I’ve been reflecting on my 2-year relationship ever since it ended.
I knew I gave away my heart too quickly. I gave it away before I could even discern if my partner was someone I would want to spend my life, with God at the centre of it all.
He was a Catholic, and I was a Christian. So we often had religious debates. I came to realise that we did not share the same values in life. And even despite our differences, we went ahead to talk about marriage way too soon. We were working towards marriage from the shaky foundation of our differing religious beliefs.
We broke up a year into our relationship, but patched up really quickly as well. This time we promised each other that we would work towards reaching a consensus in terms of the religion issue.
But I knew in my heart that my prayer for my partner’s conversion would only be answered in God’s timing, dependent upon His will. I soon saw that I had to pick between my partner and God, because my relationship had taken the top spot in my life. I lost sight of God and had barely any time with Him.
I realised that if we got married, God wasn’t going to be the centre of the relationship.
He was someone who would get angry at me for things like being late. He scolded me when I made any mistakes, and would even make me stay up with him just because he couldn’t sleep.
I didn’t like what he was doing at all, but I thought that if I loved him, I should be able to look past such behaviour. It’s only now that I’m able to see how dishonest I was to myself about my partner’s character.
I naively believed that the chemistry in our conversations, the cooking for me, the driving me home – that all these would be good enough for marriage.
But I only realised later that marriage calls for much bigger commitment than that – sacrifice. I let a few months of lovey-dovey dates impair my judgement. Blinded by love, I began to think about marriage even while we had so many irreconcilable differences.
We struggled to remain pure until marriage. Initially, I felt so disgusted at myself for having engaged in intimate acts which sinned against God.
The years of Sunday School I attended didn’t prepare me for this. I suppose my only chance at purity was by first having a close relationship with God, who would have helped me stay away from temptation in the first place. But that too was compromised.
It took a lot to forgive both myself and him. But in the future I know that I will not be afraid to speak up about my boundaries. Now I’m looking for a marriage that glorifies God.
I realised that dating as a Christian is something done intentionally – with purpose. If I could turn back time, I would have dated only when my joy was truly fulfilled in God alone.
That’s only when I would have been ready to share the love and serve others in dating other Christians.
The author’s name has been changed for confidentiality.