When to start a new relationship?
After writing about the time to break up, I thought it was fair to write about the time to start a new relationship.
I have to start by saying I don’t have a closed answer on this matter either…
When speaking about ending a relationship I talked a lot about prayer, and it’s not going to be different now. First of all I believe in friendship before an actual date. I believe the most important thing even before thinking about dating is to cultivate friendship; to know the person, know his/her values. For me it’s just fundamental the sharing of Christian values.
Having feelings for the person.
Then what do we do? we find someone fine, Christian, with which we get along and then we decide to give a step forward? Not yet… Because these things as I was saying on the other post has to be moved by a decision from the heart but also from a feeling. I don’t chose a parter for my life because he/she fits perfectly in my list of requirements for a good companion. I almost fell for that once, it was my mother who woke me up asking: ok she’s a good girl but how much do you love her? Wow… that hit me like a baseball bat… in fact I was just calculating the possibilities…
It was also mom who “saved” me from another crazy move that was to start something with someone just because I like her… Of course being in love is amazing, and nothing feels just like it, but we can’t not listen to our reason. I can’t tell the reasons why it wasn’t possible cause it’s exposing too much both of us. But the point is we have to use also our heads before giving a step forward in a relationship. So before you ask someone out, or start to let him/her know the way you feel about him/her take some time to think about it before the Lord, this is also prayer, I suggest before the Blessed sacrament if possible.
Ok that’s it! I like one of my friends, I think about it then I ask her out? No so fast man!
Give her time to know you, spend some time talking, deepening the friendship… at one point you both will know that a line was crossed without the need of words or becoming “official”, you’ll see that you’re more than friends. Then is the time to speak, to share the feeling and time to pray together.
An external eye might help
I just told you about how my mother was a great help out of trouble. In my post about Listening to God I talked about obedience, now I think it’s a good time to remember that most of the times people outside can have a better look in our lives than ourselves. So asking for help is never a bad idea. Ask your parish pastor or your spiritual director for orientation he/she will be glad to help. Just ask if you’re blinded for example. Is this guy/girl taking me out of God or helping me to be closer to Him? (This is the kind of question we ask ourselves in prayer too)
In my Community we think it’s necessary a time of silence and prayer before starting a new relationship, during this time we present our feelings to the Lord and – without the “stress” caused by publicity of the relationship – talk and pray with that person about something we are about to start. Sometimes this is difficult to happen because the other person don’t belong to the community, sometimes because the other person don’t want to wait, and for each case we have to deal with God’s wisdom not to get people hurt. But time has shown us this is a very healing way of starting (or not) a relationship.
We can see when two friends start to be very close there is a “pressure” around them that sometimes forces them to do what they weren’t thinking, this time of silence suggested by Shalom comes very handy to help the parts involved to decide in no hurry or obligation, and if it doesn’t work out fine, for both to be at ease cause they never “officially” stated anything.
You may say this is in a perfect world. Yes sort of. But we can do our part if we understand the importance of these steps, which aren’t carved in the stone, we can adapt to our reality. I think there are some important things to do before the decision.
1- Be friends (to really know the person)
2- Have feelings for the person
3- Think if this can work out
4- Talking to someone else we can trust
5- Pray (alone an with “the one”)
These are simple steps I think very useful if you want to start a relationship under God’s blessing.
God bless our relationships.