Ben Higgins – The Mahogany Workplace – In The Woods
Relationships

My Dreams for a Relationship

I am not a great dater. I don’t have a ton of “game.” I quite honestly would like to have swag, but I don’t… and as hard as I’ve tried, at 28 years old, I don’t see this changing any time soon. However, I feel pretty comfortable in awkward situations, which is good, because most of my first dates have been awkward (admittedly my fault). I do my best to be a man who will support a woman well, and I do believe this is one of my strengths. As I reflect on my future wife, I’ve determined who I want to be for her. Here are three roles I want to fulfill (more to come in subsequent posts):

Companionship

What in the world does it mean to be my bride’s companion? Quite simply, I want my wife to always knowwith confidence and security—that I will stand by her no matter what life brings. I want her to know I will be there, and I want to believe that she will always be there for me.

I’ve seen this with my parents. As the relationship example I’ve witnessed my whole life, my parents show me that life will throw us situations that aren’t easy or ideal. They’ve stood by each other through cancer, job loss, weakening romance, death, heart disease, and their son going on a dating show and making out with 26 incredible women on national television.

Life’s given them many issues during many seasons, but they stand firm in their foundation: When life gets hard, they must love harder. I often hear the statement, “Relationships are hard.” Honestly, it doesn’t sit well with me. I understand the idea of bringing two unique individuals together—it’s really challenging—but why do we define it as hard? I can’t help but wonder… When we state that “relationships are hard,” are we simply settling for a small definition of one of the most magical aspects to life.

Sure, relationships are hard, but they’re also beautifully fulfilling and indiscernibly complex. When life brings you a relationship (romantic or not), it will change you. The beauty of companionship is that when life changes you, you will always have someone by your side. Furthermore, I think that if we choose the right companion, it will not be as hard as the world tells us.

Sacrifice

I want my future wife to feel loved and be loved by me. I believe that when it comes to romantic relationships, the commitment to love the other above yourself is the core decision for a healthy forever. It’s not an easy choice. You must literally decide to give up part of yourself to your partner.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you should lose your identity or your dreams when you enter into a committed forever. What I’m saying is that you should commit to laying down your own life at the feet of what is right, what is honorable, and what is loving—in the best interests of your life partner. I also believe that when you choose the right person, sacrificing becomes a little more natural.

A dance partner

Allow me to get weird for a second. After all, this is my blog. Recently, I found myself thinking a lot about past and current relationships. Some have fallen away from me, and others are closer than I thought they’d be. Nevertheless, they’ve all affected me.

I sat here on my couch tonight. The lights were off; the house was quiet; and I stared at a burning candle (this one actually), preparing to write this post. The candle’s fire swayed and changed direction, affected by the smallest movements in this open space (You gave me permission to get weird). I can’t help but compare our lives to the wind’s effect on this small fire. Life is so fragile. The smallest decisions, the simplest movements, can change our direction and affect the future forever.

Admittedly, relationships can be the catalyst to the directions we choose in our lives. They’re the ways we “move” in this crazy world we’re all trying to figure out. The best relationships are just like a dance. Both parties are trying their best to help the other person move in a fruitful, beautiful way. Personally I’m not a great dancer. But with the right partner guiding me, helping me, teaching me, I can thrive—or at least look like I know what I’m doing.

By Ben Higgins

What are your dreams for your present or future relationship?

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Amanda L
    June 27, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    First of all, I can’t believe you paid that much for a candle!! Ha! Secondly, what I have a problem with is too many people just run at the site of a problem. Sometimes they can be worked out and resolved and other times they cannot. I feel like I am one of the most loyal people anyone will ever meet. My past speaks volumes. My job, friendships, romantic relationships, etc. What I don’t understand is why aren’t more people loyal? Like in the good ‘ol days. And third, respect. Why is it so hard for people to give respect. I try to be so thoughtful and understanding of others feelings. Why can’t I get that in return? Sorry for the ramblings, there are just too many things I don’t understand anymore. 🙂

  • Reply
    Danielle
    June 28, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Each of your goals/expectations are very important not only in marriage but in any relationship that will last long term. My husband and I have been together for 8 years and married for 3 and during that time we’ve both had to learn how to give our relationship and each other 100% of ourselves to make it work. And let me just say it’s so rewarding when you do because you really realize what love and partnership is all about! Your experiences have taught you so much about the type of partner you are looking for and the type of husband you want to be and that is something to be very greatful for! I know you will find the person who you are meant to enjoy life with! Just be yourself no matter how weird or uncool you think you are because the person you’re meant to be with will love you just as you are! 😊

  • Reply
    Kimberly
    July 11, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Hope.

    “Hope” was my word for 2017. Every year I ask the Lord to give me a word- something to think about or work on. This year was hope. I’d deny it if anyone really asked me, but I honestly took it to mean “hope for a partner.” We’re only halfway through the year but I find myself hopeless today. It’s exhausting waking up day after day to be reminded that while I’ve had an awesome 29 years of singleness, adventure, and travel, my heart suddenly aches for a man. I dated in high school and college but found myself burnt out with the façades and selfishness that seem so prominent in relationships; I decided to be intentionally single. I’ve been intentionally single for seven years. I’m done. I want a partner. I want someone to cook with, shoot hoops with, pray with, walk with, hike with, travel with… but what I see around me makes me hopeless. It’s ironic that when I suddenly decide that I want a relationship, all the relationships around me are falling apart. How is it that my high school friends are on their second or third marriages? How is it that in just this past year I’ve heard of at least five affairs? Something is wrong. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t scare me.

    “Love.” Why does it seem that no one knows how to use this word? People seem to throw this word around like they do with food. Love. “I love pizza!” (Ok… but tomorrow, will sushi sound better?” Maybe the word that’s really hurting me is commitment. I want a “until death do us part” moment. No, not a moment. A lifetime. I want to wake up next to someone every day whether it’s a day where he’s adorably drooling on his pillow because we stayed up all night talking and he’s exhausted, or he’s hugging his pillow at the edge of the bed turned away from me because we fought all night and I STILL wake up saying “until death do us part.” I don’t want “pizza love.” “Pizza love” is selfish (“I love this because it will satisfy me today”). NO! I want, “how can I serve him in love today?” that’s reciprocated with, “how can I serve her in love today?” I look at my grandparents’ generation and see this. I look at our generation though, and it’s a “Where’s Waldo?- The Nightmare Edition” situation.

    Out of respect to every cheesy “Faith, Hope, Love” bumper sticker out there, I feel I should end with “Faith.” My hope comes and goes but faith seems to remain. My faith dictates a lot of my ideas about love. “Dancing” has also been a theme for me this year. One of the most profound sentences I heard in prayer this year was, “Climb on My feet and let Me lead this dance.” Ultimately, I know that no matter how bad the relationships around me are, I shouldn’t fear my future in regards to relationships. I hand the pen over to the Author of love to write my love story. He writes better stories anyways.

    Ahhh.. there’s my hope.

    • Reply
      Elizabeth
      July 28, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      I really enjoyed reading your comment! I find myself in the same situation, single in mid/late 20s. Let us continue to place our hope in one sure thing everlasting–love of God 🙂

      • Reply
        Kimberly
        August 17, 2017 at 9:04 pm

        Absolutely! I’ll be praying for you, girl! It’s rough sometimes but ooooohhhhhhh HE is SO good! <3

    • Reply
      Emmeli
      September 29, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Wow!
      Thanks for this comment! It lifted my spirit today! 37 and single but still try to hope.

  • Reply
    Oceana
    July 16, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    forget swagger, your heart and soul are so dreamy!! <3

  • Reply
    Jessica
    July 17, 2017 at 10:52 pm

    Really respect what you have to say here. I think the Lord in His timing will provide that companion for you if you continue to align your heart with His. Thanks for your honesty.

    Also, I’ll be in Denver for a wedding in August if you are looking for a date. I love good cuisine, traveling and football. I’m a pretty good dancer myself. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kayla
    July 18, 2017 at 12:26 am

    I’m really happy I came across this post. Honestly though, what makes anyone a great dater? Sometimes I think we have such high expectations for our significant others or ourselves that it takes the fun and beauty out of dating. I could be wrong (I have never dated.) Yet, I know I’ve been heartbroken over friendships. And sometimes I feel like relationships should start off as friendships first but then there’s always the intent and optimism of hope of being something more.

    Love is so beautiful but it also terrifying, and it’s not a decision to be made lightly. I continuously wonder what the man I’ll marry will be like but I never pray to become the woman my husband needs. And when I look around the marriages that have influenced my life we’re all Christ centered. My parents celebrated their 32nd anniversary. I couldn’t be more happy and the way my Dad looks at
    Mom is like the first time all over again.

    That’s what I want:

    Passion, a love so strong that I can’t imagine another tomorrow. Passion in our laughter, someone I can grow old with. A gentleman that refuses to let the passion in our marriage die. A passion for commitment and our family. A leader of the household who is not only going to partner with me but guide our children.

    Friendship: Friendship means so much to me. I think it’s important to laugh, love and to live life. I want a friend that is going to explore, a friend that is going to encourage me, a friend that is in my corner rooting for me.
    A friend that is going to help me back up when I fall. Someone who is down to create memories no matter how ridiculous it sounds.
    Someone who is bold, and true.

    And I say all of this and it terrifies me because a love that strong sounds magical and intangible. I want it though, and I think everyone deserves. The wait doesn’t matter,
    it would be awesome to find that kind of love anywhere but I truly believe it’s one of a kind and it’s all about waiting on Gods timing but also being faithful to Him. So in the midst of all of this.
    Wait for the girl you’re going to ask to dance with forever. Wait for the girl who you can’t wait to see smile, wait for the girl who will love all of your imperfections.

  • Reply
    Meg
    July 18, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Very sweet. But what kind of wife do you want? You seem to be a selfless giver. You deserve someone worth more than rubies. A wife of noble character, who can find?

    • Reply
      Kara
      August 21, 2017 at 12:15 am

      Amen!!

  • Reply
    Christine W
    July 20, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    So sweet & selfless- beautiful writing Ben 💗

  • Reply
    Kristina S
    July 28, 2017 at 6:53 am

    I’ve never left a comment on a blog before (ha!) but your post really reasonated with me. I like your writing style and adore your heart. My Midwestern parents celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary just yesterday; I’m refusing to settle for anything less than a companionship like that!

  • Reply
    Dana
    August 2, 2017 at 6:01 am

    I disagree with the part about loving the other person more than you love yourself. I think this is a common mistake everyone makes. It’s not a selfish act to love yourself; I feel that if you truly love yourself and are whole and confident on your own, that it is when you are able to really give love, commitment and sacrifice to the other person. Loving yourself first is the foundation for a healthy relationship in my opinion.

  • Reply
    Nicole Claire
    August 9, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    I really feel encouraged by everyone’s comments. It’s nice to know there’s others in the same place as you and can relate. Being single in your 20s can be fun yet discouraging at the same time. You are able to do so much when you are single, traveling for me is a big goal for myself and just exploring the world! Although as a single person you are constantly surrounded by friends that are in relationships around you and wonder why you can’t have it as well. You then think maybe I’m not doing something right? Clearly other people are doing something right because they found someone. But recently I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching myself and I needed to know that you don’t have to be doing something right to find the right person. There is a time for everyone and everything, and I truly believe with my heart that God is molding me to be the best person I can be for myself and ( if it is God’s will) for my husband. You never know what your significant other is going through at this moment and where their heart is. Maybe right now God has us all ( including me) in a place where I still have ruff edges that he wants to smooth out . And no I probably won’t be perfect by the time I meet my husband, and neither will he. But with that said sometimes I forget that I’m already in a relationship. The most purest and perfected relationship you can ever have, and that’s only with Christ. I can’t wait to meet my husband one day and be with him in the good and bad. Highs and lows. My friends always tell me how loyal and devoted I am. And I can’t wait to be able to be loyal and devoted to a husband one day, and encouraging each other spiritually . And having fun and just being weird together!
    Enjoying being in the now and take in where you are now because who knows who will be around the corner 😉

    Ben I have really enjoyed reading your blogs and just seeing how you are allowing God to flow and shine through you! I know you are going to meet an amazing woman and I can tell you are going to treat her like gold! I really admire how genuine and humble you are, it’s rare that guys are like that these days. Keep giving the glory to God and he will certainly bless you! He has great things coming your way! Matthew 6:31-33

  • Reply
    Gab
    August 16, 2017 at 8:53 pm

    I found myself sitting across from a couple about two weeks ago. I couldn’t help but notice the lack of trust one had for the other as she peered over his shoulder everytime he checked his phone (not to mention he shouldn’t have had it at dinner) and the controlling behaviors being exchanged. So I wrote myself a promise and it read:

    Relationships don’t have to be hard. When you find the right person you no longer have to “make it work” because it will work. I want someone that doesn’t believe I’m their one true love, but believes they can take on the challenges of life with me as my partner for the rest of our lives. You can’t settle for someone you have doubts about. Trust and loyalty is crucial to an everlasting companionship. So I promise myself to no longer “make it work” with people I have doubts about, but continue to hope for a partner that fits.

  • Reply
    Sara
    August 17, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your perspective. I honestly don’t hear from too many men about this sort of thing so it is refreshing to be able to read and understand another’s point of view/beliefs on this topic. Although I don’t know you personally, I feel like I wish there were more guys like you out here in the world and I pray to God one finds me someday.

    • Reply
      Kara
      August 21, 2017 at 12:13 am

      Sara,
      I second this!! I mirror this sentiment. I don’t want to whine.. but if I may for a moment: Every comment I scrolled through is from a woman. I am in daily prayer and meditation, as it says make our requests known, that God is going to reveal our Ben Higgins Sara.. or a man that is Christ-like. i also am praying for mothers and fathers of sons to be earnest in parenting boys to be leaders and not some spiritual foofoo. Thank you Mr and Mrs Higgins!! Keep holding on❤

  • Reply
    Megan
    August 18, 2017 at 4:39 am

    You are such a talented writer!

  • Reply
    Janelle Barnett
    September 26, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    These are solid goals for sure. I feel like when you talk about relationships referred to as “hard” I understand that, and it is indeed misused. I would say a healthy challenge, for sure. Why marry someone exactly like you? That’s no fun at all. Committing to someone who is a healthy mirror in your life to help bring out your best “you” is what we all want (also super obsessed with the enneagram, really helpful with understanding yourself and people in general). I think if a relationship is a challenge, I think it is a good thing because it means you are both fighting for each other. It’s when it’s “easy” that you just don’t care and sometimes even walk away, which is so frustrating. Much respect, Ben! Keep bringing your thoughts and good truth to the table!

  • Reply
    Haley
    September 28, 2017 at 12:34 pm

    In the first chapter of Tim Keller’s, “Jesus the King,” he talks about love (the Holy Trinity) as the “Divine Dance.” Maybe you’re not so weird after all 😉 I would very much recommend this book if you’ve never given it a go. It actually moved me to tears…Even if you just read the beginning, it’s groundbreaking.

    Best,
    Haley

  • Reply
    Emmeli
    September 29, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    I started to read and find that I do agree with a lot you wrote, but I can’t agree with “I also believe that when you choose the right person, sacrificing becomes a little more natural.” The right person myth is ruining a lot of relationships. I saw that you listen to Andy Stanley and I hope you have seen “The new rules for love, sex and dating”. We need to practice everything! even sacrifice.
    But thanks for a beautiful blog and for your passion to help others!
    http://northpoint.org/messages/the-new-rules-for-love-sex-and-dating

  • Reply
    Molly
    October 12, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    I am terrible at dating, and honestly, I believe it’s because I’m awkward AF…Ohhh and I have a mouth like a sailor.
    I am a firm believer (ask my mother) that relationships (the right ones) should not be and are not ‘hard.’ I believe there are challenges life brings us, that we as a couple compromise through. These challenges are meant to bring us closer together as a couple and meant to help us grow…as individuals and as a couple.

    -BUT- when one individual has a challenge, I believe the other should say, “WE have this challenge, let’s work though this together.”

    Because I took that one sociology class, I learned there are a lot of guys across the face of the Earth that I would really mesh well with, however I believe the Father of all fathers will move mountains to put the best one in my life at the right time.

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