This Tree Won’t Bend

Considering some of the posts I have made in the past, I bet you already know that I have a boyfriend. He is wonderful in so many ways and I am so blessed to have him in my life. With this being said, some of my past relationships haven’t been too great. For this reason and some others, I really wanted to talk to you guys about standing firm in your convictions. I’m still figuring out a lot of things about relationships, but I realize now that there are somethings that you can’t bend on if you want to have a happy, healthy relationship. Just to be clear, I think compromise  is incredibly important for both partners to be able to do. However, there are some things that should not be compromised. Let’s get into them!

Don’t date someone who has a different worldview.

I swear to you from experience that trying to change someone’s foundational beliefs NEVER works. Okay, to be fair I have heard of it working maybe in one case, but not without many days of sobbing, heartbreak, trials, and tribulations. Generally speaking it doesn’t work. Also, it is not your job to convert people. If you are a Christian, bringing people to faith is God’s job only. You can live as an example, but only He can change someones heart. Dating someone who doesn’t share the foundational beliefs you do is not worth all the pain for a 1% chance of it working. Let’s look at it like this: My Mama always says “Think of the Children”. I don’t have any children, but what she means is that imagine if I were married to the person I am dating and we had a child together. Would that child be raised the way I agree with? Or would me and my husband be fighting over how the child should eat, what discipline should be used, or what religion we should teach him or her? If you are dating someone and you use this thought tool, but see many negative things, maybe its time to find someone new. Sometimes we can’t see the condition of our relationship unless we find a way to see it objectively. My Mom’s tactic works really well for this. On the flip side, if you see unity and happiness with this tactic, that guy could be the one for you!

Who are you with them?

Do your friends and family seem to be saying you’ve really changed or that they are surprised how you are acting? Have you been doing things that you know aren’t things you would normally do? Are these all negative reactions or positive? It is normal to have your partner influence you somewhat, but don’t let your partner change who you are. Don’t bend on who you are at the core. It is healthy to work on changing bad habits. For example, if you are a smoker and your partner encourages you to quit in a healthy way and you have also wanted to quit for your own health, this is good. Do you suddenly not dress the same because your partner makes fun of the clothes you like? Do you look at yourself in the mirror and no longer recognize yourself? Do you no longer enjoy your favourite things because your partner said you had to stop or they would leave? These are not good things. You deserve to have interests you like regardless if your partner likes them too. If they respectfully ask you to stop something around them (like not to paint near them because they can’t handle the smell) or encourage you to try a new colour in your wardrobe because they think you look beautiful in it, these are good. Just be careful with how you are changing with them and don’t lose yourself.

Something else?

Is there something else that you cannot give up? This is important to know before you enter a relationship with someone. For example, do you want to have kids but your potential partner does not? If there is something that is a deal breaker for you, consider how your partner fits with that belief. If your partner doesn’t match with a deal breaker you have, then it is probably time to find someone else who does.

Dating is serious business, but so worth all the hard work. When you are with someone who can build you up, make you happy and feel loved, then you are in a good relationship. However, the greatest relationships are those that include Christ as a part of it. I wish you all the best of luck with your relationships and remember: Don’t bend on the things that really count!

Katie

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