Tag Archives: Relationships

The Idea of Me

Everyone you meet, everyone you have met, and everyone you know first starts out as an idea of what you want them to be or who you think they might be.

From the moment you first see someone, no matter how hard you try not to, you’re mentally taking notes on everything about them, their clothes, their voice, the way they carry themselves, how firm their handshake is, their smile, their hair, the way they make or lack eye contact. Before someone even has a chance to say hello you’ve formed an opinion of them. They’re wearing too much make up, their teeth are too large for their mouth, their hair is too long or their beard isn’t trimmed, their suit is too small, their shirt has a stain on it.

The first conversation you have with them can alter this initial opinion, or it can support it. They might be friendlier than they look, they might have a voice that sounds like nails on a chalkboard to your ears, they might be extremely well-spoken but dressed like a complete bum. Sometimes a first conversation can be shocking, leaving you confused and re-evaluating your opinion on someone’s outer shell.

Our brains gather all of this information and try to form something out of it, even though there’s no point. We try to come to conclusions after spending a few minutes with someone, and those conclusions are probably almost always wrong. Society teaches us that attractive people are good, and unattractive people are bad. We all now know as adults that this is entirely untrue, that looks have almost nothing to do with a person’s morality, but innately our minds still tend to follow this rule of thumb.

Then our brains continue to think and process and begin to mold some sort of expectation for this new person. Maybe you expect them to be nice to you, or maybe you expect them to like you because you learned you had something in common, maybe you expect them to buy you a drink because you’re both standing at the bar, maybe you expect them to make a grand romantic gesture because you think you’re both equally attracted to each other and just found love at first sight and have the same favorite drink and both just got out of a bad breakup and are perfect for each other….

Anyways, I see this habit most in myself when it comes to dating, in case you didn’t already pick up what I was putting down. It seems like every guy I meet I immediately start imagining us as a future couple. Of course, all of these thoughts are positive, so my imagination takes me places I’ve never even known in a relationship; understanding, support, romance, communication, a real connection. I see potential, and then I can’t let it go. I’m sure we’ve all heard a friend say at some point, “he wasn’t in love with me, he was in love with the IDEA of me.”

I bet this is why 90% of relationships fail. We put all our energy into someone we barely know, with expectations we have no right to have in the first place. Years later we are wondering why that person isn’t who we thought they were, but it’s because they were never that person. Our brains just like to conjure up ideas of what we want out of that person or that relationship, and when that person doesn’t measure up, we blame them. In reality, it’s our own fault for having these expectations and ideas of who someone might turn out to be, and the likelihood of them successfully turning out to be an idea our own mind formed has to be one in a million.




No wonder we’re disappointed all the time (we = people in the dating world), when someone turns out to be exactly who they are and not who we wanted them to be. Is there a way to train our minds to accept people at face value (not literally)? Is this what people mean when they say to lower your expectations so that when someone actually treats you well it completely blows you away?

I think everyone has lost appreciation for the art of getting to know someone, like really getting to know them as a person, before throwing your insecurities and relationship standards on them. I used to be a firm believer in deal breakers, and I stand by some of them, but I think it’s time to re-assess the value of a friendship before it gets ruined with the pressure of romance.

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Uncompromisable is a Long Word

A little over a year ago I wrote a post about learning to be by myself. When I wrote that post I had been single for all of six months and was just starting to really enjoy the freedom that came with it. And by freedom I don’t mean free to be with other people, I mean free in a way that no one else has an influence on your decisions. Then of course I started dating someone and ruined it all. But I’ve already admitted to being a chronic and habitual dater, since I was in middle school my world has been centered around the male species. As I got older relationship after relationship ended because something didn’t sit right with me. Obviously, there were other reasons to end things, but a pattern that I notice now looking back on things is a lot of times I ran because I noticed myself changing in ways I wasn’t okay with.


I’m aware that as humans we change constantly, so even the person I marry will not be the same person 20, 30, 60 years down the line, and neither will I. But I do believe that at everyone’s core are certain qualities and characteristics that are uncompromisable. For me, those things can range from my mental health, to my relationship with God, to my love for art and music. So often we compromise the things that make us who we are to try and make a relationship work that just isn’t meant to.


If you know me at all, you know I’m super basic in that The Notebook is one of my all-time favorite movies. Judge me all you want, but it’s not entirely because of the epic love story. I like to think I relate to Allie Hamilton, partially because of her name but also because she’s a feisty smoke show and that’s who I aspire to be. But I digress…no matter how much time has passed, I can watch that movie again and again and each time a different line or scene breaks me down. Particularly, I’ll always remember her telling Lon, “I don’t paint anymore.” Such a simple, yet loaded sentence. I’ve had this thought so many times while dating someone, “I don’t ______ anymore.” I don’t see my friends anymore. I don’t sing anymore. I don’t go running anymore.


This epiphany smacked me in the face last week when I was discussing this very subject with a friend. This is why I’ve been single for so long and this is why I’m OKAY with being single for this long. In my longest stint of singledom I’ve finally realized I no longer want to be in a relationship for the sake of company, I only want to be with someone who encourages me and inspires me to do the things that make me who I am and who I want to be. I don’t have time anymore to waste on men who force me into a mold I’ll never fit into because it compromises who I am to my very core. And until I find someone worth my time, who pushes me to not only do what I love but find more things to love doing, I’ll remain single.


The older I get the more I realize how hard I have to work to create time for myself. I also realize how many people my age are already married, and wonder if I’m missing something. It’s easy to get caught up in those expectations, especially in the South, so I have to keep reminding myself that I’d much rather be single than be in a relationship (or God forbid, a marriage) that doesn’t force me to be the best version of myself. Losing sight of yourself is never worth it.



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I went to bed last night reluctantly at 10:30pm, selfishly angry that my alarm was set for 6:00am. I had received a text earlier in the week from the production crew coordinator at church letting me know that call time for service had been moved up an hour. Throughout the week I contemplated backing out, since I hadn’t been feeling well and also because I’m stubborn, and I just couldn’t wrap my brain around having to be somewhere that early on a Sunday. My conscience won and I decided to stay committed, excusing it by telling myself this would be the last time I serve on the media team. I barely slept and getting up was rough, but I made it. Over and over in my head I kept questioning to myself why I was there. Why I was needed. My energy was low and my patience thin.


It was well past 9:00 and people continued to file in, filling up almost every chair in the room. It’s usually pretty crowded, but something was different today. After the first worship song people were clapping and cheering, and by the middle of the second song at least half of everyone in the room had hands in the air. I could hear God in my ear saying, “I know you didn’t want to listen, but I put you here for a reason.”


I’ve been in somewhat of a funk lately, not one I am unfamiliar with. I am well aware that my faith is a roller coaster and it holds a pattern based on what’s currently happening in my life. For weeks or months at a time I’ll find myself closer to God than ever, attending church every week and my small group regularly, making time for daily devotions and prayer. And then slowly I’ll drift into a state of apathy and selfishness. This could last weeks or months or even years, depending on who I’m dating and what my friend group looks like. My faith gets put on the back burner until I crash mentally or emotionally and realize that I still need God after all. And then I seek Him and find Him all over again.


For a long time I would be frustrated with myself during those “off seasons,” almost like when I gain weight and think “how did I let myself get this far?” I look at other people at church and think they have it all together, since they are there every Sunday and seem to be on a steady path in their own faith. But I’m realizing that my entire life is going to be made of these ups and downs and so is everyone else’s. And that’s okay. I feel okay drifting because I know God will always lead me back to Him, just like He did today.


I watched nearly 20 people get baptized today. And not because it was scheduled, they didn’t reach out to someone a few weeks ago and say “I want to sign up for baptism.” These people happened to come to church today and when they were invited to come up and publicly give their lives to Christ, they accepted. I witnessed twenty lives start over today. I witnessed twenty people’s sins vanish right before my eyes. I witnessed twenty people turn their heads to God never to look back. Last Sunday NINETY-FIVE people were baptized. I’m watching one church transform an entire community. 


And so it all made sense. Another face-palm moment for me in my walk with God. Because of whatever He put on my heart I could not walk away from my commitment today, no matter how early. I could not stay angry or irritated because it was so clear that I was there for a reason, and that I have a purpose in the church. Every single person in that church is a part of a whole. We are each a part of this HUGE thing that’s happening. I can feel it moving within me, and I can see it changing others. I know my journey is far from over, and even though there will always be highs and lows, the high I felt today behind that camera makes up for everything else.

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You Know Me

Thirteen days into the New Year and I’m proud of myself for remembering to pray every night before I fall asleep. Well, almost every night. And sometimes I fall asleep in the middle of the prayer, whoops.

I find myself praying almost every night for God to bring me the man He has planned for me to marry. I know full well I am not ready at this particular moment in time to meet that man, maybe not anytime this year, or even five years. I have no idea what He has in store for me. But I know that God has him in store for me somewhere out there, hopefully praying for me as well.

I have come to notice over the years a pattern, which I’m sure many other women notice in time and either deny it or use it to change. I use my relationships as a form of dependency. I use them for constant attention (physical and mental), someone to run to when life gets hard, a form of temporary happiness no matter how long it might last. But that’s the part I always forget, that type of happiness is always temporary.

Someone once told me that every now and then someone comes along and fills the gaps in your soul that no one else can. Even now, as I lie in bed at night, I am asking for someone to appear to fill those gaps in my soul. Many of us spend the majority of our time and thoughts looking for that one person and thinking about how they will make us feel whole. The one person that can love us unconditionally, knowing everything there is to know about us, even the worst parts, and devote their life to us anyway.What we forget to acknowledge is that God has been loving us unconditionally since before we were even born. He is the One we should be asking to fill those holes inside us.

If you have a minute, go and read Psalm 139. Here’s verses 1-4:

“You have searched me Lord, and You know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise,
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down,
You are familiar with all of my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue,
You, Lord, know it completely.”

It’s a lengthy one, so I’ll give you the CliffsNotes version. God knows us better than we can ever know ourselves. And no matter how many rights or what kind of wrongs we commit, He loves us unconditionally. He is the only one who can truly fill those gaps that no one else can.


What a comforting thought, to think that the man of my dreams will just be the cherry on top of the Love I am already receiving. I would say I can’t wait to meet him, but I can.


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