Unapologetically I acknowledge my desire to be coupled.For as long as I can recall that was the goal, to find my match, my missing lung that made breathing easier in life, my partner in crime, the person whose night ‘noises’ were more of a comfort than a distraction.Two marriages later it would seem I am no closer to finding my missing part than I was at nearly 22 years of age when I said my first vows.
I’ve typically allowed my Christian beliefs about marriage to guide me in such matters; at least that’s how it was for the first marriage.Most world faiths attempt to offer guidance on the subject and most direct to marrying someone of like faith. And here is where, I believe, I made my first mistake. (The details of this could be the subject of many more essays, perhaps another time.) My faith teaches “how to be married” but isn’t terribly good at the courting part.
The First Wives Club was sure to grow by one when I married the first time.I had all the signs of certain failure within view but found Christian ways to ignore them all.
It is great in marriage and business but “compromise” is a formula for regrets if done while dating; it usually means we’re dating the wrong person no matter how nice they are.
It’s sad we don’t understand the value of being selfish.I heard a story once on teaching kids about sharing.It’s cute and makes a point, so stay with me here.A fine mom and dad had a son; they raised him to always consider first being kind to his friends and share his toys even at the expense of his full enjoyment of them.A few years later dad discovers many of his nicest, most expensive tools being given away by his son.When confronted with this carelessness, the son proudly recited the lessons he’d been taught about sharing, even to the point of extending that to his father’s things.The lesson best taught here is that being selfish isn’t always misguided and can even be a natural part of understanding partnership (coupling).
So how on earth does this relate to courtship and coupling? It’s simple really. In the beginning of dating relationships I should have been completely selfish about finding someone that truly wanted to do things in the same way as ME. Why would I want to give up my action movies for someone that has an aversion to cinematic violence? Surely there are women out there that like them too? “NEXT!” Why would I want to stop working on my side projects that I find so satisfying because ‘she’ thinks it robs her of time?Surely there are women out there that will see the value and fun of what I’m doing? “NEXT!” What’s the point in telling ‘her’ that she takes too much time to get ready for an event when that is important to her or else she wouldn’t be taking that much time in the first place!Obviously it annoys me and is MY problem, save her from my issues too…. “NEXT!”
There are enough challenges in relationships without compromising early in the process.Save the compromises for the really big stuff once you are married. Remember what I said earlier, “…I had all the signs of certain failure within view but found Christian ways to ignore them all.” This word will save you and them… “NEXT!” Use it often.
I discovered the penalty of early compromise in my first marriage to be merciless.Each early compromise led to further compromises, in time I looked back to discover I’d accepted behavior I would NEVER recommend to my own kids.That hurt.I compromised my way out of a promising music career and ministry because I didn’t understand blessed selfish behavior in my courtships.I’d have fared better alone, even if lonely, than making the wrong choice.Wrong is just chalk full of regrets.
Like some of you believe, as I do, the search can seem endless. However, the prospect of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel exists with each new contact.
Alone is better than wrong.Anyone wanna go see an action movie with me, or see what web project I’ve got simmering in my laboratory?
Thanks for reading this far.