We’re obsessed with each other.
As I was taking down the Thanksgiving decorations in my house the most random memory came to mind, and I immediately felt extremely stupid for the past situation that had occured.
It was some time at the beginning of 2009 and my family had some life-long friends over, and I also invited my boyfriend at the time to join us. While we were waiting on the pizza to be delivered, my mom’s best friend (also the mother of some of my closest friends) began talking to me about my current relationship. If I remember correctly, she was cautioning me to guard my heart and to be careful about not letting my feelings get ahead of me… just in case he wasn’t “the one.” She also said something about making sure that I wasn’t throwing myself into his life if he didn’t care for me as much as I did for him. It was at that point in the conversation that my defenses rose and my love-smitten heart began to take control, at which time I stated something to the tune of: “It’s okay… we’re obsessed with each other.”
What does that even mean?! “Obsessed.” Eeee.
Looking back on the relationship, coupled with the fact that I’m not seeing it through rose-colored glasses anymore, I really don’t think full-length coversations through text messaging, late-night phone calls, and sending each other pictures of our dinner and dogs really constitutes obsession.
Of course, as his significant other, I felt I had rights. He shouldn’t talk to other girls, he shouldn’t look at other girls, he shouldn’t smile at other girls, he shouldn’t breathe in the general direction of other girls, etc. I had my girlfriendish “clutches” on him, and he was mine. <insert evil laughter along with mental picture of a crazed girlfriend here>
In an argument he and I once had, he tried to tell me he wouldn’t care where I went, what I did, who I talked to, or whether or not I told him I was going to do something or go somewhere! About 7.3 seconds into his attempted-persuasive point, he quickly retracted his statement. The truth was, he did care (a lot)… because in our minds we “belonged” to each other.
The problem is that the world has it all wrong. You don’t “belong” to anyone until you’ve promised to marry them. Until there’s a commitment, there’s no ownership. Just like when you purchase something at the store. You don’t own something until you’ve committed to purchase it – but with that committment always comes some sort of downpayment, followed by continuous payments until it’s completely paid for.
So it is in a relationship between a man and a woman – the downpayment is the engagement period, and the marriage is when you “seal the deal” and complete the purchase. You then belong to each other.
One of my favorite quotes is by Elisabeth Elliot in her book “Passion & Purity”:
“Unless a man is prepared to ask a woman to be his wife, what right has he to claim her exclusive attention? Unless she has been asked to marry him, why would a sensible woman promise any man her exclusive attention? If, when the time has come for a commitment, he is not man enough to ask her to marry him, she should give him no reason to presume she belongs to him.”
It would be good for girls (including myself) to keep this in mind – whether currently in a relationship or single. Don’t give your heart away to him until you have a committment that he’s going to care for, protect, and nurture it. He has no right to claim you until he places a ring on your finger – and even then, he’s still limited until he says “I do.”