Your Relationships Begin With You

As a single male in my mid-twenties, I find myself consciously and unconsciously thinking about and searching for that special someone. My goal has always been to be friends with my future wife for at least a year, date for a year, engaged for a year, which includes being married by the time I'm thirty.

This goal may seem far-fetched and I admit it is, so I'm open to altering it. I know what I want in a future spouse (I think) and I definitely know what I don't want. But the older I get, the more I realize that the challenge to find someone who fits what I want and what I don't want seems like "mission: impossible." My impatience steps in which seems to prolong my wait to meet this future wife of mine.

Occasionally, I reflect on the thought that she is out there somewhere so I wonder what she is doing at that very moment and if she is thinking of me. As much as I am actively trying to find someone, I'm reminded by my friends how they found their special someone when they were least expecting to. I have to remind myself and know that God will introduce me to her and reveal who she is when we are both ready.

So does that mean I'm not ready? I think I am, but at times I have my doubts. Maybe she isn't ready, which could mean that she is doing something to better herself for our relationship. I'll always go back to the question of if I'm ready or not. How will I know? I believe the answer lies in how I respond to the following questions:

I ask myself if I'm financially ready. Who is? I graduated college a couple of years ago and have already went through two career changes and I have been laid off. Needless to say, my checkbook is nowhere near where I want it to be, I won't even mention credit cards. So I need to think more about saving for my future, buying a house, and paying off some bills. After all, I don't want to drag her into my debt and spending habits. I know that I need to better myself in regards to finances.

I ask myself, am I physically fit and attractive? The honest answer is that I'm not in as good of shape as I'd like to be and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I know I need to join a gym, look online for articles about cooking healthier for bachelors, and watch how many times I go out to eat. What is a better motivator to working out besides looking good for yourself and gaining that confidence, than wanting to look good for your significant other? After all, I hope my wife is attracted to me as I am to her.

I ask myself, am I smart? With a college degree I think so, until I watch shows like Jeopardy or play board games with friends and I realize that I still have a lot to learn. I am thinking of going back to school. After all, I want my wife to think I'm intelligent.

I ask myself if I'm in the spiritual place with God that I want to be. Do I attend church every week? Do I read the Bible each day? Am I asking more from God than I am thanking Him during prayer? Am I a good example for others and am I teaching them about God? After all, I hope my future wife and I can pray together and maybe take a leadership role in a youth group.

I ask myself, am I happy as an individual? A relationship can bring happiness and fill the void of being alone, but should I put that burden on my future wife? If you are comfortable being yourself, being happy alone and don't need someone, that is a step in the right direction. I believe that needing someone to fill a void and wanting someone to fill a void are two entirely different things. This is why your relationships begin with you. After all, if you don't love yourself, then how do you expect someone else to?

"Happiness depends upon ourselves" ~ Aristotle

When you fulfill the above aspects of your life to an acceptable extent - then watch out, your future spouse may just be at the local bookstore, in the gym, at church, at work, at school, or at the bank. I don't expect to be able to accomplish each of these things in the next four years, but I will always strive to do so. After all, I hope she will always strive to do the same. And most of all, I hope we will continue to strive to do these things together!

Chad J. Bring is a rising author who just published his first novel, "Left Standing" in addition to co-writing a screenplay for an independent film through their RoomMate Productions film production company.

In The News:

Me, My Relationship and PTSD  The New York Times

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