I’ve mentioned before how much I love looking at quotes on Pinterest. Well, I found one the other day that resonated with me and my approach to dating:
“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”
I’m not sure who originally said it, but they knew what they were talking about, in my opinion. There is much to be said for being smart when it comes to who we date and not letting love — or infatuation — cloud our judgement. We can make our lists about all the qualities we want in a spouse and make all these pre-set qualifications for who we let slip through our filters.
We create this perfect person in our minds based on romance movies and novels, our own imaginations and even our comfort zones. But what we too often fail to realize is that we are all sinners and differences don’t have to be bad. No one is perfect. While we’re set on finding that one perfect person to marry, we can forget we’re not perfect ourselves.
I used to struggle with this, big time. In high school and up until the end of my junior year of college, I was notorious for liking someone, discovering the interest was mutual, getting scared, and then finding any reason I could to run before a relationship had a chance to form. I really wanted to date but couldn’t come to grips with the fact that no guy would be absolutely perfect.
By some miracle I did eventually enter a serious relationship, and it changed my perspective. It helped me understand that while a man might have all the qualities I’m looking for in a spouse, I will still find things about him I don’t like. At the same time, there will be things about me that he doesn’t like.
The beauty of love is being able to see the faults of someone else yet loving that person despite themselves and their faults. It is also one of the hardest things about dating. Marriage is the ultimate goal of dating, and it is a lifelong union between two sinners. In order for it to work, those people must work on the ability to be good forgivers. Forgiveness happens daily in relationships because no one is perfect, and I think the importance of that is too often overlooked.
As Christians, we look at things like how spiritually mature someone is and how closely they’re following Scripture. While those things are crucial, it can be really easy to find the one thing that might be wrong and disregard everything else that is right. If everyone did that, we would all be dateless.
One of my favorite things about dating is that when I find someone who complements me, he brings out my best and my worst. He helps me discover what kinds of things I need to work on in my life, and that ultimately pushes me closer to God. That should be our motive in any relationship — that we find someone who brings us closer to God and challenges us to become more like Christ. In turn, we should work on being that person for others.