I can wait to get married.
There I said it. As a 20 year old woman in college, I watch as many of my peers happily get hitched or find their beloved. And yet, here I am, at 20 years old, boyfriend-less with no future husbands in mind to even consider. Never been on a date, never even been kissed.
Yet, I decided for myself a long time ago that whenever I did start dating, I would date with marriage in mind. I was never one for dating for the fun of it. I saw from my early teens a lot of relationships take off, and I saw at lot of them crash and burn. And while I know dating itself will never be the perfect experience, I am willing to wait.
For when my attraction for another begins to transform into a lifestyle of learning to love fearlessly. For when my heart is not governed by lust but by love. Yes, I am willing to wait.
Here’s the thing about waiting: it will cost you. I’ll be the first to say it. There are going to be days when you want to just settle for any random person that walks in front of you. Or days when you just want to write your number on business cards and stick them onto the cars parked on your college campus. You will get frustrated. You will never speak of the cursed “S” word that Beyonce so blatantly sings about. You will roll your eyes at your peers’ PDA with their boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse. You will list reasons of why you are single, convincing yourself that God must have forgotten to create special someone for you. You will rant, you will scream, you will cry, you will feel miserable. Am I painting a pretty picture yet for you? But at the end of the day, though, I have come to realize that this is a small, small cost.
When I think of dating with marriage in mind, I think of the Christ and the Cross. The beauty of marriage is that it symbolizes the love Christ has for the Church, a love that is unconditional.
His love was so deep that He risked Himself for us.
He loved us with an absence of fear and a presence of joy.
It cost Him everything, and He gave it all willingly.
This image is exemplified in the sacrament of marriage. When a couple says the words “I do,” what they are truly saying is “I love you, I give myself to you, for as Christ loves His Church, I love you.” This right here is a beautiful statement, one where the husband and wife devote themselves not just to each other, but to Christ; they boldly proclaim they will not FEAR to love.
That’s some powerful stuff there.
For that very reason, I do not take dating and marriage lightly. If I am to someday get married (my mom has her fingers crossed here), I hope that I will not settle, but rather that I will fight for the best love that God has for us, a love that is limitless and is so strong that it will risk everything to love another. Because that is the love of our Savior.
And if the Sacrament of Marriage, and the act of dating is supposed to lead us to love — this being the greatest love — then I can wait. I won’t rush into blinded lust. Like fine wine, I will let this love get better and better with each coming year. I will love myself, love others around me, love Christ, and in doing so my love will attract the greatest love of another.
I will wait. And though it will cost me to wait, I will remain firm because in waiting, my desire to love another will grow, and my heart will be strengthened. So future hubby whoever you are: I am waiting. Waiting with a joyful heart.
Vanesa is a Theology major with a Business minor at Providence College (Providence, RI). An avid coffee drinker and lover of all works concerning St. Thomas Aquinas, she is also a Youth Leader at St John the Baptist. She blogs at The King’s Beloved.