I LOVE, love. Underneath the cynical, realist vibe I give off, I’m a sucker for a good love story and a secret (and now not so secret) hopeless romantic. With couples like Prince Harry and Meghan, John and Chrissy, Faith and Tim, KimYe… It’s easy for me to dream up what I hope my love life could possibly look like. Amirite? I want to love and be loved. Don’t we all?

But what happens when love is the opposite of everything you thought it was going to be? When it brings you hurt and pain instead of pure bliss? When your happily ever after isn’t quite the way you thought it would turn out to be?

Our view and perspective of love shapes the relationships we choose to be in. So what is authentic love?

Here is what the Bible says about love:
“Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut. Doesn’t have a swelled head. Doesn’t force itself on others. Isn’t always “me first,”. Doesn’t fly off the handle. Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others. Doesn’t revel when others grovel. Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth. Puts up with anything. Trusts God always. Always looks for the best. Never looks back, but keeps going to the end.” 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 msg

I’m sure most of you are familiar with this passage. At weddings, I often anticipate this scripture and repeat it with the officiant as they recite it.  However, despite the familiarity, this truly is what genuine love looks like. It’s sacrificial. It’s not all talk, but action. It’s taking the good, bad, and ugly and still wanting to be with a person. It’s dying to self for the benefit of the other person and the relationship. If our view on love isn’t rooted in the One who IS love, we can often mistake what we think is genuine love for a carbon copy.

A carbon copy is when a person or thing is a close resemblance of someone or something , but isn’t the original. It’s masked. It’s counterfeit. It might look the same, talk the same, and walk the same, but at the root it’s just a look-alike or copy, if you will.

Have you ever experienced carbon copy love? Been in what you thought was “love” then came out of it and was like, “What was I thinking?!” You thought it was the real deal, but it turned out to be a big lesson for you? When you’re in a carbon copy relationship, it’s often hard to see the truth because you’re so caught up in the person and the idea of what you think the relationship could be.

Here is what I’ve found to be signs of carbon copy love:

1. You lower your standards.
I could probably write a WHOLE post of this sign alone. I have found myself doing this numerous times.🤦🏻‍♀️ I know what I want in a significant other. I’ve made “the list” and checked it twice, but yet I find myself compromising those values to fit the person in my life. I try to justify the red flags I already see and say things like, “I think I could put up with this. It’s not too much for me to handle. They might change.” When really, I’m tolerating behavior and characteristics that go against what I want and deserve.

2. You begin to doubt your worth.
Sometimes people jump into a relationship with baggage or unhealed wounds. Healing and wholeness are important when beginning a relationship. Without them, space is left for insecurity that when unaddressed can cause friction with the person they are dating now. Then there are times when these emotions are a result of the person they are currently dating. Their actions are not matching up to their words or there’s inconsistency. You begin to think something is wrong with you or you’re not enough when really, it has nothing to do with you at all.

3. You hurt more than you are happy.
All relationships have their ups and downs, but when you can count more bad days than good, it’s not healthy. You try to hang on to the few good days you do have, but sometimes that is not enough. You try to tell yourself that love is painful when really it’s not suppose to be.

We’re often looking for quick fixes to satisfy the void of love that we’re desiring. I know this feeling. I’ve been there. But not seeking and leaning into wisdom when we’re dating or knowing when to walk away from a love that isn’t authentic can cause us to settle in something that’s temporary. We’re craving a contentment that can really only be found in Jesus. Our love story with Jesus is the greatest of all time and His love for us is eternal. It never fades or runs dry. His love for us was sacrificial and came at a cost.

I recently sat down with my pastor who spoke truth into my life. He told me something that I think people in this “waiting season” or “carbon copy love” situation need to hear:

“I am the prize. I am worth the wait. The right person will come at the right time.”

It ignited a spark in me to not settle. It’s not conceited to feel that you deserve the best. It’s not wrong for you to be picky when it comes to a significant other. Why? Because God wants the absolute best for you! His love for us is not a carbon copy so why would He want you to settle for something that is less than real?

Don’t let fear cripple you from walking away from that comfortable/familiar relationship. Don’t let society pressure you into thinking that time is running out for you to find love. Don’t let loneliness make you forget what you are worth.

You are of the utmost value. You are worth the pursuit. You deserve authentic love. Don’t settle. Don’t compromise. Keep fighting and believing that God has your best interest at heart.

I have to remind myself of this every day. I don’t know why certain relationships didn’t work out. I don’t know why I haven’t met “the one”. Perhaps God is not finished with me in this season, and maybe He hasn’t completed His work yet in you too. But what I do know is I don’t want a carbon copy love. I want the real thing. The way God intended and designed a relationship to be. You should too because “YOU ARE WORTH THE WAIT. YOU ARE THE PRIZE. THE RIGHT PERSON WILL COME AT THE RIGHT TIME.”

XO,
Bri