Keep Things Out in the Open (Part III)
WHOOPS! I went further than I meant to.
WHOOPS! I did it again.
WHOOPS! Now I’ve got a problem with my genitalia that I didn’t before.
WHOOPS! Now someone’s pregnant.
WHOOPS! Now I took care of the STD’s and the pregnancy and yet I still feel like I crossed a line I wish I hadn’t.
Whoops! I did it again… and again… and again. (If you haven’t been following this train of thought, start with the engine at this link.)
Do you need to address some significant issue(s) for the first (or umpteenth time) you can’t imagine tackling in a public place?
Well, in those rare instances (and they should be rare) where keeping things out in the open just won’t work, then go ahead and have that conversation in private. With someone else present.
Huh? Someone else present?
I know what you’re thinking. That’s not how these conversations take place in the movies. The two love birds are alone – just the two of them – with only the conflict standing between them, and nothing but the perfect soundtrack accompanying them. It’s the intimacy of the moment that makes the scene so powerful, so beautiful, and ultimately so satisfying. With everything resolved (in 3.5 minutes) and a deeper understanding established, the two love birds can look ever deeper into each other’s eyes, and as the strings crescendo… [CUT!]
This is when we have to remember that movies aren’t real. They’re fantasy. What’s more, they weren’t written and produced by degreed counselors with extensive experience in resolving conflict. In fact, most films were written, produced, performed and directed in Hollywood, where healthy relationships are hard to come by. (If you hadn’t heard.)
So if you need the privacy of a counselor’s office for a delicate conversation with your special someone, maybe you should have the counselor there too.
SEE A COUNSELOR ON A DATE?!? Are you kidding me?
Ah. No. I don’t kid.
Well, actually I do, but I’m not now.
It may not prove particularly romantic, but it’s preferable to waiting until after marriage (or even till premarital counseling) before meeting a counselor for the first time. TRUST ME!
Let a counselor’s experience and training guide the two of you in exploring your personal and/or relational concern(s) and when you’re done you’re NOT likely to start making out right there on their couch. (See! You WHOOPS-proof your dating life AND get professional help – a double-bonus!)
But remember NOT to isolate yourselves afterwards! Plan ahead to enjoy a picnic in the park or join some friends for a game of scrabble.
Having said that, chances are you don’t actually need a counselor. You likely need only one or two trusted friends or mentors who know you both well and are familiar with the concern(s) you need to discuss. Maybe they participate actively in the discussion – helping you hear and understand one another. Maybe they just pray with you at the beginning of your discussion and then continue praying for you as you engage the issue(s). Maybe they sit in the next room praying (WITH THE DOOR OPEN).
Wouldn’t you like a couple close friends, who love you both, aware of this conversation and actually praying for you as it’s transpiring? I mean, you’ve never seen it in a movie, but come on – this sounds like it could be a good thing. Am I right?
But then I know what someone’s thinking: “MJ, You’re not getting this. No one else knows about this issue we’re struggling with! It’s too embarrassing.” or “I’ve never told anyone what I need to tell my boy/girlfriend! It’s just too personal.”
Hmmmmm. In that case, bringing someone in on that discussion may prove rather awkward. But fear not! There is a solution. In fact, if this is true of you: please promise yourself that you’ll tune in next weekend for the latest DNA. And keep things out in the open until then. You’ll thank yourself!
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
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The LoveEd study guide series, Beyond Sex & Salvation, will empower you to prepare for relational success when it counts: BEFORE YOU FALL IN LOVE! It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. Check out the first two 8-lesson study guides in our store. You can walk through it on your own, but it’s more fun with friends, so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study. Even better? And ask a married couple you respect to lead it!