Am I Too Strong to Date?
- Laura Polk Author
- 2017 18 May
Any little girl who grew up in the last four decades has one thing in common: we were charged by our female predecessors to be strong women. Those who came before us poured out their hearts and lives so that their daughters could grow up to be anything, to be equal in society, and to be independent—fiercely independent.
In many ways this has been a good thing. It’s made us embrace our strength as women. The world and society as a whole benefits from a larger variety of voices than before. It’s more open and less exclusive. And the more people that are given opportunities, the more opportunities arise for the next generation.
But strength can also be a weakness.
When Strength Becomes a Flaw
In order to have successful and deeply connected relationships with others, we not only have to let our guard down, but also admit that we can’t do it all on our own. And while—technically—we likely can do most things all on our own, insisting that we do so leads to lifestyles we didn’t intend. By putting us in marriages where we carry far too much of the load. By placing ourselves in lifestyles that don’t allow us to focus on family as much as we secretly desire. By causing huge rifts between women that affect even the simplest of friendships from forming into anything solid.
The truth is that strength of this kind can actually work against us. To be more exact, it can keep us from getting the relationship we want the most because it has the tendency to lean toward selfishness.
Pride vs. Strength
At some point, you have to ask yourself: are you asserting your strength and independence because it’s best for your relationship? Or do you simply want to be in control? Are you insisting on fierce independence because it creates equality with your partner? Or are you doing so out of pride or the need to prove something?
While men love strong women, they don’t love bullies any more than the rest of us. There’s a big difference between a strong person who opens themselves up to being vulnerable and taken care of by someone who loves them, and someone who flaunts their brute strength for the sole purpose of winning.
The same humbleness it takes to recognize that our strength is best when we subdue it for our own good, is the very thing that gives us the opportunity to build a strong relationship with Christ. We have to expose our true weakness in order to grow in our faith. In the same way, we have to expose our true weakness—our true wants and desires for companionship—if we want to build a strong relationship with someone we’re dating.
As Christians, we are specifically called not to do life on our own. In fact, to walk alongside God we have to follow His lead (not the other way around), bend to His will (not insist on our own), and admit to ourselves and everyone else that we aren’t our fullest versions of ourselves without Him.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
The same can be applied to dating and relationships.
When we rebel from this truth (as deeply as we may want to hide it and insist it doesn’t exist) we put up walls around our minds and hearts that make it difficult for others to connect with us on the deepest levels. The level we all long for when looking for a mate.
Dependence is Freeing
There is freedom in recognizing that you aren’t in this life alone. That someone cares enough about you to help you carry your load. There’s nothing shameful about admitting that you want that, need that, or long to one day have that. For a strong person, selflessness is allowing the other person to care for you in the way that makes them feel useful, and needed, and close to you. It’s showing vulnerability, and openness, and encourages the same from them.
As a matter of fact, that’s strength in the very best sense of the word.
Laura Polk is a writer, speaker, and textile designer residing in North Carolina with her three children. Since becoming a single mom, her passion to minister to this group has led her to encourage successful single mom living through The Christian Single Mom on Facebook. Follow her journey through her blog or get a glimpse into her quirky thoughts and inspirations for design and writing on Pinterest.
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