Buzz-kill advice from married people

It’s been a wonder to me how the tone of conversations about relationships have changed since I started dating. Especially considering I wrote a post about types of breakups and singleness, you’d think people would be kinder to me. Instead they are telling it to me straight.

Maybe it’s because I am talking to different people, not just other single, boy-crushing females.

Or maybe it’s because people see that me and “he” passed 6 months and have an ounce of thinking serious in us. Regardless, all the chatter about relationship is so different these days.

I must say that now when I sit across from married couples, they still haven’t figured each other out, their differences have created difficult times (that they only now laugh about), and they have needs that the other can’t meet.

It’s like the topic of crushing in my conversations was replaced with the reality of  commitment.

Attraction and chemistry subbed their place at the table with words like teamwork and vulnerability.

And instead of people wondering if he finishes all my sentences, they wonder if he compliments me in my weaknesses.

I have weaknesses? Is he supposed to know?!

Over lunch with my boyfriend and a married couple, I let them know that I haven’t yet had that moment yet where the dove lands on my shoulder and Jesus whispers to me, “he is the one,” and they laughed and joked about the number of pigeon moments involved in relationships day to day.

They disclosed that there are hard times, yet still, I saw that they were blissfully in love in a different type of very deep way. So while I’m surprised, I willingly listen. They didn’t talk about the whimsical delight of dating that happened 40 years ago, yet they still sort of look like a young dating couple. What is that?!

Feeling pretty good about my current relationship, I tried to compare it to a movie to determine if I have fallen in love. Did we catch eyes in a crowded room, hold a stare while time stood still, drift towards each other while music intensified, then instantly start making out?

Well…

yeah! That is sort of how it happened, now that I think of it.

But it took maybe 5 months (okay, under 2); not 3 minutes. And during the weeks this slow-motion attraction was occurring, it didn’t have the feeling of the movies, if you know what I mean. Time didn’t stop and music didn’t play while we both went back to work. The whole dating experience more so tiptoed up beside me like an interview for a casting script, lingered a while, then became a pretty cool movie in which I was one of the leads. I don’t remember choosing to audition. And the background music only plays when we turn on the radio.

It has been delightful and magical and fun and strangely normal.

And until the words below came to me in September, I presumed it was potentially too fun and too normal. I presumed it didn’t have the dramatic effects (overly positive or negative) for it to be a true story of love like the movies. I was still waiting for a “single-mingle, where’s the tingle” phenomena, and this pursuit was actually holding me back from the emotion of real love. So here’s a writing that popped to my mind recently that helped me overcome my mental block of a need for the movie romanticism.

9-28-2017

You’re not getting a better version of you.

You’re getting a different person… who is better than you in some ways – in some areas you never chose to care about.

Better than you in things you worked hard to learn and never grasped.

Better than you in areas you’ve adjusted your life around to fit a possible dysfunction.

Ouch.

You’re not getting your soul mate.

Unless you choose a soul to make a mate and he becomes your sole mate (spelling intentional).

Your soul belongs to God and has aspects you don’t even know yet.

Remember, you’ll pick a man. And even soul connection won’t get the dishes done.

You’re not getting “the one” who will bring a sense of wholeness to your life story.

You are a complete and whole person.

You two together will make him your one – and he’ll be better for you, and you’ll be better for him… over the next 5 years progressively.

You are getting a partner.

Have you ever done partner projects at school?

You’ll both pull weight.

Sometimes you’ll feel like more weight is on you, and sometimes you’ll feel like you’re not even contributing but you want to.

Sometimes he’ll be the presenter and you’ll run the slides.

Sometimes you’ll get an A and you didn’t even understand the assignment and sometimes both getting the F will make you even better partners.

You’ll subscribe by the belief that opposites attract and be shocked at how similar you are then,

as soon as you start to think you’re just so uniquely alike, he’ll do something that makes you wonder if you even knew the man.

1 day in, 10 months in, 40 years in – I hear.

And I’m reminded of wise words someone told me when I said, “tell me about marriage and finding the one.” And they said, “Well, ultimately, it’s a choice.”

And I relinquish my hope to be controlled and remember that I’ve been made with a brain, feelings and emotions that are valuable and wise.

I’ll get to use them for a choice I can be proud of.

 

(Header image caption: The time we attempted to team up as tour guides about a statue we knew nothing about. He had too much talk; I had too much flair. Our Aussie friend was not convinced by either.)

Shout out to Gary Thomas’ book, The Sacred Search, for helping me clarify some of my wording on these points.

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