Yong Ee Wern, 23
I knew I was ready for a relationship when I found happiness in being single! I have always believed that when one is happy with their single life, that’s when someone is ready. I realised I did not need a relationship to complete my life; I wanted someone to complement it. A partner is meant to complement your life and go through ups and down with you, not ‘complete’ you, which is what I feel society has painted romance to be.
I also found that learning to love myself was important before I was ready for a committed relationship. Learning to love yourself comes in many ways. For example, taking time to finding your own interests and hobbies, and spending time learning more about your strengths and weaknesses. Also, when I know how I want to be treated and what I deserve, I know never to settle for less.
At the end of the day, everyone has a different set of prerequisites required before getting into a relationship. Knowing what works for you is the best way to go about it. Relationships are not a one-hit wonder. It takes time to get to know a person and if it is worth getting into a relationship with that person. Everything happens in God’s timing, so trust in the process!
Ang Jin Liat, 28
I didn’t know that I was ready, but I was ready to do what it took to get ready. There were a couple of things that I wanted to make sure was in place. As Pastor Andy Stanley shared in his book Love, Sex and Dating, I wanted to “become the person who you’re looking for is looking for.”
Hence, I read some books on relationship and I had a few criterion — firstly, get a job and be financially stable, and secondly, to be spiritually stable, ensuring that my walk with God is good. After I got these two pillars done, I went on to the next step — to try. I don’t think we’ll ever be ready, as we’re on this journey where we’re continuously learning and just becoming
better versions of ourselves. And that’s especially true when you get into a relationship because it’s no longer about one person but about two people. So no matter how ‘perfect’ you are, when you get into a relationship as two people, you will start to see imperfections and learn how to become even better and how to complement each other.
I also asked close friends, “Hey, I’m thinking of getting into a relationship. What do you think of it, do you think I’m ready?” I did a bit of research into the girl I was interested in and also spoke to people who had successful and failed relationships, finding out what worked and what didn’t, so those were all part of the background research.
So … I don’t think there was a point of time in which I thought I was ready, but more so that I’ve done my best and as much as I could to prepare myself for a relationship.
Madeline Tng, 28
Before entering a relationship, God gave me the understanding that my partner does not complete me. Partners complement us and Christ is the One who completes and satisfies us with His steadfast love (Ps 90:14). While the desire for a relationship is good and healthy, it is not to be esteemed more than singlehood. They are both good.
Additionally, I was also given good counsel to take time to pray for my future spouse and to bring my insecurities to God. As I took time to pray for my future spouse, I saw how God directed and led me in the process, from writing out the desires of my heart about a partner to leading the way to him. We truly can trust in our good Shepherd! Some insecurities that I had to deal with were the fear of getting hurt in a relationship and the uncertainty if I could love someone well (and vice versa). And through surrendering these fears, I got to see that God is love (1 John 4:16) and we are all on a learning journey to learn how to love in a community. On a side note, when you get into a relationship, it is always good to have community support and not be in isolation only with your partner, so now is a good time to build up that trusted community before getting into a relationship.
Lastly, in preparing to enter a relationship, I kept the end in mind — marriage. Marriage is a beautiful thing that God has designed to reflects Christ’s love for the church. However, we need to know that marriage won’t solve any issues with sin or loneliness. In fact, it will only be magnified if we don’t deal with them at the cross before getting into a relationship.
Let’s also remember that marriage in this life is not the ultimate or eternal goal. The only marital relationship of ultimate significance is the eternal union of Christ with His bride, the church! Until the day we see our Bridegroom face to face, may His spirit empower us to love and serve Him, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.
Jacqueline Ng, 25
Before I entered my current relationship, my boyfriend and I served together and grew to become good friends. Because of the healthy and genuine friendship that was established between us, I was able to be my authentic self. That including being able to roll my eyes, cackle, and get hit by frisbees during games with no embarrassment. I could also be honest with my hopes, hurts, and weird thoughts (like the urge to pop a giant balloon statue in the mall with a pin). I felt safe and accepted for who I am. This was a significant factor that led me to consider him as a potential partner.
Nonetheless, I was fearful of stepping into the unknown, and the thought of losing someone dear to me.
It was through prayer and journeying with friends that I came to this realisation — while I cannot be 100% ready and there might never be the perfect time, I was certain of these qualities he displayed: he was prayerful and knowledgeable about the faith, humorous and made me laugh, and was caring and empathetic. Through these characteristics, I was being led to holiness, the hallmark of the Christian life. This, and the authentic friendship between us, were the factors that gave me the leap of faith to enter into the relationship.
It has been a joy since.