Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The End....or the Beginning?

The Comment:
I think we need to be careful not to go too far to the extreme the other way by encouraging people to stay in dating relationships and/or proceed into marriage with someone who may not be the best fit for them just because they dont want to seem like they are only searching for happiness or bailing when it gets hard. I think that dating is the process by which we learn if someone is a good match for us or not and that there is a difference between looking for perfection and looking for the person who is best compatible with you presently and who will still be compatible with you in all future stages of life.
This was in response to my blog, Dating For Divorce?... and I wanted to make sure and hit on this side of the subject as well.

When is it a good time to break-up?
At what point do you realize that the two of you aren't a good fit and trying to force something is more detrimental than just ending it and walking away?

I think your comment is spot-on. We do need to be careful to not go too far to the extreme by encouraging awful dating relationships to advance into even more awful marriages.  It is a time to 'get out before it's too late'...

But, it's still a tricky transition into marriage. I mostly think that marriage is this land of a thousand things you never could have really prepared for. Through various life circumstances, a wonderful dating relationship could easily transform into wretched marital hell. How do we get people to stick with it in those moments, when fleeing has become the acceptable and expected solution though? How do we get people to stick with it when taking the out is the easier thing to do, when it's the thing they know best?

Marriage is hard.
Dating is hard, too. At least, I think it should be.
It seems impossible to gauge compatibility for our future selves...and I wonder how much we are even able to gauge compatibility for our current selves. I might argue that while I think I know what I need in a mate, what I actually need has turned out to be quite different from that.

I guess I think you have to decide if someone is worth it. They have to decide if you're worth it. You must be willing to make a commitment, to stick with it... for better or for worse. In dating, we get to decide this.

Early on in dating my current boyfriend, I remember thinking how terrifying the thought of marriage was. Marriage was this world of unknowns...and the thought of breaking up seemed much more manageable. Why? Because I know how to break up with someone. I know what it takes to get over someone. I know how to move on, I know how to cut them out of my life, I know the pain and the heartache.... because I've been there before.

But being with someone forever? Choosing to love someone when it's hard and I don't always want to? Allowing them to love me in my weakness and my sin and when I don't think I deserve love? Trying to raise a family together? Sacrificing myself constantly, having to be selfless? Being hurt by the person who is supposed to love me more than anyone else?

Those are things that I don't know.
Those are the things I won't know until I'm there.
And it's terrifying.

But, at some point.... you just decide it's worth it. Regardless of your compatibility or your happiness. And you choose each other.
Again. And again. And again.

There's no outs this time. We choose to love each other every day, until death do we part.

So, sure, maybe get out while you can in the dating process. But date with a purpose...  especially all you young guns out there. And once you realize that it's not worth it, that you can't ever envision yourself choosing that person no matter what they've done to you, no matter what they might turn out to be, no matter who they are right now... then do them a favor and end it soon. No need to drag out the inevitable.

If you're unsure...?
I still challenge you to consider working through the hard things. Maybe it takes you more time. That's okay. You're not on a certain timeline. Take the time you need, don't rush it, and don't delay it. Be willing to ask yourself if you've been selfless, if you've been sacrificial, if you've truly loved them. And if you don't really care about that...I'd venture to say it may be a good time to call it off (as long as you're not in a highly emotional state-- read up on some dos and don'ts here).

I still don't really know much about love. You get to hear me process through it all as I go. Thanks for all your comments, questions, encouragement and feedback. It's good.

I hope you have a little clearer idea if you're heading toward the end of a relationship or the beginning of a different type of relationship.

And may you find hope, whichever way you go. There's always some to be discovered.

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