Meeting someone who suddenly makes you feel alive and loved is very exciting.
You may think no one has ever made you feel like this and you can’t help but be amazed at the chemistry, or electricity between you and this new love. Many relationships start this way. But sadly those involved don’t take the time to get to know each other before jumping into something serious.
Often these kinds of relationships built on infatuation can die as quickly as they spring up. Wikipedia defines infatuation as: the state of being completely carried away by unreasoning passion or love; addictive love. Infatuation usually occurs at the beginning of a relationship. It is characterized by urgency, intensity, sexual desire, and or anxiety, in which there is an extreme absorption in another.
The truth is, this feeling of urgency and intensity or strong attraction toward another person is not necessarily a reliable indicator of whether you are in love or should immediately dive into a serious dating relationship.
The wisest man in the bible, King Solomon said, Guard your affections, for out of them come the issues of life. I see far too many people jumping into relationships and not guarding their affections, only to become confused, disillusioned, and devastated. We need to keep telling ourselves the basic truths of a healthy and truly loving relationship.
The Best Dating Relationships Develop out of Great Friendships
Finding a meaningful relationship takes time. While you spend time getting to know someone as a friend, you are able to see more clearly whether they are right for you and you for them. There is no more valuable friend to a dating relationship than time. But sadly, many people want to feel that rush of emotion that makes them feel like they are in love. So they push hard and quickly to feel that overwhelming emotion that says, I am in love. But is it really love?
Rushing into a relationship is always a mistake.
Be patient with the process.
Impatience is a sure sign of relational immaturity that will lead to hurt unimaginable.
The truth is that the best dating relationships develop out of great friendships.
Riah describes how rushing into a relationship has a lot of disadvantages: “First, if you go too far you could get hurt mentally because of a bad break-up, and physically you could get an STD or something. Just because a guy says they like something about you doesn’t mean you need to get in a relationship. Some guys can talk but it doesn’t mean you need to fall head over heels for them. Because then you gave your heart away way too fast and you’re open to be hurt very easily. To me that is like settling for anything and you shouldn’t settle for less than the best. Don’t rush into something that you didn’t even have time to think about.”
People don’t fall in love, they fall in ditches.
When you rush into a romantic relationship you:
- Say things you don’t mean.
- Make promises you can’t keep.
- Dig a hole that’s hard to get out of.
- Arouse expectations you can’t fulfill.
- Trust your feelings rather than the truth.
- Find it easy to make wrong choices.
- Don’t give the relationship time to grow in a healthy way.
- Keep looking for more emotional thrills and then invite the curse of boredom into the relationship, where everything normal starts to feel boring.
- End up spending too much time with the one you’re dating, and excluding your friends.
- Believe in the myth of love at first sight. There’s no such thing. There’s good chemistry at first sight, but not love at first sight. People don’t fall in love, they fall in ditches.
Misplaced Hunger for Love can Hurt You
The picture of relationships we see on television or in the movies doesn’t allow us to see the time and commitment it takes to build a solid foundation. After a 22 minute episode or a 90 minute movie we are left thinking the most romantic relationships happen very quickly, are extremely intense and will last forever. The fact is that strong relationships develop slowly over time with much hard work and commitment.
Most students I talk to on my show, Dawson McAllister Live, are so anxious to have a boyfriend or girlfriend, sometimes just to feel loved. While it is a great thrill to meet someone you connect with, or feel attracted to, don’t let your hunger for love throw you into a situation that is going to distract and hurt you.
Amber is honest when she admits her need to always be in a relationship: “I’m quick to open my heart too early because I lack that something. I’m always told that I act immature in relationships and I tend to push them over the edge. I do not trust men and I feel the need to test them to see if they will hurt me. When a girl is hurt by a male or she lives life with an absent father figure, there is a void in her soul and she searches high and low to fill it. If it even RESEMBLES a small taste of what has been missing, she grabs it, not being logical in her actions but so emotionally consumed that filling that void is all she sees.”
Just Slow Down
I have talked to thousands of teenagers and young adults who keep making the same mistake over and over again. I tell myself if I can just get some of these tragic souls to slow down and get a hold of themselves, I can save them hours of unnecessary drama and needless suffering.
Just remember what Jessica has to say: “Don’t jump in too quick, get to know the guy first. Talk to people who know him and that will help you see the real him. Make sure he has a good relationship with his family. That can tell a lot about a guy, especially the way he treats his mother.”