Friday, December 9, 2011

Relationship Misconceptions

I've written a lot lately about how we have to guard our hearts from the media and make sure it's not giving us unrealistic expectations about relationships (Here and Here). The other day I was listening to a Focus on the Family podcast where they interviewed Mark Gungor, a pastor and Christian comedian who speaks a lot about marriage, and he kind of touched on some of the same points.

{Here are the links to the podcasts if you're interested. The first one is some of Mark's stand-up, and the second one is an interview with him}

Through his humor, Mark touched on a lot of really important and true things about relationships. He spoke a lot about the differences between men and women, and also about the unrealistic expectations that we put on relationships. He says that a lot of people are under the impression that there is one and only one person out there for each of us. And that this person is supposed to meet all of our needs all the time.

Then he said something that I had never thought of before: if there was someone out there that could meet every single one of our needs, God would want to keep us as far away from that person as possible. Because if there was another human out there that could meet all of our needs, why would we need God?

I think that we need to come into our relationships knowing that this other person is not perfect. They are going to let us down and fall short, and we're going to do the same for them. We're all human!

I'm not saying that we should lower our expectations too much when it comes to dating. That could make for a life of misery. At the same time, we can't put too much pressure on our relationships and put that other person in the place of God. We will always end up hurt and dissatisfied that way.

One thing I've learned from being in a relationship for over 7 years is that relationships go through cycles. there are some times when everything feels perfect and all the butterflies are there and we're completely happy with the other person. And then there are times when you get stuck in a bit of a rut and things get difficult.

I've found that in those hard times, the reason I'm having trouble is because I'm putting undue pressure on Luke, and I have unrealistic expectations. Those are those times when I start comparing our relationships to others' (always a bad idea). They're also the times when I start focusing on the things he's not doing.

I've finally learned that when I'm having one of those more difficult times in my relationship, the solution is usually to turn the focus away from Luke and look at myself instead. I usually find that I've been falling short a lot. I realize that I have been nagging or complaining a lot, or that I've just been downright negative toward Luke. Obviously he's not going to act very loving toward me if I'm not being lovable!

I guess I say all that to say that our relationships are not going to be perfect in this life. But that's okay. If we are letting God fulfill all of our needs, we won't put so much pressure on our significant others, and we'll be able to be much more content in our relationships. And if we simply can't find that contentment, we need to ask ourselves how we could better love our spouse. Because I guarantee if we take the time to proactively focus on finding out what our husbands (or boyfriends or fiances) need and do it, they will be more loving toward us as well.


  1. def LOVING this post! you def talk on some gr8 points

  2. This post was exactly what I needed to read right now! Thank you :)

  3. You're right. I have had a few of those times lately where I focus on what's not doing instead of seeing what he is. Thank you!

  4. I could have written this post myself, Jessica! When we go through a rough patch I often find that alot of it is me expecting too much or nagging. It's so easy to fall into! Thanks for writing about this - everyone tries to make everything sound perfect so often in blogland, it's nice to hear some real stories and experiences! No relationship is perfect, like you said, and when it's not it is important to look at ourselves first!


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