It’s no secret that the beginning of relationships are pure bliss. Sometimes you don’t even want to go out, you just want to be in the presence of that person. Everything they do and say is “so cute,” you talk on the phone for hours, and your friends and family grow weary that every conversation with you includes reference to that person. This time period varies. Some people are in this clouded state for a couple weeks, others a few months or maybe even the first year or so. But eventually, real life sinks in and we have to figure out how to survive after the butterflies.
Many people when you talk about long-term relationships have this fear that they somehow go stale. Which on the contrary has not been true for me. I am in love with this season in my relationship in a completely different way than in the beginning. When you’re doing it right, love grows. And no you’ll never be able to go back to the carefree times when you were just dating, but just as well experiencing life together becomes its own fun. Yes there are bills, real life circumstances and all those things that come into play, but when we laugh together, have a great date night or just catch each other’s glimpse, there is no place I’d rather be.
So you get past the honeymoon phase and you look up at the person across from you and think, “Is this where I want to be?” It’s not as easy going as it used to be. He doesn’t look at me the same. She’s not as excited when I see her. And we fight like cats and dogs. Well, my friend most people that stay together experience the exact same things that people who break up experience. I too remember going through an extremely rough period where we just couldn’t see eye to eye about things and every ridiculous thing would turn into a shouting match. Even in the midst of my rage though, there has always been something about him, something that simultaneously I would want to throw something at his face and kiss him at the same time.
At the end of the day, what I have learned is that people all have “stuff” with them. Most of the time when we are jumping from relationship to relationship, we are really just exchanging one person’s stuff for the next. And so it becomes really important to think about the things that are most important to you when it comes to a relationship. What are your 5 NON-NEGOTIABLES? It doesn’t have to be exactly 5 but sometimes I feel like us as woman especially have a laundry list of necessities and wonder why finding the right one can be so difficult. Yes Mr. Perfect may be out there for you, but I have yet to meet a perfect human being so good luck.
When you are in the midst of throwing the towel in on a relationship that you have put work and time into, think about those non-negotiables. Do they have them? Do they meet your most important needs? Do you laugh with them more than you cry? Do they treat you well and do their best to cater to your needs? Are they going through a tough time that is putting a strain on the relationship? Do they make you feel like there is no other person in this world for them but you? I find our generation tends to be a bunch of quitters. We jump ship quicker than the captain has the time to throw out the life vests and then wonder why we’re drowning.
Am I saying that every person you invest time in will be the one? Absolutely not. You know me by now. But what I am saying is that I will never understand how this person was the one for you a week ago and then things get a little rocky and you’re not willing to at least stick it out to see where it goes. I would never recommend wasting your time, but at the end of the day, a person that God doesn’t see fit for you will find their exit anyway. But sometimes we abort things so quickly that we never even see the full potential of what it could have been. Do you think that people that have had successful relationships have never wanted to throw the towel in? I’ll wait. Ha! Love gets tough and it’s not always pretty but when we set a foundation of what true love really is and can identify that love in ourselves and our significant other, then everything else can fall into place.
Nothing is perfect about my relationship. But I’ll tell you what, we keep God in the center and it is always the thing that we can come back to when we are out of pocket. Lol. I know that my love for him needs to be modeled after Christ and he knows the same. And so the little things, the annoyances, the bad habits, or whatever become bearable. As we grow, loving him gets easier and easier. I am well developed and more trained in how to love him well and vice versa and so we flow much better than in the tough times when you’re thinking “Am I sure about this?” At the end of the day, when it’s just you and that person, alone in a room, will you be able to stand each other? That’s an important question when venturing into the long term.
You will never be able to go back to what it was like when you first met and you were both still really just caught up in the lust and passion that comes along with loving a new person. But I want to assure you that there is something really good on the other side of the butterflies. There is a sureness that even in the midst of storms, this is who you would want by your side. That at any time they can still make you feel flush and excited by them just by giving you a certain look. And there is the opportunity to reflect and laugh and giggle about the silly things you did when you were just starting out. Don’t be afraid of getting to that other side.
Have you given in too easy? Have you let #relationshipgoals get in the way of being able to see what you truly had in another person? What will you do differently in the next relationship?