I am probably the last person who needs to be doling out relationship advice. I am a single, 40-year-old man who has had two girlfriends in his life. But I am pretty good at observation, and in 18 years of observing others’ relationships in ministry settings I have seen a few threads that have run through the bad ones. To avoid some of the pitfalls. I say…
- Accept all compliments. I am aware of the “love languages.” I get the point. But there is a fine line between “I love to be loved this way” and “If you don’t love me this way, I will not be happy.” Accept all compliments, even if they are not exactly how you want them to be packaged and delivered. If the person you love is attempting to be nice to you, don’t reject it. Don’t focus on the time or the place or the wording or the price. Sometimes it really is the thought that counts.
- Don’t give someone something and then hold it against them. Her: “I don’t care if you cut the grass tomorrow.” Him: “Ok.” The next day, her: “The weather was nice today. Why didn’t you cut the grass?” Don’t say things you don’t mean.
- If you think your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend is hot, then somebody else probably thinks they are, too. Don’t freak out because somebody gives your loved one a little extra attention. It’s okay to be a little insecure. It’s not okay to make your loved one walk on egg shells every time he/she is around someone of the opposite sex.
- Don’t treat your loved one like a patient, and don’t allow yourself to be treated like a patient. Your loved one is not a project. They’re not a problem to be fixed. They’re not a doll to be decorated. They’re not a child to be punished. Women tend to be “fixers.” Helping is one thing; fixing is something else.
That’s all. For now.