The other day while scrolling through my social media, I happened to notice something funny: two of my friends, from two different sides of the world (and are totally oblivious to each other's existence) each posted links about "the terrors of falling in love" from two different thought-provoking websites. I wouldn't be surprised if you might have come across the same articles as well. And I know what you're thinking, "Ah, not another one!" - but bear with me. I promise, this is going to be a little different that what you usually read on the net.
|Here we go again|
As scary as love may seem, I believe you shouldn't let your fear get the best of you. Falling in love might be terrifying, yes. But that doesn't mean you ultimately stay away from it. Some are ever courageous, knowing how to face it head-on. But for some folks, no matter how hard they try, they just can't seem to get back into the groove of that 'lovin feelin'. So coming from someone who's been in that rut before (more on this later), I thought of three (3) good, solid reasons why someone might have a hard time falling in love:
1. Your Standards Are Too High
"He's just not tall enough." "She needs to work on her social skills." "The father of my children will at least know how to drive his own car." Sound familiar? I'm pretty sure we've all been there. Somewhere along the way of growing up, some genius taught us that the best way to find "The One" was to make a list (AKA: "The List") of all the qualities we wanted to find in a potential mate.
Now, the only thing this has brought to men and women around the world across the years is nothing but failed expectations and broken hearts. We end up getting so disappointed when someone comes so close to our idea of "Mr/Ms. Right" and then fails us so miserably - as if their imperfections came as a surprise.
As I heard someone once say, "I don't think you're looking for Mr. Right - because Mr. Right don't fit the job description. I think you're looking for Jesus."
As a Christian, I'm not telling you to lower your standards. Far from it - don't ever settle for anyone less than God's best. But what I am telling you is that, it could be possible that the person God wants you to spend the rest of your life with might not fill out all the items on your list. Because at the end of the day, that's all it is: a list of all the things you want. (or at least what you think you want) That list is still based on your standards, when you should be looking for someone who fits God's standards. That's why He/She is called your "God's Best" -- not who YOU think is best. When you're constantly checking on how people can please you or satisfy your needs, you're bound to be disappointed. So instead, the next time you find yourself looking at a potential mate, (or even if you're just looking for a friend) do us all a favor: get off your high horse, put down your list and put on the spectacles of God's Love and see them through His eyes.
2. You're Jaded
Definition: The end result of having a steady flow of negative experiences, disappointment, and unfulfillment fed into a person where they get to the point where their anger circuits just sort of burn out and they accept disillusionment. (Source: Urban Dictionary)
I understand. You've had one too many heartbreaks which has left a bad taste in your mouth. And after the last one, you finally decide that relationships might be something that really isn't worth your time anymore. You'd hate to admit it, but the fact of the matter is, you're scared. You're terrified that you're gonna screw up again. You hesitate on saying anything or admitting your feelings because you don't want to be rejected. You're worried about ruining another great friendship if things don't work out. You're scared of what other people might think (with thoughts like "Is this going to be better than the last?", "Will he/she get along with my family/friends" or worse, "Did I downgrade?" lingering in your head.)
Let me sit you down and tell you something. All these thoughts, doubts and worries -- it's all in your head. The only person holding you back is YOU. So stop telling yourself that no one is available or interesting enough. Because you're only going to end up living the rest of your life asking yourself "what if" and regretting about that chance you never took, wondering what held you back in the first place.
|Jaime Sullivan was on to something over here. That takes guts.|
I think what happened here is that you've focused too much on the here and now, watching every step you make and ensuring you don't trip again - when you've forgotten to look up and ahead. Fix your eyes on something other than the pain. Chase after His Righteousness. Why His righteousness? Chris Tiegreen puts it this way:
"Righteousness, as Jesus once said, is worth hungering and thirsting for (Matt 5:6). If we aren't hungering and thirsting for it -- especially in its completion -- we don't really understand the promise. Think about what God has told us: ...All of the illnesses we and our loved ones have suffered will vanish silently into the dark. All of the conflicts we've experienced, the wars we've waged, and the stress we've endured will be over. There are no broken hearts in heaven, because there is no hint of unrighteousness there. One dismal, ravaged creation will become suddenly ravishing." (Wonder of The Cross, Tiegreen 2009)
When we learn to love with a Righteous love, the way Jesus loved us, we begin to understand that at one point or another in our lives, we're going to get hurt and people will disappoint us - but you press on because your love is SURE. (How about you try loving a generation who treats You like a joke? That's hard stuff, man.)
You won't let a little misstep to allow the fear take over and stop you from ever loving again, because Perfect Love drives out all fear (1 John 4:18). Let His Righteousness dictate the way you love others.
3. You've Got It All Wrong
You see, if you're still trying to figure out why you just can't seem to fall in love, then I don't think you quite understand what love really means. Love is more than a feeling. Love is a choice. You've probably heard someone say that before, but allow me to elaborate a bit. Ask yourself: what worth would love have if you didn't have the freedom to choose? It wouldn't be worth anything at all if everyone had their Love-Setting on default. Relationships involve a lot of risk, and you're not willing to take it. Maybe it has a little something to do with being jaded. But it actually all boils down to personal choice - whether you'd like to admit it or not. Whatever the case, your refusal to let people into your life is in turn, forcing you to close your heart on the idea of another shot at love.
|Coming to terms with how you feel requires a conscious effort. BAM.|
Don't be so hard on yourself and don't be so hard on others. Jesus gave people a second chance. He believed that no matter how sinful or outcast a person was, they deserved to be listened to. And so He spent time with them, fellowshiped with them. Just because they weren't "on His level" it didn't mean they weren't worth their time. I know there was nothing romantic about my illustration, but I mean - if Jesus could do it, then why can't we?
Here's a quick fix: change your environment. Move to a different city, pick up a new hobby, try something you've never done before and along the way meet new people and make new friends. Allow yourself to be vulnerable again, because it is during this time when you will discover more about yourself as you explore the whole new world around you. Open yourself up to new possibilities. Allow people to know your story - and as you do, you'll learn to tell it with such ease and grace.
The Bottom Line
I come to you, presenting these ideas, not as someone who "knows it all" - but merely as someone who is learning all of these things herself along the way. You see, around this time last year, I was making a commitment to steer clear from relationships for a while. And as that little episode of this season in my life comes to a close, I realize that I was never really kept away from it at all because relationships are all around me. (surprise surprise!) I have come to learn that the non-romantic ones are just as important as the romantic relationships too and it's important to build on them because these platonic relationships help set the foundation of your would-be romantic relationship. It's been said time and time again: love isn't just the kilig, butterflies-in-your-stomach kind of feeling. Just because someone doesn't love you in that way doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have. It doesn't mean they can't connect with you on a deep level. Love is not just kisses or holding hands. It's not always the big gestures. It can manifest in the simplest ways. Like looking someone in the eye while you listen to them talk - just to show you're really paying attention. Or noticing someone's haircut. Sharing a meal or sitting beside someone. Lending your shoulder and not saying a word while you let your friend cry on it. Letting someone crash at your place when it's too late and too dangerous to drive at night. Little things we tend to miss out on or turn a blind eye to.
Upon learning all of that, that's when I fell in love - I fell in love with the beauty in the world around me, I fell more in love with my friends and my family. I fell in love with my career and built a passion for music and most of all I fell deeper and more in love with Jesus Christ, because I fully understood that no matter how stubborn I got, He constantly, faithfully chooses to love me.
Some days i'm not always as sensitive. But on the days that I am, I feel like a kid in a candy store. Because choosing to love feels great, but it makes it so much more sweeter knowing that someone chose to love you too.