The other day a dear friend of mine and I were catching up and I asked how she and her boyfriend were. Her eyes immediately welled with tears and my heart instantly dropped. She then shared that she had broken up with him a couple of days earlier. As she shared the details of why, my heart just broke for her. She wants SO badly to be married and she, like other times before, hoped that this guy could be the one. She was feeling very discouraged and hopeless and I can’t say I blame her at all. Break ups are so hard, even when you know it was necessary. I would love to share some of the same thoughts and feelings with you that I was able to share with someone I care so much about. Why? Because everyone deserves happiness in the end. Hopefully these tips can help you find that happiness sooner than later. Here are a few things I shared with her.

Don’t lose yourself along the way
Don’t turn into the person you think they want you to be. Be who YOU want to be. Be who Heavenly Father wants you to be. My friend mentioned she felt like maybe the relationship didn’t work out because she cared too much. That maybe she scared him off because she was more invested in the relationship than he was. I told her, “Good for you!” Give it your all! The world today is in desperate need of more people who are too caring, too kind, and too loving. These are some of the most Christlike attributes one can possess. Hold on to your best qualities even if someone your dating doesn’t appreciate them like they should.

Play at 100%
If you are dating to marry, you need to play at a 100%, regardless of what percentage the one your dating is playing at. If you’re both not playing at a 100% in your relationship then you won’t be doing so in your marriage. Marriage is a beautiful and sacred thing, and dating is how you get there so you better be giving it your all. I know it’s hard and scary and vulnerable, but pretty much all things worth obtaining are. When you’re playing at 100%, you’re becoming the best version of yourself. And when you’re doing that, you’re creating the life you deserve.

Be careful of dating those who don’t share your same values
People are on their best behavior when they’re courting someone. If they ‘accidentally’ swear in front of you, there’s going to be a whole lot more swearing after there’s a ring on your finger and the I dos have been said. And guess what? At some point, you will be swearing too. You may not believe it, heaven knows I didn’t. When I was a senior in high school, I started dating this guy who was several years older than me. On our second date, he rolled his four wheeler which caused a lot of damage. As he was driving me home he slammed his fist on his steering wheel and said a curse word I had never actually heard anyone say in real life. I was shocked and embarrassed. He immediately apologized followed by a promise that he never swore, he was just really upset and frustrated. And naive 18 year old me believed him. People will always show you who they really are. Don’t make excuses for them. I told myself that it was a super crappy thing that happened and I could understand his frustration. I ended up I dating this guy for two years. And guess what? He actually swore a lot. Like -several times in a sentence- a lot. But guess what else? Eventually, I was swearing just about as much as him. And that awful, awful word that he said in front of me on our second date, it was no longer shocking. It no longer embarrassed me. It was just a word. A lot changed about me in those two years and none of it for the better. Don’t forget the old adage, “You marry who you date”. So be careful about who you’re dating. Only date those who make you want to be a better person and with whom you share the same values.

There is no such thing as being too picky.
If there is one thing you take away from this, I hope it’s this: there is no such thing as being too picky when it comes to choosing your eternal companion. Heavenly Father will never ask that you lower your values for anyone. Ever. Especially to fulfill such a righteous desire as finding an eternal companion. You know this is true. So, please, please, PLEASE stay strong! Don’t you quit. Keep searching until you find someone WORTHY of YOU!
(Side note: there’s a difference between trying to find someone perfect and trying to find someone perfect for you. Don’t expect perfection from anyone.)

To my happily married friends:

Remember what a blessing it is! There are so many people out there who want exactly what we have more than anything. Don’t take it for granted. I did. At least until this talk with my friend. I needed to be reminded that my marriage is a BLESSING! I prayed that I would find someone as wonderful as my husband for what felt like forever. Recognize your answered prayers. Tell your spouse tonight how grateful you are for them.

Thank you for reading! Do you know someone who’s been through a tough break up? (AKA anyone who’s ever dated;) Please share! You may be able to reach and help someone I can’t.

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