Our social media relationship status changes with the minute hand of a clock. We switch in and out of relationships at our own convenience without any consideration of what it actually is to be in a relationship. Our change in status is often about popularity or satisfying our own needs, which is far from what is intended by being in a relationship.
The Basics of a Relationship
In the simplest of terms, a relationship is a connection between two people. It’s being involved in someone’s life and having that person involved in your own life as well. It’s being associated with them, meaning being a companion or uniting yourself with them in a union of some sort. It’s offering that person your time, interest, energy and effort. It’s making a commitment to them, which implies some level of intimacy. To be intimate (not just sexually, but also emotionally or mentally) requires vulnerability from both partners.
A relationship is a bond of equal respect and honor. You can’t give into every desire of your partner, while your own needs and wants are being refused. Likewise, you can’t ignore what someone else likes just to satisfy your own wishes. Being in a relationship is a selfless act. You’re in it because you’re mutually interested in each other and want to share a unique and interesting connection with that person. Relationships aren’t just a haphazard way through life in search of an everlasting connection.
Relationships take a lot of work. They are a big responsibility. They’re not something that should be taken lightly or treated with disrespect. There are a lot of challenges that come with being in a relationship. Even a relationship with a friend has its risks. There are challenges and struggles associated with making a commitment. You can’t just jump and hope for the best. You have to make deliberate effort and decisions to do what is best for your relationship. You have to build the connection on some form of common ground. Relationships require communication, a common interest or bond and a willingness to thrive. Both people involved have to understand the intention of the relationship, otherwise there will be confusion and discord.
Rather than a Relationship
Reserve the position of a relationship for someone who deserves that special title in your life. You don’t have to wait until you’re ready to get married to be in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. But you don’t have to make a commitment to every guy who remotely interests you. Take a more playful and less stringent approach by dating other people instead.
To date someone certainly isn’t outdated. It is always relevant and incredibly important. It’s healthier to date someone rather than instantly claim a relationship with them. If you went your whole life just dating guys and never entered into a relationship with someone, you may actually be better off than someone who only experienced relationships and never really dated any of their love interests.
Dating can be casual, or it can be serious. You can informally date multiple people at one time, or you can exclusively date one person more intimately. Dating allows you to learn more about other people as well as yourself. It opens up the opportunity to get to know other people, have adventures, experience new things and engage with other people in a fun and creative manner.
Dating also allows for more flexibility. You can go on group dates. Or hang out as friends. You can be relieved of the pressures and stress of heightened intimacy that you might not be ready for or interested in. There’s no need to go out of your way to impress the other person just present yourself to them sincerely. Always keep in mind, that it is unwise to devote much of your soul, body and time to someone you KNOW is not the kind of person you could see yourself marrying.
Don’t Rush Relationships
If you’re dating someone that you really like and with whom you have a good connection, then a relationship with that person will naturally develop. That’s the brilliance of dating. Things progress effortlessly. The pressure is off, you and your date can relax and enjoy spending time with one another. You can care for each other and let the closeness build at a natural and healthy pace, allowing you to develop a stronger foundation.
There’s no need to rush into a relationship. Enjoy discovering more about who God created you to be as well as the people He’s placed in your life through exciting and new connections while dating.