I was speaking with someone recently, and although they were single and trusting God to bring them their life partner at some point, they were concerned that they sometimes self-sabotage. One of the reasons they gave was that they were not usually very friendly towards the few guys they met, especially if those guys were not quite ‘their type’.
As I listened to them, I realised that I was quite familiar with what they were talking about, as I had seen a similar kind of behaviour in myself years ago, and still see it in many people today.
If you’re wondering if you self-sabotage, ask yourself these questions (or others similar):
- When guys approach me (as a woman), am I friendly? Or do I ignore them and make them feel awkward or sorry for trying?
- When I get invited to social events, do I take the opportunity to meet people, or do I always say ‘no’ even if I don’t have anything else planned?
- When I meet someone new, do I automatically assume they’re not right for me, e.g. because of their background, race, church etc. before I get to know them?
If your answer is ‘Yes’ to any of those questions, you’re most likely sabotaging your quest to finding ‘the one’.
If you would like to stop self-sabotaging, here are some of the tips I gave to my friend:
1. Smile more
Everyone is more approachable when they smile. I saw a quote that said ‘a smile is the best make up any girl can wear’. I think this is true (even for guys too!) Everyone looks better with a smile. Although the saying ‘it takes fewer muscles to smile than to frown’ is not entirely accurate, smiling more can indeed make you (and others!) feel better. Have you ever noticed that when you smile at someone, more likely than not, they smile back? A smile is contagious! So, turn that frown upside down!
2. Join a church group
Joining a group at church allows you to build relationships with other like-minded people while serving the body of Christ. As Christians, the church can be a safe space for us to meet and hang out with others and if your church has people of a similar age group to you, there are most likely social activities that you can take part in which can be great for meeting people. If you attend a church with a demographic that is a bit skewed, then perhaps you can join a meetup group outside of your church, or even start one yourself! The main thing is to find a group of like-minded folk with which to build relationships.
3. Be open-minded and avoid preconceptions
Sometimes we self-sabotage by having preconceived ideas about people. We see that a person attends a certain kind of church, for example, and we already have an idea of the type of person we think they are. Or someone that is from a different part of the world from us says hello and we automatically assume it won’t work. Challenge yourself to give people the benefit of the doubt. Take the time to get to know people, and I assure you, you would be surprised!
4. Invest in friendships
Friendship is the foundation of a stable marriage. But sometimes we’re too impatient and skip this step in a rush to get married. When you meet someone, don’t just rush into a relationship with them. Take time to get to know them. And don’t discard someone because they want to be friends either. That friend could be the link to your future partner, or they could end up bring a great friend!
I know some people that feel awkward praying about things like meeting someone. Somehow they think God only wants to hear them if they’re praying for the sick, or want to go and volunteer to help the poor! Honestly, God wants to hear from us about anything and everything! He cares about the littlest detail of your life (and I wouldn’t call a spouse a little detail either!). So, pray about it. Ask God to protect you from people that are not right for you, and to order your footsteps towards people that are. Ask Him for every intricate detail that is important to you and watch Him do more than you can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).