Wednesday, February 9, 2011
After a Breakup: What to Look for When You're Looking for Love Again
Looking for Mr. (or Miss) Right?
There are many essential traits to look for in a date, and eventually a life partner. I have five listed here, the five C’s: Christian, Communication, Character, Chemistry, and Calling with some questions to ask yourself about what each one means for you.
Christian means that he has a committed and growing walk with God. If you’re a person of faith, that’s the foundation for any dating relationship. What does that mean for you? Do you want someone who will attend church with you every Sunday? Do you want to pray together as a couple? How will your faith influence your decision-making in life? Think about how you want to live out your spiritual life with another person.
Communication is essential to any good relationship. It’s talking and listening, building rapport and intimacy, sharing, and more. What kind of communication is important to you in a relationship? Are you comfortable going deep in conversation, or do you prefer to stay in the shallow end? What is “good communication” to you?
I remember a dreadful date with a man who didn’t talk to me almost the entire day we were together. Ron was a man from church with whom I’d spoken a few times. We had mutual friends and saw each other at singles events. One Sunday afternoon we drove to Green Bay for a Packers football game and he was completely silent throughout the entire game—including halftime! Even the long, soundless drive home was awful. I told myself that day that I needed a man who would not only talk, but listen, and make good communication a priority.
Character refers to his temperament, personality and moral fiber. Does he have integrity? Does his keep his promises, say what he means and mean what he says? How do your personalities mesh? Do you have temperaments that are complementary?
Chemistry is another word for attraction. Is he handsome in your eyes? Does he have other qualities that appeal to you? Is there that intangible “certain something” that makes you click as a couple? Of course, chemistry and attraction are important in a relationship, but don’t let your feelings dictate your choices based solely upon someone’s looks. True beauty is more than a perfect smile or fit body. It’s both inner and outer qualities, and how that person makes you feel. Additionally, chemistry is just one of the essential five C’s for a healthy and fulfilling match, one piece of the entire love puzzle.
Calling is the term I’ll use here for God’s will for your relationship. Is it right for the long term? Has God called you to marriage, or not? Just because you love someone does not always mean you will marry them. If you have all four of the five C’s, but if the “C” of Calling is not there, it will never work. You may have different life paths.
Finally, before you date someone—whether you meet on the Internet or at the office—make sure he is not married. Seriously. Don’t rely on him wearing a ring.
Here’s my story about that…
Josh had the kind of captivating blue eyes you could dive into and swim laps in for hours. He was a new client at our firm and always stopped by my desk to say hello and chat briefly. Of course, he always had something interesting to say and often I could only eek out pleasantries while I tried to remember my name.
His left-hand ring finger was bare; a good sign. No glint of a gold wedding band to be seen. Since there wasn’t a man in my life at the time, I had fun daydreaming about him. It was just for amusement, I told myself. Until the day I learned he was married.
Married! Yep. To the same woman for twenty years. And, oh, and they have a bunch of kids. How in the world was that possible? I mean, he never wore a ring and he was so nice. I was shocked, and surprisingly a bit hurt. I know I shouldn’t have been, but Daydream Man was gone. Who would I think about now?
It was time to clear my heart and head of even the smallest inklings of desire for this person and get back to what I really wanted—a God-centered lasting love.
Okay, so think about the 5C’s and what you’ll do with them. And maybe one day, the man with the precious metal on his left hand will belong to you.
Jackie M. Johnson is an author and freelance writer in Colorado. Her hope-filled and encouraging books include "Power Prayers for Women," "When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" and "Powerful Prayers for Challenging Times." Jackie also writes the Living Single blog on Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk website.