I’m all about perseverance. If you are going to survive in any type of sales career (like I have been in for the last 34 years), you will have to acquire a good dose of it. But I have also had to learn when it was time to quit. There is a fine line between being diligent and being self-defeating.
It can be the same in a pre-married relationship.
Sometimes it’s just too hard to close the sale and go from not married to married. I have seen many couples fight an uphill battle trying to “make” a relationship work. Here are a few indicators that you might be trying too hard.
· The relationship seems more like work than fun. It is necessary to do a certain amount of investigative and other preparatory work before making such a significant commitment. But is most of the joy and delight missing when you are together?
· There is a lot of conflict. We go by the 80/20 rule. Are 80% of your interactions positive or do you find yourselves dealing with significant amounts of conflict?
· You’ve been in counseling for too long a time. Have you wisely entered into pre-married counseling but discover there are so many challenges that it drags on and becomes more like “trying to save this marriage” counseling?
· You are constantly being compelled to change. It may be that you feel you are unacceptable to your partner unless you make a lot of changes. Growth is good, but are you being asked to become someone you are not, especially when you like who you are?
· You have to defend the relationship to family and friends. Do the people that really know you express their concern for you? Do you find yourself having to distance from them in order to preserve the relationship equilibrium?
· You breakup and makeup several times. Do you go through this cycle expecting that “this time” it will be better and finally work out? Is it hard to admit that you have chosen poorly?
· You just can’t quite commit. Maybe there is a good reason and God is protecting you. Do you feel restrained in your spirit?
You are not a “loser” because you decide to move on when a pre-married relationship is too hard. You are actually displaying wisdom and maturity. It may be hard for you to trust that God will not abandon you in your desire for a relationship. But I would encourage you to trust regardless.
Proverbs 14:12 (NLT)
12 There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.