The Love Month
by Billy Beasley
February, the month of Valentine’s Day, non stop romantic movies and so many engagement commercials that each time we hear, “Every Kiss begins with Kay.” There is a tendency for some to want to throw something at the television.
Yesterday, thanks to an unseasonably warm day, I was able to sit on the beach with my friend Jayne, and chat. The subject came up of the good young adults we know that have not found that right person. Everyone mentioned is attractive, accomplished in their careers and most importantly, they are good people. The good news, however, is that none of them have suffered a divorce in their relationship history as many of us have.
I am certainly no relationship expert but I have learned a few things, mostly through the mistakes that I have made.
There is a far worse loneliness than being alone. Those that have been in bad relationships know precisely what I mean. I remember long ago a friend who was recently divorced, saying at the end of an evening. “I am going home to an empty house but at least I know what kind of loneliness is waiting for me.”
Don’t bring God in on the back end of your relationship choices. Julie and I do not want to be first in each other’s life. That removes a lot of pressure. Place God first in any road you are thinking of venturing down, especially relationships. Ask God if this is good for you and seek His answer even if it is not what you want to hear.
If you have endured several failed relationships, check for common denominators. It could be you or the type person you are attracted too. I was almost fifty before I learned this one. Be quicker, smarter, and wiser than me.
Most of us have been hurt. Don’t punish someone that had nothing to do with it by building this wall around you and expecting someone to scale it on a daily basis.
Don’t ignore early warning signs and when people tell you who they really are. Listen.
Don’t enter into a relationship thinking that you can fix someone.
There is a foundation to every home constructed. If the foundation is shoddy, regardless of how beautiful the home appears that rests upon it. The house will crumble in time.
Don’t disguise who you are for someone else. The real you will emerge sooner or later. Besides, you are being dishonest.
Don’t ever settle. We all deserve someone who will love us for who we really are.
If you lack trust with each other, you are on the shakiest of ground.
Marriage will not fix the issues in your relationship. In all likelihood, it will magnify them.
Don’t be afraid to be alone. Don’t be that person that has one relationship end and are in another one the following week, or in some cases already lining someone up before their current relationship is over. Take time to heal and learn.
What do you need in a relationship? Make a list and pay attention if you can’t check off one of the boxes, regardless of how good the other ones may be.
Here is an example of mine.
Common interests. That does not mean you will enjoy everything your partner does, but you better have a few things you like to do together. Don’t pretend to like something that you don’t to appease the person you are dating. You won’t be able to maintain that. If you hate shopping. Don’t pretend that you do. My wife knows I am in and out and I do not care to browse. She accepts this about me. I accept that she is not going to care about watching sports with me.
Great Intimacy. This goes well beyond sex.
Common Values. This one is not sexy is it? I have had relationships where this took down the other three. Common values can be your faith. Does the person dating you only attend church because they know it makes you happy?
Money. How important is that to each of you? Do you want to pay your bills, save some and enjoy your time together or are you going to work eighty hours weekly to have more things? Is one of you image conscious? Do you desire to show off for others with a bigger house, sports cars, boats, clothing, etc?
There is nothing wrong with owning any of these things but don’t allow them to own you and if they own the person that you are with, you are probably not going to change that about them.
So, while #4 is maybe not so exciting, these are just a few examples of how big that it can prove to be.
Julie, thank you for checking off all the boxes in my life. Again, I say, with a shout out to Rascal Flatts, “God Bless the Broken Roads.”
About the Author
Billy Beasley resides in Carolina Beach, NC with his wife Julie and their Australian Cattle Dog, Teke. They are active members of Lifepoint Church in Wilmington, NC.
Billy is the author of The River Hideaway- a traditionally published work of faith based fiction and the newly published novel, The Preacher's Letter. He shares two simple beliefs with his favorite character in this novel. Faith in God and a conviction that ‘Hearts have no color’.
You can read Billy’s “Sunday Inspiration” column on the 2nd Sunday each month here at Pandora’s Box Gazette.