“We’re not together but we ain’t talkin to nobody else but each other.”
“What’s understood doesn’t need to be explained.”
That’s just my friend…”
These words my friends, are the basic recipe for what we know to be; a SITUATIONSHIP.
When I saw this meme on Instagram a few months ago I wanted to know WHOOOO to pass the offering plate to! What has happened to the overall state of Love within our generation? The short answer to this question is that we fail to set standards and boundaries, and fail even more at sticking to them. The total answer is that our generation is pulling farther and farther away from the Greatest Love of All. As I said in my intro, I’m going to share things publicly that I’ve never shared with people on this scale before. My friends know my stories and some of the people that I have mentored or counseled know but in a moment of transparency…Hi…my name is Lynn and I used to live in a constant state of “Situationship” with guys. In all of my 27 1/2 years of life, I’ve only had 3 real relationships but situationships…oh I know them all too well. Here is the one that took the biggest tole on me…
I officially met this guy during my sophomore year at NCCU. And for the sake of storytelling let’s just call him “Shawn.” My old suite mate told me that Shawn would ask her about me quite often however at the time I was just getting over a guy that had just ended a situationship with me and I wasn’t ready to get into another one. Nevertheless, Shawn pursued me anyway. He was fine y’all…looked good…smelled good…nice football build…AND he knew Christ! In my mind I thought that I’d hit the jackpot but unfortunately my little heart just wasn’t ready to receive him. I tried but after a few weeks of feeling as though I was leading him on, I called him and told him how I felt. He told me that he respected me for being honest and hoped that we could be friends. I told him that I would like that. Several months passed by and I ran into Shawn again in the Student Union. By then he looked even better than before and I was over ole dude so when he asked me for my number again I was excited to give it to him. This conversation lead to many, many more. We spent countless hours together over the summer… messaged each other throughout the day…he was SUPER sweet to me. This lead to not 1…not 2…but 3 whole years of an on-again, off-again situationship that took me spiraling down a dark and lonely hole. I turned down offers from some very eligible bachelors, made it my mission to cover him in prayer every single morning, never missed a birthday…I was so in tune with this guy that I could actually FEEL when he was going through something even if I hadn’t talked to him in weeks. I was ALL in! I missed so many red flags with Shawn though. God was trying to protect me from getting hurt but I chose to be in his Permissive Will and not his PERFECT Will for my life (check out these verses on Free Will= James 1:13-15, John 7:17, Proverbs 14:12). I chose to ignore the signs because I mean…c’mon…this was MY MAN…sorta…kinda…on most weekends :/. He would go days, weeks, and even months without calling me or spending time with me but I was 100% committed to this guy…a guy who never once promised that he was or even wanted to be committed to me in return.
He said things like, “I don’t want to be in a relationship but if I did…you would be the prototype” (Translation= I want somebody LIKE you…just not YOU); “You’re my lil mama…you always come through for me” (Translation= You always take care of The Kid and I don’t even owe you anything in return); “I want to spend time with you but my schedule is so packed tomorrow and I have to get up really early” (Translation= I’m just not trying to see you). So in order to not lose him completely, I MADE his treatment of me okay in my mind. I made myself believe that a fraction of him was enough to fulfill me. I made myself believe that I was better off with his occasional affections than being completely alone (which I felt the entire time anyway). I made myself believe that I was completely fine with our situation-ship. Everything finally came to head when I logged on to Facebook one day and saw pictures with him and his new girlfriend (I had just talked to him a few days prior to that) in his new apartment that I had never been invited to. When I questioned him about it he brushed me off as though we were “just friends.” He even wanted to introduce me to the woman that he intended to marry and asked me to sing at their wedding….
That was enough for me. I had finally come to the realization that he did NOT respect me, love me, or much less care about my feelings…not even as a friend. I could go on and on about how horrible of a guy he was but to be honest he wasn’t a horrible guy…he wasn’t even horrible to me…I just chose to ignore the signs and willingly committed myself to being in a relationship ALONE. I should have let him go the year that he told me that I was “the prototype” (yes-2 more years passed by before the singing engagement offer).
Now let’s be clear…I DEFINITELY WANTED A COMMITMENT from him and all of the guys that followed. I had situationships with them all but I never REQUIRED them to commit to me. I was too afraid to assert my desire for commitment for the fear of losing them altogether, and ended up alone anyway. I had no boundaries and didn’t adhere to my own standards (check out 1 John 2:16). Truthfully…the root of my problem was much deeper than the men themselves. Ultimately, my choice to be in situationship after situationship was really because I didn’t understand God’s love for me. I didn’t really love myself, even though I tried to paint the picture that I did, and I was afraid of being rejected. I knew that I deserved better but I didn’t BELIEVE that I deserved better. When you try to find your identity in everything but Christ you start to realize that you’re really broken without Him and therefore you make broken decisions. Let’s talk about how to avoid getting into Situationships:
- Ask God FIRST– When you were a kid, didn’t you ask your parent’s permission to do certain things before you did them? God requires this of us as well. Just like our natural parents, God can already see if the situation will lead to destruction or not. To the fleshy mind (this was me at that time) even though praying is an easy task, it’s the hardest thing that you’ll ever do because you don’t want to hear God say no. But seeking God, actually waiting for a response, and paying attention to the signs that He gives us would totally end situationships altogether. He wants the best for us. It’s when we try to do things on our own that our lives begin to fall a part. (Proverbs 14:12) We must accept that He knows what’s best for us and trust that if He closes a door or makes a way of escape that we must allow it to be so. God will show you if this guy is the right guy for you to get close to or not. He wants the best for His children…especially His daughters ♥ (Matthew 7:11)
- Set Boundaries– This is a concept that I JUST learned and really embraced about a week ago…no kidding. I always knew what boundaries were and I thought that I had some but they were pretty loose. The one boundary that I did have (and still do) was that I wouldn’t have sex before marriage. I said that and I meant it but at that particular time I found myself in some very uncompromising situations that could have led to me breaking my one and only boundary. I didn’t really have clear boundaries within my boundaries at that time. Thankfully, I haven’t been in any uncompromising situations in over 5 years (glory be to God!) but I still didn’t really have clear boundaries set until last week. Thanks to my Pinky Promise Sister, Heather Lindsey I finally decided to get my life and set some! (check her out…her ministry is AWESOME and it saved my life! (HEATHER LINDSEY’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL). Boundaries are essentially your “STOP” and “WARNING” signs for ALL relationships; both for friendships and romantic relationships. (Check out this video on Setting Boundaries) They help you to exercise self-control (check out this scripture on self-control Titus 2:12). Setting Boundaries such as: no sex before marriage, at what point in the “getting to know you stage” do you require a guy to assert his intentions, no talking to your boo on the phone after a certain time, no “sleepovers”, no Netflix & Chill, etc.; will help you to not only keep yourself from sinning against God, but they will lessen the chances of you getting your feelings hurt. The guy will either respect your boundaries or he’ll leave.
- Have Standards…AND STICK TO THEM- How are Standards different from Boundaries? Boundaries serve as a “wall” while Standards serve as a “gate.” Standards say who can or can’t come into your life. I used to have a LONG list of standards and when I met a guy that I liked I didn’t compare him to my standards at all. I pretty much accepted whoever came closest and dealt with the consequences of my decisions later. TBH…I didn’t even meet some of my own standards. This was a direct reflection of what I thought I deserved…but NOT anymore! Before you can ever set standards you must first understand your worth. The Bible is intricately laced with words of love on just how valuable The Lord thinks we are. If He says it then it’s enough for you to believe it (Psalm 139:14, Proverbs 31:10, Song of Solomon 4:7). After you discover your awesomeness, be realistic with the standards you set. Something along the lines of: he must have a strong relationship with Christ, he must be faithful, must be honest, must have a job, etc. These are just a few things to get your thoughts moving. But setting standards such as, “he must have perfect credit,” when you know that Sallie Mae calls you 3 times a day…let’s just be realistic sis lol.
- Don’t Be Afraid of the “Timestamp”- I’ll keep this one short and sweet: HOW LONG IS TOO LONG BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO CUT A GUY OFF? I’m all for the “getting to know you” phase of a relationship…in fact…I think it is NECESSARY. However (comma) does it really take 2 years for a guy, or even you, to decide if this is a relationship worth pursuing and committing to? NO…it doesn’t. What is your overall purpose in even being around this guy? Commitment is NOT a curse! In fact, let’s look at it from this perspective: if the purpose of courting is to eventually lead to marriage, and earthly marriage is a direct reflection of Christ’s marriage to the Church, and we are the Bride of Christ, and we should treat Christ the way in which a wife would treat her husband, then wouldn’t commitment be required within said relationship? This my friends…is what we call dating with a purpose aka “Courting” (check out this video on Courting vs. Dating). I’m not telling you to actually set a date and give an ultimatum on when your guy should commit, but what I am saying is to be wise and trust your gut (i.e. the Holy Spirit). You can feel when a guy is really working towards something with you and when he’s keeping you at an arm’s length.
- Remember That You Are The HuntED…not the HuntER- We’ve all heard the scripture before, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. (Proverbs 18:22)” but so often we skip over the HE that finds part and try to go and get HIM for ourselves…you’re out of order sis. Several times throughout the Bible we see clear examples where women were pursued. In Genesis 2 we hear this account, “Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him. (Genesis 2:18)…”So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (Genesis 2:21-23) Eve was taken out of Adam FOR Adam. Sis…YOU are the prize! Or even further down in Genesis, Jacob goes the distance to have his lady, “Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” – (Genesis 29:18) He did whatever it took to have the woman that he desired. If you read the rest of the story, you’ll see that Rachel’s father got Jacob drunk and tricked him into marrying her older, less attractive sister Leah but that didn’t deter Jacob. He worked ANOTHER 7 years to have Rachel because that was the one that he truly wanted. You see my sisters…the women of the Bible didn’t have to run after men to get them or to keep them, and we don’t have to chase after men either. You are literally God’s Gift to Man! If you have to beg a guy to stay with you, or dress provocatively to get his attention, or give your body to him in hopes that he’ll be faithful to you then you’re with the wrong guy. The right man will love and cherish you, honor and respect you, and he’ll push you closer to Christ. Never settle!
I pray that this post brings glory to God and brings you into the knowledge of knowing just how AMAZING you are! God has someone special for you and you won’t have to take a fraction of him…he’ll commit himself completely to you. Say NO to Situationships and YES to loving YOU!
The blessings of the Lord makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it. – Proverbs 10:22