Proverbs 19:21 – Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
We all get burned from time to time in our relationships and it doesn’t matter if you are the one ending the relationship or the one being dumped. I’ve talked about Self Awareness and Wisdom but today it’s all about Intentions, a topic I’ve covered on my old blog. Our intentions and our perception of the other persons intentions have the possibility to either grow or burn the relationship.
I’m a 4 month guy. Meaning that most, OK all but 2, of my relationships lasted 4 months or less. I used to blame the local flower shops and my cooking skills as it always seemed after one of these events I got the boot. Many years went by before I decided it wasn’t my flower choices, or the dinner I cooked but something else. I wasn’t sure WHAT it was but I knew it wasn’t me.
Eric was wrong again.
One of the big things I’ve learned over time is that our intentions will directly dictate the outcome of our actions. In the dating world this is never more apparent. Think back to your dating life, for some of us that will be a hard journey requiring some scrunching up of our faces as we “try” to recall details. When I look back I see a lot of noble intentions but at the same time unreal. I treated almost every girl I dated as someone I’d marry. I was always seeking “the one” and was always so heart broken when it didn’t work out.
In college my intentions where similar but they were a lot more selfish and it was more about what can I get out of this relationship etc. What does this girl have to offer me? etc. My intentions turned from seeking out a wife, to seeking out self gratifying “stuff”. Read into that as much as you feel comfortable doing.
My marriage was all about making me better. Making me a husband, making me a better Christian, making me better overall. My intentions were to be fixed and when that didn’t happen the marriage suffered and ultimately failed.
I can’t speak for you but when I was growing up I was always asking “Why”. I wanted to know why people did things, why things worked they way they did etc. It was not uncommon for my mom to come home and find me sitting in a pile of “parts” as I had decided to dissect the computer, a VCR, tape recorder etc.
I was so curious and my intentions were clear. Tear it apart, figure out how it works and then put it back together so I could continue to use and enjoy it.
I needed to follow this same thinking in my relationships. I would spend so much time and effort trying to get to the finish line that I never learned how to run the race. It’s like taking a hammer to a DVD player so you can see what’s inside and then wondering why it won’t play your movies anymore.
I wish I could say that I discovered this little gem of knowledge right after my divorce but alas I’m still learning how intentions play into a relationship. But I have been able to learn two key pieces of information which I hope will help you.
Understand your intentions – You really have to ask the Why question over and over again until you get to the point where you just can’t answer it, then ask a few more time to make sure. Why are you interested in this person? Why do you want to date this person? Why do you want to learn about their secrets? why do you care? Keep asking until you get to the most finite reason and hopefully you’ll understand your intention.
Understand their intentions – Just because you have understand your intentions doesn’t mean the relationship is going to work. In fact if you only focus on your intentions and not the other persons you’ll be acting pretty selfish. It’s important to understand his or her intentions so you can understand where they are coming from and where they want to go. If you intention is X and their intention is Y then all your efforts to achieve X are going to be thwarted by their attempts to achieve Y.
So how do you see intentions playing a part of your relationships?