There’s more to love than the feeling of butterflies. It’s important to remember that “lust” is usually the first phase of any new romantic relationship. Generally, it is associated with feelings only, completely based on physical connection- “sparks” if you will. It can cause us to become totally blind to everything we are experiencing in those first few months, sometimes lasting up to a year. Okay, I really shouldn’t put a time limit on it, but nonetheless, reality starts to set in as you spend more time with the other person. Which is exactly what dating is intended to do: allowing you to see someone in different situations, and determine if they are a good fit for a life-long partnership with you. (By the way, I wrote a separate post on this about 5 Keys to a Healthy and Happy Marriage) https://gracefulgratefulandgutsy.com/2020/12/28/5-keys-to-a-healthy-and-happy-marriage/
I’m going to assume for the purpose of this post that “the one” is the person you want to marry (just to make my direction clearer). That being said, marriage is a big commitment, so making a wise decision for love is no joke. Although we see divorce happening more than ever, and becoming an all-to-common part of society, I would like to make a bold statement and say that it’s no walk in the park. I can’t say it is something we envision for our lives. It is more of a decision than a desire.
So, let’s talk about some of the key foundations that are a good idea to have in place before you consider entering “until death due you part”:
What are the absolute deal breakers for you? What things can you absolutely not live without? Determine what is really important to you in life.
Perhaps this means you picture having a family, therefore dating someone who doesn’t want kids probably doesn’t have the best outcome.
Or maybe your religion is really significant to you, and you don’t want to compromise your beliefs.
Maybe you really like cats more than people sometimes and you can’t live without them…in which case, it’s important that they like pets 🙂
I know people say there are things you simply should not bring up to talk about (money, politics, religion, etc), but if you don’t do it early in the relationship, you will end up paying for it later. It WILL come up eventually.
Remember that this is a life-long relationship, so having a friendship will make it much sweeter. Do you share things in common? Do you have similar interests, and ways you like to spend your time?
Now bear in mind that you don’t have to be completely the same- that would mean you are dating yourself…
However, I truly think that “keeping things spicy” in a relationship starts with having a solid friendship first because it is built on trust and unconditional, sacrificial love.
- Physical attraction
Okay, I know this sounds hypocritical considering my opening statements, but it shouldn’t be disregarded. Intimacy in a marriage is crucial, and if you don’t feel that way with your partner, you will feel as though you are living the rest of your life with a roommate instead of a spouse.
This goes for both parties. How do you and the other person react when things get hard? What is your/their temper like? Do you/they possess integrity?
Marriage will be filled with trying circumstances, and if the other person doesn’t handle situations well in dating, that will be exacerbated times a million in marriage (okay, that’s an exaggeration, but it makes my point).
Find someone who has a root-deep character, that acts similar in public as they do behind closed doors.
Although these elements may not sound like the start of a romantic fairytale, they are good to think about as you build your relationship, and before entering into life-long commitment. At the end of the day, no relationship is perfect, but if you base your decision off of these principles, you are off to a good start in making the relationship last beyond any trials that may come up in the future. Remember that those butterflies are only a feeling; true long-lasting love means making a daily decision to take action in love towards the other person.
As always, I’m praying for you, and cheering you on!
- Jess 🙂