Let’s Go Camping!

Image of a camping site with tent and wood fire. Text states, "Let's stop building houses where we should be pitching tents." Inspired by T. D. Jakes. Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist. mdillondesigns.com

I am the first to say how happily single I am, but let the right person cross my path, and enough coincidences occur, and I’m thinking, “Hmmm…. I wonder if you’re the one.” I watch way too many romantic comedies to not get nipped by the love bug periodically. 

What I have learned over time is that I tend to ignore red flags. I am so accepting of others that I put ribbons and bows on red flags. It starts out as, “I can understand how they became the way they are, look at their story.” Before long it’s, “Everyone else has walked away, I have to be the one who shows them someone cares enough not to leave.” It’s a bit of a toxic pattern. 

Over the last few years, I have been a bit more aware of this tendency and adjusted to only dressing up red flags that aren’t that serious. For example, an anger issue is a definite “No,,” but a fear of commitment might get a bow. 

As I’ve been doing so much introspection lately, I discovered that regardless of my comfort with being single, I am honestly wired to be a wife. I don’t really know how to be a girlfriend. I go from “we met” to full on “wifey.” Before long I’m learning likes and dislikes, memorizing important stories and their characters, and figuring out how to support his dreams. (Honestly, it’s a little embarrassing to share, but if my openness empowers you, it’s worth it.)  

About a week ago, I had an epiphany about not having a middle ground. I was deep in thought about my history of making faux husbands of red flag bearers, when I recalled a T. D. Jakes’ sermon I heard many years ago. Bishop Jakes said, “We’re building houses where we should be pitching tents.” Those words hit me like an openhanded slap!

I claim to live by the idea that, “People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.” But when enough key elements line up, I start hiding red flags behind my back and start digging a foundation. As I was processing the T.D. Jakes’ quote, I heard these words within, “Can’t you just go camping?” I literally laughed out loud! 

Regardless of how I’ve operated in the past, going zero to sixty in relationships is a crash waiting to happen. I don’t have to pull out the blueprints to a house every time I meet someone. I can just pitch a tent and give myself time to see if they are here for a reason, a season or a lifetime. 

I’m not sure who I wrote this for, but ever since that quote came back to me, I’ve been thinking I need to share it in a post. This can apply to friendships, as well as intimate relationships. It’s okay to connect with people AND give it some time to see who and how they are. We can also allow relationships to complete, without viewing it as a failure. We can appreciate the good times we’ve had, and be willing to loosen our grip when we are no longer aligned. Not all relationships are meant to last forever. We don’t need to keep building houses where we should be pitching tents. We can just go camping. 

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

Published by Marlene Dillon

Marlene Dillon is the CEO of MDillon Designs & Publishing. I teach girls to believe in themselves and choose relationships that support their goals. I teach children that their dreams are possible and that they are lovable. I teach parents to communicate with their children in healthy ways. In short, I.U.S.E. people. Inspire. Uplift. Support. Empower.

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