1. Who am I?
In my opinion, a major key to thriving romantic relationships is a never-ending curiosity of the other person. This curiosity is what makes when you first get to know someone so exhilarating. There’s so much to discover, explore, and enjoy. You can stay up all hours of the night talking, messaging, commenting, liking posts, and FaceTiming… The problem with many relationships is people stop being intrigued by who the other is. We become complacent in our relationships and stop our curiosity towards who they are and who they are becoming. It is only possible to inquire of someone else, what you have learned to inquire about yourself. Thus, the deeper you go on your interior journey, the deeper you will be allowed to search and seek for another. Do the hard, humbling, and honest work of self-reflection. Learn about your social or ethnic identity, your family roots, and do counseling to help you understand why you think the way you do. When you spend time looking deeply at who you are, you will have the tools and e experience required to have the honor of doing that with someone else.
2. Who else is walking with us?
In the American context, people worship competition, individualism, and instant gratification. Because of this we have lost the gift of community and realizing how interconnected and interdependent we all are. And when we think about our relationships, many of us keep them privatized. This has resulted in many romantic relationships missing out on the type of bonding which happens in social settings among close friends and peers. We see another side of someone when they are navigating through interactions (the good, the bad, the ugly) with others. Building a deep relationship with someone takes time and many different environments. Time is difficult for us because we want everything fast and easy. We have forgotten that often the most profound joy we experience is after prolonged wait. Now, I’m not talking about waiting in the sense of time (although it could be that), but I am talking about the type of waiting that isn’t hurried in a relationship but is about being present. As you are present to someone you date, who are those around you who are present to you? How is that shaping where you are going and who you are becoming? I would venture to say that more important than what you do together is who is doing it with you.
3. Is this person someone I am compelled to suffer with and for?
Nobody’s life, relationships, marriage, kids, friends, family is perfect. It is a certainty that we all experience varying degrees of suffering in our lives. When you fall in love with someone, you are choosing to engage in a relationship so deep that it is inevitably going to cause you to rethink, reimagine, and re-envision what life is about. Especially if you choose to enter into a marriage with this person. In marriage, you are committing your past, present, and future to them and inviting them to co-create abundant life with you. You should consider this truth as time passes, whether you are compelled in such a powerful way, you desire connection with them more than how you thought things would/should always be. If you can honestly sense a deep enough pull in your heart toward this person, then buckle up because you’re in for more than you can imagine.
INSTAGRAM & TWITTER: @AIZAIAHYONG
Aizaiah is a compassionate and visionary leader who has a heart for ministry and people. He spent the past five years serving as an Associate Pastor at a local church and has recently transitioned into higher education leadership focusing on Diversity and Intercultural Development. He is husband to his wife, Neddy Yong for 4 years and a father to his newborn baby girl, Serenity Joy. Aizaiah loves adventure, sports, and meeting people! He has a deep passion to inspire anybody who will listen to join in on God's renewing work in the community and world. He is currently working at Vanguard University as the lead for Diversity and Inclusion and resides with his family in Anaheim, California.