I am a huge romantic. Like I absolutely love anything to do with love, and I simply adore seeing other people in love. It makes me happy to think someone I know has found their soulmate as I know personally how wonderful that can be. But every once and a while you have to wonder, when is it too much emphasis on this too good to be true love story? In other words, when can love start to become a trap rather than a gift?
What I mean by that is this. Often times women, and men alike, will put so much merit in a relationship that they begin to place all their hope on it. It becomes a thing of “I’m happy because I’m in this relationship” or even worse, “I’m happy since they’re happy with me.” And while it’s good to feel emotionally lifted because of a healthy relationship it can become an unhealthy one when your happiness lies solely in this relationship status. Yes, it’s sad when things don’t work out, but no, your whole life is not ruined because another human being has decided they don’t want a happily ever after with you.
Often times when people invest themselves emotionally in a romantic relationship they unintentionally put all their eggs in one basket. They decide this is the happiest they’ve ever been in a relationship before so therefore this relationship must be the key to a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment. But this kind of thinking will always disappoint eventually.
You cannot base your worth as a person on your relationship status, or even on what your partner thinks of you. I think it’s super swell that my husband finds me drop-dead sexy, and that makes me feel good, but I don’t rely on his compliments on any given day to decide if I feel pretty or not. The truth is that I’m pretty awesome whether my husband remembers to tell me so or not, and that’s not cockiness, it’s confidence. Something all of us need a little more of, myself included.
Even if I was single that wouldn’t define me as a woman. Being single doesn’t equate to being undesirable any more than being married for a decade or more means you’re exuberantly satisfied in your relationship. Finding Mr. or Mrs. Right doesn’t make everything in life right; it just gives you a partner to transverse through a difficult life with. If you’re counting on your significant other to make life rosy then you will find yourself defeated.
I see a lot of people say their significant other is “the best thing that ever happened to me,” and while I can understand that kind of phrase when I think about how special my husband is to me, I am also reminded that it’s just not true. Someone you love romantically, and someone that you desire to spend your life with can be a very special asset to your walk in this world. They can be a great, grand partner with which to share your joys and hardships alike. They can inspire you, and they can even be a catalyst of change in your life. They’re a gift indeed, but they will never be the best thing that ever happened to you. And while this might sound a little serious or preachy, it’s utterly true. The best thing that ever happened to you was Jesus dying on the cross for your sins. Period.
And that’s what it all comes down to in life and love. Your relationship needs to be based on a realization that Christ is who sustains you both. You don’t sustain one another. You help one another, and you lift each other up, but you are no one’s savior. And no person can be yours either.
Like I said, I’m a romantic. I love being in love, and I love to pour out my love on my spouse. But I love because Christ first loved me. What I mean by this is that how I love and treat my husband stems from my relationship with Jesus, and that shared dependence on God is what strengthens our marriage.
I depend on my husband a lot, but I don’t expect him to make my life worth living. I love living life with him, but I don’t live for him, and I wouldn’t expect him to base his sole happiness on me. I mess up way too much for that.
There’s nothing wrong with being exceptionally happy in a relationship. I know I am! But you can’t let your relationship become who you are in life. It can’t define you or be your reason for living. We already have a Savior for that.
Find your happiness in yourself and who God made you to be, and then you’ll find that happiness in your relationship comes easier. He won’t necessary be “the best thing that ever happened to you,” but every day can truly be lived with him like it’s your best yet.