Lots going on in the heavens I see. ;-)
I was praying for the "On Fire" women a bit earlier and the Spirit was like, "Some of those women do not respect their time. You can tell because they're in dead-end relationships." Whew! Then I went and looked up articles on signs of what a dead-end relationship is.
One article listed 12 things. They were from the "world's perspective" and so I won't list them all, but some of them are *really on point*:
You have nothing to say to each other.
There's a general feeling of disconnect that doesn't go away.
The drama is more exciting than the relationship.
You have so many talks about "us" that there is no "us" anymore.
You fight more than you have fun.
You have sex only because you want him to want you.
He isn't supportive of your work or interests outside the relationship.
I'm not sure WHY a lot of women will think that a stroll down the aisle or a jump over a broom will change these kinds of things. And honestly, that "drama is more exciting than the relationship" and "there's too many talks about 'us'" are the two where the Lord was like "Yeah...reiterate those." High-strung and stressful are not synonymous with passionate and loving. And if you're spending so much time trying to "figure out what this is", there's a *huge chance* that it's not going to be what you want it to be. Guys tend to be *pretty clear* in words and deeds what their intentions are. There's not a lot of need for "interpretation". If you feel like you need to, that's usually just a sign of you being in denial of the signs that he's already given you.
Then, I read an article from a man's perspective. These were his 10 signs that it's time to break up:
Lack of contact
There’s no talk of the future
Lack of effort
Yearning for independence
Change in perception
No more sex
OK, we all know that there should be *no sex* to prevent there from even being "no more sex" (I Corinthians 6:16-20-Message), so let's swap that out for affection. However, it was "There's no talk of the future", "Lack of effort" and "Change in perception" that really caught my attention with this one. Here's what the author had to say on all three:
There's No Talk of the Future: One of the most natural and exciting parts of being involved with someone is planning the future together. You’re perfectly content to plan for the holidays, dream about where you want to make your home, and ponder possible names for your kids because it gives you a feeling of safety. These thoughts of the future perpetuate the sentiment that the two of you will always be a loving couple that grows old together. Raise any of these subjects now, and all you receive is a noncommittal nod or grunt; neither of you are willing to talk about where you want to spend your vacation in the summer or which concerts you want to attend.
I definitely get where he's coming from. For the sake of this audience, I'll just add this: "YOU'RE the only one talking about the future." You initiate the conversation, you nag about the issue, you manipulatively hint around. Guys tend to be planners and so the future is *always* on their radar. If you're on it too, you don't have to bring it up. *He will*.
Lack of Effort: Remember how, when you first got together, neither of you could come up with plans quick enough on what to do together. Long walks, picnics on the beach, spontaneous romantic getaways, and so on, were all romantic options for you and your new lover. Now you can’t even be bothered to arrange a date to keep the passion alive. In fact, you’re happiest when you’re listlessly sitting at home watching TV or a DVD -- anything to avoid talking to each other.
God puts *effort* into loving us just as we are to put *effort* into loving him. This means that it is innately in us to love *proactively*. If you're in a relationship where *mutual effort* (not the effort *you want*, but the godly effort that your spirit man *needs*) is not taking place, you're actually not in a "relationship" but more of a *situation* (LOL). One day, the Spirit and I were talking about this very thing and he was like, "I created you to be a helpmate, but some man's mother or trainer. That's incest, not a relationship." In other words, a man doesn't need to be *taught* by us what he needs to do as a man. He needs to be *supported* in what he's actually doing (when he's doing something). You don't have enough love for you and another person. You only have what you can give. They are responsible for the other part of the contribution to the relationship. I read a quote that said (paraphrased), "When I invest in the relationship, I have part ownership in it." That doesn't mean that you run it; that means that you do have a right to expect effort, though. A wise investment *pays* off. A foolish one puts you into debt.
Change in Perception: Remember how you used to think her little button nose was cute? Or how her strange little laugh was funny and endearing? Now that same button nose makes her look like a pig, and that laugh is less bearable than Fran Drescher’s. When you look at your love bug all you see are her ugly qualities -- physical or otherwise. You look at her now and see cellulite that causes dry heaves and those freckles on her chest make you think of leprosy. If you can’t see past her normal faults, it’s another sign that your relationship has had its day.
A woman who ignores this while dating is oftentimes the woman who is always trying to change her appearance as a wife by altering hair color, switching up her style or killing herself to lose 20 pounds in order to "make her husband want her". It was Bonnie Raitt who once sang, "I can't make you love me if you don't. You can't make your heart feel something it won't." If you allow yourself to feel "less than" in a dating situation, you have "taught" the man in your life to treat you that way in marriage. And here's the thing: When he's *dating* you, he doesn't *have* to commit to you. If he would like to be with someone else, for all parties involved...*he needs to be*. He didn't *vow* to not have another preference...even if you *lied* to yourself and believed that he did. Or should.
I remember Carrie Bradshaw once said, "I am in an emotional cul-de-sac." When you are in a *healthy relationship*, it's not going nowhere. It's growing. It's transforming. It's *going somewhere*. It's doing just what one of my favorite love quotes says:
"As soon as the love relationship does not lead me to me, as soon as I in a love relationship do not lead another person to himself, this love, even if it seems to be the most secure and ecstatic attachment I have ever experienced, is not true love. For real love is dedicated to continual becoming."---Leo Buscaglia
Continually becoming like God *and*, if the relationship is of God, continually making plans for covenant so that they two can work towards *becoming one* (Genesis 2:18-25).
Don't "romanticize your time". Once you spend it, you can't get it back.
Pray about if you are in a *dead-end* relationship so that you can get *rerouted*.
So what you'll be a *wise investor*.