What Do You Do When Your Best Isn't Good Enough?
- Kris Swiatocho, Cliff Young
- 2015 22 Jan
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: I have been dating my boyfriend for about 5 months. We are so much alike in mannerism, in preference, and even our beliefs. He is a great guy. He is 8 years older than me, loves the Lord, and preaches all over the country. He has a genuine relationship with the Lord. He loves and cares for people. But when it comes to dating, he’s never wanted to stay with a girl for longer than a couple of months. I’ve made it past that mark, and he’s even told me he loved and wants to marry me (which he has never said to any girl in his life).
However, we bump heads often. We have had serious conversations about how to better our relationship because we both want it and we both want to just stop arguing. We both have taken steps. We have been reading Christian based relationship books and the Bible. But little things seem to be getting worse. I've given this to the Lord and asked for his wisdom... Even so, my boyfriend makes presumptions about my spiritual life, and tells me strange things that don’t line up with our experience as a couple. Like that it’s “hard for him to take the lead” even though my actions don’t match up with that, and that he feels I have no desire to follow him – when I’ve never said such things. It’s like I try and try, but keep falling short of what he expects. What do you do when your best isn't good enough?
It’s wonderful you have found someone you are compatible with in so many ways. It’s important to “click” with someone you can totally be yourself with.
At the same time, there’s a reason the saying “opposites attract” has held true for so many decades. Opposites seem to complement each other’s personalities while those who are so much alike can tend to bump heads, as in your case.
I’m curious as to why your boyfriend has some pre-determined length for a relationship and "never wanted to stay with a girl longer than a couple of months. " Is he afraid of commitment and not wanting to give up his independence? Does he feels scrutinized or held accountable, and afraid of disclosing who he really is Since this is his longest relationship to date, is he feeling like he doesn’t have “control” over his emotions and situation, and feeling vulnerable?
If he loves you, wants to marry you someday and is honestly trying to go through the steps to becoming more compatible, that’s great, kudos and blessings to the both of you.
In the same way, it sounds like he wants you to be different than you naturally are.
What happens in some relationships is the thing which originally attracts a person to another, or piece which makes them endearing often becomes the element that becomes irritating later on.
Other times we want to “fine tune” our significant other into the person we want them to be rather than accepting them for who they are.
Everyone is created uniquely.
Some are meant to be leaders and others followers. This doesn’t make either of them wrong, just different.
Some are more outgoing while others are more introverted; neither one bad, just different.
Each of us need to make decisions on what we are willing to accept and what is non-negotiable.
In all of my “failed” relationships, I have learned something about myself and what I desire from a lasting relationship. Some were things I was not willing to accept or change, and others taught me to reprioritize what I considered important, including my own very human will.
So what do you do when your “best” isn’t good enough?
You either accept the situation for what it is or you go where your best is more than enough and appreciated.
You are both in a more serious relationship than ever before. And as a result of it being so serious, (with marriage on the horizon) all those serious questions are coming up. Questions that he has heard from others, questions he has advised others on, in his personal counseling or preaching or from his own personal thoughts. Marriage is very very serious and shouldn't be taken lightly. I think too many people jump into marriage without taking the time to really get to know a person, often asking those harder questions. However, you can also question and over-analyze to the point of never moving forward.
Upon reading your question again, I wonder if he is self-sabotaging the relationship. Because you are actually someone he could marry, he may be getting nervous and fearful. He may be having thoughts of failure. I mean, there is nothing wrong with talking about some of the things you have mentioned, but to pick a fight over them seems to be immature. He may not be ready. You may both need more time.
Here is my advice…get some Christian counseling together. If this IS the person you want to marry, then getting some counseling is only going to confirm it. Counseling will help you both see what is major and what is minor. And if you aren't lined up to where you can live a compatible life, you will find out and not make a huge mistake of marriage. You are the closest person he has ever thought about marrying. However, you may still not be the right person. Trust the Lord by continuing to give it to God. Remember who the author of confusion is, the enemy. God will give you the clarity, not confusion, as you wait on him for direction.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you (Psalm 32:8 ESV).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is ... Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of three books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
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Publication date: January 22, 2015