Years ago, shortly after I turned 30, I became engaged on Valentine’s Day—to a man I ended up not marrying.
There was a fancy diamond ring involved, and to be honest, I should have said no the minute my boyfriend proposed.
(A tiny voice in my head say no.) But I took a deep breath and answered yes for a variety of dumb reasons, including the fact that we had been dating for a year and a half, and marriage just seemed to be the train that we were on.
His parents adored me, and we spent a lot of time with them as well as with his friends. How disappointing for everyone, if there was no happy ending for the two of us.
But how would their lives have turned out had they taken the time to explore the red flags that were at least partially visible?
One of our bedrock governing principles in biblical dating — and in how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ generally — is not to "defraud" our single brothers and sisters by implying a greater level of commitment between us and them than actually exists (see 1 Thessalonians 4:6).
So there I was on Valentine’s Day, at Sign of the Dove, modeling a truly stunning ring.
If you’ve had the experience of being engaged, you know that it can quickly intoxicate you—sometimes for the wrong reasons.
You've identified the other person's strengths, but have also discovered some traits that leave you scratching your head. Well-meaning friends and relatives might be inquiring about your love life, wondering when you plan on taking "the plunge." Your own sense of loneliness and that God-given desire for connection can nudge you further in a relationship until the steps toward the altar just seem to get easier and easier. But with so many of them urging you toward marriage, it's wise to pause and ask yourself some questions that might prevent heartache down the road.
In either case, you have probably found that many forces push you forward in your relationship. You need to decide what to do with this relationship; no other person can make that decision for you.
Once married, they wanted to be faithful to that covenant, but they experienced difficulties that could have been avoided.