At the ripe old age of fifteen, a well-meaning gentleman in my life decided his nephew and I would make the perfect match. Okay, maybe he did not think we would be perfect, but he definitely had high hopes for success. After all, he was active in his church. I was active in mine. He was a fine young man (as I was told repeatedly by his family). Some considered me a fine young woman. We both had brown hair. You know, we were clearly a Billy and Ruth Graham in the making. ~smile~
Over the months, however, we began to grow weary of each other. He thought I was moody. I thought he was the reason I was moody. He was an old man in a young man’s body. I was an immature child in a woman’s body. But, perhaps even more concerning was the simple fact that he and I did not click. We were not all that comfortable with each other. We were not at home with each other.
No matter how beautifully a couple matches on paper (or by relatives), if they do not feel at home with each other, the relationship will struggle. We all long for a place where we can be our most authentic selves. A person might be terrific and still not your safe place.
Over the last five years, this post (Experiencing Someone Who Feels Like Home) has received a great deal of attention – likely because we all long for that heart connection and soft place to land in this chaotic world. For our year of focusing on Hindsight, we have updated this post and invite you to read this post again, or for the first time, and wait for that special person with whom you can be 100% you.
When we are young, we all have an unwritten list of expectations when it comes to love and marriage. We all want to marry someone attractive. We all want to marry someone who will treat us well. We all want someone who is selfless. We all want to marry someone who will be faithful to us.
After years of dating, and almost ten years (fifteen now!) of marriage, I find the following trait completely essential to a warm and happy relationship: Comfort.
What do I mean by comfort?
It is Not Forced
Have you ever dated someone who had all the qualities you were looking for in a mate, but you never moved past the awkward stage into the easy-going, free-to-be me stage? If you are with someone who matches your checklist, but you are still not comfortable with him or her after months of dating, do some soul-searching. Are you holding back out of fear? Or, is there something between you two which is not clicking well?
Happy couples are able to kick off their shoes, laugh at the same goofy stuff, and enjoy their time together. If talking to each other or engaging in basic dating activities together are a struggle, there is a good chance the relationship is not going places.
You Can Both Be Yourselves
When your relationship is comfortable, you can be yourselves without constantly fearing judgment. Even when Eric and I are at odds, we have a comfort level with each other which keeps us from walking on eggshells or worrying that the other is going to cast us aside.
I am free to be me. Out of love and respect for him, I try not to be unpleasant and hurtful (though I do not always succeed); but, I do not feel pressured to look or act a certain way when he is around (though I probably should get rid of some hole-filled pajamas and improve my messy bun ~smile~). I am as comfortable with him lounging in sweatpants as I am when I am dressed up for a special event.
And for Eric’s part, he is most definitely comfortable being his complete self around me (and everyone else). He has never been one to hold back his thoughts and ideas. ~smile~
He or She Feels Like Home
I love the Mandisa song, He is With You, and I have always been struck by the line, “He is with you when you’ve given up on ever finding your true love – someone who feels like home. He is with you.” These lyrics nail how I feel about Eric. From the time we became an official couple until now, Eric has always felt like home to me. When I am with Eric, I am at ease. There is a sense of peace and belonging. This is my place in the world.
When you are with your significant other, do you feel calm and at home? Can you easily picture spending the next twenty, thirty, forty, or fifty years with him? Do you sigh a breath of relief when you see her after a long day? Through our ups and downs in the last decade, Eric and I have consistently felt at ease with each other. There is no describing what a blessing it is to feel peace and belonging in your relationship.
If marriage is on your radar, I wish you a lifetime of comfort with your future spouse. Your circumstances will not always be comfortable, and sometimes you will be furious with each other; but, if there is peace, love, commitment, trust, and coziness there, you can be triumphant in any season.
Do you feel at home with your sweetheart?