I don’t think this is the right time for us to be together. I love you, but I wish I met you later on in the future. I love you but, I am not ready. I love you, but you are too fat or skinny for me. I love you but it’s not you, it’s me. I love you, but we cannot be together. I love you, but I love someone else…
There could be many other reasons and excuses that you have been told. Excuses that kept you at the ‘waiting bay’. I loved the analogy that my friend Libby Ndambo told me some time back. Her past relationships always made her feel like she was that book in the library which someone picks, peruses through, and puts right back on the shelf. They made her feel like she was never good enough to be pursued and loved until the end. (PS: I am happy to report that she is now a happily married woman).
I related with this so deeply because that had been my experience. It felt like I was never good enough. The advice that came my way was quite overwhelming. I was told that a woman should never present herself as ‘easy’ to the opposite sex; men love a woman who plays hard to get. They want the chase and the pursuit to satisfy their manly competitive nature. That they always wanted to feel like they worked hard to get their woman. As a matter of fact, once they have chased and ‘won’ you over, you will never lose them. Consequently, I applied all the ‘rules’ and advice so well; the relationship would start out so beautifully. However, it would only end up with tears, a broken heart, and the whole difficult process of healing.
I couldn’t help but wonder why my relationships could not pass the 7-month threshold. The only one that did was an on and off relationship that went on for three years. Either way, something was bound to happen every 7 months. I got all kinds of ‘relationship advice’ to address this particular situation. One, in particular, was that since all my relationships ended prematurely, then I was the constant factor! This person told me that I am the problem; my own downfall! I remember how this ‘light’ comment tortured me. I called myself to meetings to dig deep into these words. I did not just want to dismiss this person’s remarks. I had to analyze the statement to check whether there could be some truth in it.
I am not too proud to admit that I have hurt some people and made mistakes in the past. I mean, haven’t we all? Consequently, I started believing that I could be the problem after all. As expected, my self-image and worth were crippled to such demeaning levels. I felt ‘privileged’ when a man asked me to be with him, even if for a time. Moreover, I had to put in all the work to keep the relationship. In the end, I was never satisfied since deep down, I knew I was not being loved fully. It is detrimental to be in a relationship while harboring a distorted self-image and worth. The problem that arises is the need for validation and assurance from your partner, a situation that leads to great disappointment. I remember crying out to God in those difficult moments. I was able to experience his love and see myself as He sees me.
Secondly, I understood that I am worthy of full and complete love from a committed man. I deserve to be loved without any excuses or compromises. My prayers are geared towards that. I love how loving God has enabled me to love myself more. It has enabled me to see my own value and understand that I have so much love to offer as well. You deserve pure perfect love. Not settling for ‘I love you, but…’, and instead, settling for ‘I love you, because…’.
Our reference is the man of Jesus. An example of love has never been more well set. Who labors in unmerited pain for me to live in unmerited favor if not for love? Yes, it was love when He hugged a tree from behind as he gave his life for me. My sins, wrapped in fine linen, had a fragrance of hope inside a grave just because He loved me. Death, as cruel and dark as it is, was a bright idea to Him in the name of love. Dark was the day, but the Son would rise in the morning because He loved me. He proved that I am worth it! Not settling for less bares the responsibility of giving this kind of love to the man of my life. It is not easy, but we ought to become like Him every day in our relationships.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose [Philippians 2:13].
Photo credits: @MetzPhotolab
Modeled a Gown by Liana Bridal House
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