By Kayla Koslosky, Crosswalk.com
Editor’s Note: Crosswalk's Singles Advice is a weekly advice column for singles featuring an anonymous question from a Crosswalk.com reader with a thoughtful, biblical reply from one of our single editors.
I am dating someone who truly loves me like Christ loves the church, and he has expressed a desire to marry me. We have known each other for some time, but our relationship is fairly new. He is already saying he loves me, but I hesitate to say it back. Part of me feels like I am holding back for a "fear of missing out." What if I commit fully to him and then miss out on someone better for me? I have significantly more spiritual leadership experience and career stability than he does, but he shows great desire and potential for growing in both of these areas. Should his potential and his love for God and me be enough to continue courting, or should I wait instead for someone who is more "equally yoked" in these other areas to pursue me?
“I love you” is a big phrase that carries a lot of meaning. I’m not sure how new this relationship is, but it is normal to want to be sure of how you feel before you say it back to someone. In fact, I highly recommend you don’t tell someone you love them if you don’t, or if you are not sure you do. Based on personal experience, I know that saying “I love you” and not really meaning it can cause more heartbreak and hurt than joy.
Being honest with yourself is good for both parties.
Now, you mentioned feeling a little bit of “FOMO” or fear of missing out. In this case, I think it really comes down to being honest with yourself and your partner. Ask yourself:
Does this feel like the relationship God is calling me to be in?
Am I invested in this relationship?
Am I in this relationship for the right reasons?
Consider dating as a preview to marriage.
Especially since you are not married, you don’t want to stay in a relationship knowing that it is not going to go anywhere, or that you may have a wandering mind. Simply put, it’s not fair to your partner who appears to have committed himself to you if you are not sold on the relationship, too. My rule of thumb is: date with the intention of marriage. Do you see yourself marrying this man?
When in my life I have felt the “fear of missing out” in regard to relationships, it was either one of two things. Either it was really “fear of being stuck in something that wasn’t quite right” or “fear that this thing might be too right.”
Graciously analyze any fear.
If it is the fear of being stuck in a relationship that is not right, my advice would be to not lead your partner on.
But maybe it feels so right and maybe you weren’t ready for that going into the relationship.
Once upon a time I was promised to somebody. We were head-over-heels in love with each other, but when the relationship first started out, I was terrified. We fell in love so quickly and at such a young age that at the beginning I caught myself thinking about how scary it was that he could be the one. Maybe this is the case for you…and unless God is instructing you otherwise, don’t run from the good thing you have going.
Let yoke pertain to faith in Jesus.
In regard to being equally yoked, this is vitally important for a God-centered relationship. The New Testament term has sort of taken on a life of its own with people using it to describe financial status, upbringing, and education levels, among other things.
I’m not so sure that is what it is actually referring to. In 2 Corinthians 6:14 Paul says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.” This, to me, means don’t be in a relationship with someone who does not believe in Jesus.
Instead, you should look for someone who shares the same spiritual beliefs and values with you and is pursuing the same spiritual goals as you.
Embrace Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
Trust in God’s plan for your life, even if it is terrifying. With this relationship, make sure you are asking God to guide you down the right path.
And if God is saying this isn’t it, be better than me and walk away – even if it’s hard – when God tells you to. May God bless you with clarity, courage, and grace!
Kayla Koslosky loves her faith journey as a Christian single and is the News Editor for ChristianHeadlines.com. Kayla has worked as a mentor for college leaders offering them advice and assistance throughout their leadership journeys, led a women's Bible study, and wrote an advice column for her college’s Yellow Jacket Newspaper.
Disclaimer: any single editor replying to reader questions through this advice column is a Christian seeking God's direction through his Word. We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. As we explore issues with you, we will seek God's guidance through prayer and the Bible.
Have a question? If you have a question about anything related to living the single life, please email [email protected] (selected questions will be addressed anonymously). While we cannot answer every question, we hope you'll find encouragement in this column.