Relationship101: In Search of…

July 20th, 2009

Statistically, most people will become married in their lifetime. Being married is how we pass on the family name and traditions, and leave a legacy behind us. Before a person gets married though, it takes getting to know that special person to share in your lifestyle. Maybe you are reading this and in a relationship, that's a place to start.

The main purpose behind this writing today is for those who are not in a relationship, not dating anybody, and maybe have no clue about whether there is even anybody out there for you. No prospects at all, or know how to even get started in that direction.

You know who you are. You're not married? Not even dating, or in a relationship? But you want to be? No garantees but here's some tips and questions to ask yourself to help you focus.

You are most likely to be in a relationship with someone who is geographically near you, not to someone across the country. Ask yourself, Who is in your life, in your current living arrangements that include your school, social hangouts, , or work environments?

Ask God to help open your eyes.
Matthew 6:33. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Attraction and similar interests.
Attraction is more than physical appearance. It is the rare person who grows old gracefully. Beuty might fade, or pop like a balloon and shrivel away.

2 Corinthians 6:14. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?
6:15. And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?

Who is in your life that has similar interests?

Is there someone that you feel comfortable talking to on a favorite topic, pastime, interest or hobby?

When talking to someone who you share an interest, are your ideas of your interests being shared back to you?

How might you clarify any mixed signals either being given or recieved? At some point, if you think there is something there, just ask.

Self Disclosure.
As confidence in talking to someone on common intrest topics grows, take a baby step to share a small personal insight, and see how the information is recieved. .

Is there still common ground? Does the person still seem interested to talk, or do they back off?

The other person just might need some time and space to digest what was said. Or they might not be as interested as you thought.

Listen to the other person as they talk for further common ground and expanding shared viewpoints and interests. Opposites may attract, but the more shared common ground is important for unity in a relationship. It's important for staying together on life's road when the going gets rough. The common traits and view points keep you organized and working as a team in stressful times.

This is a pivotal area to develop a relationship further, or to let it drop.

Deeper attraction.
At this point a relationship can go further as similarities are discovered in each others values, personal attractiveness, and personality. As the friendship grows, soon limits will be reached.

Nobody is entirely compatible. Here's some questions that should arise.

Does the person you are interested in hold similar views on religion, racemoral or ethical topics? Does it matter?

Are the differences that you encounter ones that can be dealt with by changing your own attitude and behavior? If so, will they compromise your own beliefs and convictions on those points?

Is there differences in age, disagreement from parents, peers, or other obstacles? How important might these issues be to overcome or deal with?

What social, religious, or ethical standards in your life might you be willing to change, or give up? Which areas will you refuse to budge?

Matthew 7:24. "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
7:25. "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
7:26. "Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
7:27. "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.''

Outside attractions.
Is there a hobby, career, or other non-human interest that you or potential partner might need to compete with? For example: How much time do you spend on the computer, school, work, sports, watching
TV, hanging with old friends, kids from a previous marriage, etc.

How much time does your potential partner spend on activities and intrests that you might have to compete with?

The stronger, or more time consuming this attraction is, will make it hard to have a successful relationship.

16:13. "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.''
--NKJ (also Matt 6:24)

Everyone needs a blend of interests, but priorities need to be clear.

Moving still deeper into a relationship.
If you are at the point of understanding similarities, differences, values, and aware of any barriers and obstacles, the question is, should you keep developing the relationship? How's your self esteem? A person with low self esteem tends to cling to a relationship even when signs of cracs begin to appear.

Is there too much compromise being made on ethical decisions that you hold dear? It may be painful with the emotional investment that has been made up to this point but...

Mark 9:45. "And if your foot makes you sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched
9:46. "where `their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'
9:47. "And if your eye makes you sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire
9:48. "where `their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.'

Factors to consider to pursue the relationship. Ask yourself:

Is this person the right one, or the best that I can get? Is there a difference?

After being in contact together, and relating together do you feel as though you are a couple?

Do others begin to recognize you as a couple?

Is your identity becoming involved with the other persons?

What about God's will in pursuing things further?

Luke 11:9. "And I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
11:10. "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Still can't find that special somebody in your circle of acquaintences? Even if you are still out there looking, bring it before God. He has a way of sneaking someone into your life from an area you might never expect. If you've managed to find someone and work through the steps and questions to this point, Congradulations, you have managed to find yourself in a relationship. But are you ready for marriage? Well, that's a topic for a lesson on another day.

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