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What To Look For In A Relationship

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Aug. 15, 2013

A few weeks ago, I attended the wedding of two close friends, Jonathan and Kate.  They started dating shortly after graduating from college.  A majority of their relationship was spent dating long distance.  It was difficult, but they put in the work to ensure Christ is at the center of their relationship.   This became evident throughout the wedding weekend festivities. Stories were shared about how my friends’ relationship developed, and the many sacrifices they endured to ensure that a long distance (over 1,500 miles) relationship would blossom into one worthy of God.  Their deep love and sacrifice for one another has been a serious witness to everyone.

When Jonathan and Kate first met, she had already committed to moving to North Dakota to work on a Native American Reservation.  Jonathan had committed to graduate school in Pennsylvania.  In the face of quite an obstacle, they prayed and supported one another.  While they lived apart, they’d pray the rosary together over the phone at 6:30 am every day!  They read spiritual books about relationships, dating, marriage, etc., and discussed them.  They encouraged each other in their relationship with Christ.  They grew as individuals and as a couple.  They saved their money and would visit each other anytime they could.  They skyped, talked on the phone, wrote letters, and texted all in an attempt to get to know one another, grow together, and know God’s will for their relationship.

Their relationship is a perfect example of the greatness God calls us to and that we fulfill when we live for him.  In a world full of dysfunctional and broken relationships, where celibacy and purity are mocked, jeopardized, and compromised routinely, where a sense of sacrifice and support of another is foreign, Jonathan and Kate have a relationship that is heroic, beautiful, and built on solid ground. 

I tell the story about my two friends for a reason:  What should you be looking for in a boyfriend or girlfriend?  Often people attempt to explain why they are interested in or like someone.  Typical explanations:  “He/she is cute.”  “I have so much fun when I am with him/her.”  “We have similar interests.”  These are all great reasons to be attracted to someone and desire to know them better.  However, there is more to a person and a relationship than only appearances and interests.  

What are some reasons to move beyond being interested in someone to actually being in a relationship with them?    There are a lot of good reasons, but generally speaking, the person is committed to his or her faith and morality, virtuous and possesses mature character, genuinely loves God, lives a life glorifying of Christ, has the heart of a servant, understands love is sacrificial and not self-seeking, and has a serious relationship with Christ. 

If the person you are interested in or like wants you to compromise your faith and morality, they aren’t worth your time.  Move on.  If you are embarrassed or have to hide the fact that you’re Catholic, don’t kid yourself about this person.  If you are only a means of entertainment and gratification for this person, don’t be surprised if they’re selfish in other aspects of life.  If someone is willing to put you in the near occasion of sin, they don’t want what is best for you.  Ultimately, if a person doesn’t understand that a relationship is about enjoying the blessing of one another and the experiences of life, as well as encouraging one another to become better Christians, grow in love with Christ, and a means of helping each other get to heaven, they aren’t the right person for you.  Keep praying, keep looking, and keep the faith.  God will bring you and the correct person together when the time is right!

About the Author

Jeremiah Doyle is a freelance writer for Newman Connection.

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