March 26, 2015

what is love?

If you're anything like me, you probably had this running list when you were in middle school or high school of what traits your future husband needed to meet in order to be worthy of you. Even writing that sentence sends chills down my spine because it's such a silly concept, yet something that SO many of my friends did. I don't know who gave us that idea. Who was the first person to scrawl a list of fluffy personality traits, stash it in a hope chest or special drawer, and then share it with their friends? That person, whoever they are, is the worst.

As I get older and singler (not a real word but it works here), I realize how much of that stuff really is just fluff. I remember writing about someone who could play the guitar, led worship at church, was athletic, funny, had dark hair, and just knowing that those things, for me, were non-negotiables (at the time). I think every girl who grew up in a Christian community had a thing for worship band members at one point, if you didn't, you are foreign to me and then who did you even have a crush on?

I was talking to my gal pal Elyse a couple months ago about these silly lists we created and what our lists would look like now, if we were to create one. We started rapidly texting back and forth about things that are important when you're considering investing in someone as a 27 and 28 year old. The thing that tops our lists, still, is someone who is religious. It's not necessarily the person in front of the church, like the worship leader dream boat from our youth, but someone who is an active participant in a body of believers. It means someone who's life truly does revolve around Jesus, in the most genuine and true fashion. All I knew as a seventh grader was that I wanted it to be someone who was super involved at youth group and probably on SALT or LIGHT, which were the names of our 7th and 8th grade leadership teams. That was more for popularity's sake than anything genuine. I wanted a cool church kid- now I just want a real Jesus lover.

We also talked about finances. We don't want to date no scrubs. This doesn't mean we're looking for people with bank accounts that end in infinite zeros (it would obviously have a real number in the front so that it wasn't really just zero dollars). Do you know how to manage money? Can you stick to a budget? Can you balance your check book? Do you spend within your means? Do you maybe have a retirement account or a savings account? These are the traits that are sexy in your late twenties. You don't need to be rich nor do you even need to make a substantial amount of money- just don't be overdrawing all the time and spending money on take out 24/7 when you can't afford to buy more toothpaste. Not sexy.

Understand the importance of family. As I get older, I realize that not everyone grew up in a tight knit family unit like I did. My parents always loved each other, my siblings were mostly always good to me, and my extended family was relatively normal. I say relatively normal because there's some crazies that I share a blood relation with, but we all still love each other. You don't have to be super close to your family or even have the average 2.7 siblings and 1.9 parents, but have a desire to create a family connection.

These are pretty much the most important things- Jesus, responsibility, and family. Everything else, hair color to sense of humor, is all frosting. Sure, it would be great if the person loved all my favorite music and thought that Taylor Swift was the most incredible human, but that's not likely. Unless, of course, I marry myself which is a big no thank you. This may seem unromantic or boring, but it's actually quite exciting as I think about it. Relationships and romance is so much different than I ever could have imagined as a 7th grader, but I'm glad that we change and develop. Otherwise, I'd still be keeping my eyes peeled for a real life Landon Carter and we all know there's no truth to that Nicholas Sparks concept.

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