For the majority of my twenties, I was single. I went out on a lot of dates, but had very few committed relationships and those ranged from just a few months to around a year. For the most part, I was content being single. My life was very busy and I was fiercely independent which didn’t make me the easiest girl to pursue. If a guy asked me out, he usually had to wait about two weeks before I’d make room in my schedule. The same went for the second and even third date.
I had some friends who would occasionally call me out on this scheduling habit. “You’re never going to be in a real relationship if you won’t make time for one,” they’d say.
“Look, when the right guy comes along, I’ll make time for him.” I’d say.
The right guy.
In some way or another, we all use that excuse.
I just haven’t found the right guy yet.
That relationship failed, but it’s just because he wasn’t right!
When it’s right, I’ll know.
I’m just looking for Mr. Right...
I had a friend who used to tease me, “He may not be Mr. Right, but he could be a pretty good Mr. Right Now.”
When looking for a life partner, we’re all just looking for the right person, the right fit. And that is a crucial piece. Don’t get me wrong. But there are two major problems with our approach.
1. We don’t even know what “right” looks like.
When my husband and I started to date, a friend gave me a book called The Sacred Search. It flipped my idea of “the right guy” on it’s head. My entire dating life, the “right guy” I had been searching for was more or less the wrong guy for me.
The past weekend my husband and I went on vacation and both devoured Andy Stanley’s latest book The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating. And when I say devoured, I mean devoured. I was laughing, cheering, yelled a few “amens!” and was even punched in the gut a few times. You know those books you read and every page you think of a friend or family member who needs to read it? Then, eventually you get to the chapter that slices you open? Yeah. That’s this book. Single, Married, Divorced, Dating, Engaged… every person I know needs to read this book. And Andy hit the nail on the head with our typical tactic for finding the right person.
While most everybody has a mental list of what makes the right person the right person, most people abandon their lists for physical attraction and chemistry.
When you’re physically attracted to someone and there’s that extra something we will refer to as chemistry, it just feels right, doesn’t it?
When it feels right, it’s easy to assume that it is right. (p. 24)
And here comes the gut punch. Ready?
You are sexually compatible with far more people than you are relationally compatible with. (p. 25)
Sexual compatibility is important. Real important. But sexual compatibility is not the litmus test for relational compatibility. (p. 26)
WE ALL DO THIS. Whether you want to admit it or not, we pick the right person by our sexual compatibility. And I’m not even talking just straight “how’s the sex?” here. I’m talking about, “he makes me laugh, puts me at ease; we have the best time together, and we just have that spark!” That is sexually compatibility. And while that has to be there, it fades really quickly if the relational compatibility isn’t also there. That’s the piece we need to be much, much more intentional about.
But I said there were two major problems with our search for the right person and the second is the most important piece of the puzzle.
2. Before you can find the right person, you have to become the right person.
Andy says it this way, we all assume that “there’s a right person for you, and once you find your right person, everything will be all right.” That expectation right there, is the best way I know to make a relationship fail. If all your hope for happiness in life is wrapped up in another person making things right for you, oh baby, have you got disappointment in your future.
The only way to find and attract the right person, is to be the right person.
Becoming the right person is how you prepare to commit. (p. 47)
Becoming the right person dramatically increases your odds of sustained relational success when you finally meet the right person. (p. 47)
Becoming the right person dramatically increases the likelihood of you being attracted to the person who is right for you. (p. 47)
Someone who is merely looking for the right person usually winds up with someone merely looking for the right person. (p. 55)
Like attracts like. (p. 55)
Instead of being so focused on looking, perhaps you should commit a bit more energy to becoming. (p. 55)
I could quote this book all day, but I won’t. But if you are on the hunt for the right person, can I beg you to pick up this book? We need to totally reframe the concept of who is right and, more importantly, how to become the right person.
And a quick note to the married people: I told you I thought everyone needed to read The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating and here’s why. We’re all still a work in progress. Even though our dating years are over, you and I should still be doing everything we can to become the even more right person for our spouse. In this book, Andy Stanley breaks down the 1 Corinthians 13 love chapter and it will punch you in the stomach (in the best way possible). What does it look like to love your spouse with patience, kindness, and humility– not with sarcasm, criticism, dishonor, selfish motives, or keeping score? While you and I may already be married, we still have a lot of work to do.
I received this book from North Point Publishing (andystanley.com) in exchange for this review.