Thomas Merton says,“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” I was on the phone with my boyfriend the other night as he was trying to encourage me to get back to my writing and blogging, considering I am a writer who hasn’t written anything in around seven months. And in that moment I realized how vital it is to be with someone who believes in you and encourages you to be your best self.I will say, there is a new degree of trust in my current relationship that surpasses anything I’ve experienced before.And my boyfriend earned that trust by respecting me physically, by not pushing my boundaries, by honoring me, and by taking the time to really pursue me for me and not just an idea of me.But what we did have from our very first date was an honest and genuine relational connection/compatibility. But it did come and I can assure you now that that is something that can be built and can even become incredibly powerful as the relationship grows and deepens.Of course every relationship is different and of course many successful relationships have started with a really strong romantic connection and it works out great in the end. What if, instead of building relationships on chemistry, passion, and physicality, individuals in our culture chose to build their relationships on the virtues of respect, honor, self-less love, and ultimately friendship?We live in a day and age where dating has become more of a sport than a mature interaction between two adults in search of a relationship that is raw, real, and lasting.
So, here are my two cents on some signs of a healthy dating relationship. Friendship I would argue that this is the true foundation of any good relationship.
I had quite honestly gotten to the point in my past dating relationships where I wondered if I was just better off single and assumed if I really wanted to be who God created me to be and pursue my gifting and calling, that would mean I would have to do it alone.
So to have met a man who literally changed the game for me, who believes in me and is my biggest encourager is an incredible gift.
And all of those qualities are directly influenced by how you communicate.
We live in a day and age where it seems people are afraid to feel anything genuine, or at the very least are afraid to express anything genuine. Mutual support This is pretty personal for me because I have been through more than one relationship that lacked this. If you are with a man who isn’t able to support you in your gifting, calling, career, etc, that might be a significant red flag.