There is nothing like the beginning of a new relationship to remind me how little space I’ve left in my life for other people. And in that space, there is limited time — the very thing required for a good relationship to grow.
I remember calling my brother during my freshman year of college and talking to him about the possibility of taking on a second major. When he asked if it was necessary for my career, I said no. His advice to me after that was something I still consider to this day — albeit not very well sometimes!
His concern was, “What if you get a boyfriend? You won’t have any time to spend with him.” Leaving room for “fun” has never been much of a concern for me because I enjoy work. One of my greatest pleasures is writing, and since my career requires much of that and often, my work is my play. I enjoy being busy.
When it comes to my relationships, time is one of my biggest struggles. I have to adjust my mindset from being single to making time and saving energy to invest in someone else at the end of the day. So in my relationships, I find myself rearranging my life a little bit. Especially when a relationship is long-distance, I have to intentionally carve out time and be unselfish with it.
It’s funny how God gifts us to grow. I have a tendency to take on way too much because I love what I do. I find myself with hardly enough time to get things done even when I don’t spend much time socializing. I end my days tired and stressed, with little energy left to invest in someone else. But my strongest love language is quality time.
I realized lately that after my last relationship, I kept myself overly occupied so I wouldn’t think about the heartache. One of my biggest mistakes was leaving too much room for my significant other that I ended up neglecting myself. So to balance it out afterward, I focused on myself too much and made myself too busy.
I came out of that relationship working only one job, and I entered this one working three. Thankfully, my boyfriend understands the joy I take in work and has patience with me as I figure out my work-life balance. Instead of forcing myself to keep busy during dry spells in dating, it would have benefited me to pray more for God’s peace in my circumstances.
I should have worked on being content while leaving room for the possibility of a relationship. Instead, I overworked myself to the point of almost being inaccessible. Now I have to take a few steps back in order to be available and find a balance.
Do you have room in your life for someone else? Even if you aren’t currently dating, have you left enough room to allow for the possibility of even meeting a significant other? If you met them today, would you have time in your life for them, or would you have to shuffle things around to make space?