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I’ve seen a lot of divorce in my lifetime.  Friends and family can’t seem to keep relationships together.  This phenomenon motivates me to try to figure out why, and it’s why I have such a passion for discussing relationships.  Through the discussions I’ve had with others, I think one of the roots of divorce is not knowing why you’re getting married in the first place. Without this, it’s hard for relationships to make it, because the individuals don’t have anything to hold on to when times get hard.  It’s easier to walk away from something if you don’t even know why you’ve invested in it to begin with.

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Picture From: singles247.com

I love making lists.  To-do lists, shopping lists, Places-I-Want-To-Visit lists, Things-I’d-Do-If-I-Won-The-Lottery lists.  One list I made when I was in my early 20s was my What-I-Want-In-A-Man list.  I thought I was so ahead of the game since I could actually articulate (in 42 characteristics, to be exact) what I wanted in a man.  I had things on this list regarding his physical stature and education.  I listed what I wanted his current fatherhood status to be, and if he had children already then I made note of how old said children could be (because, you know, “if his child is too young, then his baby-mama might still want to be with him since their break-up is so ‘fresh’ and I’m not dealing with that”).  I wrote his preferred age and financial status.  I even described how nicely he would be able to play a saxophone for me and the color suit he should look good in while doing it.  Stop laughing…I said I was young, remember??

I was so confident in this list!  Until realizing that no one man met even half of the things on my list…or owned a saxophone.  So, after meeting and observing different men, I began crossing things off my list.  As I matured, my list got shorter and shorter.  I began to realize the things that mattered and those that didn’t.  The things that may be nice if he has it, but won’t detract from the relationship if he doesn’t.  The things that I’m requiring of him that I don’t even possess myself (ouch).

So, here I am today, and I can no longer name the 42 characteristics I initially wanted in a man.  And as I’ve gotten closer to God, the concept of the list has changed completely.  This is not to say that I don’t have standards, because I certainly do!  One thing I’ve learned is that things can happen in the blink of an eye and life can change drastically, and all of a sudden the things you though were important are such an afterthought.  So what do I look for now?  A man who is who has a relationship with God, such that the way he treats me is a reflection of that relationship.

So what’s on your list?  Maybe you have an old list like the one I had.  If you do, just give it time and I think some of those things will naturally fall away.  Or maybe you don’t have a list at all.  Your list may not be tangible like mine was, but just be sure that you know what characteristics are important and which ones aren’t.  When life situations happen in relationships, you have to know if that man and the relationship is worth it or not.  Don’t make your list as superficial as mine originally was, but take time and think about it.  You’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process.

 

Written By: Janna Robinson, Encourager, Blogger

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