As I pick up where my last blog left off, I was explaining how due to my upbringing, I did not know what love was. So in my growing up adulthood years I had met the man I believed I would marry. This would be the start of a downward spiral for me. My first serious relationship, "I was so excited!" This particular man I met right after I truly committed my life to God, joined a new church, and really excited about my new beginnings. So I just knew this was the man of God for me. Nobody could tell me otherwise.
When you truly believe something in your heart, your mind has a way of tuning out everything that appears to be contrary to that.
Sound familiar to you? Been in that type of situation before?
If you read my previous blog (which I encourage you to), you will see how the two correlate. So as I explained, I had no idea what love was, only what I made up in my mind, saw on television, movies, etc.
Not real love, right? You couldn't tell me that.
As I backtrack, this particular man was a friend of a mutual friend. This friend had a huge crush on him, but he, unfortunately, did not return the feelings. This man ended up pursuing me, knowing how my friend felt. That was my first red flag. But like that love-struck puppy that I was, I ignored that. I truly risked a friendship over what I thought was "true love." So, I decided to invite him to my upcoming birthday celebration. From that day on, he was in pursuit. He would text and call and eventually we had our first date, unbeknownst to my close friend who still had a crush on him.
We had a picnic in the park, where we sat on a bench and had sushi and talked. We had a few things in common and soon discovered our families had known each other from school and church. "He has to be the one," I thought in my head while we got to know each other from that day on.
Which began a whirlwind of infatuation, which I thought was love. Still not knowing love outside of movies and television.
We would talk for hours and text and then go out on dates; he even went with me to church. He was what we call a "PK" or preacher's kid (his dad was a pastor). I said all that to say, he grew up in church, so the church was what he knew. This is why I just knew he was “the one.”
If you recall earlier in this post, I explained how I just had joined a new church, recommitted to God, and then I met this man. So him being in church, a Christian made it on to my check off list. My imaginary checklist included: Man of God...check...Pastorial family...check...check...Family connection...check. He was hitting all my checks and plus he liked me...me, who did not know who I was or what love was, and truly felt unworthy of anyone loving me. This was the man of my dreams, the man I prayed for, or so I thought.
Before it got too deep, I knew we had to let our mutual friend know. So he left that up to me to share with her. Another red flag...we were both in this, so we both should have shared the news with her.
Our friend was expectedly hurt; at first she tried to act as if it did not faze her, but eventually shared her true feelings with me.
At the point of hurting a true friend, I should have ended the relationship, but I did not.
As the relationship continued, I began to compromise my standards and limits as a young woman committed to God. We would spend time out late, (much to wise counsel to not do so), we would make-out and get "touchy-feely" almost to the point of going too far, but never getting there ("thank you, God"). I was what you could say, out of my mind, totally infatuated with this man.
All the red flags were there, I just put up heavy roadblocks, because I was in love...right?
One unforgettable encounter in church changed my life forever. I met someone, an angel sent from God, who challenged me to really examine this relationship I was in. She was an answer to prayer as I knew that I was headed down the wrong path, but I could not stop it. I thought I was in too deep, "He loved me!"
Neither he nor I truly knew what love was.
Thinking back, I was really truly head over heels infatuated and if I had not met that "angel" in church, I may have had a truly different outcome.
I gave this person somewhat of a hard time, because what could she tell me about my relationship? But after some time, her points became valid. It even took us going almost too far in his parents’ home (his pastor fathers home) while they were still there. That moment truly shook me.
While in the moment of something your adrenaline is going and you ignore everything, but then you take a step back and say, "What in the world am I doing?"
After that moment, I decided to take a step back from the situation and reevaluate. We were literally together every moment, aside from work and sometimes church so I needed a step back. He gave me some push back regarding it, not really understanding why it was necessary.
Another red flag.
When a person needs time and space and you say you love them, you should give it to them. It does not always have to be a bad thing.
After the time apart (in which he still called and texted some), I decided we needed to have a conversation about our future plans since we appeared to be getting quite serious real fast. In that conversation with a clearer head, I realized we were going in two different directions and had different thoughts about what our future looked like.
He even acted out of character up until this point and got really angry at this conversation even being brought up.
Last red flag.
We did not speak again for a while after that. The relationship was officially over.
During our time apart, I had prayed for God to give me the answer and He did.
- Do not ignore red flags.
- Do not be so "caught up" that you ignore wise counsel.
- When God shows you something, believe it.
- Infatuation is not love, lust is not love.