The following post concludes a 3 part blog series about diagnosing whether you are a possessive women.
(And the picture to the left has nothing to do with today’s topic per se. I just thought it was awesome. If you try and take that girl’s dolls she’s gonna bite your hand off!)
Part 3: You’re possessive about your boyfriend
When you think of a possessive girlfriend, what do you imagine? The kind of girl who freaks out when her b.f. even looks at another girl? Or how about a girl who forces her guy to un-friend all his female friends on facebook? That’s exactly what I imagine.
So in my opinion, I have never been the possessive type. I don’t rail on Ike because he happened to be in the room when a Victoria’s Secret commercial came on. And I don’t accuse him of cheating on me when he says “hi” to a friend at school. I’m not that girl.
However, I’ve come to realize that there is a possessive side to me. It doesn’t play out in a crazy Lorena Bobbitt type fashion, but it’s definitely there.
To help you understand what I’m talking about, first consider the following situation: Have you ever had a friend who started dating a guy, and instantaneously dove into a super serious mode? All they did was spend time together and talk about their futures and be inappropriately affectionate with one another. If it was a long distance relationship, they were probably gone every single weekend traveling to see one another.
If you had just met them, you would have thought that they’d been dating for years. It’s like they went from 0 to 60 in no time flat.
That behavior is indicative of a possessive spirit. Why? Because she is treating her boyfriend as if he belongs to her in a way that he does not. Yes, he should be faithful to her, and yes, she should have certain expectations of him that go along with a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship.
But he is not really “hers,” especially not in the same sense as a married couple. They should not have the same intimacy and commitment to one another that a married couple has, but often times dating couples do. They expect to see one another every day. They have the physical relationship that a married couple has. They plan their entire future together the way a married couple does.
And this all happens as soon as you start to see your boyfriend, or even fiancé, as somehow belonging to you, when, in fact, he does not.
All of this boils down to a fundamental misunderstanding of courtship. To see what I mean, I thought I’d draw up a little comparison between the worldly view of the dating process, and a more Biblical view of the dating process:
Worldly View of the Dating Process:
Dating=Marital behavior without the commitment
Engagement=Marital behavior with the commitment but without the legal status of being married
Marriage=The State now affirms the lifestyle you’ve already lived for years
Biblical View of the Dating Process:
Dating=Considering whether marriage is a wise decision
Engagement=Preparing for marriage
After looking at this comparison, you can see that the very first break down between these two perspectives is in the dating period. Most couples begin acting as if they somehow belong to one another as soon as they start dating, but that’s not what dating is for. The purpose of dating is to determine whether or not you should take the step of belonging to one another in marriage.
That said, as long as you’re not married, you should function under the assumption that your boyfriend could actually be someone else’s husband. Honor him, and his future wife, accordingly. He is not yours, so treat him as if he belongs to another woman.
Now before you feel like I’m being too harsh, I will admit that I’m speaking from my own struggles and temptations. Even though I’m only engaged to Ike, I’m often tempted to think of ourselves as basically being married but not living together. The temptation is most significant in our physical relationship–why not have sex if we’re going to eventually?
But the reality is that we are not married. And until we are, God reminds me that Ike is not fully mine.
Why is this so important?
The way we treat dating relationships is one of the chief reasons that so many marriages end in divorce. Marriage has essentially become a version of dating. In treating a dating relationship like a marriage, we don’t exalt dating to a more intimate level–we simply tear down marriage by no longer setting it apart.
So be cautious about how you view your boyfriend. He is not yours! He does not belong to you and you alone, so don’t treat him as if he does. Don’t have sex with him, don’t move in with him, and don’t even monopolize his time. Even if you think you’re going to get married one day, don’t depend on that fact. Many couples have broken up who KNEW they were meant for one another, so until you say “I do,” remember that he could belong to someone else.
So while you may not go crazy when he looks at another girl, you act like a possessive woman when you treat your boyfriend like a husband. And ultimately, that’s what all these forms of possessiveness are about–you are functioning in a way that does not reflect reality. Maybe you’re taking illegitimate responsibility for a guy friend, or maybe you’ve constructed a romantic fantasy with a crush, or maybe you’re acting like a married couple when you aren’t actually married yet–all of these behavior ignore reality and construct the reality we want.
And what does this tell us as women? That we need to start trusting in the goodness of God and what that means for our lives. Maybe He has something better! Maybe if we surrender control we’ll experience a kind of wonderful that we never before dreamed of having. We must stop being content to make mud pies in the slums because we cannot imagine a day at the sea. God has more for us than the shoddy dreams we’ve concocted for ourselves, and as soon as we un-clinch our possessive fists then our hands will be open to receive His bounty!