imagesI know someone who fell hard for a guy (no, I’m actually not referring to myself for once!) and she quickly began to picture their future together.

I already need to interject here: I totally get this.  I totally and completely get this. I did this with every boy who ever showed interest in me.  Okay, confession: I did this with boys who DIDN’T EVEN KNOW I EXISTED. (Whatever.)

I think it’s something hard-wired into a woman. We were created for relationships in a deep, deep way.  We were created to have a partner.  And so when a good man crosses our path (or we see a hot guy in a rom-com), we begin to imagine what it might be like if we were together in real life.  So, I’m saying, I get this.

So back to the story.  She fell for a guy. And then he went away. I don’t know all the details but the girl continued to picture a future for when he came back.  (I get this too.)

And then – yuck – he met someone else, and, you know, sort of ended it over email.  (Lovely.)  I know. I want to throw a shoe at his head.  And I don’t even know the full story.  But we girls tend to stick together. And I’m mad at the guy and I’m mad at the other girl, and I want to hug the girl who was left high and dry and devastated.

However.  Ugh, I even hate this however.  However, I was talking to a guy friend about this and he said something to the effect of, “I’m trying to figure out what the guy did wrong here.”

He followed up with, “I can’t help but wonder if she made emotional deposits too large for the account.”

Oh snap.

I think we instinctively know what he’s talking about even if we are railing against it in our heads.  We women have a rich inner life. Vivid imaginations. And in that wily imagination of ours, we just might make little assumptions that we shouldn’t be making.

Now, I’m not talking about the man who has proposed – ring and wedding date and all – who goes away on business, and Skypes that he got married to somebody else.  He’s just a jerk. Shoe to the head.

I’m talking about what we do in relationships that are new. Or undefined. Or whatnot. Where the man has not said things like “I love you” and “I want to marry you” and “I fully intend to spend the rest of my life with you”. And we just infer that.  We just hope that.  We just wish that.  We just want it so badly that we let our hearts think that is our reality.

Girls, we need to be careful. So, so careful.  (I am speaking to myself here too.)  Our relationships need to be lived out in reality.  We must not let our imaginations paint pictures that our current reality cannot back up.

I’m not saying we can never imagine a kiss or a proposal or whatever.  I’m just saying that if you are in a relationship with a man who has given you no reason to believe there is a future with him, you should do all you can to guard your heart from going there in your head without him.

Something God is teaching me is that pretty much in every situation across the board, if I hold even a bit more loosely than my knee-jerk clinging reaction, and if I am careful to not make assumptions about things that aren’t clearly laid out, and if I don’t give too much of my heart away too fast, I might just be a little bit less devastated if it all vanishes.  Because there are no guarantees in life, except the great, sweet, deep, unchanging love of God.

I care about each one of you. God cares about you even more.  So, guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. –Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)

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Life isn't always how we want it. When change seems elusive, and we're stuck in old routines, a gentle push or some self-reflection can make a difference. Let these questions be that nudge to get you moving.

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