In Part 2 of this post, we begin to explore what taking steps towards ‘Making The One’ may look like. It will not be the same for every person and every couple, but a different and new mindset can help us begin to build healthy relationships based on mutual enjoyment and less confusion.
I’m humbled and pleased that one thing many people tell me after hearing my talks or reading my book, is that they are glad someone is saying that you don’t need to be perfect in order to be in a relationship. That dating is about two flawed people committed to putting the effort in and trying to make it work.
They are relieved that I don’t say ‘follow these seven steps to happiness’. As if there is a simple formula that will ‘sort’ us out. As I said in Part 1, we need a different approach.
Helps us to start ‘Making The One’
Thinking about how we approach relationships, remembering that we need to put in the hard work, remembering that it should be fun and respectful, helps us to start ‘Making The One’. And can stop us waiting, or pretending we’re perfect and just hoping to bump into that other perfect person.
(The following extract is taken from page 28-29 of The Dating Dilemma book, read the introduction for free.)
Making Sure We Grow
In rare instances, God might point out the person you’re going to marry. And if he does, good stuff! But most of the time, he’s more interested in who you’re becoming, not just who you’re dating.
We are going to be exploring some incredible truths God has for you. If God helps you to grow in confidence in this area or teaches you the keys to understanding commitment, he is guiding you towards any future relationship just as much as if he had told you your future spouse’s name and address!
Making It About ‘Us’ Not just ‘Me’
Learning to be less self-centred in a dating relationship is one of the ways God can help you to become relationally intelligent and able to serve others – whether you marry them or not!
God knows that relationships aren’t always easy. Beginning to share parts of your world with someone else can feel a bit uncomfortable at times. So he wants you to be prepared, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Making It About Not Being Perfect
Zack got married a few years ago. His marriage is everything he hoped it would be, but recently he told us how difficult the first year was. Nothing had prepared him for how much he was about to discover of his own flaws.
Counselling has helped him come to terms with insecurities that had gone undetected or unchallenged throughout his life. But his one regret is that he waited until he was married before he looked at who he was and what he had to offer anyone in a relationship.
A relationship you need to work at is no less a gift from God
The ‘perfect relationship’ mantra might inadvertently make us think that, when our relationship hits hard times or doesn’t always feel amazing, it’s a sign that we aren’t with ‘the one’ God has for us. We might even think that, if we’re not convinced we want to marry someone ten minutes into the relationship, we shouldn’t keep dating.
‘Making The One’
A relationship you need to work at is no less a gift from God. A relationship that doesn’t begin with a commitment to getting married any time soon is no less valuable in God’s eyes. You might end up discovering a greater appreciation for each other that will grow into the deep love needed for a strong relationship.
You’ll discover how working through difficulties gives you an increased resilience and capacity for forgiveness. These are vital tools for building marriages that last.
I really believe God cares about this area, and he wants us to be involved in the process
More importantly, if we date in a way that allows our character to grow in selflessness and maturity, then even if the relationship doesn’t work out, it will honour God. Isn’t that better than thoughtless dating or waiting for God to sort everything out? (Read 15 Questions for Building Mutually Enjoyable Fulfilling Relationships)
No one can promise you a relationship is around the corner. No one can promise you there won’t be any low points. But I really believe God cares about this area, and he wants us to be involved in the process and grow as people, and as a couple if and when that happens.
Imagine if we made it less about waiting for ‘The One’ to appear, and made it about us getting the right perspective, learning how to build good foundations, and remember to enjoy it, I think we can be part of building an amazing dating culture. (Read Why I Told Joshua Harris To Redeem Rather Than Reject Dating)
What else would help us start ‘Making The One’? Comments welcomed below.