I Wasn’t Looking for Anything Serious. But then I Fell in Love.

In my early 20s, I wasn’t ready for marriage and didn’t want to get serious with anybody, but I still dated. And I dated guys who weren’t interested in anything more either. I dated ‘just for fun.’ Looking back, I’m not sure this was the best.

In college I dated a guy who clearly was not ready for a serious relationship. He wasn’t a player or anything; he just needed to heal more from his previous unhealthy long-term relationship. He was up front about the fact that he just wasn’t ready to get serious. This was fine with me as I wasn’t looking for commitment either.

At first, things were a lot of fun. My best friend and I enjoyed hanging out with my new guy and his friends. Every weekend was another party and lots of laughs. My boyfriend and I hadn’t been dating long before he told me he loved me. Not long after that my heart became more invested in him too, despite what my initial plans had been.

Things became physical soon afterwards. In hindsight, sex made it that much harder to leave a bad relationship. Whether we want it to be or not, sex isn’t casual. Learning and experiencing so much about a person is intimate. It just is. I hadn’t intended it, but I now felt bonded to a person I didn’t know well enough to be bonded to.

Then he began to pull away. He would say disrespectful things to me to prove to his friends that their friendship was more important than his relationship with me. It should have been easy to leave the second something irreverent escaped his lips, but I felt bonded to him. Even though I was angry with him, I stuck around.

Our relationship began to burn out. We went to the same parties with the same people making the same jokes. The parties always ended with us fighting and my boyfriend getting drunk enough to pass out. That became our relationship. It wasn’t healthy and it wasn’t even fun, but I had fallen for him.

I wish I had had the strength to break it off earlier, but instead it ended when he broke up with me.

My 20-year-old self was heartbroken for some time. I felt like trash. I felt used and then thrown out like yesterday’s garbage. Even though my head knew that it was for the best and that the relationship caused me more misery than joy, my heart was attached and didn’t want to be without him. Eventually I did get over him, though not before I made embarrassing drunken calls to him one night. I know. Ugh.

What I thought could be casual developed into something very personal. I think it is a sign of self respect to not allow someone to play with your heart who has no intention of ever giving it to you in the first place. Now I think that you shouldn’t date someone unless you think they could be marriage material. If they aren’t looking for a serious commitment, that’s what friendship is for. Why get so deeply involved with someone who views you as their temporary entertainment? That’s setting you up for heartbreak.

My biggest regret about the whole thing is sticking around for so long. If you know he’s not marriage material, don’t waste your time. Free yourself up to meet the person who is.

April

April's primary passion is building and nurturing positive relationships with her husband and their four children. In addition to homemaking, she spends time as a Natural Family Planning Instructor and as the Infertility and Childbearing Coordinator for Elizabeth Ministry International. April writes for I Believe in Love because she has found deep satisfaction and peace in motherhood and marriage, and she would like to encourage others to not be afraid of this path.
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2 Comments

  • L.,

    Yes, I wish I knew well enough then to move on. It is definitely worse when a person isn’t straightforward. I keep going back to my mom’s advice on love to me: “You always know how much a person loves you by how much they are willing to sacrifice themselves for your good.” I suppose if all they have are words, but nothing more, then we need to move on then too.

  • “When someone shows you who they are, believe them”. I’m always grateful for people who start out with honesty. If the man says he’s not ready for a serious relationship at the outset, I know enough to move on. The worst is when they start out by deceiving you. I’ve been strung along several times by people who declared deep feelings for me and said they wanted to marry me. But years went by and revealed the truth.

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