When I first started this blog back in 2015, I never, never, ever imagined that I would one day be in a relationship. I refused to even let myself actually believe that it could be possible, because it was too upsetting when year after year I remained single. In no way am I saying that being in a relationship is better than being single, not at all…rather, both of these life circumstances are just very different to each other, and I couldn’t visualise myself in the other option.
I’ve been thinking about how so many of my preconceived ideas of relationships have been completely smashed apart in the last few months…so these are four things that I didn’t think were true when I was single…but that I wish I could’ve told myself:
Be yourself, you’re not doing anything wrong
One of the first posts I wrote was questioning if I was single because I was doing something wrong. I often wondered if I was being too funny, not funny enough…too friendly, not friendly enough, etc.
But now I know that my boyfriend (pause for a moment…surreal moment that I am actually writing that word down after the word ‘my’…!!!) actually just likes me for me. Me just being myself is who he likes to spend time with…and he noticed me when I was being myself. It would be exhausting if every time I was with him I had to try and be more funny, or less funny, or more friendly, or less friendly than what comes naturally to me.
I am completely blown away when he says that he really likes something that I didn’t even realise I was doing.
Being friends first is important
I say this one because I now know how important it is to really get to know someone before any physical aspect comes into the relationship. We are both 100% committed to not having sex before marriage, but before we started dating we never hugged, held hand or snuggled on the couch.
In fact, I had never held hands or snuggled on the couch before with a guy at all, so let’s say I was slightly unprepared for what effect it would have on me! I can totally see how someone’s judgement or the emotional connection could seem inflated if the physical aspect came in before making sure that emotional connection was solid.
I have had a brief glimpse into experiencing what it must be like for teenage boys, and I must say it makes it very difficult to focus on anything else in my life! I have since discovered that one of my top love languages is physical touch…very surprising.
Also, because I was such a newbie at this whole dating thing, having that absolute emotional trust from him was incredibly important for making sure I could be vulnerable enough to be ready for any physical closeness. Knowing each other so well before we starting dating also made me feel safe when the situation changed.
I can confidently say that our physical closeness is a reflection of our emotional, intellectual and spiritual connection…rather than the physical aspect being a way to enhance the connection of the other aspects.
However, although we were technically friends for 5 months…it is clear now from discussing our first meeting that both of us always had intentions to be more than friends from our first conversation. But still…there was no physical aspect at all to cloud our decision in wanting to be intentional, which I think was very important.
You must be picky
I honestly was starting to think that I would have to compromise if I ever wanted to get married. Because honestly…who in their 30s can realistically hope that they’ll meet a guy in his 30s who has the same amount of dating experience as you, is a Christian, gorgeous, has a great family, has a solid career, is financially stable, funny, an incredible listener, a great communicator, is unbelievably attentive and caring…and on top of all of this thinks that you’re sexy?!
Well I am here to tell anyone reading this as well as me in the past, that I am actual proof that these men exist. When we doubt they exist, we doubt God.
Being single is definitely better than being in a relationship with someone who you don’t adore.
It will feel amazing
Chemistry. I legitimately didn’t realise how overpowering this would be. Or that what started out as a slow burn when we first met would become a full fledged ‘I need to be around this person all the time‘.
The single version of me would totally be rolling her eyes at the things that come out of my mouth these days. We are so mushy to each other in private, but it is actually really wonderful. We write letters to each other which make my heart skip a beat. (I actually considered deleting that last line cause it sounds so naff, but decided to keep it, as it’s true, haha). But we also have super serious conversations, and lots of silly conversations (and some slightly racy conversations…), which all adds to this very strong desire to be in his presence.
I’m aware that this lovey dovey stage doesn’t last forever, and that it will eventually move into a deeper love, but goodness me…I’ve never been less productive at work than in these last 2 months…
So my life feels very different these days. I’m incredibly grateful to God for bringing us together, but I’m more grateful for all the things I learnt about relationships while I was single. There were so many things (positive and negative) I observed in other couples that I have been able to use as discussion points with my boyfriend. And I’m grateful to all my friends (but definitely my single friends), who listen to me and give advice for this new stage of my life.