I am not an expert when it comes to intimate relationships. As far as I know, I’m actually one of those guys who really feels awkward whenever I try to approach a girl I like. Thanks to that, I actually ended up on what people would call the friend-zone. Nevertheless, I decided to write this short article to get to share some important points regarding my beliefs about the said topic.
I remember about 10 years ago, back when I was just in first year college (about 16 years old), I was given the chance by our Christian Formation Education (CFE) instructor to attend a seminar regarding “Friendship, Love, Courtship and Marriage.” In this seminar, I got to take home one specific lesson that got me thinking. It goes somewhat like this, “Laydown your intentions about courtship towards a girl only if your purpose is marrying her.”
Ever since that day, I always thought that if ever I’ll be courting a girl, I should actually be considering the possibility of marriage and not just for the sake of having a girlfriend. But what does it really mean to be married? How will you know if you’re ready for marriage? How will you know if the person you think of marrying is the right person for you? How will you be able to establish a happy married life? These are just some things that I wish to discuss on this short article.
I believe that in order for you to establish a happy married life, you just simply need to follow the stages above.
- 1) Friendship
I believe that everything starts with establishing a relationship with another person. In this journey called life, we’ll be encountering different people and among these people, there will be those who will be part of our circle of friends.
There will be funny ones, supportive, serious-types, happy-go-lucky, crazy, loving, godly and even irritating friends. It’ll be these differences among our friends that will make us happy, sad, angry and thankful. There will be those who will make us laugh, advice and help us in our problems, and there would also be those who would irritate us with unending teasing and jokes. Most of all, I believe every one of them will be part of who you are right now and who you will be in the future. Friends will be teaching you important lessons in life.
So how is friendship related to marriage? Well, I don’t want to generalize that you need to find your one true love among your circle of friends right now, but I believe it’s good to start as friends with that special someone. Because it is as friends that you’ll get to know a person. You’ll start to know his or her likes and dislikes. You’ll know his or her attitude and beliefs. You’ll get to know your similarities and differences. And often times, I believe that love develops when friendship is already established. “As the friendship grows, love ripens.”
- 2) Love
Apollo: “Naniniwala ka ba sa love at first sight?” (Do you believe in love at first sight?)
Irene: “Hindi.” (No.)
Apollo: (immediately transfers to the other side) “Eh at second sight?” (How about in second site?) “Pwede!” (Possible!)
This was one memorable dialogue that I loved from the movie “My Amnesia Girl” by John Lloyd Cruz and Toni Gonzaga. If you haven’t watched it, I suggest watching it, you’ll be laughing your hearts out with the cheeziness of the lines that they’ll be stating in the movie.
Kidding aside, if I were to be asked if I believe in love at first sight, I guess I’ll have to say “NO”. Why? It’s because I believe that physical attraction is different from being in love with the person. It is true especially for guys that it is easy to get attracted to someone beautiful, sexy and attractive. But as I’ve mentioned above, I believe that love only develops when friendship is already established.
“Love takes time.” You could be attracted to a person at first sight, but as you become friends with him or her, you’ll learn to know that person’s identity and then have your heart test if you love that person or not.
Also, I believe it’s common to feel something special to one of your friends (though I do hope it’s just with one friend, because if not, I advise that you sit back, do some quiet time and pray harder.) This person could possess a good personality or that he or she has the qualities of your dream guy or girl. How could you not be attracted to that person?
But the real question is, are you in love with that person? How do you know if you really love that person? It’s quite simple actually. Just talk to God and ask Him if that person is the one of you. He will give you an answer. Though sometimes, it would actually take some time, or the response won’t be so obvious. Nevertheless, He will surely give an answer. If God says yes, then go! He already gave you a go signal.
- 3) Courtship
I got the chance to meet an old friend from high school a few days ago. We had the chance to catch up on each other’s lives and of course, what is there to talk about aside from our professions than love life. He first started sharing and one thing that surprised me is when he said that his current girlfriend is about 7 years younger than us. But what really caught my attention is when he said that he actually had a past with his girlfriend’s sister. How is that possible? Is it really that way right now? Is it really that easy to go into relationships and move on into another when it fails? Well, I’m not one to judge, considering that I’ve never really been into a relationship before but I really believe that courtship is a preparation for those who are considering marriage. (Don’t get me wrong, I do hope and wish that his current relationship will be the right one for him already.) 🙂
In my case, it’s been about 3 years now since I got friend-zoned from a girl that I liked before, so basically I had nothing new to share to him about my love life. Nevertheless, within these 3 years, I actually came to realize a lot of things about love and relationships.
I realized that both parties shouldn’t be playful. Courtship shouldn’t be just a simple trial and error attempt of checking whether you are compatible with each other or not. Before a guy starts courting a girl, or before a girl will say yes to a guy, both should to pray hard. Ask God if that person is the right person for them. Because “courtship is not a joke.” It could cause friendship to be destroyed (this happened to me once and I sure don’t want that to happen again), or even bring you farther away from God if it is not His will.
Also, remember that when God says yes, it doesn’t mean that you will not need to give much effort and more so, you will never be hurt. You still have to pray harder and exert effort. For guys like me, if she accepts us, we should not be relaxed and stop courting her. She needs to be pursued always. For you ladies, please don’t ever think that we are in a relationship with you, that you have the right to command, to nag, to change us or demand whatever things that comes into your mind. That’s crossing the line and that could possibly lead to a failed relationship. If things become hard, just pray and ask God on what is the next right thing to do.
- 4) Marriage
The last but certainly not the least. This is definitely the most important stage because it is a commitment that should last forever. Yes! That is that correct. As they say, “till death do us part.” And uttering those words to your other half should be said in utmost sincerity and without doubts nor fear.
When you reach the point of deciding to get married, you have to consider many things. Make sure to have time to talk to each other. Discuss things about family (your own and soon-to-be new family), work, environment, finances, children, dreams, goals and so much more!
Remember, unlike childhood fairy tales or romantic movies where in the love story ends when the protagonist marries the leading man or woman, “marriage in real life is just the beginning of the real story.” And same as my points on courtship, as husbands, we should never stop courting our wives. Don’t ever forget how much effort it took you to hear her say that most awaited “yes.” Continue to be romantic, stay sweet and loving. And for wives, it’s also the same, though you now have a right to us as your husband, never nag and demand unnecessary things. Remember, entering marriage won’t just be about you and the guy anymore. This time it’s going to be all about your family. At this point, “there should never be a 3rd party involved anymore.” You can’t make an excuse saying that your partner has some short comings. “Marriage is all about a life-long commitment that you’ll be living for the rest of your lives till death separates the two of you.”
Saw this article and it seemed too long to read? Well, lemme just point out these things as summary:
- Friendship is very important.
- Love takes time.
- Courtship is not a game.
- Marriage is not the end of a love story. It is the continuation of a young love and the beginning of a full-blown love that should last forever.
P.S.1: I almost forgot to point out the most important thing in this article. Regardless of what stage you are currently in, whether friendship, love, courtship or marriage, “always remember to put Him as the center of your relationship.” For only with your unyielding faith in God and His grace will you be able to surpass and withstand any storm that you will be encountering in your journey towards a happy married life.
P.S.2: I’m also attaching this song that I really loved which talks about marriage. Honestly, When I get married (hopefully), I plan to make this as our theme song because it speaks so much on how I want my married life to be.
“4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NIV
I hope this article taught you something about how to achieve success.
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