Tag: relationship

The Comparison Ends Here.

comparison

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the idea of comparison and what it can do to us.

I’ve heard a lot of people say before that comparison is the thief of joy, and that is definitely true. But more of what I am coming to realize is that comparison is the thief of compassion.

So, confession, I struggle with comparison. I think all us girls do in some way or another. We all have a comparison trap, whether it’s body image, relationship goals, career aspirations, or a standard that you are trying (or supposed to be) living up to. And that just a small sampling of the long, long list.

We compare ourselves to others all the time, but not only that, we get compared to others… and standards others have.

Anyway, the idea I have been thinking a lot about lately is looking at the way comparison literally strips us our individuality, and the compassion we have for ourselves and others.

I feel like I need to scream this from the rooftop, so I’ll put it on the internet and see who finds it. Here is the truth:

YOU were created to be YOU.

…and sometimes, as simple as that statement is, it is incredibly hard to accept, both for you and for others.

People don’t talk about how hard it is to accept yourself, especially when the person who you actually are feels at odds against the world. Being authentically YOU and building a life that is centered around your unique gifts and talents is no doubt an uphill battle, just as most things in life that are worth striving for.

Cause chances are, if you are being yourself, it is going to come with some friction. The reason there is friction is because of comparison.

So imagine this scenario… you are climbing a mountain. This mountain represents some goal you are pushing towards or trying to achieve. You are doing a pretty good job… even though it was hard to motivate yourself to get started, now you are making some serious progress. Suddenly, the mountain starts to get really steep, and it gets slippery, and you start to slide. Then you start sliding down, down, and further down, until you are back where you started.

The slippery, sliding part of the mountain? That’s comparison. It backtracks all our progress…

…and suddenly we are down at the bottom the mountain, feeling bad about ourselves, and not only that, feeling bad about the people and expectations we compared ourselves to.

For example, I love writing. I feel confident in my ability to write and share words with the world. But sometimes, it is extremely, EXTREMELY hard to even sit down at my computer to type and get the words out. And you know why?

Because I literally sit and compare myself to every blogger, influencer, and writer I know or follow, and think to myself “why should I even bother? I’ll never be as good as them.” So I’ll take the little bit that I wrote, erase it, and wait until the next time.

This is not my attempt to fish for affirmation because obviously if you’re reading this you probably don’t feel that way, but if I’m being super honest with you, that is a real struggle of mine. You probably have those insecurities too.

Well, my friend, this is what I have to say to you today:

THE COMPARISON ENDS HERE.

I’m putting this on my blog, because that’s where I need to see it.

Maybe you need to put it on your bathroom mirror. Your desk at work. Maybe you need to text it to a family member or friend.

But the truth is, the comparison needs to stop somewhere. Otherwise, we will continue to run in circles trying to become just like everyone else. And in out search to become everyone else, we will lose our compassion for ourselves and others.

I read somewhere that compassion motivates us to go out of our way to care for others: physically, mentally, and emotionally. The opposite of compassion is selfishness and greed. And what’s more selfish and greedy than wishing to be someone who we are not?

Let this be the point in your life where comparison ends, and compassion begins… compassion for yourself, and all those around you.

Friend, you were created for much too much in this life to let it pass by you pretending to be someone you’re not.

Today, EMBRACE who you were made to be, and live in purpose. Let that purpose guide you into places where you can show others compassion, kindness, and love.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that who you are is not enough.

And remember: compassion begins where comparison ends.
So… let’s start right now! Drop a comment below about ONE way you want to vow to STOP the comparison in your life and BEGIN to show compassion to yourself and others… I’ll be the first! 😉

<3 Britt

5 Qualities Christian Men Look for in a Girlfriend (From a Guy’s Perspective!)

What do guys really want?

This is a question I asked myself for many years. Oftentimes, I ended up looking in the wrong places, leading me to draw the wrong conclusions. Been there before?

Being a girl in this day and age is hard, let alone trying to be a girl following Jesus. Anyone else feel the struggle? As young women, we are constantly being targeted and lied to about our worth, which heavily impacts how we perceive relationships. One of the biggest culprits, you ask?  

It’s way too easy to muddle what culture tells us guys want with what men who are pursuing the Lord actually want.

Culture today tells us that the quality of our relationships is tied to our sex appeal. Being superficial is okay. Dumbing ourselves down is “cute”. Having ambition isn’t necessary. And the depth of our conversations is unimportant.

What culture tells us that guys’ want will ultimately lead us to destruction, heartbreak, and shame.
But God doesn’t want that for you.
He has so, so much more in store for you.
And that “so much more” is a man who is chasing after Jesus, and who wants to chase after you, too.

So… what do those guys… the ones chasing after Jesus today, look for in a woman worth pursuing?

On our flight home from my friend’s wedding, I asked my boyfriend Michael to narrow down the TOP 5 things that Christian guys are looking for in a girl. Here’s what he had to say… with my personal tips on ways to apply this information in order to become a woman worth pursuing!

1.) Loves the Lord

“I can only be fully understood by somebody who shares my beliefs and convictions. Without this, it would be difficult to remain on the same page as you navigate through a relationship.” -M
This may be the most obvious, but is also the most important. If you want to be with a guy who loves the Lord, you should be pursuing the Lord and making Him the #1 priority in your life.
TIP: Instead of spending your time pursuing a guy, spend your time pursuing the Lord. Your relationship with Jesus is, and always will be, the most important relationship you maintain throughout your whole life. Authenticity in your faith will lead to authenticity in your other relationships.

2.) Trustworthy

“A guy has to find someone who he knows has the right intentions, and knows won’t compromise a relationship when the guy has put his heart out there.” -M
Healthy, lasting relationships are built on trust. Because of this, men who are looking for a serious relationship are also looking for someone who is equally as committed as they are.
TIP: Before getting into a relationship, ask yourself this question: How committed are you to the relationships in your life right now? When you make plans with people, do you keep them? Are you a loyal person with lasting friendships? Are you able to keep confidential information private, rather than sharing it with everyone? If the answer to these questions is yes, chances are, maintaining the level of trust that Christian men are looking for in a relationship should come easy to you.

3.) Fun & Adventurous

“Most guys want someone who likes to live life and be out there. Be bold, go do what you want… be yourself.” -M
A guy who is looking for a serious relationship is looking for someone he can build a life with. He is looking for an individual with strong convictions & goals to achieve!
TIP: Pursue your passions. Chase your dreams. Create a life that you love. A guy worth having will see that and say “Wow, she’s passionate & driven. I want to be a part of that.”
DO NOT wait to find a guy to start your life.

4.) Likable by Others

“A guy doesn’t want to bring a girl around who gives a bad impression to his friends… he wants to bring a girl that he is proud of.” -M
Basically, this one boils down to this. A guy who is looking for a serious relationship is looking for someone that he can bring into his life… not isolate him from it. However, being likable doesn’t mean altering your personality or behavior to get people to like you. It just means being yourself and genuinely caring about the lives of others! Radiate the love of Christ.
TIP(S): Instead of trying of trying to make yourself more important in his world by being clingy and isolating him into spending time with you, enter into his life and allow him into yours, and you will naturally become more important to Him.

5.) Accepts Me For Who I Am

I think Michael said this one best, so I’ll just quote him 😉
“As guys, we have been conditioned to have it all together, to be the leader, and to not let a girl down. Those are the pressures we have to live with. We are supposed to have it all together before even considering asking a girl out. This is unrealistic. We don’t have it all together, and it produces anxiety when we fall short in our relationships.
Plus, when you grow together, instead of entering into a relationship with a guy who already has it together, you get to experience the joy & accomplishment of growth and learning, instead of just being with the ‘final product’. The former is much deeper and much more meaningful. That’s why it is essential that the woman we fall in love with is someone who loves us for who we are, and not our merits or accomplishments.” -M
TIP: Just learn to love people for who they are… not what they do, where they are going in life, or who they could be. Also, be an encourager in the lives of others!

 

Okay, so… let’s be honest here.

The reason you clicked on this post is because you were curious about what Christian guys want in a relationship, and you wanted an answer about what you need to do in order to win one over.

So here’s the answer you are looking for: just be yourself. Remember all those tips you just read? Focus on those things right there.

Pursue the Lord and create an authentic relationship with Him.

Commit to and make time for the people in your life right now.

Create a life you love by pursuing your dreams & passions.

Love people for who they are, not who they could be.

Then, when the right guy comes along, he is going to walk into the life of a beautiful woman who radiates the love of the Lord. She loves people authentically and selflessly, and she chases the dreams & passions that God has placed on her heart. And he’s going to say:

“Wow. This is the woman who is worth pursuing for the rest of my life.”

That, my friend, is God’s “so much more” for you.

<3, Britt

Why Codependency is Destroying Your Relationship (& The Healthy Solution!)

I remember when I got my first cell phone. At age thirteen, it was everything I ever wanted… it had a sliding keypad, built-in camera, a bedazzled phone case, and was brand new. After I received it, I wouldn’t let it out of my sight. I would even lay it on the bathroom counter when I showered so I could check my messages the second I got out. I would say I was possessive, obsessive, and borderline dependent on my cell phone.

I think sometimes when we get something that is exactly what we want, it is hard to not become possessive and obsessive over it, even to the point of dependency.

& I think the place where I see this most frequently is in relationships.

My boyfriend and I have had multiple discussions about dependence: being independent, being codependent, having a healthy dependence, and everything in-between.

Dependency in relationships, especially dating relationships, is a tricky topic. There should be some level of dependency in a relationship… after all, the purpose of dating is to determine if you want to spend the rest of your life with that person, which involves meshing various aspects of your life together. But how much is too much?

I think a safe place to draw the line is codependence.

Codependence, in essence, is present in a relationship in which there is a psychological reliance of one person on another. This is manifested in a way that makes it so that the codependent person does not allow the other person to have a life outside of the relationship.

Need to be with your boyfriend 24/7? Codependence.

Does your boyfriend feel the need to constantly check up on you when you’re not together? Codependence.

Are you not allowed to hang out with your friends unless your BF says you can (or vice-versa)? Codependence.

I think the problem people have with codependence is this: they have difficulty recognizing it. Just like the new cell phone I got when I was thirteen, we often become enamored by our significant other in a relationship, because ideally, they are exactly what we want. We think that needing to be together is sweet, after all, who doesn’t want to feel needed? However, what we don’t realize is that this enamor can soon lead to possessive and obsessive feelings, which can lead to dependency.

Once codependency is rooted in a relationship, it can cause individuals to lose their sense of self, and create a severe sense of mistrust within the relationship, ultimately leading to destruction.

So if codependence kills relationships, and complete independence is impossible due to the nature of relationships, what is the solution?

Healthy dependence– & here are 4 ways to identify and develop healthy dependence in a relationship!

  1. Wanting to be together (& not needing to be).

    Should you want to be with the person you’re in a relationship with? YES! Should you need to be? No. There’s a difference. Wanting to be together is looking forward to when you get to see each other, spend time together, and tell each other about your day, versus needing to be together, which is a consuming mindset.

  2. Letting the other person have friends.

    This might seem obvious, but it’s important. Letting your boyfriend have their own friends and allowing them to spend time with someone other than you, and having the same freedom, is very important. You should look forward to the time you get to spend with each other, rather than feel obligated. Not allowing your BF (or not being allowed) to have friends outside the relationships is a sign of both mistrust and codependency.

  3. Maintaining your own hobbies, interest, personality, and beliefs.

    When getting into a relationship, don’t sacrifice who you are for a guy. Chances are, the reason they liked you in the first place are for all the things that make you YOU. In addition, don’t get into a relationship with the intention of changing someone. If your partner tries to change who you are, chances are, the relationship is not going to last, or will lead to codependence. 

  4. Trust.

    The foundation to every healthy relationship is trust.  Trusting a person whether you are with or without them allows for a relationship to thrive and grow… 24/7 companionship does not.

“Not needing to need, but choosing to need.”

Overall, the key to having healthy dependence versus codependence in a relationship is wanting to need versus needing to need. Wanting to need is far more powerful than needing to need, because it is dependent on a choice rather than an impulse. 

If you want to need someone, you make a choice every single day to love them and make them a priority in your life. You know they will be there for you, and you will be there for them, but you don’t have to rely on them for fulfillment. Jesus is the only one who can satisfy that need.

If you are living in a codependent relationship today, be brave,  make the choice to have a choice.