Sunday, October 10, 2010

They Talk About the Future Too Soon

Mistake #14

Kate was a detail person.  She liked to have everything planned out well in advance with several contingency plans.  This was one of her greatest gifts.  It served her well in school and her jobs.  People knew they could trust her to do things right.  When it came to dating, Kate also liked to have things nice and tidy.  Once she finally decided she liked someone, she just about had the wedding date and reception seating arrangement planned.  She wasn’t foolish enough to tell her crush this, but the thoughts were there.  If she did end up dating someone, within a few weeks she couldn’t restrain herself from hinting about the future.  Kate had it together and guys really liked her, but her relationships never lasted more than few months, because inadvertently, she made guys feel like they were getting their foot caught in a steel trap that wouldn’t let go.

Girls, I am not telling you not to think about the future.  You can’t help but think about the future, especially if you are considering adding someone in particular to your future.  What I am saying is don’t dwell on the future.  Don’t camp out there.  Don’t spend all your time with your girlfriends talking about it.  Be intentional about occupying your mind with other things.

There are two reasons for this:

·         Reason #1: You set yourself up to be hurt by getting your heart set on a particular future prematurely.  Obviously, there is a time to think about the future, but remember to wait for the right time.  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven. . .a time to embrace and a time to refrain, . . .a time to be silent and a time to speak,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-7)  If he is not bringing up the future, it’s not time yet.  It’s fun to be wanted, so let yourself be pursued!  Christ pursues his bride, the Church; let your Mr. Right pursue you.

·         Reason #2: If you talk about the future before he is ready, you will scare him off.  My dog loves to walk close to me, but the moment I put a leash on him he pulls to get off.  He wants to walk next to me by his choice instead of feeling tied to me.  I know I shouldn’t compare guys to dogs, but the reality is that it is easy for them to feel the walls closing in on them when a girl starts mentioning the future before he is ready.  When the walls start closing in, guys will bail before they get trapped. 

It is hard to stop planning for the future.  Here are some tips to help.

1.      Take every thought captive.  It is a choice you make whether or not to dwell on those thoughts.  When you find your mind wandering to the future prematurely, redirect your mind to something else.  
2.      Meditate on a Bible verse.  Some of my best verse memory times have come from being intentional about not dwelling on something in particular.
3.      Refrain from talking about future specifics with him until you are engaged. 
·         If he brings it up, you may talk about your specific future as an individual and his specific future as an individual. 
For example:
o   “If I get married one day, I want to be able to work from home and stay with my kids.”
o   “When I have a family I want to take annual vacations.”
o   “I’ve always wanted to live in Europe.” 

·         You may not talk about a shared future. 
Don’t say:
o   “When we get married, I want to stay home with our babies.”
o   “I can’t wait to go on family vacations with you every summer.”
o   “We should go to Europe and scope out the perfect location for our dream home.”  
Enjoy getting to know someone and being pursued.  You can’t enjoy the present if you are consumed with the future.

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