I’ve had a few requests to do a post about what to do while you are waiting to find a person who could potentially be your future mate. I’d like to share part of my journey with you.
I tried for seven years to “make it work” with someone that I really thought was the person I was going to marry. We were very off and on, and I attempted to date other guys when we were “off”. I was always insecure in the relationship (and in myself), always questioning, always making excuses for his behavior. I spent a lot of time being bitter against happy married couples (especially those that had been together less time than I had been with this guy). I passed up a lot of opportunities, such as to travel overseas or study in an exchange program, because I was afraid to leave him behind. I believed that this was my one chance at happiness, and that if I left it I would be alone forever.
So, for part of my waiting time, I put myself through a lot of pain and passed up a lot of amazing opportunities because I was codependent and didn’t really trust God.
When I cut the ties to that relationship, I entered a whole new world. I had to get to know myself as ME and not “me and ___”. I moved back home, didn’t really have many friends in town, and my work schedule didn’t allow me to have much of a social life at first. So I spent most of my free time reading the Bible, healing, journaling, reflecting on my mistakes and successes, creating goals for my life, and making my “dream list” of qualities for a husband. I wanted to try things I hadn’t ever done before. So I began the process to become a missionary overseas. I looked at buying a house. I focused on building into relationships with other females. I became the lead singer of a rock band. I basically decided to try to thrive and not just survive. It was very lonely at times, but I’m so eternally grateful that I relished every moment of it.
Another thing I did during my waiting time was decide that I would rather be single for the rest of my life than with the wrong person in an unhealthy relationship. This was a huge step for me since I had come to really depend on other people for my self-esteem, self-concept, and such. But I came to realize I had lived enough of my life that way and was sick of it. I wanted something better–I wanted God’s best for my life and I promised myself that I would never settle for anything less. This was a scary commitment but I don’t regret it for a second, and I truly believe God will honor anyone who makes it.
During this time I did go on a few dates, thankfully with really awesome guys that loved Jesus and were extremely gentlemanly. They helped me see that a relationship can begin, progress, and end in a healthy manner, without completely tearing each other’s worlds apart. (One of them ended up marrying a good friend of mine!) I think this was an important step for me in my waiting time. I had good boundaries and protected my heart, while also allowing myself to be open to pursuit in an appropriate way. And while I had lots of girly conversations with my best friend about guys, I was able for the most part to keep my head on straight and not allow the “search” to be my reason for living.
So I guess to sum it all up, I would say that I tried to set my eyes in the right direction for the rest of my waiting time and was determined not to settle for less than God’s best. It wasn’t easy and I am certain I failed in some areas. But in the end I don’t have any regrets, even about the painful parts, because they are what helped me become the person I am today.