There are so many things I wish I would have known as a single woman; so many things I wish someone could have told me. When it came to relationships with guys, there are so many things I didn’t know.
I often struggled with understanding my value and my worth, and my identity was far from established. If I had the knowledge that I have now and the perspective I’ve acquired, it would have saved me a lot of heartache and grief along the way.
As a relationship counselor, author, wife, and mother- there are so many lessons I’ve learned along the way. Here are some of the things I’ve learned, that I wish someone would have told me:
It’s amazing how many hours I spent getting to know guys. Countless hours and energy were spent trying to figure out who they were, what they liked, and how to get them to like me. But sometimes, we can get so caught up in finding the right guy, that we end up losing ourselves. What I’ve learned over the years is this profound truth that the most important person you should get to know- is yourself. When it comes to finding the right guy and getting into a healthy relationship- you can’t know what you want until you know who you are. Take the time to get to know yourself, it’s the best decision you’ll ever make.
2. You will attract the kind of guy you think you are worth.
The truth is that we all come with some sort of a price tag. And the crazy thing is, what determines our price tag isn’t the measurement of our waist or the size of our boobs. It isn’t determined by how many boyfriends we’ve had, or how many Facebook friends. The price tag is determined by one person and one person alone: yourself.
We are ourselves the price tag that we think we deserve, and then we’re purchased at that cost. It’s important to get real with the value we place on ourselves, and realize how valuable we are, because we have been made by a God who said so. A God who saw we were worth so much, and paid a high cost just to prove it. One thing I wish someone would have told me, is that if you want to attract someone who values you, you’ve first got to value yourself.
3. Actions always speak louder than words.
I have to be honest, I’m a words girl. I love words. I’m a writer and a counselor, and I use words to communicate every day of my life. But one thing I wish I would have realized back then, is that actions speak so much louder than words. I’m sure we all agree with that statement, but how many of us hold to that when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex?
Guys who can talk the talk someone manage to sneak into our lives and into our hearts- before they’ve earned the right to be there by their actions. One thing I would have done differently, is instead of making excuses for the men in my life- I would have allowed their actions to speak for them. It would have saved me so much time, and so much heartbreak.
4. Your body is just a fraction of who you are.
I remember days of fixating on my physical appearance. I even remember my mood could be altered based on how I was looking that day. Good hair day, equaled good mood. Bloated, PMS day, equaled down and depressed mood. When it comes to the value I placed on my body, I have to say- I had it all wrong, and I sometimes still do.
Now that I’m in a loving marriage, I realize that while it’s important to take care of myself- what makes me most beautiful to my husband has very little to do with my hair, my outfit, or my weight. He’s enamored by my heart, my passion, and my character. He fell in love with my humor, my honesty, and my strength. Those are the things he loves, and the things that hold us together. There are so many external things I focused on that added very little to the equation of who I was. If I could go back, I would have developed my character far more than I focused on my cuteness.
5. Your story has far more to do with who you are than who you’re with.
I think the most foundational truth that I’ve learned now that I’m a married woman, is that my life has far more to do with finding my purpose than it does with finding the love of my life. I love my husband, and I’m blessed by the marriage we have- but I realize that this relationship is just part of the bigger picture God has for my life. My purpose, my security, and my value weren’t resolved in the arms of my man. There is so much more that God has made me to be, and so much more that I want to become.
Finding love is just part of the equation of my life’s story — and it’s only part of yours as well. Seek to find your purpose, your security, and your passions even while standing alone. Because one thing I wish I would have known, is that you’ll never regret investing in yourself.
No matter who you are or what you’ve been through, my prayer is that you learn from my mistakes, because a simple perspective shift can make the difference in your life, and also in your relationships.