20170715

Signs You're Dating Your Future Spouse

Last month, I got engaged! (Cue happy dancing and girlish screams.)

But the process of moving from casual dating, to couple status, to getting engaged was not the simplest process. I found myself constantly second-guessing if Kyle was “the one”. I mean, our relationship didn’t look like a Nicholas Sparks movie so it couldn’t possibly be true love, right?

Wrong.

We often let society speak so much into our dating lives that we forget to listen to our own hearts. Once I silenced all the outside voices, I could hear God confirming that Kyle was going to be my husband. So here are signs that I knew I was going to marry Kyle before he even proposed.

We feel comfortable talking about anything. 
Life is full of conversations, some of which are hard and awkward. But I’ve never felt like I couldn’t talk to Kyle about something. Personal insecurities, past relationships, unnecessary details from when I had the flu—we’ve talked about it all. Even when I was having doubts about our relationship, we talked openly and honestly about my concerns. By laying a foundation of open communication early on, we’ve set realistic expectations about our future and don’t let things go unsaid, positive or negative.

If this isn’t your relationship: Don’t panic! Being comfortable talking to each other about anything is something that grows over time. But if you’re thinking about engagement and you’re still not comfortable, slow down and focus on ways to become more transparent.

His happiness is my happiness (and vice versa). One of the best feelings in life is knowing that there’s someone who values your happiness above his own. Being in a relationship where you both seek ways to make the other happy is a great way to increase selflessly serving one another. In the end, we each just love seeing one another enjoying life.

If this isn’t your relationship: It’s a pretty big red flag if each other’s happiness isn’t a priority in your relationship. It’s even more of a red flag if caring about the other’s happiness is one-sided. It creates an unhealthy balance in the relationship that can leave one person seriously hurt.

He's the first person I want to tell. 
As Kyle and I began dating, he quickly became the person I wanted to tell the exciting things to: when I aced a project at work, when a co-worker gifted me with a new bicycle, or when I heard a hilarious joke on the radio.

But as we grew in our relationship, I invited him into all parts of my life. He became the person I wanted to tell about the ordinary things, too: what podcast I listened to on my evening walk, when I found a candy bar in the fridge that I had forgotten about, or when I had exact change at a store so I didn’t have to use my debit card.

If this isn’t your relationship: Take a moment and ask yourself why. Is it because you don’t share much with others in general? Is there someone else you prefer to talk to? If your relationship continues to grow without seeing progress in this area, take a closer look at your friendship with your partner. The person you marry should be your best friend! Don’t settle for anything less.

Doing nothing with him is better than something with anyone else. 
I love going on dates with Kyle: to the movies, out to eat, going hiking. But honestly, I also love doing nothing with him. Some of my favorite nights are when we sit on the couch and just talk. I just genuinely enjoy time spent together, whether it’s a date, running errands, or doing nothing whatsoever. True love is just being content with one another.

If this isn’t your relationship: Are you an extreme extrovert? Does the idea of staying in all night drive you up the wall? Then no sweat! You’re probably just discontent with the idea of doing nothing, no matter who you’re with! But if you constantly find yourself trying to make plans with anyone besides your boyfriend, it’s time to consider if the person you’re dating is a possibility for long term love.

He's not what you expected, but he is what you need. 
I always had this picture of marrying a man while I was a missionary overseas. Of course he’d be volunteering with Doctors Without Borders. We’d run marathons together, get married, and have our standard 2.5 kids. But none of that describes Kyle, and that’s more than okay!

Kyle works in the restaurant industry, loves to take long walks with me, and already has two beautiful girls from his previous marriage. None of that is what I expected, but God knew exactly what he was doing. He gave me a man who’s knowledgeable, a hard worker, grace-filled, and loving beyond all measure! As per usual, God’s plans were infinitely better than mine!

[written by Lindsey VanSparrentak]