Not Just Another Relationship Article


Facebook knows me all too well, darn social media advertisement algorithms.  It seems that each time I log into my account {which is way too often} a new article pops up on my feed, promising all the secrets of relationships. 5 Tips to Perfect Communication with the Opposite Sex

How to Perfect Your Relationship

Romantic Secrets Everyone Should Know I'm done with those articles.

Before I started dating, and even at the beginning of my relationship, I read them like they were going out business.  But, if there was one thing that reading all of those blogs, articles and books failed to teach me it was that no one is "by the book."  When I would struggle with how to react to a situation and seek advice from those resources, I'd always come up frustrated that no one was writing on what I was going through - there wasn't an article just for my relationship.

Honestly, to consider that each relationship issue, problem, decision or positive impression can be solve by a simple google search or thumbing through a book by a so-called expert is a huge injustice to people as unique and individual children of God.

This isn't to discount the beauty of advice, good counsel and awareness.  There are some amazing resources out there that focus on a holistic view of a relationship.  But click-bait articles from Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire do not help in the formation of a relationship.  If anything, they actually hurt interactions because, in general, they reduce your relationship down to a cycle of use - whether that be for emotional, physical or even spiritual objectification.

There is no such thing as a perfect relationship - or a perfect soul mate that has been destined by God from the beginning of time to fix all of your problems and be the strengths to all of your weaknesses.  Hold on, before you start yelling 'cynic' and 'pessimist,' hear me out.  I'm not saying that you can't find or be found by someone who compliments you well, and with whom you can valiantly struggle with towards holiness despite your areas that aren't complimentary.  But, even in the case of a beautiful, sainthood-as-the-goal relationship, it won't fulfill you.

In your heart is a gaping hole - you know which one I'm talking about, the hole that has eaten you when you're lying awake at night, walking on your way to class or sitting at Church.  It's an aching that you can't dismiss and it seems to pop up at the most inconvenient of moments.  But the most glaring characteristic of this hole is that it is God-shaped...which we want to ignore.  Because it's easier to stuff things that aren't God into this hole for temporary relief.  This isn't to discount the beauty of how your relationship with God can influence and interact with your relationship with others.

If you're in a relationship, take time to truly and genuinely get to know the other person.  What their likes, dislikes, passions, pet peeves, frustrations, joys and struggles are cannot be found in the latest dating blog.  Experiences, laughter, tears, and the gift of a life lived together cannot be revealed to you by Aziz Ansari - and I wouldn't trust him even if he did.  You're in a relationship with a human being who was created by God in a unique way, so don't try to squish him or her down into a simple method of relationship tips you found in a google search.  Human beings are messy and muddy and they can't be reduced down to the way you would like the relationship to go.

If you're not in a relationship, the temptation to generalize comes in a whole new slew of ways.  To categorize the opposite sex as "all men" and "all women" simply because it hasn't gone well with a certain few of them is falling into the same trap as I did with my article reading - a failure to realize the beauty of the human experience.  Look at the world the way that God sees it - an adventure full of excitement.  And don't forget the most important relationship in your life, your relationship with God.  Yes, it sounds cheesy and you've probably heard it more than you want to...but it's true. Finding the foundation of that relationship with Christ will make an incredible difference when it does come time to build other relationships.

This weekend is Valentines Day, which means that the world recognizes that human relationships {romantic or not} offer a unique opportunity to love.  However, don't forget that each day you wake up breathing offers a unique opportunity to love.  So tell the people in your life that they are loved, respected and cherished...and don't be afraid to remind them that God loves them more than you will ever be able to.