The Other Side of the Story

Little introduction is needed as this post more than speaks for itself.  I have asked Alex(my boyfriend) to share his perspective on the transition from single to dating.  It is always helpful to know all sides of the story and Alex is an incredible communicator and leader. What you should know about him is he loves to dig down to the root of any topic or issue.   Before you read on prepare your heart and mind to be open to be encouraged and challenged.  If you take this message to heart, no matter your relationship status I know you are going to see increase!


So you want a healthy relationship.  Great!  We have something in common.

Maybe your story looks like mine too.  Years since your last serious relationship.  Focused on growing yourself, your career, your faith, your social circles, etc.  And in all that time dreaming about what a healthy relationship could look like, how awesome it would be, how much it would make life better.  Asking God, “when is it going to be my turn for relationship?”

Now we are all (hopefully) mature enough to understand that there are always risks and sacrifice involved, but we willingly take them on because the reward of relationship is worth it.  I can attest to that.  Anyone who knows Rosanna’s and my story, knows that I took some major risks and overcame some major fears to ask her out and get to this point, and that though the road was not easy, I fought it because I saw it was worth it.

But if I told you that was the hardest part of starting our relationship, I would be lying.

Because what I had previously experienced, but never realized, was that crossing that boundary and entering into relationship will expose every single insecurity you have been holding on to, whether you were aware of them or not.  When we are single, it’s easy to ignore or suppress them.  But in relationship, you are letting someone else in.  And all that insecurity is going to bubble to the surface.

 

I will give you some examples:

Fact: Rosanna is very successful in business, and is constantly growing.

Insecurity: Oh crap, what if she starts making more than me?  Will I no longer be the provider?

 

Fact: Rosanna is a former Olympic level athlete, is taller than me, and still in ridiculously good shape.

Insecurity:  Oh crap, what if she’s stronger than me?  I will feel emasculated.

 

Fact: Rosanna is fiercely independent and already has specific vision for her future.

Insecurity: Oh crap, what if she’s going to expect me to partner in her vision, even if it’s not what I want to do?

The thoughts start running through your head, but it’s nothing new – I’ve been in relationship before.  What’s so different now?  The difference is in the past, I never dealt with the insecurity.  And guess what – in the past, none of my relationships ever worked.  Whether we were aware of it at the time or not, insecurity broke the relationship.  In fact, I am convinced that all breakups point back to an unaddressed insecurity of some kind.  Or even if you elect to not let breakup be an option, you can still let insecurity poison your relationship.  That’s when relationships become “good enough”.  It’s not too long before words like “tolerate”, “apathy”, and “mediocre” begin to describe your relationship.  Unfortunately so many people are in bland relationships – and sadly most of these bland relationships exist within marriage.  But they exist this way because you stopped fighting, or never even began to fight, the insecurity and step into the fullness of what relationship is meant to be.

 

Maybe you need a reminder of what a relationship is supposed to be, why God put relationship on our hearts.  If that is the case, I will point you back to the beginning, in Genesis 1:

[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]“Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”[/mk_blockquote]

God created relationship as partnership, with purpose.  To be fruitful and multiply.  To have dominion.  To make a difference, to advance His kingdom on earth.  A healthy relationship is not about avoiding singleness, cuddling and sex, starting a family, or having someone to take to fancy events.  Those are all very good things, but they are the fruits of the labor of partnership that relationship was meant to establish, not the sole purpose of relationship.

And now I have found someone strong, someone I am attracted to, that I want to be partnered with to advance the Kingdom and do big things.  But that insecurity I mentioned earlier is a poison that could stop it all.  I could get overwhelmed by the insecurity and run from the greatest opportunity for healthy relationship that has been put in front of me.  And sadly many people do.  Or I can try to ignore or suppress the insecurity and just hope she does not get any stronger or any more successful so that I won’t feel more challenged by her.  Again, many people squander their chance for greatness because they get stuck in comparison.  It is a very selfish perspective.  But the third option, the most painful, but most rewarding option, is to fight that insecurity head on.  To locate the poison, and extract it.  To live in health.

How do you do that?  Admit it to yourself.  Talk about it with someone else (maybe even your significant other).  Bring it to Jesus.  Because that insecurity is the devil holding you back from being fruitful and multiplying.  And the only weapon against it is the truth of our identity in Christ that we are “more than conquerors”, that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made”, and that we “can do all things through Christ who strengthens [us]”.

I choose to battle my insecurity.  And yes it hurts, and it’s not fun, and there are tears and sweat.  But now the relationship that Rosanna and I have is strong.  All of those same traits in Rosanna that bring out my insecurity in relationship are the same traits that actually make her the best partner for me in the vision we have.  And the only reason I feel insecure about them is because I do not really trust that God is going to provide the same strength to me (and that is the lie of the enemy).

Do you want to know what’s on the other side of those insecurities, now that they are being dealt with?

Fact: Rosanna is very successful in business, and is constantly growing.

Truth:  So am I, and one day we will be able to combine the strength, passion, and finances we share in business.

 

Fact: Rosanna is a former Olympic level athlete, is taller than me, and still in ridiculously good shape.

Truth: She still finds me attractive, her habits will pay off with years of health and longevity, and I have full control and responsibility over my own body.  (I am pretty strong to start, but I just put on 8 lbs of muscle just for an extra confidence boost. I choose to change me over expecting her to change.)

 

Fact: Rosanna is fiercely independent and already has specific vision for her future.

Truth:  I’m exactly the same, and I can choose to trust God that He will never make us live someone else’s life.  Besides, part of learning to partner is learning to combine your dreams and visions as one.

 

Whether you are single and looking for relationship, or already in one and looking for more out of it, challenge yourself.  Fight your insecurity, expose it, and give it up.  Your relationship will transform into a partnership, and you will go from occupying territory to taking it.  And all those dreams and desires you have for love, joy, closeness, and intimacy will be brought to you in abundance over whatever you thought possible.

Alex