What’s your level of intentionality towards a marriage relationship? Intentionality in relationship is incredibly important. The definition of intention is an aim that guides action.
As a single person desiring marriage, are you aiming yourself in a way that would guide your actions towards a marriage relationship? I coach single women and sometimes men (alongside my husband) in the world of relationship and dating. I’m sometimes surprised by the lack of or misdirected intentionality of grown adults desiring marriage. But then I remember I was like that once upon a time not too long ago, so I decided to write this post.
A previous post focused on ways that women could authentically invite men to pursue as well as authentic ways that men could pursue. The response was huge from the male gender in a positive way. Ladies, I think they may be trying to tell us something! This post was all about intentionality.
So, what’s your level of intentionality towards a marriage relationship? Here are 10 questions to ask yourself for a check-up on this area of intentionality.
1) Are you believing well about yourself, God and relationships? I’ll always go back to beliefs. This is the first place to assess. I don’t believe there is anything more important. What your belief system is will guide your life. Here’s a previous post on this subject if you missed it with some biblical reference and practical ways to develop core beliefs.
2) Do you have time for a relationship? Relationships take time. It is like anything else in life. Set aside time for a potential date, to look through, initiate or respond to prospects online, or to begin to practice authentic invitation or pursuit with intentionality to a person of interest. Make room now for that special someone. They’ll then be able to easily fit in that spot at the right time.
3) Are you intentional in your friendships with the opposite gender? If you’re giving too much in a relationship to the opposite gender either emotionally or in any other way without relational commitment, it may be time to set some healthy boundaries in that relationship and go back to your core beliefs of worth. If you’re the one getting your emotional needs met by a person (or several people) of the opposite gender that you have no intention or thought of taking the relationship forward with, we’re dealing with a different core belief. Using people to meet your needs is wrong. You are worth more than spending your intimate emotions on someone that is allowing you to meet their needs with no commitment. Both parties need to reassess and come to a place of health. Those places of intimacy with the opposite sex are reserved for someone that you intentionally give that access to based on a level of commitment. True intimacy both emotionally and physically is for marriage. Deep intimate connection emotionally should not come until the appropriate time in a relationship, many times just before engagement. Please, you are worth the wait.
4) Do you tend to be put in the ‘friend box’? This may sound strange, but some of you may have too many friends. Most the space in your life is taken up by a multitude of other people with little to no space for a person of interest. This also tends to describe those who always get put in the ‘friend box’. Some of you are experts at being friends! Good job on that aspect, but it may be time to develop some relationship skills to move to the next stage of your life. As a mature adult, it is more than ok to move towards a romantic relationship. Go back to your core beliefs of being desirable as a woman or having what it takes to lead as a man.
5) Do your signals of invitation seem to land on the wrong people? This is confusing for everyone, including me when I’m coaching people! Many times I think, of course that person is interested in getting to know that other person more if they said that, did that, emailed that, etc. Nope, it’s not always true. If you tend to find yourself with people interested in you that are not of interest and they tell you they thought you sent them signals, this may be you. If you find it easy to connect with everyone else except someone of interest, we’re dealing with core beliefs again. Go back to #1 in this list as well as to God about this. (Psalm 32:8) A good test is: “If someone said, did, or emailed this to me, would I think they were interested in getting to know me with the intention of taking the relationship forward?” Pass it by yourself and a friend. Focus on sending signals to those that you are interested in, it’s much less confusing for everyone involved.
6) Are you considered a flirt? Just ask a couple close friends, they’ll let you know. If you are, this is a great time to reassess intentionality and figure out why you’re shooting off flirtations like a machine gun with no operator. Needs being met through reckless flirtation is hurtful to those around you now and will be a large problem when you get in a relationship and an even larger problem when you get married. Authentic flirtation with intentionality is good. Reckless flirtation is bad. I would probably have been considered a flirt in my younger years, so I understand the pitfalls of this. The great thing is you can always start being more intentional at any time, it’s your choice!
7) Are you open and friendly to potential dates? If possible, ask a friend to assess your behavior in settings that include someone of interest. If you are considered to be projecting signs that resemble the ice queen or the aloof man, I’d direct you back to the previous post on authentic invitation and pursuit as well as your core beliefs.
8) Do your close friends know that you’re open to a relationship? Many marriage relationships begin with connection through a friend. It is important that you voice to a few close friends (married and unmarried) that you’d be open to being set up or suggestions of potentials from them.
9) Do you allow a relationship to take its course? Romantic relationships tend to have a distinct road of connection that naturally lead to intimacy. A ‘talk’ from a man or woman about the intentions of a relationship before the right stage can cause weird interactions, pressure and strange feelings. Dr. John Gray (Relationship Expert) breaks the stages of a relationship before marriage into 5 parts: attraction, uncertainty, exclusivity, intimacy, and engagement. Having a ‘talk’ or DTR as some call it at the wrong time can lead to lots of pressure on a relationship that has no legs to stand on, so to speak. Sometimes men feel pressure to make their intentions known too soon and women tend to create that pressure. Let’s take the pressure off and allow relationships to take their course, whether that course ends in the uncertainty stage or leads to a life-long marriage. ‘Talks’ that define relationships are extremely important at the right time!
10) What are your core beliefs regarding yourself, God and relationships? If I’m sounding like a broken record then you’re reading the right post! What are you believing? These beliefs are directing your life and attracting a certain type of person to you. God gave us the privilege of partnering with His Spirit to renew our minds so that we can know His will (Romans 12:2).
As always, we celebrate progress and not perfection.
Intentionality in relationship is crucial. It’s important now and having it set when you enter marriage will help you to have a thriving relationship with your spouse because you’ve started out with intentionality that is not based on your circumstance. Marriage relationships take lots of time and much intentionality.
You are the leading lady or man of your own love story, partnered with a God who has only good things in store for you (Jeremiah 29:11). He’s waiting to fully back your intentionality and move you towards your desire for a marriage relationship today!
Wendee Mannon, Dating & Relationship Coach, Staff Writer-OnDaySix, Wendee’s Bio
**Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net/The Goggles Group, Friends Relaxing