Life & Learning

The {Re-Learned} Dating Lesson

I named this post the {re-learned} dating lesson with the complete knowledge that all I say in this blog post can be applied to numerous relationships. Back in the summertime, I wrote “Dating Stuff from a Non-Expert.” I didn’t expect that post to be read all over the place. It has only been a handful of months since I wrote that post, and yet here I sit with so much more that I have learned.


I won’t go through everything, because that would take me quite awhile. When you are dating, you just learn, re-learn, and re-re-learn some more.

Here I am, sitting around on this sunny fall day, and I’m thinking about one of the primary lessons that I have re-learned this month. I have learned something valuable. I always knew it. I sometimes lived it. I counseled others through it, yet still found this lesson severely discarded in my life, especially in this blurry ole month of September. So, here is the re-learned lesson:

In any relationship, you can’t just give the bare minimum!

I know it’s a big shocker (taste the sarcasm), and you are all thinking that I am such a ding-dong for taking a whole post to write about this very original, very understood concept. Just hold your horses for one minute…maybe two minutes. I won’t make this painful.

This month has been crazy. I am learning a new job area, adjusting to new classes, making friends with new people, dealing with health insurance, and adjusting to the limited capability of my body. I mean, I’m not allowed to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk.

Anyhow, I write all that to say that my mind has been buzzing with new information and new adjustments. It has been busy with so much that I have quite forgotten to give. And it has been draining.

I can see now that my giving in numerous relationships has been minimal this month, but I recognized it first concerning my relationship with Ben. I gave just enough time. I gave just enough attention. I gave just enough of my energy. I started taking. I started taking some more….and taking some more. It was about me.

It’s incredible how we are so selfish that it actually takes a couple of weeks before we start to notice the pull and drain that we are individually causing! I have often thought of the world as made up of individuals who carry signs of personal agenda as they walk around in circles just staring at the ground.

That’s how I live sometimes. I have my sign held up high, my eyes trained on the ground, and my agenda is my complete focus. Selfish. Drained. Consumed. Careless. I start to give just enough to have a deep friendship, but then I stop there. I am fine with just giving the bare minimum of time, energy, and action. If it fits within my bounds of capability, then I give. Oh, but the world forbid if it should even come close to crossing that self-proclaimed line.

How much more effort does it take to write a note? How much more effort does it take to sincerely ask “How was your day & how can I help you right now?” How much more effort does it take to sit down and be involved in a hobby or game that he is interested in? How much more time does it take to tell him 2 reasons that I am thankful for him? How much more time does it take to say–thank you for being my friend today. I really appreciate you.

You can take this list, and transform it to fit any relationship in life. Seriously, how much richer our relationships would be if we took that extra step!

I am not even talking about “going the extra mile.” I’m simply saying, “I need to take the extra step.” You can love in any relationship, but love needs to grow. Love is that absolute piece of life that cannot stay dormant. It has to deepen. It has to grow. It has to be cared for and cherished. Love can grow by taking that one extra step that deepens a relationship, refreshes a friendship, and speaks fluently to the heart.

So, for the last week of September, for the coming days of October, and for all the future, my desire is to take the extra step. My desire is to give beyond the minimum.


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Previous Posts:

Dating Stuff from a Non-Expert

29 Lessons Marriage Has Taught Me


2 thoughts on “The {Re-Learned} Dating Lesson

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