Finally! You are in a relationship. You’re no longer the single one. You proudly hold the title of girlfriend/boyfriend. You’re not the third wheel. You have someone to do life with hopefully forever, however, all you’re friends are married now. They can do married things and while you’re just getting used to holding hands with who you believe will be your spouse someday, you don’t want to rush things. You want to enjoy the dating season, but how can you when everyone else is married and enjoying the wonders of married life? Your friends are going on couples trips and attending marriage classes and seminars while you’re new to the dating scene. Wonderful isn’t it? You got your answered prayer only for everyone else to keep moving on with their lives while you’re just starting yours (dating life that is).
When Jarrod and I started dating I had to pinch myself often. It felt like a dream. Having a boyfriend was a big deal. For those of you who know our story, you understand. Getting into my family is no walk in the park. There was lots of waiting and lots of trying again and again until Dad and three brothers said yes. Pretty intense, but Jarrod was the guy to push through. He didn’t give up when the criticism came. He didn’t give up when dad said “not yet.” He didn’t give up when my very protective brothers drilled him. He also didn’t give up when I gave him a hard time or times for that matter. Jarrods persistence along with the Lord’s leading, subtle nudge, and peace made everything align just perfectly. I couldn’t be more excited for what the future held, but I also wasn’t ready to be a wife. Looking back, had Jarrod and I dated when he first asked my dad for permission we would have failed to represent the heart of God in more ways than one. We just weren’t ready yet. When we started dating I felt a shift in my heart and God began to stir new areas of growth that could only be done in the walk of dating.
The first 6 months of dating were amazing. All the new things and the new adventures. We talked a bunch. There was just so much to learn about each other. As our friends started getting married, however, I started feeling that maybe we should get married too. Silly me. We were in no place to get married. I had to remind myself something my grandma use to tell my siblings and me while growing up, “Paciencia, nene…” From a child I was impatient. Impatient waiting for food. Impatient while I ate and impatient to move on to the next activity of the day. I haven’t changed much honestly. My husband often tells me I am the worst at being patient. I don’t get wild fuming, I just get whatever needs to be done, done rather than waiting for him. I really don’t recommend doing that, but if you’re like me, you’re not alone. I am working on it, and can proudly say my husband has noticed I’ve gotten a TAD BIT better at it. Now back to me wanting to get married 6 months into dating. Yes, I was eager.
Poor reasons to get married:
- Because everyone else is married
- In order to please your significant other
- For selfish reasons
Everyone else was married and in my juvenile and immature mind, I thought that if we got married then I wouldn’t feel so left out or behind. I thought this whole love thing was a race and I needed to be in the first place. I didn’t vocalize this to Jarrod. I wouldn’t dare. I would have probably scared him, after all, he went through trying to get a “yes” from my family to even date me. He needed time to recoup before he asked permission for the marriage.
I think he knew I was wrestling because he would often remind me to enjoy where we were at. At a year in I realized how fun it was to be dating and at a year and a half, we discovered new things and boy did things get even sweeter. We slowly introduced holding hands and sweet kisses. Jarrod had my heart and I was beginning to understand what love is. As we approached the two-year mark there was a shift in my heart that longed to serve Jarrod. I longed to submit under him and I knew I was ready to be married. But I couldn’t rush things. Even though Jarrod and I had the talk about marriage, I had to keep waiting. I didn’t dare rush. I knew it was coming soon and I ensured every day I was his girlfriend I enjoyed every moment of it because until then I realized that seasons do shift pretty quickly and if our focus is solely on getting to the next, we miss what’s happening right before us.
Things to do while dating:
- Get to know each other (ask the tough questions, share the good and, not so good and ugly)
- Branch out of your circle of friends and don’t neglect your single ones
- Travel with your married friends and have them keep you accountable
- Travel with your girlfriends and guy friends
- Serve together and serve individually
- Become a better you
If you are in the dating season, don’t rush it. I’d even loup the engagement season in that too. It’s a wonderful season that goes before your eyes as fast as you can blink. Judah and the Lion wrote the song Landslide which perfectly illustrates how quickly life can transition from one season to another.
“I climbed a mountain, then I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down”
Before you know it your reflection is a part of history. A history we can either choose to be a part of or only have vague memories of. The writer King Solomon knew this all too well. He advises readers in Proverbs 19:2
“Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.”
What we often desire we know nothing of. We desire to love and know not how to love. We desire companionship and have been poor friends to those around us. We desire grand things when we’ve been a slob at living (ouch). Take some time, clear your mind, and truly evaluate why you desire what you’re desiring. If it’s simply to gratify want and flesh, run. Run far from it. The best source for wisdom and understanding is the book that is founded on it. That’s the Bible. Don’t rush the season you’re in. Enjoy where you are at and truly live a life with no regrets.