I have all kinds of thoughts about relationships. Relationships, dating, "going out", courting, "hanging out", whatever you want to call it. Relationships with someone who is your "boyfriend" or "girlfriend". Those kind of relationships. I need to be careful with what I say here for a bazillion reasons, many of which you will understand after reading, no matter how careful I am.
Let's talk about my life a little bit before anything. I'm learning more and more about how important it is to share aspects about oneself. I thought about just typing all of these posts without giving anything up about myself. But because I want you, as a reader, to give yourself up and be for real when reading every post on this blog, it's only fair that I also share about myself. The idea of relationships and how passionate I am about them really came about within the last two years or so I'd say. I've been told that I don't have a valuable opinion since I'm not dating anyone. That comment hurt a little bit, but I think I'm going to disagree with them. And explain here a little bit about me.
I have dated before. I made mistakes. I made good choices. I made bad choices. The relationships I've had have impacted me. That's all you'll really get from me. Someone asked me the other day if my relationships had been "God honoring". I wasn't really sure how to answer the question and I really don't remember how I answered the question at the moment. But I'll answer it here. Not as honorable as what I think relationships should be.
As I think about relationships, I want to say that I'm not so sure that I am going to write here is actually applicable to everyone. Though I do think that the marriage portion of it should be...we'll cross that bridge when we get to it. So if you disagree with this. Don't hate on me. And if you're involved in a long term relationship, don't hate on me or think that I think you're in a bad spot or something is wrong. That's not the case. Read the first sentence of this paragraph. This is one of the reasons why I think I'm treading on thin waters.
In the past, I've always thought that the best way of having a relationship is to date the person for years. And then be engaged for awhile. And then finally get married. Like each are just continuation of each other. And it's like a three or four year process. But now, I'm thinking about it in a completely opposite way almost. That the dating part of it should be fairly short. And the engagement just a few months. And then marriage. All within 1-2 years. And instead, each part is separate from the others, not just a continuation but something more. What. the. crap. I don't know about you, but the really freaks me out. That is quick--half the time of my original thoughts. Good grief.
Dating step: I have never been one to date just to date. I've always liked the idea of long term relationships. That whoever you are dating, there should be potential for marriage. If you aren't going to marry the person, why are you in this relationship? Just for kicks, just to pass time?
Engagement step: In all honesty, I have never understood the purpose of proposing to someone and then planning on getting married like seven years later. I have always looked at this as a time of preparing your hearts for marriage and really, just getting ready for the wedding. As a commitment to unity. And on the other side of the coin, I have never really understood being engaged for less than a month.
Marriage step: SEX! Well, actually true story, about 95% of all American couples have had sex before marriage. I'll talk about sex more later. But for those 5% who wait until marriage. SEX! And for those who have already sex with their "partner". SEX! Okay, so clearly I am excited=) But also, there is so much more to marriage. The actual unity occurs. Marriage is not something that should be taken lightly. You gotta love your spouse. And have sex with your spouse. And with love comes trust. Comes forgiveness. Comes grace. Comes truth.
Okay. It's past 3am. I need to go to bed. I didn't really finish this. There will be a continuation about relationships. Which was a continuation of the Entity of Marriage post. There will be a lot of continuations.