A friend of mine has been dating a guy off and on for seven years and engaged for the past 14 months. We live in different States, so I don’t see her as much as I used to, but we still talk every 6 weeks or so. The last few conversations have been strained when I asked about Ben and if they had set a date for the wedding.
She hesitated, “No, we haven’t set a date yet; I’m just not sure.”
I ventured, “Sounds like Ben may not be the right person for you. You lived in different cities the first four years you dated, but you’ve been living within 10 miles of each other for the past 3. I’d think that you would know by now if he were the “right one”. Have you thought about breaking off the engagement and giving God some room to speak to you about it?”
It was her next comment that was upsetting to me, “Oh. I couldn’t break it off now. I’ve invested so much time in the relationship; I deserve to be married and start a family. If I started over again with someone else it would be forever before I would have kids; I’m not getting any younger!”
I’ve been in the same place as my friend, dating in a three year, long-distance relationship that I just knew would lead to an engagement ring at the next birthday, Christmas, or big family get-together. But the ring and the wedding never came. Looking back, it was fortunate for me that we didn’t marry; it wasn’t God’s plan. But I still felt the same way after three long years as my friend does now—I’d hung in there and I’d put so much time into the relationship; I was 30 and it was time for me to marry.
Unlike money we can’t pack away time and hope that it will grow bigger with interest. Intentional time is meant to be spent every day on the ones we love and those we are called to serve. Looking back too far into the past or too far forward into the future distracts us from the joy of spending the time we are given for today.
I hope that my friend will pray for wisdom in her current relationship, but just because they’ve been a “couple” for 7 years doesn’t mean that they are meant to be together forever.
Time can’t be invested; it must be spent as you go.
Blessings, my friend,