Last year I was in a relationship that ended because I did not tell her about a very embarrassing part of my past. About 6 weeks later, during Hanukkah, I met a new person that I began a relationship with and, learning from my previous lesson, I told her everything about my past, even the stuff that was uncomfortable. It turns out being utterly transparent at the outset of a relationship saves a lot of pain.
I also learned something. With that first relationship, I allowed my feelings and emotions to take us into talking about marriage almost as soon as we had met. In fact, I had planned to propose to her during Hanukkah. But the second relationship, I decided to take it much more slowly, really treating it more as a friendship as we keep the relationship pure, both physically and emotionally.
Why was I not completely transparent the first time around? It had to do with fear, not completely trusting in God, and being afraid to fully open my heart due to fear of rejection. Fortunately, during the 6 weeks between relationship #1 and relationship #2, I prayerfully dealt with those issues in my heart and learned to overcome through Him. Now, I am not ashamed to be fully transparent about my past, because I more fully understand that perfect love casts out all fear.
This has helped me realize that their is no rush when it comes to relationships. Sure, I want to be married, have more children (I have 6 but never get to see them and that’s another story), and enjoy the blessings of marital bliss . . . but I realize that to truly create a strong future marriage, it takes time. Sometimes, it can take a long time. So, unlike in relationship #1, I am not in any rush to hurry things along. In fact, I am taking things super slow, because that’s what God wants.
Do I wish I had learned all these lessons sooner? Sure I do. But the point is, I learned them. And that, I think, is the most important lesson of all.