The only perfect love is God’s love, and as soon as I learned that, letting someone else love me got a little easier.

10/10/2017 .
Reannah Sartoris

What is Love? (Baby Don’t Hurt Me)

This title is more than just a song by Haddaway, it’s how a lot of singles feel before and during dating. The struggle is real, as they say, because how can you tell the difference between someone who is going to love you and someone who is going to hurt you? And what if they are the same person?

The truth is there is no formula that will guarantee someone will or will not love you well, and these questions are very valid as you prepare to date. Let’s discuss some of the reasons that keep people from dating or having good dates:

 We Fear According to a recent poll done by True Love Dates, the number one dating mistake people make is “not taking a risk to start one.” That means, before we even know how a person is on a date, we don’t even ask them out. What do we fear? Rejection, risk taking, disappointment? But God wants us to step out of our fear. “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

We Doubt When dating, people naturally show their best selves. That’s great, but if you’ve been hurt before, it’s easy to wonder if you can trust that your date is going to stay who they say they are. What if they change? What if I change? What if they don’t like the real me? These questions can quickly turn into projecting our feelings onto the other person and can sabotage a relationship before it even starts. Start by giving your partner small, low risk opportunities to relieve your feelings of doubt. As you begin to feel more secure you will take more risks, be more vulnerable, and start building deep trust in your relationship.

We Project When we’ve been in a tough relationship (or relationships) we can sometimes project our own issues and insecurities onto someone else. Likewise, if we’ve been hurt before, and we see similar behaviors in a new date, it’s hard not to assume that they, too, will hurt us in the same way. This can be destructive to new relationships, so it’s important for both of you to communicate your needs, concerns, and your past so that you can work through these issues together.

We Protect God says to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23), but sometimes we can put up so many walls, it is nearly impossible for someone to break in. Letting down those walls and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable can be scary, but with the right person, it is the only way that true love can be let in.

 So, how do we break these patterns?

Turn your FEAR into CONFIDENCE

Turn your DOUBT into TRUST

Turn your PROJECTION into SECURITY

Turn your PROTECTION into VULNERABILITY

There is no one solution to any of these areas - it may take counseling, community, and getting closer to God. All I know is that you’re not alone in feeling this way. The only perfect love is God’s love, and as soon as I learned that, letting someone else love me got a little easier. Solomon reminds us in Proverbs to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:6)

 What do you need to do to trust and accept God’s love and allow others to love you?