2.3.13

Idealistic Love {Series for Single Girls}

{This is something that has been on my heart for a long time now, and I decided to finally write about it. I'll be making it a bit of a series for single girls, so stay tuned for more related posts in the future! if there is a topic you'd love to see me write about please let me know!}
I hear single girls go on and on about their high standards and expectations for their future husband/boyfriend. I hear the same girls later on complain and ask why their significant other isn't everything they ever dreamed about. I'm here to break the truth to you. Idealistic love doesn't exist.
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In our idealistic minds, we imagine our husband to be something similar to this. (Using examples I've heard from many girls and seen on many a list of requirements. I'm not making this up. Promise.)
He will be tall, dark and handsome.
He will have a beautiful voice and play more than one instrument.
He will be deeply involved in church and care nothing about money.
He will play the guitar and serenade me often.
He will accept me for who I am and overlook my faults.
He will be multi-lingual.
He will love me for my inner beauty and couldn't care less about how I look.
He will have blue eyes.
He will be involved in the ministry. (pastor, missionary, etc)
He will be confident but never arrogant.
He will want to have a big family with me.
He will hire a hidden photographer when he proposes to me.
He will play boardgames and watch Disney movies with me when I'm sick.
He will dance with me in the rain.
He will save his first kiss for me.
He will be from a Christian family.
He will be great with kids!
He will dress well.
He will be kind, funny, thoughtful, romantic, spontaneous, even tempered, adoring, understanding, smart, tall, wealthy, talented, well read, musical, sentimental, adventurous, strong, etc...
Okay. I could go on but I think you are getting the picture. Some of the above might seem dumb but I'm sure you could relate to more than one. Many girls never write a list down, but sill carry expectations in their heart that mean just as much. Are expectations a bad thing? Are any of the checklist items above wrong? Is it wrong to have standards? No, no, and no. But taken too seriously or held too high, they can all be dangerous and end in disappointment.
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1. First of all, I think having a few 'requirements' is a good thing. For example, I was not willing to marry someone who wasn't a Christian, and I wanted my parents to like him because I highly respect their opinion and we're really close. I also wasn't going to marry anyone I didn't trust. Wanting certain character qualities is a lot different than shaping their personality in your mind. I'll be writing a post in the future about what you should be putting on your list.

2. You are limiting God when you stand by specific ideals. It's like putting him in a box, which is pretty dumb on our part. God works in crazy ways, many times the future we have planned for us and what he has planned for us are polar opposites! By sticking with a strict set of ideals, we are severely limiting God in our lives and could be holding back blessings that he wants give us. In my mind I always thought I'd be marrying someone with the same interests as me, like a fellow photographer and we could work together. Wouldn't that be awesome? Turns out, Dan (my husband) and I started out with very few common interests. Imagine that! As time went on we got to know each other better and we discovered that we did have a lot in common, it just wasn't so obvious in the beginning. Now, 2.5 years later, we have even more things in common with each other. Just because a guy doesn't match up to a specific expectation (like loving the same bands or a specific hobby), it doesn't mean you should rule him out. You could be saying no to something God is trying to put together!

3. Sometimes our ideals are silly and unrealistic. So we have this "list" in mind and really, some of the things we jot down are just not important. We say,"Oh, he has to have a good voice and like to sing!" Or, "He needs to be involved in the ministry!" Or, "He will save his first kiss for me!" But in reality none of those things have anything to do with having a good relationship, or mean that you'll have a more blessed marriage than others. If your happiness depends on whether he plays the guitar and serenades you or not, that is pretty silly and you are probably not ready for marriage to begin with. Be careful about unrealistic and silly items on your wish list. It's not a christmas list, it's marriage.

4. Ideals vs the truth. Ideal: he will be great with kids. Truth: many guys (even girls!) aren't comfortable with kids especially if they haven't been around them very much. But that doesn't mean they won't be a good parent! Ideal: he will be involved in the ministry. Truth: sometimes God has different plans for people, and just because he isn't a missionary now, doesn't mean it might not happen someday. There is nothing wrong with marrying someone who has a heart for the world like you, but don't let it make or break a relationship if it isn't happening right now. Many times we are very black and white on things we feel strongly about, but we really need to be a little more accepting, open minded, and have more grace.

5. Expectations can ruin an otherwise happy future. As girls, we are really good at daydreaming. We like to imagine everything, from that special proposal, to future holidays together, a perfect wedding, our first home sweet home, future getaways, and it goes on and on. And while some things might come to pass exactly as we'd imagined, more often and not, our futures turn out completely opposite of how we thought they would! The problem with having expectations, is that often they end in disappointment. I speak from personal experience, believe me. I can't tell you how many times I had a high expectation, only to have it crumble (and me most likely in tears) because my perfectly imagined situation didn't turn out how I had planned! But you know what? The truth of the matter is, just because the expectation didn't come to pass, doesn't mean that something just as good (or way better!) won't be replacing it. We need to learn to be flexible and willing to accept situations as they come, even when they are different or unexpected. Instead of being stubborn and set on having things our way, it's better when we can stay humble and keep a positive attitude. Don't let an expectation get in the way of future (happy!) experiences.

6. Don't hold him up to ideals that you don't hold yourself too. So, you expect him to be even tempered, not care what you look like, and accept you for who you are, right? Flip the requirements for a minute now. Are you ever moody and have bad days? Of course you do, you're human, just as he is. Do you care what he will look like? I don't care what people say, looks matter to everyone and attraction is important. Period. (Yes, inner beauty is by far more desirable, but don't expect him to be a super hunk that is always impeccably dressed, if you don't take care of yourself to begin with.) Are you willing to accept him for exactly who he is? If you have a long list of requirements he must meet, than maybe not. Be very careful in your list making, that you aren't hypocritical in what you ask for. If you expect certain things of him, first be sure that you'd be willing and able to live up to the same standard.

7. Be open to what the Lord brings and don't let your ideals stand in the way. This is the most important thing to know about having ideals, they are natural and there is nothing wrong with dreaming to the future. But we need be careful that we keep our eyes on God and don't hold onto our expectations in times when we should let them go. Never let an ideal become so important to you that you close God off from working in your life. This applies to much more beyond a future mate, it really applies to the rest of your life!
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I'm actually really nervous about hitting publish because I usually don't write about serious topics like this on the blog. I'm by no means an expert in counseling or advice, I've just seen a lot of bad info for single girls out there and it has been on my heart for a long time to start addressing some of the main topics myself in a way that can help and encourage. Thank you for reading and please let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this in the future! Love and Blessings, Marie

10 comments:

  1. Thank you for writing this! (And I would love to see more of this type of post.) I have a few requirements such as being a Godly man but not too many.

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  2. Marie

    This is exactly what i needed to hear!! I know you've seen my "list" cuz i published it on my blog. I've been having some good talks lately with my mom and the most important thing she's told me to do is to start praying for my future hubby! I have sooo many expectatoons but i need to remember what you posted about here and just leave it all up to God.

    Thanks for this great post!!

    Love
    manda

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  3. Marie~
    THANK YOU! And this is coming from someone who has been married for 3.5 years... I needed to hear some of that for myself! :) Also I love your blog... I have beem following you for sometime now. I have a 10 month old named Hannah.... I hope you have a most blessed day! Again thank you for writing what you did! You have a great talent for it...

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  4. this looks great! looking forward to more!

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  5. Marie thank you for posting about this topic! I think its a much needed blog series and I am looking forward to it. Yes I agree that so many times I put high expectations on my future spouse ,but I do not uphold myself to the same ideals. It really humbles ones self and helps me to strive to do better in many areas of my own life.

    God bless!
    Rebecca

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  6. Marie--I look forward to reading the rest of the series, and especially what you think *should* be on the list. I've never had an ideal in my mind of what he should look like, but I do know that in other areas I have held a hypocritical standard. Honestly, this realization has encouraged me to grow spiritually so much!

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  7. I think #6 is the best because I know people, myself included, who fail terribly with that. I don't think most of the girls I know have unrealistic expectations-until you look at THEIR lives and looks.

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  8. I LOVE THIS SO VERY MUCH! Eeee, so good Marie! I became somewhat of a 'born again' Christian several months ago around the time I became single again. This list and advice is something I will keep very close to my heart because it's everything that I needed to hear. I'm reading a book called, "How I Kissed Dating Goodbye" which is somewhat similar to what you wrote. Thank you so much for this and all of your advice. It helped one lady! :)

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  9. Thank you so, so much.
    I can't even tell you how much I needed to hear this from someone else besides my own nagging brain!

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  10. I'm glad you hit that "publish" button. These are stuff all of us gals need to be reminded of from time to time and sometimes very often indeed! :) I think having a list is not a bad thing but getting super detailed and not willing to budge on said list-not so much. That's just plain dumb.I love #6...that is so good...I need to focus on me and becoming who I was created to be-and confident in my identity in Christ and let God work his will and way for Mr. Hope-You're-Right :) (not that one is actually currently on scene heehee)

    Thanks for sharing! :)Jeanine

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Hey there! Thank's so much for taking the time to visit my blog. I love hearing feedback from my readers, your comments bring sunshine into my day! Please no anonymous commenters, sign your comment with your name or a nickname so I know who you are! :-) Wishing you a fabulous day, XO, Marie