Category Archives: Friendship

Full Relationship or No Relationship

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This could easily get deeper then where I was going with it. I mean this does not just go for friendship, for relationship within your family, for a relationship with your spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, this goes for your relationship with God as well.

It is quite apparent and obvious that when you lose a friendship, either a high school friendship, or even a friendship with somebody you have known forever, that something went wrong somewhere. You stopped putting in the effort to make that relationship work, and you stopped making time to fit that other person into your agenda. It is really sad how often we lose friendships and do not care, or even really notice. I cannot say that I talk to all of my friends from high school, and it is not that I intentionally just stopped wanting to be friends with them, I just lost track of time and forgot to fit them into my busy agenda. This is not something that we can let get to us too much though, I mean the best of us do it. But, I also cannot say that I do not regret it just a little. I cherish the relationships that I have so very much, and would never want to lose them, but down the road we are bound to lose relationships when time gets the best of us.

How do you grasp the concept of having a “full” on healthy relationship with someone, when you feel like you have been raised in a family where half of your loved ones have mastered “no” relationship over “full” relationship? This can get dirty, because when you feel like you do not have the full relationship from those that are closest to you, your family, you tend to want to get dependent on others that you let yourself get close to. You cling to them and expect them to give you the love, time, support, and anything that your family lacked in. This is definitely not healthy. But how can you help it? You want the extra love, closeness, and attention from your boyfriend, because your dad did not give it to you when you needed it the most. You want him to be your everything, your literal superman if you will, because you’ve felt like you have not fully received the relationship you so much desired from your father. But, he will never, EVER be that superman. God is literally the only one who can be that superman, that perfect man for you. Even if you have an amazing family, and a full, healthy relationship with each and every member of your family, they will still make mistakes, and the relationship will still be tested here and there. God is the only one that will never let you down.

The thing that sparked this whole topic in my head was when I was thinking about relationships between significant others (boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.). I was thinking about why some relationships workout, and some do not, why some relationships last a lifetime, and some barely even start before they end. I mean, this could be a whole other topic to talk about, but sometimes when relationships do not work out, I believe it could be because one, if not both of the individuals, was not ready to commit to being in a “full” on relationship with the other. It made me think about being in a full, healthy relationship, and how much work and effort that takes. So, if you are not in a full relationship, what kind of a relationship are you in? Partial relationships will never reach their full potential, and eventually become no relationship at all, which is why I believe you can either have a full relationship with another, otherwise it’s bound to be no relationship at all. Full relationships take a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of grace, some space, and yes, some compromise.

When you are single, you are bound to be a little selfish when it comes to making decisions for yourself and when it comes to being who you are. You do not need to worry about others standing in the way, so therefore there is no need to worry about compromising for the sake of another. You are much more independent as a single person, and only have to worry about one, not two. So, do I think the issue could arise when you do enter into a relationship with another about you becoming selfish and unwilling to compromise for the sake of another? Yes. I mean, of course it is brand new for you, you went from only needing to worry about yourself, to adding on the load of another. Now obviously there is a healthy line, you do not want to be dependent on another, and you do not want another to become dependent on you, which can be tricky in a relationship, especially if you have been in a relationship for a very long time and become very comfortable with another. But, you do have give in a little. There is a difference between good compromise and bad compromise. Bad compromise goes against your morals, beliefs, and values, where as good compromise is where you find a healthy balance between your differences, and meet somewhere in the middle. People that are unwilling to commit fully in a relationship though, will have trouble meeting in the middle. Most girls wish guys could just read their minds, and do what they want them to do already. Most girls want commitment long before guys even start thinking about commitment. This is where it gets really tough and tricky. This does not mean at all that guys are incapable of full relationships, and I am not hinting about that by any means. But, girls tend to mature earlier on than guys, and it can become tricky when girls want commitment right away, and guys like to take their time and look at the scenery along the way first.

I do think it is completely right and healthy to talk your differences out right away. If you don’t voice where you are at, the other will never, ever know. The bottom line is, if you want to have a full relationship with those that you love, you must find a common ground in the middle, and figure out where you both stand and what you both need within that relationship. This is not just with dating relationships, but also in friendships, and in your relationships with your loved ones and family members. If both of you are not good at voicing what is one your mind, you could easily dwindle into no relationship at all with that person. I learned this with my dad. He is amazing and I love him to death, but he is very passive and not so much outgoing at all, and I have come to the realization that if I do not step up and say how I feel or make a move, then nothing will change. Sometimes you just have to be the bigger person, no matter how hard it may be. It is so crucially important to voice your legitimate needs. In Matthew Kelly’s “The Seven Levels of Intimacy,” he talks about how the seventh level of intimacy is legitimate needs, and the fact that we need to voice our legitimate needs within our relationships. Everyone is completely different, and has different needs. If we do not say what is on our mind, it will never be heard. It is so important not to hold onto things, but to deal with them as they arise. Girls always want guys to be the first to initiate conversations and to be the first to approach and open up when something needs to be dealt with, but a lot of times they won’t. Want to hear something crazy? Actually, a lot of times, they do not even know that anything is wrong. That may seem crazy to you, but a lot of times, that is actually the case. We cannot play games. We cannot sit there and wait until he (or she) makes a move, we have to just “man” up and initiate it ourselves when things come up. If we don’t, nothing will probably get solved, which will probably after awhile, make things much worse. This is communication, which is probably the most important thing to a healthy, full relationship.

If you wonder why you feel alone, and feel like nobody is giving you the full attention and relationship you want, you should probably be spending more time with God. I only say this from experience. I sometimes get mixed up and jumbled in my relationships. I try to place expectations where they cannot be placed. I try to grab special, extra attention from my friends, my mom, and my boyfriend, because I feel like I do not get enough from my dad and my brother, etc. If I do this, I’m searching in the wrong place for my lack. And, if we do not realize this, it will not be long before we do, because nobody is going to fill that void, nobody can. And we cannot expect them to. If we are having trouble committing and being in full relationship with those that we love, it is probably because we are not fully seeking God and fully being in relationship with him. “Fullness” is in the Bible many times… Ephesians 3:19 says “and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 4:13 says “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Colossians 1:19 says “For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him…” Colossians 1:25 says “I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness…” Fullness is huge, and we need it. We hunger for it, too. Full relationship comes from God, and God alone. If we want to be able to practice having full relationships with those around us, and if we feel like we aren’t getting the “fullness” that we need in our relationships, we must first check our relationship with God.

This kind of went a different direction then I had originally thought it would, but it has taught me a lot that I needed to realize in my own life right now. God wants us to first be in “full” relationship with Him, and then He will help us fill the void in our other relationships.

Philippians 2:5 “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”

Some of my thoughts on relationships lately…

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My friend and I are seriously considering writing a book about relationships- this is a good way for me to jot down some of my thoughts on this whole idea of relationships and building healthy ones…

My opinion is that common interests can be part of a relationship, but do not and will not guarantee the success of one. Interests change over time. Every single day, relationships wear down, and people break up. Is it that people don’t feel fulfilled? Is it because there is not enough depth? Because they don’t feel like they are growing? Because they’re too lazy to grow? Why do people lose interest in others suddenly? Maybe we should be more focused on what holds people together. What keeps relationships, whether romantic or just friendships, together. The goal should not be to stick it out and make it work to stay together, but to define the purpose of that relationship. It is not enough to have common interests with another, that is not what holds people together, but it is the common purpose in life that they share.

I’m reading a book by Matthew Kelly, and he says that “relationships only make sense in relation to the overall purpose of your life.” In your relationships, you must find the purpose and glue that holds that relationship together. The goal should be to help the other in becoming the best that they can be, and for them to help you become the best that you can be. To be in a healthy, good relationship requires encouragement, challenge, inspiration… and consistently.

Proverbs 18:22 says: “he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” I believe that every person desires a wholesome relationship- a romantic relationship that will bring with it satisfaction and fulfillment for a lifetime. People do not date to break up, just like people do not marry to divorce- yet today marriages are constantly ending in divorce. You must come up with a plan. Healthy relationships do not just happen, they take work, and a lot of it. You do not just wake up and find a good husband or wife. There is a process that must be taken between two people. I believe that a friendship must be established before attraction should be communicated. A good foundation in a strong relationship relies on a great friendship.

Friendship is only part of it though- a big part of it, but only part of it. Guys- you have got to have some guts inside of ya to be able to communicate your intentions and feelings. Chances are, girls are not reading into how you feel because you are really good at hiding it! If guys do not have the courage to communicate their feelings, girls will move on from the situation to something else- something better, bottom line. I have heard this first hand from many single ladies! Feelings and romance can bring with it a lot of baggage though. There needs to be a firm foundation set, because without one, emotions will take over the entire relationship and over-rule everything else!

Relationships should be fun- yes there should be boundaries and intentions, a very strong friendship- but there needs to be some spontaneous and yes, romantic fun too! A healthy relationship should never get boring or predictable, in my opinion. But- and I think this is huge- the common girl, full of emotions, pumped and ready for the future, wants that guy, yes that guy. You know, the one that is full of surprises, always has something up his sleeve. Thee guy, that just shows up when you aren’t expecting him to, with flowers, something special, a song he had just written about you and for you on his guitar, even a ring maybe. His favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice… not all girls, but a lot of girls love to daydream about the guy that has enough courage to do just about anything to make his girl feel special. But… unfortunately, he ain’t comin’ ladies! He only exists on the TV screen. You can drool over Ryan Gosling, Josh Duhamel, Matthew Macfadyen all you want, they’re just characters, they don’t exist! But guys- girls do like surprises (well most girls), they love and hunger for those little spontaneous acts.

I think the people that just cannot make it work are the ones that in their minds think it seems impossible. People that cannot make it work define a healthy relationship in unrealistic and un-achievable terms. All relationships have their differences, all relationships have unresolvable problems, all relationships have moments where they will have to “agree to disagree.” This is unavoidable. Rather then feeling like it’s impossible, you should focus that energy on believing in it. You must make it a priority, you must follow through and have accountability. Biggest thing– you cannot do it alone.

“All great things are as difficult to achieve as they are rare to find.” -Spinoza