When I was single, I had a season of isolation where I worked on myself. As a married man, I am bearing the fruit of the time I spent addressing my personal issues. I addressed my issue of low self-esteem, sought wisdom and understanding of my purpose in life, recognized my value and what I had to offer someone else, worked on being able to recognize when I was being “crazy”…lbvs, and really allowed God to show me true myself. During that season, I wanted to grow and mature. Because marriage was always the end goal for me, I dedicated time to healing from past hurts and putting myself in the best position spiritually, emotionally and financially.
Taking the time to work on yourself before entering into a relationship is a sign of maturity. There are too many people in co-dependent, toxic, and unhealthy relationships because they did not do the leg work upfront of figuring themselves out before entering a relationship. Some people do not even know who they are outside of a relationship, which is problematic. Relationships are already challenging enough as they require a lot of compromise. Two people merging lives takes work, patience and a good understanding that you need to give more than you take.
Here are four questions you should ask yourself before focusing on finding a life partner:
1. Do I Know Who I Am?
You have to know who you are before you commit yourself to someone else. If you are struggling with identity issues, then it will be more challenging for you to be in a healthy relationship. Although we should constantly work to mature and grow throughout life, having a solid foundation and understanding of our core values, what makes us tick, and what impact our past has had on our present are things we should strive to address before focusing on finding a life partner.
2. Have I Thoroughly Evaluated My Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, and Financial Well-Being?
You have to take some time to evaluate every area of your life. What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What brings you joy? What are you confident about? What areas do you need to work on? Being honest and assessing your core areas will help you mature. You do not have to be perfect, but you should spend time thinking, reflecting and planning on how to improve in each area.
3. What Do I Have To Offer/Bring To A Relationship?
Before you enter a relationship, you should fully assess what you have to bring to the table. Can you emotionally support someone else? Have you fully assessed your physical health, finances, emotional capacity, career goals, and future family goals? If you find that you do not have anything to give, then take the time necessary to work on you. Understanding the value that you can bring to a person’s life is something you should know before you enter into a relationship.
4. What Am I Expecting From A Relationship?
Every relationship is different. The people are different. The needs are different. The goals are different. However, you should not be concerned with being in a relationship until you can fully articulate what you expect from it. Many problems in relationships today are due to unmet expectations. If you enter a relationship knowing what you expect from the relationship and being able to fully communicate those expectations, that will set you up to have a strong foundation of communication which is vital to any relationship that is going to last.
— Jerome Taylor