It's 2020, you are in your early 30s, and cupid hasn't paid you any visit just yet! Time is running out, you say to yourself, when is someone going to sweep me off my feet? If you are feeling this way, I feel you. We are in the same boat. Most times we want something to happen and happen quickly. Especially when it comes to romantic relationships. Now, if you are a Christian, who wants to please God and all of that good stuff, mostly when you are looking to get into a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, your mind is usually bent on marriage.
You are not dating just to date, but with the possibility of getting married one day. Although a good mindset to have, it places unnecessary pressure on both parties. When you are supposed to enjoy getting to know someone and just forge a friendship with them, your mind is all wrapped up in are they the one or are they not the one? Like John sent his followers to ask Jesus, when he began to doubt if He was the Messiah, he said: are you the coming one or do we look for another?
A lot of us women walk around with this thought process when we meet someone new, but it is time to push that to the back burner, and think friendship first before we jump into any relationship.
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I doubt when men try to interact with women that their first train of thought is marriage; they are probably just thinking — I think this girl is cool, I like her, let me see what else is there (although I've heard some men say "you are going to be my wife," the first time they meet someone they really fancy).
Most times for a woman, as soon as a man (the one she probably admires) says hi to her, she has already planned her wedding day and had three kids. Why is it so? When that person doesn’t measure up or falls short of the unrealistic expectations that are placed on them negating the time to build any foundation, the woman is quick to get upset and cancels them out, saying—"they are not the one," and then miss out on a possible friendship of a lifetime. Honey, where are you rushing to? This ain't a rat race.
As women, we need to learn how to view someone as a friend first. Just because a man said hello to you, or seems interested, doesn’t mean that they want to spend the rest of their life with you, and maybe if you even got to know them for who they really are, you wouldn’t see yourself walking down the aisle to said person.
Someone showing some interest in you, or you both liking each other, should be the key that unlocks the door to get to know yourselves on a friendship level. Not on an exclusive level, or a dating level, but until you both get to know each other enough, and are comfortable to take things to the next level, or until someone makes their intentions clear enough.
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Why Building a Friendship is Important
When we get to know people without any added pressure which comes with dating, we get to see them in their element; experiencing who they really are. No one is busy putting up a front, and each person is free to be themselves to a certain extent. You experience what it feels like to be around them when they are upset or when things don't go their way.
You also tend to discover how they are with money, and how they treat the people around them. If they are kindhearted, you will find that out. If they are mean, you will also discover that, when you are learning them on a friendship level. Of course, there is no stipulated timeline for how long this process should last, but if you like what you see, and are comfortable taking things to the next phase, then that's fine.
We do this with our fellow women all the time, we don't meet someone today and then become besties with them tomorrow, it takes time.
Sometimes, when women open up themselves to friendships with men, especially if the women are attracted to the men, they tend to develop feelings quickly. But we must always ask ourselves these questions—what is it about this person that I like? Okay, okay, he is all that and a bag of chips, but do I actually see myself with this person? Do our values align, and is there a future in this? Or am I just lonely, and trying to fill a void? Or just being anxious? Hmmm, food for thought.
A friend of mine told me this a year ago, she said—“you must not view every man you come across as a potential partner; treat him like a friend first.”
This means no special attention should be paid to him, you must relate with him as you do other men in your life you have platonic relationships with.
Her words stirred me in a different direction, because most times when I came across men, especially after going through my learning process in relationships, I mostly always thought commitment right off the bat. I did not give the friendship a chance to blossom even see if they were someone I wanted to be with. I set up high expectations, and when they did not meet them, I blamed everyone including me, but not for the reason of rushing ahead of myself.
Now, when we don’t take the time out to learn someone, we often find ourselves in the wrong relationships--Entanglements. We jump in before finding out if they love God or not, or even have a stank attitude. Then somewhere in the middle of the relationship, we start discovering things and be like—if I had known, this person should have never made it past an acquaintance.
There are things that you should be discovering about people on a friendship level, like if they love God, or if they are kindhearted. If you then discover that such revelations make you uncomfortable, then you can deduce that whatever you both have, is not going to be anything more than a platonic relationship. Then you know the necessary adjustments to make, so you don’t give off the wrong vibes, leading on the other party involved.
Lastly, don’t go ahead and make assumptions in your head about the person you like and are building a friendship with; until they clearly communicate their intentions towards you. Till that happens, treat it as a friendship, first.
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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.