The last thing I thought I will be thinking about in my dating relationship is how bad I am at being single. Please note that I am using the word “single” broadly, to include even those who are not in a dating relationship.
I will be getting married in less than five months, God willing, and it is ironic that I am less worried about the kind of husband I will be than I am disturbed by the kind of single person I was.
Being in an intimate committed relationship has a way of revealing you to yourself. For instance, I didn’t know how self-centered I was until I had to put the needs of someone else before my own.
It is easy to think that you are loving people just because you are a people-person. But being in a relationship opens you up to the reality that you tend to relate to people on your own terms and at your own convenience. Being in a relationship exposes you to situations where your availability is no longer a function of your “freedom” but a prerogative of love.
When you are single, you are only responsible for yourself. Of course there are times when you show up for a friend and help out those who are in need. But you often just do this “to the best of your ability”. Your friends have no choice but to understand when you can do no more.
But an intimate relationship exposes you to situations where you have to go beyond what you are “comfortable with”, your giving is sometimes forced to be sacrificial, and the need to die to self becomes more and more apparent.
The bottom line? If you want to be “good” at dating, you must begin at learning to the good at being single. Dating exposes you to yourself. In my relationship, I have discovered that I am not just getting to know one person, but two people.
There are things about you that looking in the mirror will never reveal to you, habits and tendencies that come out only when another person is too close for comfort. Dating has taught me that “knowing myself” when living by myself is a myth. It is only by letting myself truly known to the community around me that I can truly and better know myself.
So, to the single people, how are you treating the people around you? More importantly, how are the people close to you treating you? Many of us have this false view that a true friend is one who will let you “be yourself”, one who will not try to change you and will “love you as you are”.
But that’s a lie. Mostly. To be human is to be fallen, and if there is one thing that human beings need, it is constant tweaking. We stand corrected, and uncorrected we fall. So a true friend is really one that tells you when they see you making a fool of yourself. A true friend may love you as you are, but only long enough to help you be a better person.
Being in a relationship has taught me the value of having such “hard” friendships beforehand. I am a better man because I am no longer my own man, and I believe that this is a lesson all of us need to learn before asking that girl out or saying yes to that guy.Tags: Dating