Heart Check- Why Do You Want Love?
The weather is crisp and cool. Our commutes to and from work are accompanied by a seemingly midnight sky. We all know what time it is, it’s cuffing season (hate that term btw). Although there are many singles out there enjoying this time of scouting a temporary cuddle buddy, not everyone is about that life. There are others who are yearning for love, a real relationship, and marriage. Seasons like this can stir up desires for commitment just as much as casual fun. So to my singles wanting more than a warm body, I’d ask that before you update your dating site profile, decide to “put yourself out there”, or have a friend set you up, to ask yourself an honest question. If it is true love that you seek, what’s your “why”? In other words, why do you want it? To some this may seem off putting or rhetorical but truthfully every single woman should ask herself this throughout her journey of waiting. See, intention is everything and we shouldn’t be pursuing love just because. Sis, it’s time for a heart check.
When I was in my twenties my ideas about love were a bit skewed to say the least. I didn’t know myself and I sure didn’t know what I wanted, (especially what I needed) out of a partnership. My intentions therefore were not in alignment with God’s best which led to my thoughtless dating decisions. I know I’m not alone and this is not something only twenty-somethings deal with. There are women in their 30’s, 40’s, even 50’s who are still recycling their bad choices while living out the cliché of looking for love in all the wrong places.
During singleness, there are certain mindsets that can interfere with God’s plan for your love life. So I want us to explore some of the unhealthiest reasons for wanting a man.
You’re Lonely– Loneliness is a beast that conquers by wearing on your spirit slowly and relentlessly until desperation sets in. During moments of hindsight, I think we can all admit that some of our worst choices have stemmed from not wanting to be alone. Fear of solitude can make you to enter the wrong relationship and settle for less. Once you are content in singleness, you will begin to attract the right guys. Feeling lonely majority of the time is a sign that there are some voids you haven’t filled. In this case, the last thing you want to do is seek a relationship as a form of healing. No matter how fine, successful, and godly a man is, he will never satisfy your inner aching, only God can do that.
You don’t know how to be alone– I believe there is a difference in being lonely and simply not knowing how to be alone. If you have spent most of your years in a relationship(s), then for you being single is a major transition. This is difficult because your identity has likely been shaped around your companions. Being by yourself may be a foreign concept so naturally you will default to your comfort zone. The next thing you know, you’ve created a pattern of jumping from guy to guy with no downtime in-between. The only way to break the cycle is to face the discomfort and date yourself for a while.
Check out my post to learn the benefits of your solo season
It’s about time– If you find yourself often thinking “when is it going to be my turn?”, “I should be married by (insert age here)”, “how did she find someone before me?” then you may be focusing too much on time. This preconceived idea of when things are supposed to happen will interfere with your love story in so many ways. You will always be rushing (which again leads to settling), and you will bypass the preparation stage only to realize later that you weren’t ready. Letting go of your timeline will make room for what’s meant to be. Great love takes time- you have to be patient, no way around it.
Here’s some tips to take things slow and spot red flags
To fulfill your childhood fantasy– I know of many women who say that they’ve dreamed of being a wife since they were children. That is a long term fantasy that can distort our reality. Healthy relationships/marriages are beautiful but they require a lot of you- possibly things that you’re honestly not ready or able to give yet. So to search for a spouse simply because you always imagined that you’d be a wife is not going to be enough to keep you in the good fight once you find him (or he finds you). Pursuing your fantasies also creates unrealistic expectations. Your earth husband shouldn’t have to compete with the imaginary husband that you’ve been crushing on since age 7. Let God replace the vision in your mind with His will, it’ll be more than you’ve ever imagined (see what I did there?).
“They” said you should– This one’s for those of you with overbearing family members. The pressure of having relatives feeding you their ideas about when and who you should marry can be overwhelming. Even co-workers, church members, and your closest friends can join in this campaign to get you hitched. God forbid you don’t actually want to get married, it’s like telling people you have a disease with no cure. Even if you are considering marriage you can’t have your own thoughts about what you want without hearing everyone else’s shoulds. These folk are not going to be a part of your union when it’s all said in done, no matter how much they try to intrude. Therefore you have to quiet all the noise and evaluate what is truly best for you.
You’re a single mom and you’re tired– Single parenting, co-parenting, part-time parenting whatever the case may be is hard…whew! It can be easy to start wanting a man to help lighten your load, especially during the toughest times. You think about how amazing it would be to have the help, a role model for your son, daddy figure for your daughter, a family for you all. Hear me say that there is nothing wrong with wanting any or all of that. I mean most of us had our children with this plan in mind but it didn’t work out. Moms you just have to be careful. When you’re tired (mentally/emotionally) sometimes the wrong man can feel so right. No matter how much a man may contribute to your situation, this should NOT be the primary reason why you’re dating or considering him husband material.
You want what “everyone else” has– Your vulnerability plus the right mushy social media post and you have gone off the deep end. Images play in your mind in the form of a personalized romantic movie highlighting all the “perks” of being in love. The date nights, baecations, anniversaries, the overall love fest seems so appealing. Everyone else seems to have this but you and you want it, because you’re tired of being left out. Two things are wrong with this picture sis. First off, in life and love you have to run your own race and not focus on what “everyone else” has. This is a dangerous motivation. Secondly while you’re scrolling your timeline envying the beautiful couples don’t forget to think about the behind the scenes footage. Make sure you envision the challenges, the warfare, the mundane day to day, the work, the compromise, and the sacrifice. When you can consider the lows and still be excited for partnership then you may be ready.
When evaluating the reasons I’ve mentioned there is a theme here, the focus is on you. Please understand that the right relationship will be a blessing to you but it is not all about you. Singleness should prepare you to give more than receive (the same goes for him). Marriage is about service. It is a ministry and divine assignment. The person you are joined with will be for shared purpose. Romance and companionship are the byproducts. Hear me say that there is nothing wrong with wanting to be in love and looking forward to marriage. We just have to assure that our intentions are rooted more in spirit than in flesh.
Moment of Reflection: What are your personal reasons for wanting a relationship and/or marriage? Has there ever been a time in your life that you were searching for love for the wrong reasons? Are there any other reasons you would add to this list?