My friend Andy left this in the comment section of a previous blog but I am taking the liberty of moving him into another guest blog. This is sooooo out of character for me…headlining 2 back-to-back non-writers but Andy’s subject line and his personal transparency drew me in. If for no other reason I am giving him a guest blog simply because he has been married 30 years and I hope to encourage others that it IS possible to devote a lifetime to a “single purchase”.
What a great blog topic….I sure don’t envy what a single person goes through in this day and age to try to find a life partner — it is tough going out there! I read both blogs and all the comments from each side and I empathize with you all on today’s version of ‘The Dating Game’ and feel compelled to share a little bit with the hope that you may benefit. I don’t profess to be a martial expert, just one lucky guy that found a fantastic woman and partner and didn’t mess it up in the early stages of our relationship.
Without sounding like I’m preaching Dating 101, I highly suggest that the early stages of dating should be treated simply as a chance to get to know someone and determine if their personality is something that you find attractive. It is true that the first thing we are all drawn to is how someone looks. Not just beauty, it is the way they carry themselves, their mannerisms, the way they talk, their being. When I met Joanne I could immediately see HIM(Jesus) in my wife, pretty much from the moment we met. I saw her from across the room and there was just something about her that I wanted to get to know. Yes, she was good looking….yes, I found her sexually attractive and had those feelings, but neither of us will ever get accused of being a 10 or even maybe even a 9. I think you all know what I mean. She just had something else going for her besides looks. We hit it off pretty quickly and even though our first date ended kind of awkwardly, we made it past what I like to call the “Polite Stage” of a relationship and beyond.
I think until you see a person at a time when they feel like they are at their worst, you always stay in the ‘Polite Stage’. I remember when that was for my wife and I have never forgotten. She was upset about an argument we had and looked a mess, but I was concerned with her welfare and not with her looks. Her college roommate was a smoker and I noticed a 1/2 smoked cigarette in the ashtray and knew that she had smoked it. Anyone that knows me knows that I think that kissing a smoker is like licking an ashtray, yet I could see the pain in her eyes and remember the harsh words we had exchanged and I just had to console her. I remember kissing her and her breath was the worst, but none of that mattered because I knew that she needed the kiss and a hug and I was happy to give it to her to take away some of her suffering.
I am convinced that there is a “wall” that a couples hit at about the 1 and 1/2 year mark of a relationship where things either get serious or the couple breaks up. I hate to see people that are dating get married before they have known each other for at least 2 years. Believe me, 2 years is nothing. It goes by quick. My wife and I dated for 5 years before we got married. (We got engaged our junior year in college and married a couple of years later after we both had graduated.) I’m glad we took that time.
Now here is the neat thing and I have heard this before from couples that have been married much longer than we have. A day hasn’t gone by that I look at my wife and I still see THE SAME WOMAN I SAW THE VERY FIRST TIME WE MET!!! I know this sounds odd, but it has been 30+ years since we met and my mind still sees her the same way I saw her when she was 19. It is kind of like the thing where you still feel like you are 21 inside your head, even though your body is 50+ and you passed that point in your life many moons ago. I can’t explain it, it is just so.
Keep these things in mind:
1. Don’t force it – the relationship will grow or it won’t.
2. Love one another and worry more about what you can do for your partner and less about what you think your partner should do for you and that simple act of love will create an environment for a LOVING partner to WANT to do more for you. The partnership is never 50/50. If you feel like your partner isn’t doing enough for you, it is a sign that you need to do more yourself……the enemy (Satan) knows we all have a short time on earth and he is delighted when he can get us to waste our time (fighting, fussing, and score keeping)
3. My wife and I have come to recognize that part of our success stems from the fact that we have had more blessings from God than the average couple. Without those blessings it is very likely that we may have not made it to year 27. Sometimes bad things happen to people in a relationship and the relationship or marriage doesn’t survive……..there is no perfect model here, only two people that trust and love God, Christ our Saviour, and each other.
4. My wife says, “there is a lid for every pot,” which serves as hope for us all. Trust in God, know that he loves you and wants great things for you. Love one another as Christ teaches us to do and everything will come in time.
Peace and Blessings to you all!!!!