In marriages, people often say don't sweat the small stuff, pick your battles, overlook certain things. And I get it because God has called all of us to live in peace. But if you are in a dating relationship, I would say sweat the small stuff, because it is those little things that lead to big issues in marriage.
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I'm not talking about he left his shoes in the living room or his clothes on the floor, or she forgot to buy your broccoli from the corner shop for the 13th time, I'm talking about issues like your partner went a whole day or days without communicating with you, or promised to do something and did not uphold their promise, or raised their voice in circumstances that did not call for that, or lied about something, you found out and they got defensive. If any of these are happening in your dating relationship, then sweat the small stuff.
Sweating the small stuff in this context is a call for people to spend time closely examining situations that pop up time and time and again in their dating relationships. The dating period should be the time you guys spend getting to know each other exclusively, not cuddling and kissing at every chance you get, but truly being committed to learning about each other, asking all the right questions there is to ask, such as—what are your plans for the future? What is your purpose? What do you feel God has called you to? What happens if we never have kids? How do you react when you get mad?
If you are not feeling right about something, communicate, don't leave things unsaid, don't sweep things under the rug, be open with each other; yes, sweat the small stuff. Deny yourselves from the physical things (such as sex and its derivatives) which will only cloud your judgment while you are dating, and focus on what truly matters.
One way you can find out if you are headed in the right direction in your relationship (as Christians) is the God factor; is your partner pulling you closer to God or taking you away from Him? Is he/she causing you to compromise on the word of God to please them? Is your relationship with God stronger or weaker while you are with this person?
Anything that pulls you away from God is an idol, which has stolen your affection and should be done away with. If the person you are in a relationship with is pulling you away from God, then take a break, and reevaluate things. If you cannot maintain a healthy balance with your relationship with God and this person, then I would advise that you break up, because you will only end up losing and destroying yourself in the relationship.
Also, study the people your partner calls friends; what do their friends believe in and what are their values? If your partner spends a lot of time with a particular group of people, then the chances are they are getting influenced by them. If you are not comfortable with their close circle, then it might be time to have a conversation.
One of the factors which play into the success of a relationship is when you both have a good circle of people around you, who will encourage you when things get tough, to keep going (if the relationship is healthy). No, it's not just about you two; it takes a village for you to build a successful life together. Not saying you won't have your private times; just make sure you don't mistake private for secret.
“When a person shows you who they are, believe them.”
This quote above is very true, oftentimes we dismiss what people say or do like, "oh they didn't mean it” or “maybe I made them act that way.” I dated a guy who told me on the FIRST date that he could sometimes be controlling, I blew it off simply saying to myself—no, it couldn't be that deep, but deep it was! He later went on to tell me how he broke up with one of his exes, by telling her to get out of his house. It wasn't long after that, he was controlling me and telling me to get out of his car while breaking up with me.
If I was smart then, I would have thought to myself saying— do you want to be with someone who is controlling and treats no one other than himself with compassion? I should have sweated the small stuff when that conversation was brought up, so to speak.
You see, I've heard countless times from people especially women saying—after marriage he changed, it was as if he was a totally different person. A person can pretend I hear people say. While that is true to an extent, but if you pay close attention to what they say when you guys have conversations or the lack thereof, that can tell you a lot.
When they reveal certain things about themselves, believe them. Sweat the small stuff; don't think your situation will be different if that person has not repented of their old ways. Don't be afraid to stand for what you desire; if a man or woman isn't on the same page with you, that's fine, there will be someone else. No human is worth your peace, joy, purity, and eternity.
Don’t cave into the pressure of society; it’s better to take your time to find the diamond that you deserve, than settle for a lifetime of cubic zirconia. Cubic zirconia is cheaper, easier to get, and looks like the real deal, no doubt. But with time, that little sucker starts deteriorating, and its true colors begin to show. Dare I say, focus on God, and He will bring the right person your way. So sweat the small stuff, evaluate the situation you are in, and make the right choices.
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About The Author: Evi Idoghor is a Christian, writer, and content creator on Letstalknationblog.com. She is a chemical engineering graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Consumed by her love for writing and desire to effect change, she launched her online platform––Let’s Talk Nation––to tap into her creativity and start meaningful conversations that would make a difference around the world.
Most of her writing has been influenced by her time spent in America, where she lived for about 11 years. Also, she lived in Nigeria and South Korea and currently loves traveling the world while learning about other fascinating cultures. You can find her on all social media platforms with @eviidoghor.