Do I Fit In This Relationship or Do I Belong In This Relationship?

I love asking this question to a group:  What’s the difference between fitting in and belonging? This always leads to a good conversation.

Because there is a big difference, right?

When you are dating someone you want things to work out. You want to be in love. Fitting in feels like enough.

When you are trying to fit in, or trying to make this match work, you tend to hide pieces of who you are. You contort yourself. You become smaller. It too often comes down to survival. You simply want to be in love and fitting in feels like enough. Because… and because… and because…you know your reasons.

Fitting in is not enough. You really want to belong.

Is this relationship asking you to reduce yourself down to a simmer and pour it into a Jello mold? I heard that somewhere and can’t forget that visual. Are you melted Jello trying to stay in this relationship?

The people who love you are noticing these “red flags.” Are you listening to them? I believe your soul is also noticing these red flags. Are you listening to your soul? You know this but you don’t want to know this. You want to be in love.

Many people believe they have fallen in love, only to realize their “love” is based on need—a need to be accepted. Or a need to be valued or a need to be affirmed or a need to be taken care of or to be nurtured or to be kept safe. None of this is the fulfillment of belonging.

There is this “power” in hooking someone too. It feels good. You feel good about yourself. But this isn’t belonging either.

So often in the desire to fit, sex becomes a part of the relationship. But sex doesn’t guarantee belonging. Good sex is faithful, fruitful, and points us to God, where belonging starts. Bad sex tells the lie that our bodies don’t have spiritual significance.

We think fitting in will help with the loneliness. This may be one of your “because excuses.” Without belonging you end up being lonelier than you were in the first place.

Sometimes it’s easier to fit in with what is comfortable rather than what is healthy.

Fitting in is not enough. You really want to belong.

Belonging sees your significance. Belonging does not shrink you. Belonging grows you.  

Belongingness is honest. Honest is a big word.

Belongingness is a settledness that begins on the inside and grows as you lean further into the fullness of God and the fullness of the relationship.

Belongingness has some vanity in it.

Belongingness is beautiful because you know your authentic and imperfect self is loved and valued.

You can grow a love for a lifetime from belongingness. This means you must end the “fitting in” relationship you are hanging onto because love is not enough for a relationship to be a good match. There is little chance that this melted-Jello you will be able to grow this relationship into one of belonging.

Try again with the next one. Have a little vanity. Date as your authentic and imperfect self. This person is dating you “as is.” There is a lot to learn in this article. Getting to know this intriguing person is the fun part of dating. The assumption is you are getting to know the whole person—not just the good parts. Over time you also learn about the broken parts, the healed parts, and the parts which are in the process of healing. Just like the wonder of you.

The wonder of you is worth a life of belonging to people.

Read also: We Can’t Be in a Relationship with Everybody We Love.

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