I am single. I've been single for a long time. I love being single, I really do. I love only having to worry about my schedule and doing activities that I like to do. But I am also frustrated about relationships. Not in the way you may be thinking but more in the sense that I believe I was mis-educated about relationships most of my life. So today I want to unpack some things that I wish I had not been taught.
Lets talk about good ole Sunday school. First off, the older I get the more I cringe at the things church taught me when I was a kid. I have a vague memory from maybe 6th grade of an illustration that was done during morning youth group. We were shown a paper heart that was supposed to represent our own. We were told a hypothetical story about us going through a middle school break up, a high school break up, then a broken engagement. Each time a break up happened a bigger piece of the paper heart was ripped off then we were left with a small piece of what used to be so much bigger. Maybe a fair point was driven home after this ridiculous demonstration but I am going to talk about this how I remember it. That made me feel like I should avoid relationships. It made me feel like relationships were a bad thing. So why try them? But what about the fact that God can heal any form of heart break? And maybe the fact that a relationship that doesn't end in a marriage and children is not something we have to regret?
Something else I have been bothered by is making young people feel bad for being in relationships. When I was in high school it felt like every adult would shame anyone my age for having a boyfriend or girlfriend. Now I know there are a lot of exceptions to this and most young relationships do not last... but why should we always think young+relationship= bad news? Are we talking to younger people about their relationships or are we automatically placing judgment on them? I never had a serious relationship in middle or high school, but I know lots of people who have and they have lasted a long time. And yes I also know lots of people who had relationships young and it was a disaster. Some younger folks date because they feel pressured into it... like they need to be dating. But I firmly believe not all are this way. And if two high schoolers have a serious relationship and it doesn't end in marriage, well I don't think any part of them should wish they never dated in high school. There is a place to learn and grow from everything without regret. So lets try to not write off couples because they are "too young" but instead get to know these individuals and see why they've ended up where they are.
When I would think about my future partner, I would think it would be someone that I was friends with first then we would begin a romantic relationship. I think that is another issue that needs to be brought up. Yes, I firmly believe your partner should be your best friend. But I think we (especially Christians) can get so caught up in this idea that we won't try to find someone for ourselves. If I had a nickel for every time someone told me the moment I stopped looking for my future husband that he would basically appear, I would be very rich. And honestly, that makes me angry. What is wrong with Christians dating? I used to think it was so wrong for a woman to go out with a man once then go out with a different man the next week. Why shouldn't I search for my ideal partner? Now I go back in forth looking for someone and also wanting nothing to do with dating. Is that why I haven't found someone yet? Because I'm not all together giving up on the search and letting him find me? No. It's because I do not know what I want yet. And that is okay!
Some weeks I feel like I have so much love to give, other weeks the idea of a relationship makes me want to crawl into a hole and stay there. So moral of the story is, I think a lot of christian woman have been brought up believing the wrong ideas about dating and relationships. Like most seasons in life; the point is to focus on becoming the best versions of ourselves with The Lords guidance and everything else will fall into its proper place.