If you break up with your boyfriend after reading this – please don’t blame me. K, thankkkks.
It took 26 years for me to realize that nearly everything I was taught as a young girl about love just isn’t true. Isn’t that crushing? Little girls every where are watching these Hollywood romances and day dreaming about their own – and it’s based off of a shallow perspective of romance and love. It’s based off a construct – and it’s ruining relationships.
Guys, literally – I watched Grease every single day from the ages of 12-13. I was just in total awe of the relationship I saw on the screen – I thought it was so “romantic”, so “loving”, so “cute”. I looked up to that relationship.
Then I watched Grease the other day, and was pretty irritated the whole time. I’m so bewildered by the fact that I ever aspired to that relationship. Danny was embarrassed of Sandy for pretty much the entirety of the movie – up until the moment she completely changed her appearance to be much more “appealing”. Like WHAT!
K, so when his friends weren’t around he was one person, and when they were around he was a totally different person and treated her like trash…and then pretty much stayed embarrassed by her the whole movie…and then went for another chick at the dance…and Sandy got sad…so she decided to completely change who she was to get and keep his attention? AND ALL OF THAT WAS COOL? I used to look back at that moment in adoration.
Listen – me and every other girl (and boys too) are just learning all the wrong things about relationships. I honestly can’t think of one movie that I watched growing up (and still to this day) that accurately portrayed a happy and healthy relationship.
And, it’s not just Hollywood that’s feeding into these lies – society as a whole is eating all this up, and spitting it out for everyone to believe.
Here are a few lies that are running rampant:
- You should be focused on looking for the right person to love
- You have a “soul mate”
- Feelings matter the most in relationships
- Love is a feeling
- Love is all you need
- Feelings dictate passion
- Passion is based on physical intimacy
- Physical intimacy is necessary when deciding who to marry
- Relationships worth having should be easy
Lets break all these down:
You should be focused on looking for the right person to love – It’s about getting your needs met
Could there even be a more selfish way to view love? Love is about selflessness, love is about giving and serving another person…but only if that person is exactly perfect? No. Focus needs to be set on BEING the right person and becoming the right person. I promise you – no relationship you are in will flourish if your only goal is making sure you find someone who meets all your needs and fits into your life. Spoiler alert – there is not one person out there who can meet all of your needs.
Scroll instagram for like two seconds – you will be bombarded with this idea that love is all about YOU – that love is all about what your man can do for YOU – how your man can make YOU happy – how your man better meet YOUR needs. If your man doesn’t treat you like this or like this – drop his ass because he doesn’t deserve the queen that you are.
I’m not advocating for a lack of standards and a lack of logical investigation into whether or not that person would be a good fit for a partner – but if you’re only thinking about your own gain…I’m sorry, but you just aren’t the queen that instagram is telling you that you are.
That man will disappoint you – because you shouldn’t be looking for a savior in your relationship, you shouldn’t be looking for your all in all – you will be let down, I promise. You will not have it all together once you lock down “the one”. Once you focus on becoming the right person, you’ll stop looking for love in all the wrong places, you’ll start to attract life-giving people who want to do life with you…not wait on you hand and foot while adhering to all your standards.
And you know what this mindset is ultimately creating? Think Tinder or Bumble. It’s turning people into cars at a car lot. It’s making people think that someone better could be on the other side of every swipe. We have access to so many different people these days that we think “why shouldn’t I be able to get everything I want out of a person?” And just like that – people have become a commodity. Just like that – people think that the person to perfectly fulfill them is right around the corner…always on to the next.
Be the right person, and you’ll stop chasing your ideal right person.
Not to mention – why is it that this chase for a significant other has become the most important chase to so many people? Like chase your passions, chase your goals, chase change and service…and one day you’ll look up and there will be other people running with you. Those are the people you can start to focus on.
We all know those people (dang it – I was one of them) who go from one relationship to the next, doing all the hard work of dating (which seriously can be a total drag), doing all the hard work of trying to hold together relationships that aren’t meant to be – expending so much energy just trying to make it work.
In high school my dad begged me to pursue my own passions and the rest would follow…obviously didn’t take that advice. Sometimes I like to imagine the artist I could’ve been if I had spent the same amount of time, energy, and creativity into art as I have into men.
Michelangelo, I’d be the modern day Michelangelo.
Think about where all of your energy is going – and then press the reset, refocus button if you have to. Refocus on your mission and vision. Refocus on who God is calling YOU to be. Refocus your energy.
You have a “soul mate”
No you do not. Logically that doesn’t even make sense. That means if someone even last year married the wrong person…the rest of us are screwed. Like, lets think that one through…
Not to mention, if you’re focused on being the right person – that will make for a lot of “right” people for you.
Feelings matter the most in relationships
People make so many decisions about everything based on feelings, and it’s just so dangerous.
This one is particularly painfully confusing, and hard for me to fully explain because I think I’m partly just grasping it myself. I’ll try.
Feelings are important guides. Obviously if you are hanging out with someone and you’re annoyed the entire time and can’t stand being around them – probably a good indication that a life time with that person won’t be anything too great. But what people don’t realize is that just because you really “like” someone or you feel good when you’re around them doesn’t mean entering into a relationship with that person is the best idea.
Feelings lie to us – it’s easy to become infatuated with someone – and then our minds go down the rabbit hole of fantasy. Infatuation is somewhat inevitable, it’s hard not to feel this way about someone really amazing and someone who makes you feel great – infatuation isn’t really even a bad thing…it’s what you do with these feelings that matter. Take. Your. Time.
Feelings just can’t be the reason you decide to move forward in a relationship with someone. Feelings will fade and what’s left will be the things that truly determine whether or not that person is going to be a good partner and leader for you. If you enter into a relationship based on feelings – it’ll be pretty hard to stay in that relationship when feelings change. Feelings don’t really matter all that much.
Feelings are YOUR limited perception, and your perception is so so limited. Don’t let your feelings control your actions, let them guide your prayers.
Love is a feeling
Love is an action. Love is a lot of little actions. Love is serving. Love is selfless. Love is always kindness, even when you don’t feel kind. Love is never anger, even when you feel anger. You feel infatuation, and you do love. Being “in love” is when you know you will serve, respect, and care for the person you’re with regardless of how you feel. I guess that’s the best way I can explain that.
Love is All you Need
Despite the catchy Beatles song – this just isn’t true. How many times do you hear people say – “but I love them”…okay? And…
There are a lot of other factors that go into finding someone who you should spend your life with. I’m not going to exhaust this point, but there are a lot of things you should take into consideration when determining a relationship with someone. For starters – their family matters – you marry into that family, and boom – that family will become your family. Faith, politics, financial health and responsibility, service, how they treat others…there are a lot of things that matter. Love isn’t the only qualifier for a relationship worth pursuing.
Feelings dictate Passion & Passion is based on physical intimacy
I’ll tackle these ones together. First of all – physical intimacy heightens emotions. Doesn’t take a rocket science to figure that one out. SO, if you shouldn’t be making decisions on a relationship based on feelings – does it make sense to add more fuel to that fire and confuse your feelings? No. Physical intimacy leads to convoluted feelings. Starting here adds feeling and negates logic.
You can be passionate about someone without the physical part of a relationship. You can be passionate about the way their mind works, about the work they do in this world, about their heart for Jesus, about their heart for other people…you name it. These are the things that drive real passion – not their ability to take their pants off.
If you want more on this – check out my blog post “The Best Sex of Your Life”. I won’t be a broken record here…
Physical intimacy is necessary when deciding who to marry
It’s easy to believe this one to be true. Think about everything we see in TV and movies. Think about everything we are told are #relationshipgoals. It’s usually all very heavy on the physical intimacy…and if you’re considering marriage without physical intimacy – well then you’re just crazy.
Then call me crazy. Like I’ve said before – physical intimacy can actually get in the way of truth. So why put pleasure above truth?
People often ask me – well then how will you know if you have physical chemistry with someone? Which, to me…is kind of a dumb question. Sorry. Let me just be real – is it hard to know if you have a physical connection with someone? No. We were meant to physically desire one another. Also, sexual tension is a real thing…like you just know when you connect with someone. You will know before it ever even has to go there. You know when you are physically attracted to someone…and if you are also mentally attracted to them I can bet things will be just fine in the bedroom for you.
I’m not saying no kissing, no hand holding, no hugging…blah blah blah…honestly, those boundaries are for you to set for yourself. This really isn’t about me setting boundaries for you – I’m just saying that you can determine a good partner for yourself without any of that stuff. Not to mention – someone can always learn to be a good kisser, they can’t really learn how to not be a D-bag. I mean…they can, the Holy Spirit is powerful, but I’d much rather deal with the transformation of a bad kisser to a good kisser than the transformation of a jerk to a good guy. Ya know?
Relationships Worth Having Should be Easy
Lie. I’ve seen so many memes lately that are like – “if it’s a headache – there are like a billion other people out there in the World – leave”. Like what? Relationships are HARD. Dude, friendships can be tough…parent/child relationships can be tough…employer/employee relationships can be tough. And with romantic relationships add sex, a crap ton of bills, and the merging of two lives – you think that should be easy? That wouldn’t make sense.
Relationships have conflict – it’s all about how you handle that conflict. Relationships will always require effort – it’s about if you’re willing to do the work. Honestly, it just takes quality time and serious intentionality – and for a lot of people – that’s hard work.
It’s also hard work to put another person before yourself, and marriage is the relationship where the most sacrifice has to happen. As soon as you marry it goes God, partner, and then everything else. Second most important relationship. Your spouse is your ministry. That’s a tough pill for a lot of people to swallow. So if find yourself looking for a chewable – maybe you’re not in a place where marriage is a smart next step? Just a thought.
I feel like my dating life is seriously dwindling with every one of these blog posts. If I didn’t weed them out with the sex post – this one most certainly did it. One blog post at a time…
Here’s a great book if you feel like you just keep picking all the wrong people: