I’m married now, but I’m not too far removed from the dating world to remember the dreaded sifting process.
It starts something like this: You meet this seemingly nice guy, who more often than not, you probably weren’t even interested in dating initially. The reasons varying from place in life, popularity status, or the background check you did via social media.
Either way, you have your reservations. But then his persistence turns into something more.
Fast forward 3 months later and you’re all in. The irony? Now that you’ve let your guard down and made him Bae, things seem a bit shaky. You’ve already invested your time so you’re not quite sure whether you should stay or go. And to be honest you’d rather stay, ESPECIALLY because:
- You don’t want to start over
- Your embarrassed
- You’ll be the only one single
- You’ll never get married at this rate
- He has potential
- You believe you have what it takes to convince him to change
- Things were good in the beginning and it gives you hope that you can get back to that place
I remember this stage of my life so clearly. I was half loved but too stubborn to let go. Instead, I kept fighting a losing battle that I subconsciously knew I couldn’t win.
My life consisted of lying to friends and secluding myself. I didn’t want them to tell me I was being a fool because I already knew that. I justified bad behavior with excuses and second chances, frustrated that others couldn’t see that he was the one because he wasn’t.
Because I have these memories, I sympathize with your plight. I can relate to you- even feel you. But none of that would excuse me from being remiss in my duties as your sister if I didn’t tell you what any person who loves you should tell you.
There are hard rules that every woman has to come to accept. If you’re like the old me, you’ll ignore them and wonder why you keep experiencing the same cycle of hurt and disappointment. But if you’re like the girl I was when I finally met my husband, you’ll understand that waiting is better than delaying your best (you’ll catch that later).
Below are the rules that most of you will read and ignore because they are hard. They will force you to cut off relationships you are comfortable in and make you reevaluate your take on dating. I cannot make you swallow the tough pills herein. But at least you’ll know they are there when you’re ready to grow.
- Always remember that true love doesn’t hurt. If it doesn’t feel good let it go…QUICKLY.
- Pull up 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to test his staying power. If you can’t confidently replace the word “love” with his name throughout the verses, you’re selling yourself short.
- Don’t be the girl with the idol threats. Do not call it quits unless you truly plan to leave. Backtracking only results in loss of respect and an increased probability that he will repeat the same action that made you want to leave in the first place.
- Stick to your standards. Men treat you how you allow them to treat you.
- It is better to be the last one married than the first one divorced. Take your time and trust your process. Rushing relationships or staying in unhealthy ones because you “don’t want to start over” or “are getting old” is a recipe for disaster.
- Don’t compare your love story to that of others. Everyone’s journey is different.
- Fall in love with you. No man will love you correctly until you love you correctly first.
- It’s okay to give up. There is no such thing as jumping the gun or giving up to quickly when you are dating a man. He is not your husband. If it hurts too much or isn’t a good fit, let it go.
- It is better to cry now than later. Stretching out dysfunction doesn’t generally result in change. Instead, it typically results in more pain. Cry it out and wait for better.
- Being pressed will ruin the best years of your life.
- Being alone does not mean you have to be lonely. It is unhealthy to be a chronic monogamous just for the sake of saying you have someone. Make sure he is worth it.
- You set your value. When you hold yourself in high regard men will respect it. When you don’t they’ll take advantage of it.
- Arguing, pleading your case, or crying will never convince a man to do something they do not want to do. If he wanted to, he would.
- A man can like you without liking you like THAT. Watch his actions to determine where you stand.
- If he isn’t trying, you’re not priority.
- Revisiting the same situation multiple times doesn’t mean you need couples therapy, it means he’s probably not the one.
- Treating a man like he is your husband won’t make him marry you.
- Your physical looks and qualifications mean nothing to someone determined to do wrong.
- Don’t upgrade his life at the expense of downgrading your own.
- Yo-yoing with dysfunction is a sign of brokenness. Get down to the root of the thing inside of you that needs to be fixed. Men don’t make you whole. Only you can do that.
- What’s worse than not breaking up with a man because you’ve invested your time is wasting your time staying with him when he fails to show improvement.
- If he loves you, he will not put you in a position to be humiliated.
- A mother’s loyalty is to her son.
- There is no grand prize for sticking it out through all the bull crap and no guarantee that being “loyal” through his mishaps will make him love you more. If anything, it’ll make him use you more.
- There is no such thing a sex good enough to make a man stay.
- Women cannot take a man. He steps out of his own free will.
- Verbal and condescending language is the worst form of abuse. Remember, healing your body is a lot easier than healing your mind.
- If you are tempted to search, he’s not the one or you’re not ready. Either way, you might as well be single.
- Forget his words. What do his actions say about him?
- Men are territorial. They claim what they want.
- I’ve never met a man who was unsure of his intentions. They always know and they always show you. It’s not your job to theorize or make excuses for him.
- If you can’t read him, it’s probably because he doesn’t want to be read.
- If he can’t lead you, he shouldn’t marry you.
- Unfortunately, your gut is almost always right. Stop ignoring it.
- Everybody plays the fool. Don’t allow your situation to make you feel humiliated or less than. Dust yourself off, adjust your crown, and walk in confidence.
- Most often the only closure you’ll get is the closure you give yourself. Don’t wait on it from an ex.
- Don’t backtrack without a stellar reason (and there usually isn’t one).
- Always remember, even the worst pain can’t last forever.
- If not this than something better.
- Most of all, be fearless in your decision to claim God’s best for your life. All things in perfect timing.
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