Dating is weird. You meet a person and you decide that you not only think that they're attractive but you also think that they're someone that you want to spend an ungodly amount of time with. So you change your status on Facebook and put a heart emoji next to their name in your phone and just like that you're a couple.
I've written before about how watching my parents taught me a lot about love and marriage but I didn't get the privilege of watching them when they were just a couple, just boyfriend and girlfriend. I think if I did I would have learned some of the ins and outs of this relationship business.
Dating doesn't solve any of the issues or insecurities that we as single people tend to have. Rather, I think it grabs batteries from a dusty drawer in the kitchen, loads the closest flashlight and illuminates everything that you've tried to hide for years.
The more time you spend with someone the more they get to know you. That's a sentence that we're all familiar with but we should also add that they don't just get to know the rose colored parts of you but also the weird, scarred and quirky parts of you.
After a few months of dating, Patrick knows quite a bit about me. He knows that I call every dog that I see fluffy. He knows that I have moments where I'm irrational and literally annoyed for no reason. He knows that I'm a sucker for the simple things and he also knows that it's the littlest things at times that really grind my gears.
At this point in our relationship he's really starting to know me and not just the parts of me that are easily shared but also the parts that are not. The parts that I'm not always so proud of, the parts that I'm working on.
Relationships are a constant journey of trusting, trusting and trusting some more. Trusting that the love you give will be returned. Trusting that this flaw or that flaw won't be the one that's nonnegotiable. Trusting that if they're choosing to love you today than they'll choose to do it tomorrow as well.
I thought that relationships were easy, that they were fun ALL the time and that once you're in love it fixes every thing. I was way off base. Healthy relationships aren't always easy but they're worth it. I have so much fun with Patrick but not every conversation that we have is fun. Some conversations are hard and are uncomfortable but they are the foundation for what we're trying to build, a strong and lasting relationship.
At the core of it all I've learned that by keeping Christ at the center of our relationship we've revolved it around something that will never fail. When we first met each other, we sat at a coffee shop and talked for hours and the thing that we talked about the most was Christ. That was the catalyst that prompted a second date that eventually led to a relationship.
As we get to know each other more and begin to see the quirks and hiccups of each others lives the thing that we're orbiting around still hasn't changed. Which I think is what makes every hard conversation easier, every laugh more joyful and every small kind gesture so big.
So I guess I didn't need to be a fly on the wall while my parents were dating. I didn't need a cheat sheet that showed me how to fight fair or how to choose to love. All I needed was to put Christ at the center, meet someone else that did the same and let the rest of the story be written by him.