I hope you’ve enjoyed the Love and Learn series! There are other shorter tidbits to share, but these are best worked into future entries. Here’s a summary of the lessons I learned from my first serious relationship, which I’ve been sharing with you over the past few weeks. I hope these will be helpful to you.
I will put God first because that is the key for everything to work. This means I’ll pray for a partner like I mean it and not just because I’ve been told that I should pray for what I want. Before falling head over heels in love I’ll take new relationships to God and be receptive to any signs that I may receive, even though I don’t think I’m good at seeing these signs. When I’m in a relationship I’ll encourage conversations and actions that show that we prioritize God. I will look for a man who’ll pray for me and with me. I will not live by what I feel alone, something that’s easy to do when everything is new and you just want to hold hands and cuddle all the time.
I’ll allow my future husband to take the lead in the relationship, even if this means that things happen more slowly than I would like them to. I’ll pray for a man who’s a problem solver and who’ll share the responsibility of making the relationship work. I’ll allow myself to be wooed and pursued because a man will pursue a woman he’s truly interested in. Letting the man take the lead doesn’t mean I’ll stop having opinions or expressing them, nor does it mean I’ll start agreeing with everything he says; however, I’ll be prudent about how and when I share my opinions. This is not playing games but developing skills that will improve me as a person, in all my relationships (professional, friendships, and romantic).
From the very beginning, I’ll keep my eyes open for signs that could signal future problems in the relationship. This doesn’t mean becoming paranoid! Two sources I came across recently, one secular and one Christian, mentioned that women should be wary of men who lie about small things. If he lies about small things, why wouldn’t he lie about the big things? Sometimes the only way to recognize a sign is by taking a step back from the relationship or ask objective parties (aka loved ones) for their opinion (which must be taken with a grain of salt!).
I’ll look for a man who is eager to define the relationship as it progresses. A serious man will want to define the relationship. I’ll make sure we have similar goals for the relationship. If the relationship is long distance like mine was, I’d encourage us to set a plan for when we’ll reunite in the same country or (preferably) city, and we’ll come up with backup plans too. I’ll let my actions in the relationship be dictated by the type of relationship we’ve defined.
What else is important?
- Communication. Without it you’re toast. Please men: try hard to communicate with words because it will help your women immensely!
- Patience, because getting to know another person and learning what makes them tick is not always easy.
- Confidence and the conviction that you are enough as you are. If you treat yourself as a high-value person, others will recognize that and treat you like that too (Thank you, Matthew Hussey!).
- Time, as much as is needed to really get to know one another before making any important decisions about the relationship.
- Trust in your partner; so important if the relationship will progress.
What was the hardest lesson you had to learn?
So there you have it! The Love and Learn series has come to an end. Here is a listing of the entries, in case you missed one:
- Love and Learn – Introduction
- Love and Learn – God-given roles in the relationship
- Love and Learn – Don’t ignore signs in a relationship
- Love and Learn – Don’t compromise on how you want to be treated
- Love and Learn – Define the relationship! (Part 1)
- Love and Learn – Define the relationship! (Part 2)
- Love and Learn – Put God first (always!)
- Love and Learn – Conclusion