For my unmarried people.
Herein lies a blog about love. I’ve had all the thoughts you could possibly consider when it comes to dating and one of the most intriguing being, “I wonder who I’m going to marry?” That curiosity is unique. It’s one of the only questions we ask that has a desire for certainty strongly rooted in it. Jobs come and go, friends come and leave, clothes and objects have their time and season, but a spouse… that’s a something we want to last forever.
I burned out a little on the search for this person. Without losing the beauty of my future spouse being my ‘forever,’ I will tell you why.
I found ‘the one,’ perfect lover, Jesus, who I was trying to find in my prayers for ‘the one.’ And for now, I will strive to [imperfectly] walk with Him for the rest of my life. There is romance in living to uphold a great and noble person of the past. And behind realizing all that, I also discovered that there’s more of an attachment to marriage in my life, than there is an attachment to love.
I realized that in my walk of the faith with Jesus I have more than enough, I am fully myself, and Jesus will always relentlessly teach me and show me how to love better because He left me Himself in the Eucharist to feed off of, and a whole book to study from.
I love a lot of things and a lot of people. I’m not sure which guys in my life are potential spouses, and of them, who will constitute the best person to marry, and I’m not in a rush. Even so, I’m not a bad lover because I’m not dating or married. I’d even go so far as to say if I don’t get married, I’ll still be able to live well and be satisfied. But, If one of the ways God will end up choosing to show me how to love better comes through marriage, then I trust it’ll be what it’s meant to be for me—but marriage isn’t the epitome of love.
If you love someone, let them go…
The reason I love this phrase so much is because of all the ways leaving someone can be a greater act of love than staying with them (and leaving can just generally mean, ending the dating part of your relationship).
You don’t own anyone, let alone your [future] spouse, you share this life with them. Marriage is about finding a life-partner. There’s so much stress and pressure today to find out who “the one” is that we don’t let them be who they are outside of being “mine.” A life-partner is not someone you own, he/she is someone who you can lean on, be vulnerable with, build deep bonds with, and connect on a deeper level with. They show you that their happiness is far more worthwhile than your own and that makes you happy in return.
Let them go off your radar and your mind. In and through all this, you’ll find that time is essential. It is a gift. Some things only time will reveal, don’t seek an answer, don’t force things and torment yourself, and do not [above all] give up on God, because patience is not the same thing as not caring or resigning.
Marriage is not the same thing as love
Marriage does not equal love. Marriage is not synonymous to love. God is synonymous to love. GOD is love. Marriage is not God. Marriage is an expression and a deep, sacred, and tangible sign and experience of love, of family building, an analogy of God’s essence, but it is not God (aka your ultimate fulfillment and the thing that should take ultimate worship in your life).
God’s grace is not waiting for you in your future marriage, or future relationship. God wants you to get the most out of His ola for marriage. Sure, we can “do” marriage anyway we want or desire, but God’s plan for marriage (to be the foundation of society and the upbringing of children) is what portrays His love, His grace, and His divine bliss in your life on such a profound level. Nevertheless, married or not, the same graces are yours at any (every) moment of the day that you ask for it.
Marriage will not satisfy your desires…
I deeply desire marriage. There are a lot of people in my life, right now, who I could marry. We would have a great, Jesus-centered marriage, and I would be totally okay in life.
Would I just get married for the heck of it? No.
No one usually does things without consideration. There’s merit and appreciation in allowing yourself to wait for someone who shares your interests and desires. Just because I checked something off my list of “deep desires” does not ensure that I will be satisfied.
We will always need community
God will personally, and specifically draw you in and reveal to you His beauty and love in and through so many people, experiences, books, hobbies, dreams, and desires. If you find someone who gives you that taste of God’s beauty, enjoy it. Delight in it. God is giving you a gift, so receive it. Don’t force a dating relationship out of it unless it flows. You know, in your heart of hearts, if there’s possibility for that. The minute we get anxious is the minute we find ourselves trying to control the situation–not letting it flow.
Whether this person is a friend, or lover, it doesn’t matter because you are still experiencing the love of God in such a unique way, be content with just this. The gift of that person will help you further uncover who you are, and what you long for, but that might not mean they’re your spouse.
Marriage may not be within your reach, either. If you know you can’t afford it now, you’re not ready now, or you don’t desire it, then don’t force it. Give yourself time without manipulating the emotions of others or becoming too emotionally involved with others. (No, this is not the same thing as ‘no strings attached’ or ‘friends with benefits’ because those have long term side-effects on your health and your ability love forever).
Long story short, there is no “timeline” on life. Marriage may come at forty, who knows.
Certainty takes away mystery
Whoever you’re going to marry in life, you’re going to be able to fall more in love with them by experiencing life with them, and not waiting around for it to find you, or for God to answer your questions. Let me ask you this. If God DID tell you, right now, who you would end up marrying, would that change anything? Especially if it was someone you haven’t met yet, would you be able to marry that person?
Knowing who you’re going to marry doesn’t mean you love them. It doesn’t heal your wounds from the past. It doesn’t guarantee a stress-free future. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have hardships in life. It doesn’t suddenly make your current struggles at work or at home any less arduous. It really only takes away the excitement of growing and experiencing love with another person. Marriage is not the finish line, it’s a journey.
The journey to marriage, and in marriage, is the destination. Even if you’re single. It’s a destination to love, a long adventure of uncovering yourself.
“Enchanting” relationships are a symbol to remind you [and others] that there is more to see. That God is a pure spirit of love and fills the world with it. The “spark” you have with someone, in my eyes, is God’s goodness and spirit acting like a song that two souls dance to, together. Spouses have the ability to love and become something that reveals an example of a reality that surpasses common knowledge or reason. We can choose love, and we can choose to let love change us.
Spouses (in their imperfect love) reveal to the world that it wasn’t about searching for ‘the one’ “God predestined them to be with,” but it was a result of God bringing two people together who made a decision to stay together, to vow exclusivity, ’till death do them part.
I’m not diminishing the beauty of marriage and having a spouse, rather, I am debunking the myth that we have a soulmate who will fulfill us. The reason I firmly believe that in no other way of life can the love of God be vividly, tangibly, and more beautifully experienced than in marriage is for the sole reason that two people are choosing to love each other for the rest of their life. Not because they were forced or coerced into it. That two people can meet and find in themselves an instant and beautiful connection and want to vow their life to it, forever.