Monday, September 17, 2012

All-Consuming Relationships

Sometimes, when you date people, you miss out on other things in life.

It's funny because so many of us spend a lot of our time wishing we were in relationships without realizing how tremendously consuming they can be. They take up our time, our money, our emotional energy, and sometimes they become our new identity....they interfere with our other relationships, our future plans, our schoolwork, our real work, our social calendar. Too easily they become all we think about, all we dream about, and all we spend our time on. Too easily they become these things even when we aren't in them.

I didn't date in college. Not because I didn't want to... because it just didn't ever work out. Now, looking back, I'm thrilled to be able to point out all the opportunities and all of the memories I had that were not infiltrated by one single college boyfriend. There was never a chance for me to choose a boyfriend over something else, and because of that, I think I was able to really enjoy just living.

So, without further adieu:
If I had dated in college, I would have (probably) never...

  1. had dance parties with my roommate in our dorm room when studying became too unbearable
  2. grown accustomed to eating large amounts of cookie dough while in the midst of heart-to-hearts
  3. joined a sorority
  4. volunteered to lead a high school small group
  5. led a drama team (complete with many an SNL rip-off)
  6. held two guys hands at the same time, without them knowing...
  7. created and starred in the hit show, Aspiron
  8. sung karoake in front of hundreds of strangers on multiple occasions
  9. gotten serenaded by a group of fine-singing a cappella men on my birthday
  10. made road trips to Arkansas and Texas any chance I could
  11. gone to Europe
  12. worked at an all-summer long camp 3 summers in a row
  13. gone to formals/dances with various guy friends
  14. joined leadership of a greek christian organization
  15. started prayer meetings/bible studies on Thursday night with the girls in my pledge class
  16. set up a tent for an overnight in our living room
  17. helped with D-Nows in other cities
  18. been a founding member of 'Go Nuts for Donuts!'
  19. helped with Special Olympics
  20. volunteered to help on a ski trip
  21. random acts of kindness in the middle of the night with a group of strangers
  22. did an internship for a college ministry where I co-led activities and outreach
  23. dressed up and done humiliating skits in front of many
  24. acted demon-possessed in the middle of a church service
  25. been 'miss-miss-missy-miss miss' in the 2006 Miss America Pageant. 
  26. made a meat pinata
  27. purchased 25 baby chickens
  28. graduated
  29. moved to texas 
  30. made a ton of fabulous friends that I was able to invest in fully and vice versa (both guys AND girls!)
I write all this, not to tell you 30 random things I've done in my life, but to remind you that if you're single and in college it can be one of the best times of your life. Shoot...even if you're single and out of college. I could make a list of the things that I've gotten to do in the last 6 years, too. 

Are any of these things that I couldn't do if I had been dating someone, or even married to someone? No, probably not. But, it's hard for me to believe I would have done many (if any) of these things. Why? Because it would have taken up the time I'd want to spend with him, I would have been too self-conscious and insecure about doing a few of them, I wouldn't have wanted to be apart from him for that long, etc. etc. 

I hope, even if you are dating someone, that you remember to maintain good balance in your life. I hope you remember to not let him/her become your only priority. I hope you remember to make memories with other important people...and maybe, sometimes, people you don't even know and might never speak to again. I hope you remember that there's much joy to be found outside of a relationship as much as there is inside one. I hope you remember your friendships, I hope you remember your obligations, I hope you remember your commitments. 

So, wherever you're at in life....single, dating, married...whatever... 
Remember the weight of things that matter with your time, your energy, your money, your social calendar, your work.
If you're single, don't get so wrapped up in the fact that you're single.
If you're dating, don't get so wrapped up in the fact that you're dating. 

There is more
Explore it. Discover it. Live in it. 
May your memories be as sweet and as meaningful, may they be as spontaneous and random as they are filled with moments where you know you did good, right, and selfless things. May your memories be filled with times where you gave, and gave, and gave....where you considered others better than yourself. 

Don't miss out because you're more consumed with one that doesn't matter as much One that does.  

* * *

Your entries will remain anonymo 

1 comment: