Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Relationship Advice

I received an e-mail from a friend of mine today. She is a mature lady like I am - a very gracious and attractive lady who has had some bad experiences in relationships. Knowing that she still needs to deal with issues in herself, she writes:

As I am relearning how to live ... I am trying to change old habits. Sometimes I may have higher expectations than I should or sometimes I have no requirements at all. SO I am taking a poll (of my friends..ed.) . How do you expect to be treated in a relationship that is exclusive. For example boyfriend/ girlfriend. What are deal breakers? What expectation is too high or too low?

Here is my reply to her. She found it helpful, and maybe some of my readers will find it useful as well:

Deal breakers.....hmmmm..........

The usual - drugs, alcoholism, unfaithfulness, laziness (no work), inability to support self much less a family no matter how nice they are, lukewarm in their faith.

Other VERY important ones.....uncontrolled anger issues, violence, unrestrained tongue, too clingy (!), Unable to get along with people, lack of the fruit of the spirit in their lives, too quick to get involved sexually, lack of respect for people and especially you, lack of respect for leadership, unsubmissive and unkind.

At our age, the men we get to know will have a trail of fruit - good and bad. My husband had a history of educational and job success and advancement, hard work, purity and innocence (amazing for a sailor). As I got to know him ( and you need time to get to know someone) I could see that he tried hard to be a good husband to his first wife.....I know this because of the way he treats me now.

My husband and I are good friends. We trust each other and respect each other as well as love each other. We recognize that we need each other but because the Lord is first in our lives, we could live without each other if need be.

A "boyfriend/girlfriend" relationship needs to grow out of friendship and mutual respect. Unfortunately, this takes time and face to face contact. I know we long for a relationship where we are special to someone....God put that in us.....but rushing and nurturing the sexual attraction and infatuation is not a good foundation for a lasting relationship. Sexual attraction is a fire that can very quickly get out of control given the right circumstances - and then you have to deal with guilt and regret. Hardly a good start for a couple that is not quite considering a marriage yet!

Think about how friends treat each other - how they talk to each other - how they work together and how they admire each other. Friends know each other's limits. Friends know what is important to the other and they seek to bless each other. Friends regard themselves, too, and keep their boundaries up so they don't lose who they are in a relationship. Friends are free to be who they are without having to change just for the other person to make them happy. Isn't that what you want in a lasting relationship?

I hope this helps.

God bless you!

Radiant Times

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