I Was Ready for Marriage — So I Dated Mentors

In Engagement, Marriage, Relationships, Single by Debra Fileta

I know you may be thinking that title sounds a little weird. If I was ready for marriage, I should have started looking at rings or stalking the internet for ideas for the perfect pinterest wedding, right? Or maybe you’re thinking something completely wrong after reading the title. Let me clear it all up a bit with my story.

I remember when I started to feel ready for the idea of marriage. It was the same day I told God, “Okay, I think I’m ready for a male mentor”. I hadn’t grown up with a dad and to be honest I wasn’t socially comfortable with most men. I was naturally skeptical of what their intent was with me, my female friends, and family members.

So when I felt like I was becoming more open to the idea of true love, I found marriage mentors.

What started out as a dinner request for a couple I met on Facebook, bloomed into an amazing new family I gained. What started out as a casual meeting with a married couple and my now ex, turned into a relationship with a couple that will help officiate my wedding with a different guy (my amazing fiance). It’s funny how life works! Some things you don’t see changing or coming. One thing’s for sure, you’re safer with a strategy. “In the multitudes of counselors there is safety.” -Proverbs 15:22 Now, let’s get into a few reasons why it would be beneficial for you to get marriage mentors.

#1 You need to see what a healthy marriage looks like.

Maybe you grew up in a single parent household like me or one that didn’t display the type of marriage you’d want to repeat. Even if your family has a history of divorces or unhealthy relationships, all hope is not lost for you. If you truly desire a happy and healthy marriage, you can have it! However, you need to see what it looks like. You need to experience the behind the scenes stories and struggles that make up a successful relationship. You don’t need to try to mirror the relationship of your mentors. The key is to pick up principles and dismantle your ideology of perfection, so that when it comes time for you to practice patience and pursuit in your marriage, you have already been prepared.

#2 You need to practice and see what trusting the opposite sex looks like.

Like I mentioned before, I didn’t have the best perception of men. I can honestly say that due to my lack of close and consistent relationships with men, there was not many I genuinely admired, respected and trusted. When I met my male marriage mentor, he became like a spiritual father to me. That term sounds super deep, but in actuality it just means he intentionally prayed for me and was a consistent support system for me. In practical ways he and his wife were there to help me move in my first apartment, encourage me when I was homesick, and provide a home away from home during the holidays. I gained trust for both of them and my view of men shifted as a direct result of this mentor relationship.

#3 You need life long partners, not just your spouse.

Sorry to burst your bubble if you may have been thinking this, but your spouse will not be everything you need. Even in those fairy tale stories that we all grew up reading where the princess is saved by the prince, were there not other people that helped the princess get to her destination? Whether it’s the fairy godmother, the donkey, or elves, my point is that you need a community of people to help you become who you’re meant to be. Having marriage mentors contributes to that community by also giving you people that can relate to the type of commitment you’re in.

#4 You need to see the value of singleness, from a happily married perspective.

Lastly, if you’re single, marriage mentors are STILL great. No one can sell you on the value of singlehood like a honest married person. I used to wonder why my mentors would tell me to enjoy my season of singleness and not rush for marriage because I wouldn’t get to be selfish with my time and decisions when I was married. Now I get it. I’m so glad I listened to what they said even though I didn’t completely get it. Hearing the perspective of someone who has to make different sacrifices than you, even though they are worth it, will help you see the gift of your current status. Please don’t get this confused with taking advice from bitter married people, that’s a different story. 🙂

**Bonus Tips**

  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to married couples that inspire you and ask them out for dinner with you and your significant other. Yes, it might feel a little awkward at first, but it’s just like pursuing any other type of relationship. Besides, people usually like giving advice!
  • If you don’t know where to find mentors, start with church or community leaders. You don’t HAVE to find your marriage tribe on Facebook like I did, but you can try that too!
  • Make sure you use discernment when forming close relationships with others. Have proper borders and boundaries set up to honor each other, especially in the beginning stages of a new relationship.

Now that I’m less than three months away from getting married, I’m so glad I went with my gut and reached out to the couple I now consider family. It’s okay to include the right people in on your romantic relationships. It’s also okay to look a little weird, to get to your #marriagegoals.

Sydney is a writer, self-proclaimed bloomer, believer, and young professional. She started HerGraceHisGlory.com a blog to capture the unfiltered life of ladies chasing faith with grace & style.

**Looking for some more practical steps to prepare yourself for marriage? These 21 Days will help you get there, by providing one practical step each day!

Welcome to TrueLoveDates.com! I’m Debra Fileta, Professional Counselor & Author of the book True Love Dates, and I created this blog as a space to pair psychology and Christian spirituality to address all things love, dating, and relationships.

This month, I’ve invited some of my faithful TrueLoveDates readers to share their heart with the rest of our blog community for my #GuestPostSeries!! There are some AMAZING singles out there, people!!! I’m choosing 10 guest posts to share with you over the summer. I’m so excited to hear their stories and share their messages with you as well! Enjoy!! And be sure to leave them some love in the comment section below.  — Love, Debra