I'm trying to walk by faith while giving nothing but love along the way while seeking the love of our Heavenly Father. Will you walk with me?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Don't settle.

Living on a college campus allows me to hear many things that I simply do not want to hear. Often times I overhear the conversations of girls talking about their latest hookups and the hottest guys that they want to get with. I've even heard the description in full detail of a male's genitalia. Again, something I really did not want to hear but inevitably heard because I was walking behind them. These conversations happen over and over again and hearing them can't help but make me think: why do girls fall into meaningless hookups? Why do they put so much time and energy into guys who don't deserve them?

It all comes down to what I talked about last week. We all want to feel wanted. When going through a break up or being broken up with, it's easy to feel unwanted. If you've been single for a while and there isn't a long list of people dying to pursue you, it's easy to feel unwanted. It's also easy to look into the future and see yourself living alone with 12 cats. You think that because one person didn't want you, no one else will. And feeling unwanted makes it so much easier to settle. We settle in our relationships (or lack thereof). So we jump into the next offer we get, in hopes of filling the holes in our heart and feeling wanted. Sometimes this includes hookups, or just getting involved in a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship. In the mean time, we get ourselves in a messy situations where feelings are on the line and in the end, we feel just as unsatisfied as we did in the first place. But sometimes we have to disregard how we feel and remember what we deserve. Brothers and sisters, we deserve so much more than to settle.

Sometimes our feelings guide our decisions. We feel so unwanted that all we want is one person to make us feel wanted. I'm guilty of this. There have been multiple times where I lay in bed, just aching for a guy to want me and to be there to hold me, as if this will make the feelings of being unwanted away. Those moments of vulnerability make it so tempting to take any offer I get from a guy. Since the breakup, I've been asked out on a date, and guys have told me that they find me attractive. Every time this happens, it's tempting to just give my heart to that guy in hopes that he will fill the void. Because he thinks I'm attractive, he must want me, and therefore, I'll feel wanted. I may not even be attracted to the guy. But what's attractive is that he finds me attractive. Sounds twisted, right? If I were to begin a relationship based on the fact that I got attention from a guy, then that would not be fair to myself or the guy. Settling doesn't do anyone good. It's easy to think that because someone wants us, we should jump at that opportunity regardless of what we want in a partner. In the mean time, we forget what we want and what we deserve in a partner. Thus, we settle. Then we get so afraid that no one else will want us, so we don't end things with that person out of fear. Then a vicious cycle of unhappiness, hurt, and guilt starts. Doesn't sound like a healthy relationship, does it? That's why we must avoid settling in the first place.

To avoid settling, we must first remember who we are in the first place. We are children of God. We are loved beyond measure. And God wants nothing but the best for us. God has amazing plans for each of us. If you believe this, then wouldn't you believe that God also has an amazing plan for your love life? Don't you think that He would have you be with the most amazing person for you? Do you really think He would have you be with a partner just because that person was attracted to you? NO! He would have you be with a person who is everything you deserve and beyond. He would have you be with a person who builds you up, not brings you down. He would have you be with a person who leads you to Him and who challenges you to be a better person. He would have you be with a person who will fight for you, love you, and accept you no matter what. He would have you be with a person who made you feel wanted, special, loved, and like you are the most important person in their life. He would never wish for you to spend the rest of your life with a person you settled for. Hopefully you would never wish to spend the rest of your life with a person you settled for either.

Don't you want the love story that God had planned for you? Well to get that, we must not settle. That first starts with hookups. My advice to you would be to not hookup. I learned this the hard way in high school. Think about it, when you are physically intimate with a person, you are giving them the benefits of dating without demanding that they commit to you. You may hope that hooking up with a guy will lead to him committing to you. But in reality, you are probably turning him away. When you hookup with a guy, what's left for them to chase? Where's the challenge? Guys love a challenge. And by allowing a guy to be physically intimate without calling him to rise up and commit to you, you are telling him that you aren't taking this seriously and that you don't think you're worth being a challenge. Respect yourself. Don't let a guy have the benefits of dating with you without demanding that he commits to you. You deserve so much more than that. As my grandma used to say, "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" A guy isn't going to want to go through all of the hard work of committing to a girl when he can get the physical pleasure for free. So if you expect to get a guy by hooking up with him, you're out of luck. A real man wouldn't want a girl who would be so quick to give her body away. A real man wants to be respected too. Not hooking up with guys allows you to find a real man. It allows you to weed out the guys who only want you for your body. Not hooking up makes a statement and shows guys that you take yourself seriously and that you will not allow your body to be used for the sake of his pleasure. Protect your kisses. Set standards. Maybe they could be to not make with someone unless they are officially your boyfriend/girlfriend. Or if you want to go even further, do not even kiss someone unless they are officially your boyfriend/girlfriend. It will save yourself a lot of frustration and hurt in the mean time.

My next advice is to be picky when it comes to dating. Don't date someone unless they have the qualities you would want in a future spouse. We date to marry. Dating is not a game. Dating is a time to learn about yourself and your partner and to determine the kind of person you want to spend the rest of your life with. It's not about being with a person for the sake of being with them. It's about being with a person to see if they're compatible for you. So be with someone who you think could be potentially compatible with you for the rest of your life. Come up with a list of qualities that you want in your future spouse. Use them as a guideline for dating. Only date people who have those qualities. This list will serve as a constant reminder to not settle for anyone less than what you deserve. Do not change your list for anyone. It can be hard when you feel lonely and that you will never find anyone with those qualities. But God is the author of your love story. Trust Him. The person He has in mind for you will be the person of your dreams. This list will show the deepest desires of your heart when it comes to your future spouse and I can assure that God will see it.

Your future spouse is out there and God has hand made that person specifically for you and you for that person. Keep them in mind. When you are tempted to settle, think of them. Start respecting them now. Would you want your future spouse settling for other people for the sake of feeling wanted? I sure hope not. So don't do the same. You deserve so much more than to settle. Be patient. God will send you the right person for you in His time.
"Do not arouse, do not stir up love before its own time." - Song of Solomon 8:4 
Start praying for your future spouse. Pray for their hearts. While doing so, God will prepare your heart for them.

Respect yourself. Do not let society get the best of you. Society may be telling you to hookup with a bunch of people, base your worth off others and your looks, or to settle; but please, do not do it. Do not conform. Respect yourself and know that you are a child of God. You are loved beyond measure. And in Christ, you can find more than what society or a meaningless hookup can give you. Do not settle.

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