Throughout the majority of my female years my emotional state and self-worth has been driven very strongly by the presence of a male companion. Whether just a friend or someone closer than that, I’ve struggled especially within the last three to four years as this fear-driven need for a relationship has progressively gotten worse.
For too long I’ve allowed this neediness to cloud my judgment when it comes to relationships and various choices in my life. This Sunday I realized that this way of thinking has gone too far out of hand and needs to end.
I have decided something… I have been in far too many relationships. I wish I could be like the many girls I know who can say they have only dated one person in their life. I wouldn’t even begin to know what that even looks like. I came to the realization that the way I did relationships was so destructive. For the most part I’ve dated guys who never really matched up with my personality. Not all of them, but most. They didn’t appreciate me for who I was. A lot of them still don’t, some I believe have come to realize this now, and in some ways I believe they regret not having known this before. With each relationship I was in I took some supposed “truth” about myself away. Whether it was that I am “controlling” or “too needy” (which isn’t far from the truth seeing as how these relationships were unhealthy to being with), “not Christian enough,” or my favorite “manipulative,” which is a completely unfair statement to make. These all turned into self-fulfilling prophesies in my life. I heard it, it hurt me, and I believed it about myself. I think we can all tend to do this in ANY relationship, and I’m not fishing for sympathy, I’m not being naïve, and I realize that nobody is perfect and that “prince charming” in real life looks different than in fairytales, I’m just writing a blog post really. As you can see these were all very unhealthy relationships and while I do have several regrets, NOT being in these relationships is definitely not a regret of mine.
I’ve been at Indiana Wesleyan University since the beginning of January and it has taken me up until this past Sunday to finally find a church here in Marion. I haven’t been at school enough weekends to really devote myself to searching, but a friend of mine invited me to her church and it was exactly what I have been praying/looking for. It was at this church that I realized I have been making room in my heart for things that are not of God (i.e. hatred, etc.) and in doing so I have been giving Satan ground to work in my life. The worst part of it all is this: I have been allowing this to happen. What is wrong with me?! I’ve been letting negativity, hatred, jealousy, and all sorts of bad behaviors and thoughts into my heart that should be completely reserved for God’s love.
Another process I underwent was realizing that if I truly release the need for the approval of a man in my life, God was going to bring me so much joy. This I simply could not comprehend up until now. In all reality I knew that this was true, but knowing something and believing something are two very different things. I couldn’t bring myself around to believing that I would truly be content with myself and there was no way I was going to believe that I could actually be happy that way. God is most likely laughing at me right now, humankind is so fickle and I am not exempt in any way.
It wasn’t until I gave up on my need for a man in my life, and the need to feel loved/wanted by a member of the opposite sex, that I have found contentment and happiness. All my fears of being alone and not having someone by my side for emotional support were completely unfounded. I felt like the ending result in breaking off incredibly unhealthy relationships in my life would lead to disaster and depression, in some cases it did, yet that was always due to my eagerness to replace my hurt with a new person and again falling in the trap of reliance on man. Lo and behold, the exact opposite of disaster and depression is ringing true in my life. I’ve never been so happy and content in my whole life. I am content to be going to an amazing Christian University, following my dreams and goals, and building relationships that will last a lifetime. God is good and that is good enough for me.
p.s. PLEASE don’t take this post as me saying that I’m going to date Jesus and never be in another relationship ever again. I still want to get married, I still want to date, I just don’t want to become emotionally dependent on it. My next relationship is going to look very different than the ones I’ve been in in the past.