Should my boyfriend and I plan our future?

It’s the month of love and so we’re taking extra time to answer the dating and relationship questions we often get from teen girls. Today, we have the first of two perspectives on the topic of planning your future. Join us later this week for another perspective.

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When I was 15 I fell in love. My heart was tuned to hear the beats of my beloved. Our bond would never fade. Our future together was set in stone.

Except we broke up.

And so did my heart.

First of all, let me say God had His plan in mind for my life, and I am so thankful He directed my steps. I didn’t meet my husband until a decade later, and he is a blessing to me. Sadly, I entered our marriage with quite the set of baggage due to my constant romantic notions as a young woman.

How much should we plan?It’s difficult to not hope in the future. Our hearts were made to hope, and love brings out the hope in us. But putting our hope in unrealistic expectations sets us up for failure and disappointment. As a teen and young adult, the future bursts with potential. Feelings, especially romantic ones, are like supernovas, eclipsing other areas of life.

Sometimes it’s easy to get ahead of ourselves, which inevitably causes problems.

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In fact, He is the author and designer of romance. He really does know best.

What does the Bible say about planning for the future?

James 4:13-15, says:

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.’ You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be! For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.

Instead, you should say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’”

What are the pitfalls of too much planning and dreaming of the future?

1.  Loss of focus.

You can only run in one direction at a time. School, friends, family, growing in a relationship with the Lord–these are the golden opportunities of youth. Pursuing a deep romantic relationship too early will steer you away from other areas of joy.

In 1 Corinthians 7:34, the Apostle Paul says this about singleness and focus,  “…An unmarried woman or a virgin is concerned about the things of the Lord, so that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the things of the world—how she may please her husband.”

2.  You can become too entrenched in your relationship.

You can lose sight of friends, future goals, and perhaps miss the signs that this relationship might not be God’s best plan for your life. You lose your objectivity. You can also become fearful of losing the future you plan for yourself.

3.  You might miss some of the other things God offers you.

If you begin planning a future with a boyfriend, it becomes your focus. It’s like speeding down on a highway verses a meandering on a country road full of food stands, flowers, and places to visit. On the highway, you have less opportunity to slow down and focus on the surroundings.

4.  It can lead to greater physical temptation.

If you are planning to be married, it becomes easy to justify bending your physical boundaries. Just a little further. And a little more. And then some…more. After all, if we’re already committed to marriage, it’s the same thing. Right? Wrong. Purity is important to your physical and mental health, and you’re not married until you say “I do” at your the wedding. {Click here for more regarding Dating and Relationships.}

5.  Life is full of seasons.

Your youth is a season of learning and looking toward the future. But the freedom of youth only last for a short time. Romance is alluring, and your bodies seem way ahead of the game, but a serious relationship forces you to leave some aspects of youth behind. Enjoy the season you are in.

6. Trust God, the author of romance, to arrange your future. 

I always heard, “If it’s meant to be, it will be.” In my youth, I didn’t like that statement, partially because I used to be a bit of a control freak. But through my life I’ve come to see that God will make a way for His plans, and His plans are the best. Things don’t always happen the way we expect, but there is peace where God leads.

I know a few couples who were high school sweethearts, but it is the exception, not the norm. In fact, many of the pitfalls that come from planning and dreaming of the future I learned by watching two of my young friends. They held fast to purity, kept strong boundaries, did not dwell on their future, and did not neglect their friends. As it turned out, God’s plan was for them to be together, but they did it without compromise and without regrets.

Would you like  more practical ideas on dating and relationships? 

Consider this dating resource and read “Embarrassing, but real questions about sexual purity.”

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2 thoughts on “Should my boyfriend and I plan our future?”

  1. I couldn’t agree with this post more. My boyfriend and I dated for about eight months before we started talking about our future. I was a senior in high school, he was a freshman in college, and we thought for sure that God placed us in each other’s lives for a reason. Our families were very close. We had the same goal in ministry. We’d known each other since we were kids. Everything seemed ordained by God.

    When we began talking about our future, it began as only “harmless” dreaming, but soon became set in stone (or so we thought). It was then when our relationship started falling apart. We dated for two years before realizing that we were not in God’s will.

    Anyway, all that to say, we are now just friends and have definitely learned that planning while only dating is definitely not safe. No matter how much you may love your boyfriend or girlfriend, you can never be totally sure that they are the one God has for you. Only when it is God’s timing and you are fully confident in the relationship, mature, ready for marriage, and engaged can you then begin talking about the future, in my opinion.

    This is a great post. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Tessa. I wish I had read your comment about 20 years ago. 🙂 It’s a painful lesson to learn, isn’t it? May our gracious God bless you and keep you, dear sister.

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