A little bit ‘o Give and Take

I woke up at 4 this morning thinking about parasites. Not sure why, but then I started thinking about how a lot of my relationships (and even some of my friendships) resemble that of a parasite. Then I thought of the famous quote from J.F.K. and altered it for my own amusement. “Ask not what you can do for me, but what I can do for you.” Yeah, my mind can be annoying at 4:00 a.m.

In school we learn about the different types of parasitic relationships, but the one I envisioned this morning was with me as the host, slowly draining away for the other person I was in relationship with.

One of the most prevalent feelings I’ve had while on my dating sabbatical has been freedom. I feel free to make my own decisions without having to consider my partner. But while in a relationship, I dramatically compromise this freedom for someone else. Everything from the big stuff: “Where should we go on vacation?” to the little stuff: “What do you want for dinner?” was compromised to fulfill another person’s wishes.

I would even change my behavior for my partner. Have a milk intolerance but love dairy? Okay, I’ll wait until you leave before I chug this amazingly delicious glass of chocolate milk. I’ll see movies I don’t want to see, listen to music I don’t want to hear, and eat at restaurants I don’t like. All to make you happy. Not sure if you want to come over Friday night? It’s okay, I’ll hang out at home in case you decide you want to see me.

Not anymore.

In a way, I want to mimic my relationship with God with my next partner. God relies on me to be obedient to His word, and I rely on Him to provide me with grace and love. I know I can’t always be the giver, and nor do I want to always be the taker. God and I have a symbiotic relationship, which means both parties benefit from each other. A fine balance, but one I will now strive for in our relationships.

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