Lessons I Learned While Dating My Husband

I'm going to reveal some tidbits of wisdom I learned while dating my husband. I'm thinking of my single friends, and how, if I were in their place, I would appreciate some thoughts from couples looking back on those uncertain days.

1: Men need encouragement.
If there's one thing that kept me from having more dates with the men I had crushes on throughout the years, I would say it was because I was too naive to recognize that men need encouragement to pursue a woman. If they aren't getting any hints of interest or a feeling that she is giving him the go-ahead, chances are he won't make a move. I bet there are many singles that actually are interested in each other and would be great together, but the woman isn't giving the fella any reason to move forward. My poor husband spent most of our dating period wondering if he should keep pursuing me, because I wasn't giving any clues that I liked him (which I did A LOT). So ladies, encourage that guy you're interested in to make a move. Use subtle ways, such as having interested conversation with him, rather than ignoring him because of your nerves; that's a great start.

2: Give each other grace and time to grow.
As I mentioned, my husband was rather confused by me a lot of the time we were dating. I would talk up a storm over the phone, but was quiet as a mouse in person. He felt like he was dating two different people. I think we were on the verge of breaking up multiple times because of it, but, to my husband's credit, he hung in there with me as I learned to overcome my nerves with him in person. Don't let little things like that keep you from a potentially great relationship; recognize that we all have quirks that we are working on, and give grace for these non-foundational issues to work themselves out.

3: You've got to open up. 
If you don't open up to the person you're dating, you won't get to know them, and the relationship will go no where. Face that now, and prepare to let them see into your heart a little bit. You don't have to plumb to the depths on the first date or anything, but bit by bit let them know what makes you tick. How are they going to make a good decision about if you are right for them otherwise?

4: Dating is a time that you are free to walk away at any point.
This is what makes dating a scary time. You are letting someone learn to care for you, and you them, with the potential that it won't work out. But this is an essential part of choosing your marriage partner. If you feel stuck with the first person you date, you aren't doing anyone any favors. Weigh out the facts, and make a good (timely) decision, because marriage lasts a long time and determines a lot about the direction of your life. 

5: Figure out if they meet your foundational values/qualifications before letting your heart start falling for them.
And here's the one I'll end with, although you should make it number one in your mind. This happens mainly at the start (although it continues as you get to know them more). Find out if they are someone you could even agree with in lifestyle and faith choices. If the answer is no, then don't let your heart even start to fall for them. It is soo much harder to break up with someone if you've already started falling for them; and break up with them is what you must do if they are not a good fit for you in the most practical ways.


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