I’ve been dating an amazing man for several months now (surprise!), and until recently, I’ve not enjoyed it.
Let me fill you in on some background info before I tell you more:
- Before my boyfriend came into my life, I’d pretty much learned (by God’s grace!) how to live the single life with contentment.
- My boyfriend built a solid friendship with me for over four months before we began dating.
- As soon as we started dating, though, I didn’t value our friendship. I expected non-stop romance . . . and NOW!
Romance Me Now, Please!
For most of my life I’d observed dating relationships in romance novels and watched them unfold on the screen. As a result, I expected to be fawned over and hotly pursued from my boyfriend’s first admission of liking me. Here’s a peek into one of my journal entries,
I thought dating would be all excitement and fireworks and distraction and butterflies in my stomach 24/7. (Thankfully it’s not, because then I’d really get nothing done!)
Sometimes it is exciting, but most of the time it’s simply comfortable and nice. It feels like real, everyday life instead of the stuff fairy tales are made of.
Suddenly I had a real, flesh-and-blood relationship . . . and I found myself mourning the loss of my long-anticipated fairy tale fantasy.
Who Says Fairy Tales Are Better?
One night, my boyfriend and I were having a playful conversation that opened my eyes to the fact that fairy tale fantasies aren’t necessarily better than real life. It went something like this:
Me: And then, after getting married on the beach, I’ll ride my dolphin off into the sunset and live happily ever.
My boyfriend: That would put you in shark-infested waters in the middle of the night. (He’s so smart like that!)
Hmmm, I thought, maybe—just maybe—fairy tales aren’t so wonderful, after all!
Meet Prince Charming
A couple months ago, my boyfriend and I sought counsel from a wise elder in his church. After hearing the ins and outs of our relationship, this man spoke words I will never forget,
What I see when I look at you two is two young people who love Christ, understand each other’s shortcomings, have been honest about them, and are still willing to love the other.
That’s more to build on than, “When I look in his eyes, I see stars, and there’s this feeling in my tummy.” That may happen too. But long term, you want a more realistic picture of what you really need. Prince Charming is the grace of God ministering to your area of brokenness.
Oh, how grateful I am for my Prince Charming! How relieved I am that I chose to stick with this real-life relationship rather than rejecting it for some unrealistic, fairy-tale fantasy in my head.
And who knew . . . the romance/desire has developed naturally over time, rather than hitting like a ton of bricks from day one like I expected.
How about you? Have you thought about what expectations you might have for a future dating relationship? Where are these expectations coming from: God’s Word or the culture?
Check back in two weeks to see an exercise I worked through that helped me sort through my expectations for my boyfriend. You won’t want to miss it!