“Make sure you draw clear lines,” I said. “Relationships don’t have to be complicated.”
Perhaps this sounds too simplistic – as I fear the lady took it – because life itself is full of complications. But if it’s the wrong time for one person, it’s the wrong person for both parties. If this is the case, it is time to step back and seek perspective on what God could have planned for us during this season of our life.
In Isaiah, God says that he knew us before we were knit in our mother’s womb. In Tobit, he speaks of putting two people together before they were born. Yet, this is not to say that one specific person is destined to only be with another specific person. A highly romantic notion, to be sure, but also an unlikely one. That idea puts limitations on God’s creation and takes away the beauty of two people who choose to marry, verses two people whom accept that they are destined to be married.
Love is of God, and God allows people to be compatible with more than one person, just as people could be happy and able to do many different jobs or live in a variety of locations. God works between the cracks of choice and acts of free will. God has plans for us: follow his commandments, love and be loved. The rest is expendable.
It is easy to talk about the hook-up culture, tsk at the people who participate, explain intellectually why playing with such emotions through a physical relationship is damaging in the long-term; but in the short-term, it is much, much harder to break out of it.
The people involved are not looking for easy love – they’re looking for any kind of love. They want authentic love and they’re scared it might pass them by. They have a hard time grasping an emotion without a touch, a pursuit without a guarantee, a promise worth forever.
The place to start is yourself and with the company you keep. When you ask your friends for advice, do you often turn to God as well? He is no fair-weathered friend. He may know all, but he still wants you to ask and show that you value him. Make time to pray and find quiet within so as to listen better. Frequent the sacraments for grace and read the day’s mass readings. God talks to all of us through the Holy Scripture.
The more we turn to God as our friend, the more readily our complicated situation will have more light shed upon it and the right road shall be easier to tread.