Tag Archives: love
I’ve been discussing relationships and romance with one of my friends who is having a hard time reconciling her fear of dating or rather having an attraction to someone. I thought I’d want to share my thoughts on how I found love and why I think that falling in love is to an effect, an act of faith. Often times faith is necessary when you’re uncertain of something but you have, for lack of a better term, a gut feeling about something.
First of all, one of the main reasons that leads me to believe that faith is essential to relationships is whenever emotions are involved it leaves you very vulnerable and that is a scary thing. You’re uncertain about how the other party feels about you, whether you’re investing your time and efforts in a fruitless endeavor or the beginnings of a magical journey with another person. But you might be asking yourself, what’s your point? I think to better understand where I’m coming from I’m using a broader definition of faith than one might think. Faith is one of the strongest motivating factors for people to act and move forward with any circumstance. If we didn’t believe that our actions would have a positive outcome or impact on our lives for the better, I believe that most people would not choose to act. We ascertain educations on the faith that it will help lead to an employable career. We work with the faith that our employers will pay us a wage worth our efforts. None of the aforementioned scenarios are guaranteed but the outcomes we expect will most likely happen. We know this because we have experienced similar in the past or others we know have had positive outcomes related to similar actions. So our faith is much like a motivation to act based on our understandings of the way things work in society. I also feel that our faith is found inherently from within as a gift from God to help us move forward in life.
As a fairly religious person, I feel that faith is indeed a gift from God or a higher power if you don’t ascribe to God (a debate for another time). This gift along with the gift of our agency are some of the greatest tools we have to succeed in life. How I use my faith is something I struggle with all the time, but not in the way you might think (I’m clearly a conventionally non-conventional type of person). I struggle with knowing and acting on inspirations that come into my life. Faith as defined in the bible in Hebrews 11:1 states that “… faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Like I’ve stated before a lot of the things we do or aspire to do in life aren’t guarantees but highly probable situations. My biggest struggle is that I want things to be ideal before I act, and that’s not how faith works. Faith requires that we act on informed decisions, that we move when we don’t know the end result but have an idea of the end goal. To relate this back to the original topic, in relationships (I’m going to generalize here) we want to find someone to be our companion, someone to spend our time with, someone to understand us, and someone who we can be comfortable with to the point that we let our walls an inhibitions down.
That’s the end goal, for me, my faith has always been an essential part of my ability to have successes in relationships. I believe that God has a plan for all of us, and my faith has helped me to understand that successes and failures help get me through those plans. In dating, it’s inevitable that there will be times where things just work and it will be great, and other times where you’ll experience devastating rejections and bouts with loneliness, but through it all my faith has helped me see that all these experiences do help me to grow as an individual. Faith gave me the courage to ask girls out that I never thought I had a chance with, it helped me to enjoy my life while I was single, building relationships and friendships that I still enjoy to this day, and my faith helped me to find the woman who eventually would become my wife. Am I saying that if you have faith you’ll be successful in relationships? No that’s not my point at all. What I am saying is that faith does give you strength to leave your comfort zone, to fall in love, to leave yourself vulnerable to rejections, because it’s through faith that you’ll understand that pain and heartache are experiences that we can grow from. While rejection, the feelings of inadequacy, and other negative feelings may come during early stages of courtship and dating (I am that traditional that I’m still calling it courtship), those feelings are nothing compared to the feelings of regret, inaction of not having gone after someone, or the feelings of not telling someone how you truly felt when you had the chance.
Let’s face it, dating is scary and being rejected is even scarier, but as Jesus taught in Matthew 19:26, “with God all things are possible”. So if you ask me why I think faith and relationships go hand in hand, I’ll say that life IS scary, rejection in relationships ARE things that no one wants to experience, but faith that God has something good in store for me are worth all the pains, sufferings, and heartaches that happen. Once we find the good in among the negative, then we’ll see that our faith was not fruitless, and understand that “with God all things are possible”.
I often wonder why we meet the people we do. I will be incredibly genuine and candid about what I’m feeling right now. I feel really lost, really confused and I feel like complete heap of emotions. I never really understood that feeling when people say they’re sick to their stomach, they’ve experienced a heartache so bad it hurt physically or even crying till you have no more tears to cry. That was the case until tonight.
I’m in love, and being in love is great. But it’s a double edged sword because the greatest highs come with the potential greatest lows. I’ve hurt the one I love because I’m irresponsible with myself, and those around me. I can’t manage my life let alone hope to be with someone who has direction in life. Wandering through life is tough, and most people manage to stumble and get through with a few bumps or bruises. I on the other hand have come to a standstill, my life has no direction. I see several goals and places where I want to be, but I’m crippled by options and choice. I’m here writing because it’s my refuge, my space, where I can just let my feelings out. My writing here in inconsequential to the grand scheme of life, as most things I do are. But some things I do, have significant impact on others. I question myself constantly and wonder why it is that I can’t manage to do even the smallest things that will lead somewhere, the path seems so simple. Just walk down it. It’s brightly lit, with guide posts along the way. Yet here I am, unable to do it.
I can only watch as she continues on down the path, one day I will catch up to where she is now. It might be too late by that time, for diamonds are often the ones that get snatched up by those who notice it as more than just a rock. I don’t know, I’m still reeling from what happened. I feel sadness, I feel confusion, I feel lost, and I know it’s no one’s fault but mine. The pain is starting to dissipate, or maybe I’m just numb to everything I’m feeling, probably the latter as I feel intense grips at my heart whenever I think about anything.
I need to figure out my life before I can bring anyone else along for the ride. I know a love like this won’t go away, nor do I want it to. I deserve this hurt and pain I feel and that’s all I know at this point…
Whatever happened to the days of the past?
I often think back and reflect on these things as I ponder my life
Life that brings people in and out of our lives
Laughter that is shared with those same people through experiences with them
You never really notice those whom you’ve had an effect on
Only those you feel you haven’t changed or influenced at all
Ultimately we never understand the scope of people in our lives
Gone are the past, when the experiences we’ve lived shape who we are
Old memories slowly slip into the place where thoughts become nostalgic
Times past are fun to relive, but looking forward is how we should perceive
One slice of our lives we share with one another
Futures often are unclear, sometimes filled with despair, others with hope
Everyone sees things a bit differently but the world continues on
Remembering those important people in our lives
People we love, cherish and honour
With every bit of our existence
Intimately we bring people into our lives
Trusting that God will help bring us happiness through them
Happiness found with those we love are invaluably important to our existence
Meaningful relationships are the things that every person wants deep within
Every person longs for them, and only a lucky few are able to find them
Jumping into something unknown brings excitement
Once someone reaches your heart, they never leave
Reminding us why we go through this mortal existence
Days are hard but these relationships and people bring meaning to our lives
Another reason why it’s important to always press on
Never giving into the despair that looms all around
Don’t ever take for granted important people around
A moment with someone you love can live with us forever
Volition compels us to want to be with these people
Independent of time, when we’re with them we feel at peace
Every worry goes away, as we strive to be better because of them
So what will you make of things with those you love?
I’ll preface what I say with this quote from President Ezra Taft Benson:
“Now, brethren, do not expect perfection in your choice of a mate. Do not be so particular that you overlook her most important qualities of having a strong testimony, living the principles of the gospel, loving home, wanting to be a mother in Zion, and supporting you in your priesthood responsibilities.
“Of course, she should be attractive to you, but do not just date one girl after another for the sole pleasure of dating without seeking the Lord’s confirmation in your choice of your eternal companion.
“And one good yardstick as to whether a person might be the right one for you is this: in her presence, do you think your noblest thoughts, do you aspire to your finest deeds, do you wish you were better than you are?” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1988, 59; or Ensign, May 1988, 53).
As YSA sometimes we focus too much on trying to find that Disney ideal of prince charming or finding your princess on the first date. There are many people I’ve gone on dates with that have many qualities that are important to me and for one reason or another I haven’t been able to commit to anything beyond a first or second date. I realized why this has been a case because of some experiences I’ve had lately.
The first reason why I haven’t been able to connect or commit to anyone I’ve dated in the past while has been because I was always expecting some perfect situation where there would be sparks and things would just fit. This unrealistic standard was unfair to many of the people I went on dates with. While I had fun on each of my dates and there was definitely room for the relationship to grow. My unwillingness to recognize the potential for a great relationship in them was a huge stumbling block for me.
The second reason why is because I had a positive view of my own self-worth (pride). I will always be the last to admit it, even if I am very aware of it, but I am often very prideful. What I mean is that I often feel that because I have such great qualities I think that any girl would want to date me (at least that’s what happens in my head). This way of thinking is unhealthy to me and those I date because I evaluate them on a scale based on how I see myself, to see if they measure up to what my “standard” is. In retrospect I believe that many of those whom I terminated relationships with are much better than I am. To avoid being overly self deprecating I’ll leave it at that.
The third reason why I haven’t been able to connect with anyone is because I didn’t allow myself to be vulnerable. I was always closed off and kept myself in a safe secure place emotionally. While you might not think this is bad, to protect yourself from harm and being hurt emotionally. This type of behavior doesn’t allow anyone to enter emotionally either. I equate this to being in a castle with friendly visitors wanting to enter but not letting down the draw bridge. I know the reference is antiquated, much like a draw bridge requires work done to open it, for a budding relationship work too must be done for it to grow into something deeper. When I did this, these girls I dated were literally at the door waiting for me to open up and let them in. My actions effectively closed the door to progress in a relationships before it had any chance.
There are a lot of other things that I have discovered about myself over the course of the past few years with regards to dating. One of take homes from my minimal life experience is to just take risks, put yourself out there and don’t be afraid of rejection. I have been rejected more times by myself before I have even given others the chance to accept or reject me.
Is this a sure fire guide to relationship success of course not, I’m single. If it were then I wouldn’t be single. I still have things to learn, but most importantly I will be moving forward with what I have experienced and putting myself out there. Wish me luck guys.