The ring was gorgeous! It was everything I had ever imagined. I was planning my wedding and getting married… Except I wasn’t. Jake (name changed) had sent a photo of the perfect ring via text message not long after “meeting” me on facebook. This should have been a warning sign, but I didn’t listen. I can’t help that rings and weddings make my heart beat a little faster causing all good judgment to dissipate entirely. I gushed to my sister about this perfect man I had met. She could see clearly so she tried to explain that sending me engagement ring photos was slightly nuts and warned me of all my past experiences who had painfully led me on. But I brushed her off. I triumphantly decided to make the 8 hour drive to meet my future husband. I mean, he was going to be my husband, he was already looking at rings after all…right? I had a fairy tale weekend with him, the butterflies didn’t stop. He did everything right. He said everything right. And when I went home…nothing.
Everything changed. As a woman considering a long distance relationship, it is necessary to feel that there is commitment in the relationship. But guys move slow. Which is why I was confused because sending me the ring was moving fast. I expected a commitment after all the hours we had spent on the phone, the marriage talk, life plans and the amazing time we spent together. He should know by now that I was the one. But somehow he didn’t. He didn’t want to commit to me. He didn’t want to let me go, but was okay with me seeing other people. I, on the other hand, had a sick feeling in my stomach to think of him going on a date with another person. This imbalance resulted in me pushing him away because men hate pressure and women desire commitment. I started behaving like an insecure woman and the (non)relationship ended.
My heart was not okay. Although I had only known the guy for a few weeks, I had already been dreaming of our wedding. I am in my late twenties so I don’t date just to date anymore. I have a husband list and this guy exceeded everything. My heart had became attached to the idea of being Jake’s girlfriend and maybe even wife. I was already in a relationship that had not even begun yet. I started to feel those heart pains that you feel when you know something is ending. The anxiety set in. I began questioning who I was. The enemy sure knows how to sneak his way in when you are feeling down. Don’t let him. Fight back! But the great things about being a woman of God is that if you pour your heart out to God and lay your feelings before him, he always works things out for our good. Always. As I reflect over that season, I’ve learned that our hearts are beyond invaluable. It is what pumps life through you not, only physically but spiritually as well. GUARD YOUR HEART.
So here are some ways to Guard your heart:
1. Have realistic expectations from the beginning. It could happen but more than likely, no man is going to be ready for a serious commitment within a few weeks. Feelings and clarity take time to develop when it involves relationship. Yes, you are amazing and it is often easier to commit as women, but men need time. Give love a chance to grow.
2. Be aware of warning signs. A guy that says “I have commitment issues” has commitment issues. If a man is warning you about his “stuff”, believe him. He is telling you for a reason. Another warning sign is a guy who moves too fast. A guy who is so sold out about you without knowing you may slow down a little further down the road to an unexpected halt. A man of God needs to be a man of his word so if he is making promises he can’t keep or saying things that he doesn’t mean, what kind of husband will he be?
3. Don’t give all of yourself over to someone so soon. Let him discover who you are. If you share so much intimate details and time with someone very quickly and it ends, you are left with a hole that shouldn’t be there. Slow down.
4. Give them space. I say this, yet I am the worst at it. I know the few times I have been successful at giving space, it has worked tremendously in my favor.
5. Keep your dignity. You are a woman of God. Don’t compromise the things you want in a relationship. If they aren’t there, let him go. Let’s be good to our hearts and only really risk them for someone who will protect them as well. If the relationship does end, be filled with grace and dignity. Don’t say things you don’t mean. Wait a few days to get your emotions in check.
6. Keep God above everything. Make sure that he is still the keeper of your heart. Ask him for advice. Read his word for guidance. Surrender the guy over to God’s will for both of your lives. You ultimately want to end up with the guy God chose for you so let God have his way!
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