As a single woman, well past 30, rounding the corner to 40, I have made a lot, A LOT, of bad decisions in relationships. My primary issue in is that I have given short term relationships long term expectations.
Where is my church fan? I should be waving it at myself shouting “amen”.
Ladies, and gentlemen, I get it. I completely understand that you are hoping against hope, and praying with all you’ve got, that some relationships will just work themselves out. You are perfect for that man or woman, but they aren’t perfect for you. They are NOT perfect for you. They aren’t even good for you. That relationship isn’t good for you. That relationship isn’t a long term relationship. It’s a reason or season, but not a life time.
Short term people tell you they are short term people, through words and/or actions. I had an ex boyfriend who claimed to want forever with me, but he never discussed marriage. He wanted a child with me, but he never discussed a family. He always stopped short of committing to me. The relationship was saturated in missed opportunities and let downs. But, I loved him. And, because he said he loved me, I stuck it out. It was bound to get better, right? Eventually he would see that I was perfect for him. I was supportive of him. I was committed to him. I was in this. Right?
Wrong. He showed me time and again that we were short term. Maybe we would shack up for a bit. Maybe I could join the baby mama team. Maybe I could look up in another 3 years and realize he had been consistently telling me that I wasn’t the one.
Because as motivated as I should have been to leave, he was motivated to keep me around. I was offering up a wife life to him, with little expectations. Human nature was telling him to soak that up. I understand. And, he didn’t owe me anything. He’d told me what I was getting. If I wanted to stand around hoping for more, I was the fool.
He was a reason for a season. He had a clear point and purpose in my life. I needed the lessons he provided. And, I’m grateful.
But, how do you know when long term really equals long term?
You will just know. The behavior changes from anything you’ve seen before. You feel it in your gut. Your person isn’t being dragged into this idea of forever by you. They are happily walking into forever, eyes wide open, eager about what’s to come. You are having long term conversations. They are initiating some of those conversations and not avoiding any of them. Their plans have you in them, and your plans don’t intimidate them.
I’m there. Finally betting on the winner. My guy discusses us as a team, not two individuals that happen to be in the same time and space. We plan our life, our family, our future, our finances, our investments, our needs, our wants, and our goals. We have real arguments that aren’t sugar coated to avoid upsetting the other person. We laugh with and at each other. We sacrifice to support the relationship, and we build each other up to be the best version of ourselves.
I didn’t know what long term felt like until I got to where I am. I only knew the short term was uncomfortable. I only recognized the struggle. I thought forever was going to be a battle.
Long term IS a challenge, but short term with long term expectations is damn near a war.