Are you old enough to date?

With love day approaching I wanted to spend my next few posts on love, dating and a little in between. If you know me then you know it's no secret that I am divorced and single. I have had a couple of relationships since my divorce and learned so much from each one of them. I was married young and for close to 13 years and honestly hadn't had a chance to ever truly grow maturely in the relationship area until after I divorced.

Most people don't know this but the human brain doesn't fully develop until around the age of 25 and there are also studies that suggest that your full cognitive function doesn't develop until around 30, this means the ability to solve problems and identify patterns etc isn't there yet and your brain is more adolescent than you'd like to think. There is not one single person who is considered an adult that wants to hear that they are NOT actually capable of "adulting" just yet lol but it's the truth. You are not as ready as you think you are when you're young. I think once people start understanding this that they won't be as hard on themselves with timelines on where they should and should not be at a certain age. Sadly, social media doesn't help because it forces everyone to believe they are behind in life, in EVERYTHING at all times.

What I am essentially saying is, I was married by the age of 23 and had a kid already that was coming up on his 2nd birthday by the time I said "I do" and as much as I thought I was, I literally wasn't ready in a scientific way just yet to take on marriage. I didn't know who I was as much as I thought I did and as much as we all think we do at that age but the fact is we just don't. If we are not even sure of who we are what makes us think we are capable of choosing a mate! We were two kids, a little damaged in our own respective ways that didn't know what the heck we were doing.

When I made the decision that divorce was the only option I didn't come at it lightly but it was the best option for me (disclaimer: I am not pro divorce). I have now been divorced 6 years and honestly since then and a few relationships later I now appreciate more than ever the opportunity to be more selective, slow down and truly make conscious decisions in dating. I want to remarry, I am confident I will. I am not one of these people that banish myself to singledom for the rest of my life because I'm afraid to commit again. I am careful with my words as well and won't even speak it over myself because I truly believe in the manifestation behind what we speak. I am truly confident that God has the right person for me. Meanwhile, I am using this opportunity to work on myself, accomplish goals, learn more about me and understand more of what I do and don't like and I truly believe it is a gift to be able to use my time in this way.

If more people self searched vs pointing the finger after failed relationships I think so much more would be accomplished. Just think, if we focused on our own mess instead of being a victim there would be less brokenness. Even if a person you were in a relationship with wronged you, dig into "you" and determine what broken parts of "you" attracted you to them. Not saying it's always the case but the "inner work" is far more effective than being focused on someone else. The inner work can also include being better about spotting someone that isn't good for you sooner and making peace with when to let go. When you begin doing your inner work and determining your own likes and dislikes, things you need to fix, what you will and will not accept, you'll begin to see people with far more clarity and become far more selective. You will stop accepting every invitation that comes your way and you will learn to be ok with having conversations with people and being able and being ok with saying "this isn't a match", doesn't mean this person is a bad person just not for me instead of forcing it longer than necessary just to say you have someone.

There are certain qualities I pray for in a future mate and now more than ever I am able to make more cognitive decisions in who I give my time too based on this. My list is more God centric, like they have to love God for starters but also praying that they are also preparing themselves for me and that they too are working on breaking generational curses. I am not doing the whole pray for what Ciara has in Russell thing LOL as we know most people want to know what her prayer was but no, I spend real time thinking and deciding what I want for me and what is important for me and now more than ever when I have a conversation with someone I can determine fairly quickly if this person is a good fit.

This is what "adulting" and dating should be right? Remember this is someone that you are saying you want to spend your life with possibly and it'd be far more greater for you to nip it early if it isn't quite right. However, I want to be very clear this is not to be mistaken for seeking perfection, that's impossible so you can hang that up right now. You will not find it, not one person on this planet is perfect, not even you so be very careful of being ridiculous with your standards, your list if that's what you want to call it should be based on things deeper than the basic list of standards you see floating around in memes on the internet. I can't tell you what your personal list should be nor should anyone else, but just think through what is really important.

If you're single like me it's time you really reflect on how you're spending your time, how are you preparing yourself for your future mate so that you don't end up in a situation of forcing relationships. I want to spend my lifetime with someone I can laugh and joke with, not someone I forced it with. Give yourself grace and compassion in this process and just remember nobody has a perfect relationship. Do not put timelines on yourself because you are seeing couples posted on Facebook in matching pajamas lol, you don't know what is going on behind the scenes of their life. This is your journey and this is more than just someone you want to be able to "post" with. If you get sick, will this person be able to take care of you? If you are having a bad day will they be able to empathize with you? These are just a couple of things that are far greater than a picture on the internet so take your time and appreciate the ride.

Remember love is light, love is peace, love is purpose.

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