I was talking with my friend Tammy the other day and she shared an insight after reflecting on a recent romantic relationship of hers – an insight which I thought was completely profound. And I asked her if I could blog about it, and she said yes. So here I go. Overall, I feel like a lot of people struggle with figuring out whether a person they like, or the person they are with, is right for them, is the one for them, is best for them. Whether it’ll last, whether it’ll stand the test of time. Or whether it will end in heartache or heartbreak. And perhaps awful, avoidable regret. And perhaps the more relationships you’ve had, the less likely you are to just throw yourself into it and go for it and see what happens. Because you’ve been wounded before, and scars remain, and walls remain that have been build up for protection. All of this is natural.

So it’s perfectly normal to wonder, and to think hard about it, and to analyze situations and behaviors and responses, and to get input and advice from mentors and friends and parents, and to do all that you can to make sure that the decision you make is the right decision. Of course, we can never be sure. We can never guarantee that it’s going to work out and that “happily ever after” will be our reality. Life is broken and people are broken and things get wrecked as much as we wish and beg and plead and try for it not to happen. But we based on what we know and what we can find out, we still want to be wise before we step out in faith, and before let our heart completely go there – to full-on commitment with no backup plan, to forever and always no matter what.

Life is broken and people are broken and things get wrecked as much as we wish and beg and plead and try for it not to happen.

Many of you know that I think, and I overthink, and could drive myself crazy if I don’t intentionally stop my brain from working and racing. But when it comes to relationships, I don’t think I’m alone there – many of us drive ourselves crazy thinking and overthinking about the girl (or guy) and how things have been, and how things are, and how things might be, and what are the good signs I’m picking up on and what are the bad signs I’m picking up on, and is this really going to work out in the long run….

But maybe it doesn’t have to be this hard. Maybe we’re doing it all wrong. Maybe it’s just a matter of three simple questions we need to ask ourselves in order to pretty much give us clarity about whether she (in my case) is worth pursuing and winning now and every day for the rest of my life. I (and probably you) don’t believe that there is only “the one” out there, but rather simply “the one for me” (or you). Okay, three simple questions:

1) Am I physically/sexually attracted to her? (chemistry!)

2) Do our values/principles align?

and what may be the most important one…

3) Does your heart feel safe (in her hands, or in his hands)?

Let’s talk about Number 3 because I’ve already covered Number 2 in detail and I could go on about Number 1 for a long-winded while (and will probably blog about it in the near future).

We need to remember that our heart automatically knows when it is safe. You know how it sucks when you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around someone? That’s something you feel in your heart. You know how it’s so rough when you have to have an uncomfortable conversation with someone who might react badly to you? You feel that in your heart. You know how it is one of the worst feelings ever when you run into someone who hurt you badly in the past? Again, it’s like a suckerpunch to your heart, you definitely feel it there.

You know how it sucks when you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around someone? That’s something you feel in your heart.

And so we need to listen to how our heart feels, and what it is telling us. Our thinking and over-thinking, however, just cloud our perspectives and complicate our situation and pull us away from what we probably intuitively already know deep down inside. Even though one of the greatest pieces of wisdom ever is to watch over our *heart* with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life (Prov. 4:23).

And so we get all messed up because we don’t listen to and live from what our heart is naturally, reflexively, autonomically telling us. Instead, we get lost and confused and irratic and unstable and paralyzed because we are listening to and living from the hot mess of our mind instead. Which is where all of our emotions and situational factors and rationalizations and defense mechanisms and memories and bad experiences and worldly wisdom and risk management skills reside.

Let’s say you are seeing a boy. Let’s say you’ve definitely gotten to know him for a while. Right now, you should ask myself, “Does my heart feel perfectly safe in his hands?”

So how might this work in practice. Let’s say you are seeing a boy. Let’s say you’ve definitely gotten to know him for a while. Right now, you should ask myself, “Does my heart feel perfectly safe in his hands?”  Maybe you say yes, and you’re ready to commit. Maybe you say yes, but you know you need to put in more time together before you can commit. That’s okay – it’s important to take that time. But if even early on, your heart says to you, “Honestly, no” – you should listen to it. It knows something is amiss. It can tell. And it’s just trying to save you some time and (probably a lot of) pain. Maybe it won’t tell you until after a while, but it *will* tell you. You can spend more time in the relationship, but eventually you’ll realize what your heart was saying was right, and then it will finally click in your *mind*, as your mind flashes back in a myriad of ways and vividly shows you the proof. That the relationship is over (or needs to be over). Dead in the water. That it’s totally not going to work out long-term.

I don’t think this is too much to look for. For our heart to feel perfectly safe in the hands of the one who is for you (or for me) forever. “Does my heart feel safe?”  That is the most important question to ask yourself.

Image source: https://ghshospital.org/sites/Granville/Uploads/images/Community%20Support/Health%20Tips/Heart%20in%20hands.jpg

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