Today Bri and I celebrate 4 years since we began our journey together.
There has been many things during this time that I have learned, and many things that I have re-learned. Below I'll share a few of those things, all of which seem obvious, but have meant more to me each day that I have known Bri.
1- Pursuing a Girl's Heart Takes Thought.
Sometimes relationships are easy, natural, carefree. Sometimes they are really difficult. No one knows exactly where a relationship will end up. A great piece of advice that has been given to me many times is to imagine how you would want a relationship to end, and then pattern your actions based upon that image.
For example, if there was a time when I had to be honest and say that my relationship with Bri was not going to work out, there are a few things that I would want to be able to say. I would want to say that I had protected her heart from lust, encouraged her to grow closer to God, strengthened her relationships with others around her, and pursued her with honesty, integrity, and humility.
If ever that day were to come, I would be able to say those things. Not everyone can.
Pursuing after a girl takes more than just liking her. It takes thought, about your intentions, and your direction. No one knows where a relationship will end up, but everyone knows what direction they are headed.
2- Pursuing a Girl's Heart Takes Fear.
You should be afraid. You are dealing with another persons heart. This isn't something to take lightly. It is not a game. If you're in a place where you are humble enough to say that you don't have everything figured out, and you are going to do the best you can, then you're on the right track.
No one has everything figured out, no matter how put-together they look. Every man should have a healthy fear of his own pride. Relationships are full of failures, and full of successes. Be afraid, but for the right reasons. Stop being afraid to be honest, stop being afraid to be charming, but make sure that you keep the fear that makes you humble.
3- Pursuing a Girl's Heart Takes Honesty.
This one is the most important point I make. Relationships take honesty, on two sides. Pursuing after a girl means that you must be honest with yourself about your intentions, about your heart, your shortcomings, and your baggage. More importantly, be honest with yourself about what boundaries you need to set. Then comes the hard part, you have to be honest with the girl you pursue about those things too.
Not to say that you should be quick to throw all your shortcomings and baggage on the table, but you should be honest about your intentions. Be honest about your feelings too. If you like a girl, tell her! This world is full of people who are afraid to say what they really mean. I think it's time this generation stepped up and was honest about more than their fear.
On the flip side of that is honesty with yourself about a relationship not headed in a good direction. It isn't wrong to think that a relationship with another person isn't what you want, and I'm all for course-correcting, but sometimes you need to be honest enough to say it won't work.
Getting to that point may be painful, and it certainly won't be painless afterwards, but you are doing the right thing if you are respecting someone enough to not waste their time pursuing something that will never work.
4- Pursuing a Girl's Heart Takes Time.
Shocker. High school me did not get this one. I had the arrogance to think that after 6 months I knew her "pretty well". Nope. I didn't. I knew every base piece of information about her, I knew her favorite movies, her favorite quotes, food, flowers, music, and all her good stories.
I didn't know the things she doesn't like, the movies that make her sad, the quotes she doesn't want to remember, the music that brings back memories, and every story she doesn't want to share.
I'm not saying that you should try to find out all the bad stuff. Don't. You will find out plenty without seeking after it, but it takes time, fear, honesty, and lots and lots of thought. If you have to tell yourself that you know someone well, you probably don't. If you actually know them, you'll just chuckle at the question.
The Journey is Better than the Destination.
The journey is where your make mistakes, memories and happiness. The journey is where you get to know the person you travel with. Heading in the right direction, being intentional, is important, but no one really knows the destination either.
Enjoy the journey.
If you'd like to see how we celebrated our anniversary this year, click below!