“Wait for the boy who brings you coffee after a long day…” “5 qualities you should look for in a guy…” “Why I kissed dating goodbye…” “Why I stopped pursuing guys and waited for the one to pursue me…”
Growing up in a youth group culture and ending up at a christian college, I saw posts with these titles (and many similar ones) on my facebook feed almost daily. Admittedly, I normally roll my eyes at these articles. I’ve always had a weird relationship with the culture of Christian dating, and I’ve seen many people get hurt through the pressures that dating (for Christians) often brings. I had many guy friends get lead on only to be dropped with the, “God told me I need to focus more on Him” line. (Admittedly, I heard that line once or twice too from boys in my youth group that I had been interested in.)
Once I got to my Christian campus, I only resented the Christian dating culture more. The pressures of finding your special someone while being on campus was crazy. The “ring by spring” mentality was realer than I ever thought it could, and even I fell into the pressure and started dating someone my Freshman year. It was the thing to do. And to be honest, I was clueless how to act in a relationship. For there’s so much emphasis on what a girl should look for in a Christian boy when it comes to dating, but I never heard what I should look for in a healthy relationship. No one ever told me how to identify whether or not I was ready for a relationship either – it was always reduced to a magical “you’ll know when it’s right” moment.
Needless to say, my freshman year relationship didn’t end well and I was even more confused about relationships than before. The pressure to figure out whether or not that particular boy was the one I wanted to end up marrying was absolutely suffocating. I felt awful that I didn’t know if I wanted to marry him or not 2 months into the relationship, and the pressure to decide that was unbearable.
After we broke up, I was pretty pessimistic about the whole relationship thing. I worried that I would never find a boy who would support me and my dreams and hopes and aspirations. I worried that any relationship would end in disaster like before. I worried that I would never find the guy that all the cheesy Christian blog posts talked about. I worried that it was all too good to be true.
But, as cheesy as it sounds, that all changed.
I won’t bore you with details, but I ended up dating Kevin. And slowly I began to see the qualities that the blog posts I rolled my eyes at described. And I began to gain a little more faith in relationships, and I slowly began to feel that magical “i think this is really really right” feeling.
And now I’m engaged to my best friend, now I have a wedding dress hanging in my closet. Now I’m planning a wedding and a future with my best friend, my biggest supporter, my confidant, my favorite person in the whole entire world. I’m engaged to someone who wants nothing but the best for me and desires to lead our relationship in a godly way. Kevin reminds me every day of how loved I am and how grateful he is for me, and I get to do the same for him. We get to be a team and make decisions together and work together through the good things and the hard things. We get to dream together and make plans for our future together. We get to go to church together and seek to honor the Lord with our relationship together.
While we have our share of difficulties and hardships when it comes to our relationship, I can’t imagine being with any one else. Our relationship has been mostly long distance, but I would never trade it for a “more convenient relationship.”
And while I wish that I had been able to skip through all the bad relationships, all the heartache and pain, all the mistakes… I wouldn’t take it back. Because like it or not, the fact that I dated a few guys here and there led me to the relationship I’m in now. I might not have waited for the guy who would bring me coffee after a long day at work, but that guy did come into my life eventually. I might not have dated guys that always fulfilled the list of qualities I was told to look for, but now I’m with someone who is more amazing that I could imagined to be.
And most of all, I’m really glad that I didn’t “kiss dating goodbye” or wait around for him to pursue me first…because if I had, I wouldn’t have went out on a limb and asked Kevin to get coffee that summer day. (and I honestly don’t know if Kevin would have been brave enough to ask me if I hadn’t asked :P)
Getting to date your best friend is one of the most wonderful things. It’s so cool to know that I GET TO DO LIFE WITH MY BEST FRIEND FOREVER. It’s so overwhelming to know that even through all of the bad luck and hurt, God was preparing my heart and my life for the relationship He had in store for me and Kevin.
I guess the reason I wrote this is because I want those who are frustrated with the “Christian dating culture” to know that it’s okay. It’s okay to feel like there’s too much pressure to find that special someone. It’s okay to ask the guy out first. It’s okay to go on a date even if you’re not sure if you want to marry them yet. It’s okay if you feel a little pessimistic towards relationships. It’s okay to take a break from dating if you need to. It really is okay. Because in the end, all of this will be worth it. When you’re standing across from your best friend on your wedding day, everything that led you to each other will be worth it, I promise.