When was the last time you were in a healthy committed relationship?
Okay, I'll drop the word healthy. When was the last time you were in a committed relationship?
I ask the question, not to put you on the spot or make you feel uncomfortable, but to hopefully get you to think about where you are, and where you desire to be as it pertains to being in a committed relationship or married, if that's your desire.
Recently, it was bought to my attention that I haven't been in a committed relationship in several years.
I bumped into my ex, who took it upon himself to remind me of the exact date. I was like, really, several years ago?
That's a significant amount of time...
It hadn't dawned on me because I was busy living in my "purpose" bubble. I was so focused on completing my Master of Divinity degree, writing my first book and trying to learn how to manage all the moving pieces of being self-employed that I didn't realize several years had elapsed.
I also was single in status, but not at heart.
Since singleness was something I always tried to evade, I wasn't "fully" single during those several years, or available. The hard truth is I had relational baggage and residue that needed to be resolved, and unhealthy ties with specific men that needed to be broken.
Messy is an understatement.
Have you ever waited for a man to come around or come back into your life, to sweep you off your feet? Do you know there's a man out there holding out hope that you'll be together? Have you ever engaged a man, knowing your friendship, was just that, a friendship?
If so, I can tell you from experience, these kinds of "harmless" attachments to the opposite sex make it difficult, if not impossible, to receive the one you're praying for. The pseudo relationships I had with men had to go, but I needed help to release them.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." -Romans 12:2 NIV
I had to get my mind right, and my heart back.
It was time out for having emotional entanglements with the opposite sex, and for engaging men I had no business entertaining in the first place. I wanted my heart to be free, and a peace of mind in my love life, as a single woman, prior to being anyone's wife. I no longer wanted to spend my time dating, texting or calling men, just to pass the time, but to stop the habit of it all wasn't easy.
I always wanted something real, but "being real," it had to start with me.
In order to BE single for real, for real, in my heart, mind and soul, I had to surrender all the men of my past to God, whether I had had sex with them or not --because all soul ties aren't sexually transmitted. But, as mentioned, I knew I wasn't strong enough or cleaver enough to break the emotional, spiritual or physical ties I was mixed up in.
I needed God's help to lead me through.
What transpired after praying and crying out to God for help was ((a process)) of releasing and being released, of praying some more and fasting, of forgiving and being forgiven, of loving on others and being loved on, of seeking a counselor to make sure I was seeing things correctly, and whatever else the Spirit led me to do, I did my best to do.
I'm so glad God helped me to take another step to get engaged with myself. I'm not the same woman I was. I've changed on the inside.
I went from casually entertaining men, to being very intentional about who I date, text or call. I don't date as much, and my phone isn't blowing up, but I'm freer, and I'm single, single ((big smile)).
It's refreshing to be more thoughtful about myself, and every man who approaches me. Essentially, I'm looking for God in the details, and to have good experiences with quality men, until I align with the one who's best for me.
If I don't sense a man's desire for peace and love. I don't signup for it.
Now, as I look back over the years of my dating + singleness life, I get to share what I wish was shared with me. Maybe, my experiences will help other women and men avoid unnecessary headaches and heartbreak. Like, the telltale signs you're not ready for a committed relationship [or marriage].
If my story speaks to the heart of where you are, and you fear you've wasted time with the wrong men, click here to grab a complimentary copy of ch. 1, A Guidebook to Dating + Singleness for the Modern Woman of Faith Who Desires Love. It will help you get engaged with how you see dating, singleness and relationships, so you can have the love you desire.
6 Signs You're Not Ready for a Committed Relationship:
1. You fall in love with almost every guy you date, whether you're in a relationship or not. How are you in love and you've never gone out on a date? If you're quick to get emotionally attached, you might be more in love with the idea of being in love, than love itself. Blogger, Annie Oudom writes about her experience of being in love with the idea of love:
"Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first relationship that I allowed myself to get lost in. So how in the world did this happen to me? Again?"
2. You don't have a good sense of who you are, and who you're not. Basically, you become a chameleon in relationships. In the movie, Coming to America, Eddie Murphy asks a prospective wife, "What do you like?" and she responded, "Whatever you like!"
It's a funny scene, but's it's no laughing matter and points to a lack of identity, which makes it difficult to discriminate; who's best or most suitable for you?
3. You don't like who you are or being in your own company. If this is your truth, figure out why, "you're just not that into yourself?" I know you probably heard of the book, He's Just Not That into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, but what's of alarming concern are the many women who don't see value in themselves. If you lack self-worth, this will impact who you date and how you date, and ultimately who you marry.
4. You flipflop with your faith, depending on who you're with. Denying or watering down your faith to be accepted by any "man" is an example of not honoring all of who you are as a woman.
Don't push God to the side to form a relationship, you know will need God in the long run to sustain.
5. You haven't made peace with what you value most. It's not that you don't have any standards. It's that you haven't graduated to enforcing them. You have to be clear with you first, before you can be clear with others. What do you value most, and aren't willing to budge on?
6. Your lust is leading your like. Lust can be great for passion, but a horrible source to keep a relationship going. Lust fades. If you're allowing the outer packaging to dictate your like, and overlooking the inner workings of a man, then your heart isn't ready to choose who's best for a committed relationship, or to marry.
If you're ready for a new outlook on love, and a faith-based perspective on how to date in healthy and productive ways, November 4 + 11, I'm inviting a select group of women to join me for a 2 Week Workshop, Self-Worth + Dating: Be Prepared to Meet the One for You, click here.
This workshop will be offered ONLINE and LIVE. If you want to be one of the ten to attend this workshop live in Philly, click here for additional details.
Did you connect with this topic? Make sure you let us know how by commenting below.
Tiffany Wilson, M.Div aka @tiffytalks
[Published via Original Website August 13, 2015. Edited, October 10, 2018]