Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Generation of Not Being in Love

     While listening to one of my Pandora music stations the other day, a Drake song come on that really made me stop and think.  Now let me preface the rest of this post by saying that I'm not a fan of most rappers or their derogative music.  However, this one particular song caught my attention.  After I got over my initial surprise at who this song was being sung by, I stopped and listened to the lyrics.  What I heard was even more surprising and hit so close to home.

     The opening lyrics talk about the unfortunate end of a relationship and how it's not the end of the world.  Normal enough.  Then came the chorus and second verse, which was what blew me away.  In the chorus, Drake talks about how staying in the relationship and pretending that all is fine is the wrong thing to do.  He then goes on to sing, "We live in a generation of not being in love and not being together // But we sure make it feel like we're together // Cause we're scared to see each other with somebody else."  That was the line that hit home for me.  It describes my generation perfectly.  So often I've watched as couples fight and break up, make up and get back together, all because it's comfortable or convenient.  It's so sad and discouraging.

     This is my generation, "a generation of not being in love and not being together."  It looks pretty hopeless at times.  As I mentioned in my previous post, my generation is disillusioned with false expectations of love and relationships, never quite understanding the true meaning behind love, never looking to our Heavenly Father as a divine example.  

     If you're in a dating/courting relationship right now, I have a few questions for you.  Whether you're a member of my generation or not, these questions apply to you.
  1. Why are you with the person you're dating/courting?  
  2. What is it about them that first attracted you to them?
  3. How do you usually feel when you're around them?
  4. If you've ever considering breaking up with this person, why did you decide not to?
     These are only a few of the multitude of questions I could ask you about your relationship.  I believe that everyone, deep down, knows whether or not they should or shouldn't be with a certain person.  Sadly, we don't realize it because we're so focused on finding that love we dreamed about when we were younger.  We push our doubts and apprehension to the back of our minds because we're so focused on making it work with this person.  I've been guilty of it in past relationships, and I know you have too.

     Stop lying to yourself.  You need to be honest not only with yourself, but with your partner.  I often read articles about how you'll know when you've found the ONE.  These articles imply that you'll immediately know and that you'll never need to question your "love" for this person.  I'm here to tell you that it's OKAY to question your relationship.  I don't mean question in a negative way nor do I mean that you should question your relationship with your partner forever.  What I'm trying to say is that in the beginning and even several months or a year into your relationship, you should ask yourself the above questions.  You should question your own motives and expectations for the relationship.

     When I first started dating Josh, I questioned almost everything!  I'm a naturally cynical and apprehensive person.  Though there have certainly been times when I've failed to ask questions, I often continually question things until I'm confident that I've uncovered the truth.  Josh was no exception.  I was immediately attracted to his charisma, adorableness (despite the fact that he's like 10 feet tall), and his contagious, amazingly perfect laugh (you'd have to hear it).  Yet, I questioned him.  I asked him questions about himself and repeatedly asked myself if he was the right person to date or even marry.

     As the months went by in our relationship, I became more and more confident.  I became increasingly sure of the truth.  There were times when I was overly critical and negative, yet I always came back to the same conclusion, the conclusion that I still have today: Josh is the right one, not the one I'm with because I'm desperate for companionship, not the one I'm with because of his looks, not the one I'm with because it's convenient at the moment, and not the one I'm with because he wants to be with me too (although this is partially necessary for a successful relationship).  I'm with Josh because of who he is as an individual, not who he is as my boyfriend.  He is ambitious, unconditionally loving, inspirational, genuine, fun, forgiving, generous, serious when he needs to be, understanding, a real conversationalist, a listener, and a man after God's own heart.  He's not perfect, but I love him even more for it.  He doesn't think he deserves me, but in believing that he doesn't, he does.  I love him because he loves me and because he gives me so much and puts so much into our relationship, but I love him even more because of what I can do for him and how I can bless him.

     Want to know whether or not you're in the right relationship?  Ask yourself if you're getting more than you're giving in the relationship.  Ask yourself if you could honestly see yourself with this person for the rest of your lives.  If not, it's time to reevaluate and to be completely honest.

There are several things you must consider when evaluating your relationship.  They are as follows:

  1. In the right relationship, you shouldn't have to hide parts of yourself from your partner.
  2. You shouldn't feel the need to lie to them about your past.
  3. You shouldn't fear your partner in any way.
  4. You shouldn't feel constant jealousy of them or of their friends nor should they try to make you jealous.
  5. You shouldn't have to change for this person.  They should accept and love you, flaws and all.
  6. You should be able to trust them.
  7. You shouldn't have a backup plan just in case it doesn't work out with them.  You're setting yourself up for failure that way.
  8. You should be able to depend on them, but not be codependent.
  9. You shouldn't dread spending time with them.
  10. You shouldn't have to or want to hide the relationship from others.
  11. You shouldn't be with your partner if they can never admit they're wrong and never take responsibility.
  12. You shouldn't bash each other in public OR in private.
  13. You should be able to go to them with your problems and know that they'll listen, love you, and try to help you.
  14. You should both constantly be inspiring each other to be better and do better.
  15. You shouldn't want to change who they are or what they believe (we often call this missionary dating).
     The list goes on, but these are the top things to evaluate.  If your relationship matches each of these qualifications, great!  If not, your relationship may just need a bit of work and a bit more open communication.  If your partner refuses to work with you, then it may be time to move on.  Thus far, this blog has been about making relationships work and making them better, but I refuse to lie to you and tell you that all relationships can be fixed.  We will all end up in some relationship or another that we're definitely not supposed to be in.  When this happens all we can do is move on and learn from our mistakes, difficult as that may be.

     If you're going through a breakup I encourage you to push forward and believe that God has a plan.  I encourage you to put God first in each of your future relationships and to ask questions.  Even if you're still in a dating/courting relationship, remember to make God your first priority and to ask those difficult questions.  Some of the answers may hurt, but they'll save you from making even bigger mistakes an experiencing even more heartache.  Don't be content to be the "generation of not being in love".  Refuse to conform to that social trend and instead seek true, God-inspired love.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

 Feel free to email Josh and I with your thoughts, suggestions, or if you would like prayer or advice.  We thank you for stopping by our blog and hope you'll be back!  





  1. Josh and Marisa,

    I just wanted to let you both know that your blog is one of my favorites. Your posts are always so informative and inspirational. :) Now my question, with a bit of backstory first. This spring I met an amazing young man in one of my college classes. Long story short, we both fell in love and now we're dating. Thing is, this fall he'll be moving 7 hours away to college while I'll be staying here for my own college classes. Do you have any tips or advice for a long-distance relationship? I'm hoping that we'll be able to visit a few times over the semester and we're already talking about Skyping, but do you two have any other suggestions for keeping our relationship going strong?

    Thanks for your advice!

  2. Veronica,

    Thank you for your kind words! We are glad that you've enjoyed our posts thus far! :)

    We congratulate you on your long distance relationship because there is much beauty to be found within them. While the media and society often scoffs at such relationships and insists they won't last, we believe otherwise! Below are some of our tips for not just "making it work" but for making your relationship flourish:

    1. The top tip is to discuss your expectations with one another. Each of you needs to clearly communicate with the other about how often you would like to keep in touch via Skype/email/phone. Doing so prevents hurt feelings when expectations are not met.

    2. Don't underestimate the power of handwritten note or handmade gift. Josh and I have found that both of these things mean so much more than just a call because it shows that you're investing time and thought into the relationship. In addition, the surprise of finding something from your sweetie in the mail is a gift in and of itself.
    Below are two gifts that I made for Josh when I've missed him. He's also made me several, adorable gifts.

    3. Plan on an even-trip exchange. If possible, it's advisable to take turns visiting one another. This indicates that both of you are equally invested in the relationship.

    4. Don't take things too personally in a long distance relationship. Things WILL come up and one of you may not always be able to make time for your Skype chat or phone call. Life happens, but you can't take it personally.

    5. Grow as an individual! I'm not going to lie, being apart sucks. I've always hated watching Josh leave for California or Arizona. Yet, I've learned to use my alone time to better myself. I use the time to read books I've always wanted to read, spend time with family and friends I haven't seen in a while, and explore my own interests, whether they're career interests or just passions.

    6. The last tip is to pray and seek counsel from older or more seasoned couples. You need to remain strong in the Word and continually rely on not only divine guidance, but on guidance from people who also want to see your relationship prosper.

    Josh and I both hope that these tips help. We are praying for the both of you!

    With love,