I’m a planner. A doer. A “with a color coded list and a bit of spunk we can get anything done” type of person. Half the fun of a new “project” is the preparation. However, I once heard someone wisely say, “You don’t have to chase what God has sent” and whew, that holds so much truth for so many areas of our lives. Does that mean that you don’t have to put forth effort and God will just drop His plan in your lap? Of course not but it does mean that no amount of striving will win you something that is outside of His purposes.
For example, you know that guy or girl you have your eye on? The one that you think would be just darling in your life. If you're interested you can definitely drop the hanky or ask them out but at some point you may have to face the fact that they aren’t the one. No amount of research on their likes and dislikes will make you their dream date if it’s not meant to be and do you really want to change who you are to fit what they seem to desire? Kristen and Bethany from the “Looking for the Middle” podcast always say, “You should want to be with someone who wants to be with you” yet, we often act like if we can just learn enough, practice enough or manufacture enough situations with them that they will have to love us but that’s not the real you. That’s a fabrication which isn’t fair to them or yourself. Do you want to explain to someone you’re dating that you manipulated them to like you because being yourself wasn’t doing the trick? Surely not!
And, yes, if you’re interested in someone you’re going to have to put forth effort. Don’t be high school me who thought by smiling at the cute guy across the room he’d pick up on the desire in my eyes. He most likely thought I was having contact issues or a stroke. You’re going to have to do a little more even for the Lord’s best but you have to be wary of ignoring red flags or manufacturing green ones. You know what I mean, right?
Ignoring red flags is when you intentionally overlook things that should be telling you to slow down. It could be major things like differing beliefs, major personality flaws or other toxic traits. However, it can be more simplistic as well, like ignoring that she is obviously interested in someone else or that you feel the need to hide part of yourself or change to impress them. Maybe they hang around after an event to walk out with the same person every time but have never once waited for you… that should tell you something if you don’t choose to ignore it.
On the other hand, creating green flags can be even harder to spot and I think it’s something women struggle with because we are over thinkers but men can fall prey to this just as easily. For example, do you put too much stock in a simple text message? Are you hoping her friendliness means more than it does? Him saying “Hello” isn’t a sign that he’s thinking of you and pining away. The LFTM podcast also talks about “patterns” a lot and looking for what stands out in different ways.
I know a man that is constantly curious about my personal life, often concerned with my comfort and has accidentally alluded to others that we were in a relationship. It would be really easy to run wild with his behavior and undoubtedly, high school me would have been certain that this was destiny but I know this man. I see his patterns regularly and I know for a fact that 99% of his behavior is unintentional. Not that he doesn’t care but that he isn’t trying to show me affection by his actions. His actions are a natural reaction not an intentional effort or pursuit. His behavior and words come from his subconscious which is a completely different problem but green flags they are not.
Even if it does seem like the whole thing would be perfect, you have to ask yourself… If you have been clear with your interest and if there are no signs whatsoever, what are you truly chasing? Do you truly want God’s plan or would you rather have your own desires right now? Sorry for the tough love but I’ve had to have this conversation with myself and my friends on more than one occasion. The person you think would be a perfect fit or would fulfill all your “cuddling in front of the fireplace” dreams isn’t perfect if it’s outside of God’s purpose for your life and no amount of striving and chasing will get you any closer to what’s best… for you or them. So, if you really do care about this person, pray over your desires, pray for direction and let God take the lead. If you are truly seeking His will you won’t have to chase it and you will never be able to miss it. The choice is yours!
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