Know that when it seems like you are tempted or tested, this is not always God testing you and He is certainly not teasing you. I urge you to take the time to identify what you want, pray about it, and wait for that. It is there for you and I want you to truly recognize it when it comes. Don’t be a case study (haha – this just sounded bold and funny) – but aren’t we all case studies – that’s how we learn. Your story is beautiful and empowering if you know how to learn from the people you meet and explore yourself enough to know your values and stand by them.