Dating with Discernment: Navigating Landmines and Goldmines

 

 

dating with discernment
Photo Credit: GIPHY

As a single woman navigating dating can be a lot like trying to tip toe over landmines in attempts to get to the place of the coveted gold mine a.k.a,  a relationship that is divine, healthy, and most of all happy and representative of the love that you release into the world. Often, the best way to reach that goal is to continually expect the best of potential and current suitors but keep a discerning eye out for those things that would normally pass right under the radar without thinking twice or blinking.

We’ve all been guilty of one time too many fighting with our God given instincts and nudges about how someone’s character fits into our life and lifestyle. God always sends us soft and sometimes loud signals like “Hey don’t pass go, don’t collect $200, this ain’t it” but sometimes we can be very headstrong, lonely, willing to compromise, too kind-hearted for our own good, too optimistic, etc. that those very characteristics prevent us from vetting people the way that we normally would.

I can remember an instance where I KNEW within my heart of hearts and God was dealing with me the entire time I was in this individual’s presence that he wasn’t for me but you know how that goes. LOL. If you are a type A personality or just extremely motivated, you are of the mind that there isn’t anything that you can’t make work. And you will FIND a way,  where there is a WILL. But the wondrous and beautiful thing about TRUE AND AUTHENTIC LOVE I’ve found is that you don’t have to work EXTREMELY hard at it, it naturally flows even in the working/workable moments.

But God kept dealing with me the entire time. From people in restaurants, stores, and other familiar places I would normally visit alone and receive a warm reception giving me odd looks , to just my general uncomfortableness about certain things that were happening or being said, to God literally not letting me get any rest with what I was doing.

dating disaster
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It was actually pretty hilarious looking at it in hindsight. But I didn’t actualize what was occurring until it occurred and I was completely 175% uncomfortable and out of sorts that I realized that I was wrestling with God (and not in a Jacob type of way to receive a welcome blessing) as well as wrestling with myself for a reality and future with people I knew that I wasn’t happy with in my present and couldn’t see a foreseeable future with.  I knew I had to get out and fast because my intrinsic values were being stepped upon and that is super important to me in building a relationship with ANYONE.

Discernment and keeping your eyes open and remaining sober-minded and prayerful can save you a lot of time from mismatching yourself with people who should have never made it past “hello how are you?”.  It can save you the heartache of injuring yourself with individuals whose goals and visions are misaligned with your own and give you the soundness of mind and pureness of heart to be able to enjoy the goldmine of a divine, healthy, and happy relationship instead of expending great energy on fruitless pursuits when that beautiful relationship you desire manifests.

As for me in my personal landmines, God’s protection and discernment has kept me pretty well recently although I’ve been slightly hard-headed. So how do you use discernment while on the journey to cross paths with your life counterpart?

  1. Remain open but objective. Yes, this individual isn’t perfect and neither are you. However, making excuses for people’s behavior or accepting the bare minimum of your standards as “it’s  as good as it gets” is settling and not operating in your true and authentic self.
  2. Trust your peace or lack thereof. Listen to what the person is and isn’t saying and then watch for actions that align with those things. If you find yourself cringing, feeling like a smaller version of your best self, or just in general a check in your spirit DON’T IGNORE THAT! You know what you need and that’s your spirit leading you to it or away from things or people and places that are not it or in alignment with it.
  3. Don’t force it. Sometimes incompatibility, rejection, and disappointment leave you with a weird mix of emotions but tap into those emotions, do the work with God to heal, and keep going. You don’t won’t just anyone in your life but someone that is going to complement you and the divine purpose you were created for.
  4. Lack of compatibility doesn’t make you or the other person a bad person. Just a set of persons that are not right for each other in this specific relationship dynamic. Be true to yourself and be honest with that other person and let them go to find what best suits them and vice versa.
  5. Go on dates or situations that allow you to see what this person is like in real world, true life situations. This way it’s not just long stares, candlelit dinners, walks on the beach and romance, but you truly unraveling this individual’s character to really see how they operate and if you can truly live  with and love this reality for forever if they NEVER change or PROGRESS beyond this point. Potential is beautiful but it’s just that without kinetic action behind it.  We often fall victim to believing in potential or the idea that this person can change (and people can) but it has to be a personal choice with the assistance of divine intervention.
  6. Find people who you TRUST and who LOVE YOU and will keep you accountable about what you desire out of love and life and allow them to interact with this person. Yes, at the end of the day our loved ones do not dictate who we partner with but who knows you better than them? Besides, they aren’t looking at your love with rose-colored glasses and could possibly be onto something that you’ve missed.
  7. Grow in love with the person and not the ideal that that person represents. If that person is stripped of all the trappings of this world, they are left with their raw character and personality which will guide the relationship.
  8. Know your deal breakers and be unapologetic for/about them. What’s problematic for one individual seems like a walk in the park for another.
  9. Last but not least, HAVE FUN knowing that you are equipped with everything you need to cross paths with another amazing being and that until you find them your self-love and self-worth will be your guide!

If you’ve recently landed on a love landmine, that’s OKAY! I am sending you love, light, and God’s peace and blessings! But keep going! Pick yourself up, give yourself time to heal, and get back to living your fabulous life.  Your story is still being written by a master Creator!

true love
Photo Credit: GIPHY

 

Why my single life is just as fabulous and beautiful as married life

If you’re single like me you’re probably used to the following narrative and questions:

” We need to hurry up and find you a husband”

” When you getting married?”

” You live alone, all by yourself? That doesn’t get lonely?”

” I know you got a boyfriend, a man or something”

self love
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And the list goes on……

For the most part, I take these comments and questions in stride because the majority of the time, they come from people who I am certain mean well but just want what they perceive is best for me.

But I am here today to state that my single life isn’t something I am DESPERATELY trying to shake free of  nor is it some type of death sentence that I believe God unfairly punished me with until a significant other arrives. I am in love with the life that I am currently leading because I realize love and happiness starts with ME and spreads abroad and I’ve got a lot of things that I am passionate about and that God has placed in my hands to steward and tend to in THIS MOMENT.

Society has put us into a mode where as single individuals we are constantly bombarded with the idea that you haven’t arrived until you have a husband or wife, 2 and a half kids, and a house with a white picket fence  and if you don’t…. WELL then you’ve clearly missed the mark. Or God doesn’t love you. Or you must have something wrong with you. But your worth comes from a lot more than just the mere notion of your marital status or what you’ve achieved in life. I’ve found that my worth is in Christ and in Christ alone and when I attempt to place it in anything else or look elsewhere for it then I always come up empty.

Don’t get me wrong I desire companionship and REAL LOVE. And there will definitely be a time to be married to an amazing man that adds to the amazing life that I already have and pour our love and Christ’s love into our offspring.   There will be a time to  build a beautiful life as a great mother and wife and carry out my individual and collective purpose with my husband that God placed me on this Earth for.  Those are roles that I believe are so honorable and beautiful and God graces each individual for. But that’s not the entirety of who I am and desire to be. Both of those roles take great preparation  and maturity to truly serve in the capacity that I believe God creates them for .

And what better time to prepare and love my life then right now in this very moment? Whatever issues I was dealing with as a single woman don’t magically disappear when I get married. If I don’t use this beautiful time right now to love myself, find myself and the things I love, and truly appreciate my own identity I may make the mistake of idolizing my future blessings of marriage and children. As a result I may also lose my sense of identity and wholeness misusing the gifts God has given me to steward in the long run.

single life is beautiful
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I’ve also been a single woman who’s been in the WRONG relationships. I’ve known what it feels like to lay next to someone and have your very worth and being taken for granted and to be greatly undervalued. I’ve known what it feels like  when the very things you do for someone are not GOOD ENOUGH and neither are you. I’ve felt hurt and pain and sense of being lost due to being in the wrong relationships and not being able to truly hear from God.

not good enough
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I no longer desire those things for myself, thanks be to God and his great sense of deliverance and freedom. I am content to enjoy my single life until God orchestrates a meeting with a man worthy of who and what I am as a person. A man who is not threatened by those things but encourages and breathes life into those things as I do the same for him.  (talk about a beautiful God honoring partnership) And I say that in the most humblest terms possible.

self love
Photo Credit: GIPHY

The next RELATIONSHIP I enter into will be intentional and it will be to a man who honors the God I serve, me, my womanhood, my accomplishments, the love I give and all the wonderful gifts and talents that I will bring to our relationship.

real love
Photo Credit: GIPHY

Until then I am excited to:

  1. Grow deeper and stronger in my intimate relationship with God and be about my Father’s business.
  2. Learn from healthy and happy married couples what it takes to sustain a God filled marriage with a purpose filled partner.
  3. Travel! (woot woot)
  4. Learn to live fearlessly and bold and walking in faith
  5. Try new foods and cook new recipes
  6. Chase my dreams and make my career exactly what I want it to be with God’s discernment and wisdom
  7. Eat cereal for dinner if I feel like it (lol)
  8. Stretch out in my bed
  9. Dance around my apartment
  10. Sleep in
  11. Building amazing friendships
  12. Spend time with friends and family and fostering and growing those relationships
  13. Serve in my community
  14. Check out local treats and restaurants (yay! fun! )
  15. Workout as much as my little body can stand
  16. Make random trips anywhere
  17. Tinker with starting a business
  18. Write books and blogs and whatever else God puts on my heart
  19. Splurge guilt free on my heart’s desires
  20. Come and go as I please
  21. Read books, learn, grow, become a better woman FOR ME
  22. Move across the country or around the world
  23. Go wherever God may be calling me to serve his people
  24. Last but not least live my life abundantly as that is what Jesus died for me to do

I challenge you if you are in a relationship that in your heart you know you shouldn’t be in or has you living below the life  God intended for you, (short of your marriage because you in that thang till death do us part lol) I encourage you to examine whether you can truly live the divine life God intended you to with this person or if you are operating out of a place of loneliness, desperation, or boredom. I’ve been there and desperation will only detour you to dead ends. Trust the process, grow, learn, take care of yourself, figure yourself out, find out what you’re called to do and GO DO IT! Your life doesn’t start when you get a ring on your finger or your marital status changes, it starts every morning God breathes fresh breath into your body. Get busy! You never know who God may be using you to impact.

And my my,  what a special thing when you do encounter your future spouse (if God has placed that as a strong desire in your heart I believe and stand in agreement with you that he will honor it) if you’ve been busy enjoying your life and growing in God excelling in those gifts and talents we’ve all been blessed with.

So go enjoy your wild, fabulous, beautiful and blessed single life!  It’s so worth it!

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Photo Credit: GIPHY