Okay, here is my stab at this. I just want to stress that this is my experience (and not a ton of it). I know there are exceptions and I know there are different philosophies. I do. But on this adventure (and I intentionally use the word ‘adventure’), here are a few life lessons I have learned along the way:
1. Time- Time- Time- It just takes time to get know someone, to observe how they interact with your friends and your family. I’m not sure if its just an “older age” thing (I can say that now because I am 40… oh ya, baby) but there seems to be a rush- rush to fall in love- rush to get married (no, really, there is no need to start talking marriage after a month), just rushed. If you feel pressured or that things are moving too fast, just remember, real love will be willing to walk with you, alongside you, to find a rhythm and timing that works for both of you.
2. If one is professing their love for you within the first few weeks of meeting, most likely they are in love with the idea of you rather than the real you. They might love what they have learned about you thus far, but everyone can be on their best behavior for a few weeks.
3. Leave room to breath. If one or both parties are smothering, “gushing”, like total overkill, I liken it to being vomited on. It’s stinky and smelly and it makes everyone around you sick, as well. Leave room for pursuit. Leave room to miss each other. Leave room.
4. Love is tender. Love is kind. Love is slow to speak. Enough said.
5. It is completely normal to feel flustered when meeting someone new. I can’t tell you how many times I ran into Nicole’s house (she lives next door) with phone in hand. I would shove my electronic device at her with a crazed look in my eyes. Oh my gosh,you HAVE to read this text. What does it mean? I have no idea what he is trying to say! Is my response lame? I used to think, Who the heck is this basket case and where did she come from? Now, I have learned to relax and roll with the newness. Totally normal to freak out a bit, just keep it under wraps, dear sisters. That’s what friends are for:)
5. Enjoy the moment. I am not a big fan of the kind of thinking that focuses on “the one”. Whether you believe there is “one” out there for you or not, you are MISSING the process of getting to know someone by fixating on the future. Whether someone is in your life for a night, a season or for a life time, trust that God will work out the details and enjoy being present in the moment. That’s where the joy is!
6.Embrace incredibly horrible dates. They make for fantastic stories later on. (I met one gentleman who started our date being quite complimentary of how I looked. He then paused and handed me the menu, stating that his vision was so bad that he couldn’t read it. I thought he was joking. He wasn’t. I had to read the menu aloud to him. Yeah, wasn’t feeling too pretty on that one)
7. Be yourself. It is way too exhausting to try to be someone you are not. Give it up. Let it go. You are bound to piss someone off at some point. Learn to protect who you are. Hold it as sacred.
9. and then pray some more.
10. He or she might look amazing- the perfect fit- but Gd can see what you cannot. Rest in that, dear sisters. Pray for insight. Pray for a peace. Pray for eyes to see what Christ sees and then know that He sees the rest. There is peace in that.