October 16, 2006

Did you ever notice that if someone isn’t currently in a relationship they want to be in one? Did you ever wonder why? The answer may seem simple as common answers are along the lines of wanting money, sex, companionship. But if so many people were looking for the same thing, why is it that over 89 million people are single today according to the 2000 US census?

I’m here to help you realize that often people get into relationships for the wrong reasons, and basing a relationship on emotions may not be the best thing. Also, I would like to make you aware of people you may not always consider at first so you don’t end up missing the opportunities presented to you. These opportunities end up being missed all the time and the chances of finding the “perfect one” grow slimmer every day.

When we get in a relationship, we are often looking to fulfill something in our lives; someone who could help make lives better for us. Some feel that they need to be in one to be successful. Some have a false sense of love and think that giving themselves to someone would make them happier, and others just don’t want to end up lonely for the rest of their lives.

Most often, as shown by the divorce statistics that you’ve all heard before, those reasons alone usually don’t allow lasting relationships. Relationships need to be formed from a close friendship between two people and require trust, love, effective communication and time together in order to survive. Without these things and probably more, most relationships will fail.

Many times relationships fail for stupid reasons as well. Dr Laura Schlessinger mentioned one reason in her book “10 stupid things couples do to mess up their relationships” as “Consuming all your time and energies with work, hobbies, errands, and chores instead of focusing on your relationship.” This means that the person you choose to say “I do” too should always be your number one priority within the relationship.

Now why should you marry someone that you don’t plan to spend any time with or that you are just using for some other purpose? And why should you continue a relationship that is clearly not going to work? Joshua Harris say’s in the book “I kissed dating goodbye”, that “Often dating encourages intimacy for the sake of intimacy—two people getting close to each other without any real intention of making a long term commitment.”

So many times in the course of our lives we see people who get in relationships for the wrong reasons. In high school, it was common to see just about everyone with someone else at some point. And considering the fact that most of those relationships tended to only last a week or so if they were lucky, I seriously doubt that love actually had anything to do with it. More often than not, the reasons for those relationships tended to be a way to show status or make ourselves feel better. In college, those reasons tend to grow to having a sex partner or rushing to find the “right one” before graduation.

If you are a Christian you may have heard the verse from Psalm 37:4 which states “delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart”. This is saying that doing things on your own may not always be the best option and that if you live your life according to God’s plan; He will provide you with the perfect companion when the time is right. This doesn’t mean that you can’t date to explore your options just don’t expect that that person is always going to be the right one. Don’t let emotions dictate the course of a dating relationship instead of acting on what you know is right in which Joshua Harris described as “sentimental gush.”

Finally, I’d like to talk about some of those missed or misguided opportunities many people have. Quite often I hear of girls who complain about how they always tend to find the wrong guys; guys who may mistreat them, disrespect them, or use them for personal satisfactions. Barbara De Angelis stated in her book “The 100 most asked questions about love, sex, and relationships”—“As human beings, we gravitate toward the familiar, which can cause us to seek out emotional situations that are similar to those we experienced in childhood, regardless of whether those experiences were positive or negative.” I’m telling you, you don’t have to be stuck attracting the wrong type of person because there are many other people out there who would be perfect for you if you just took the time to look.

Maybe you have seen one of those people who are quiet and may seem antisocial or independent or they may not be the most attractive person out there. Did you ever consider that maybe that person is like a diamond in the rough and just may have a hard time opening up to people, maybe due to issues in the past or just a shy personality? Did you ever think that maybe they are just sitting there waiting for someone to come talk to them? They may take a little time to open up but once they do, I doubt it would be a waste of time.

Everyone wants some sort of attention and would love if someone just cared enough to show interest. Sometimes it would only take a little to bring out a person’s true potential. Try not to rule out or be afraid to talk to and meet new people in general– even if it’s just for friendships, because every person we meet in our lives, we’ve met for a reason and there’s often a lot you can get from someone even if you don’t end up dating them. Take advantage of those opportunities and who knows, maybe one of the people you meet may become that boyfriend or girlfriend you’ve been looking for.

To conclude, everyone wants someone to spend their lives with, don’t miss the opportunities presented to you and don’t rush into something based solely on your emotions. If you are in a relationship, work to make it last if you think there is hope and don’t let them end based on stupid stuff. If they do have to end, I hope they end in a way more gracefully than a sudden change of status on Facebook as mentioned in the New York Times article of September 2006:”Is it over? Log on and see.” And finally don’t forget just because one person may not have worked out, doesn’t mean there aren’t a ton of other people just waiting to meet you that could be even better than the last.