#write31days | October 28th

As I said at the beginning of this, sometimes I wonder why I committed around Day 15, and then all the sudden it is Day 28 and there’s only a few days left, and I’ve thought of more topics I could write about.

One of the greatest fears it seems in being S I N G L E is committing. I’m not afraid to commit. But, I’m also not just looking for something to commit to for lack of anything else. Which are two very different things and often get entangled in dating.

As I’ve mentioned, in dating it’s hard to find courage and vulnerability to choose to commit to something (undefined “relationship”) with an unknown outcome. At some point you hope it will be the last first date, but you’ll never know unless you keep going on first dates.

Knowing when to let your heart really get involved can be tricky. I’ve also mentioned about balance of self-protection with being open to possibility of a great relationship.

The bottom line is guard your heart. 

Which is not just a message for girls. I’ve seen plenty of girls use a guy, who I know has genuine interest in them while she has no intention of any type of relationship. And, as a girl, I’ve certainly seen this happen plenty of times to my friends by guys with no intentions.

Growing up and being a teenager in the 90’s the catch phrase was “DTR”, a conversation to define the relationship. Which ironically gets put into the category of “being pressured” a lot of times when you’re really just asking for clarification.

Perhaps you, or they, were maybe hanging out with someone else when you met. Is it wrong to keep your walls up a little until you know you’re the only one they are dating?  No. And, if someone makes you feel shamed for asking that question walk away. These are tell tale signs of character not to be missed.

A person who tells you “I just want to casually date” should be taken at face value of those words, and you should guard your heart as such. Don’t assume that’s not what they mean. It is 100% absolutely what they mean and are likely spending time with others or that is their “out” of some type of commitment. No one should be faulted for this type of communication, but they should be believed.

As you’re getting to know one another, and dating is good, the natural progression is to date each other exclusively. Only you can know how long you can date with no “definition” and what your heart can handle. You are also the only one who can communicate those needs. Don’t assume the other knows what you’re thinking, feeling, wanting or maybe it’s wishing for. Guard your heart until you feel like you can safely place your heart in someone else’s care.

The person who is going to pursue you and leave you with no questions of “where you stand” in their life is the one you can begin to let down the guard and allow your heart to be involved. No one can say when this is “right”. I’ve got friends that got engaged in 40 days and are well on their way to 20, 30 and more years of marriage. I’ve also got friends who dated for very long time, had long engagements and marriages that didn’t last. Most of those people would tell you there was something that they were hesitant about in hindsight, but thought it would be ok. A very hard road to walk and one that leaves shattered hearts behind.

No matter how many books you read, or friends you seek advice of, there is no magic answer to knowing when you can let your guard down. Through prayer and discernment you will know who is pursuing you for an honest relationship and cares about your heart.

If you find yourself talking, discussing, describing this relationship or figment of “relationship” to anyone who will listen and seeking advice about where they think you might stand; it is time to stop talking around or about it, talk directly to them, and get to praying for guidance.

No one will guard your heart like you will.
Seek wise counsel and use good judgment

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Philippians 4:7
 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

If you’re just joining in from #write31days, I’m so glad you’re here!
You can {click here} to read previous posts.

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