Forgiveness and Dating
I apologize for bringing this up, but I am starting to believe more and more that the culture I grew up in taught nothing about proper dating.
Forgiveness is essential to dating. Can I even bold that word and italicize that word? Essential. Ha! I can.
Dating is finding the option of how well you can live with another person. It is an impossibility to expect that the idea of living with another person is going to be flawless. With marriage, there are going to be bumps in the road where one has to think about forgiving the partner they decided to live with. So, if forgiveness has to happen in a marriage, then one had better practice it while dating.
Now for my own excuse, did I ever think that a relationship was going to be flawless? No I did not. On the opposite side, did I ever think that a relationship was going to be flawed? No I did not.
Then what did I think about managing a relationship? I honestly had no idea how to manage a relationship. I had to learn it! But after repeated attempts to date and finding things out for my own, I think I’m coming to realize what managing a relationship means. It’s realizing how well you can live with someone on a roadtrip. You are potentially stuck with that person for a long time. No matter how many pot holes or traffic jams there are, are you still enjoying being with that person? Therein lies the key.
Now true there are some other points to consider about forgiveness in a relationship. Let me continue the road trip analogy. If there are so many obstacles in the road trip that the journey is unbearable, then one has to decide a different route. An abusive relationship is very bad.
Still, along with the topic of this post, if one finds that they are in an abusive relationship and they have long since separated, find that forgiveness. It will free oneself of viewing “greys as blacks”.
Speaking of road trips, I have a story about a roadtrip. Before that story, here is a background story.
I became roommates with Chris Bennett at BYU-Idaho during Fall 2015 semester. I had met him previously through a few conversations. We went through that semester without a problem.
Then the next semester came around and presented a few challenges, one of those challenges was with Chris. I was getting a little annoyed with his behavior, and I could feel that there was some tension building. Chris decided to leave that apartment for the next door apartment, and I went with another roommate.
That following semester, I went through a metaphorical catharsis. I realized that I had been insensitive with Chris and other people, and I had felt really bad for not having magnfied a friendship. I remember I started to hang out with Chris some more. He even invited me to an Independence Day party with his family.
At one point we had a conversation. He mentioned that we had a rough patch, but things were turning good now. Then I remember looking to Chris and saying with emotion, “about that, I’m really sorry.” I was really sorry for ignoring what was a good friendship.
Then things went really positive. Chris and I became roommates again, and that last semester turned out to be the best I ever had. Chris and I continued the friendship.
Here comes the story of the road trip.
Then I graduated and moved away to my first job in Austin, Texas. Regrettably, things ended up not being very favorable for me in Texas, and I decided to move somewhere else.
I ended up getting a new job in Utah and I had to move there. I had driven that long road plenty of times. I knew that I wanted a friend to accompany me on the move. I considered who could accompany me and what I would have to do to get them to accompany me.
In an opportune moment, Chris called and we had a good conversation. Then the thought hit me to ask Chris to accompany me on this road trip and to offer to pay his plane ticket to Austin. In essence, he would get a free trip to Austin and a free road trip back. He thought about it and accepted.
The road trip that followed would be one of the best road trips I have ever done in my life. First, I’ll admit that I wanted to get to Utah as fast as I can, but I conceded otherwise. Chris and I enjoyed random stops to sweeten the roadtrip. I realized that being able to stop in places with someone that you are already friends with made the road trip incredible.
In order to finalize this metaphor, I believe I need to go on a metaphorical road trip with dating. Who can I enjoy a road trip with the whole time? Who will stay throughout the obstacles? Who can there be quality time with? Who will I be willing to forgive unconditionally? I’ll just have to find out.