On being single
As I started to think about this blog post I began to find the subject matter sorta ironic. In a blog I've always intended to be somewhat about girls and relationships, topics I've always considered of my strongsuits, it is very interesting to note that the first "technical" post is going to be about singleness. Strangely enough - MY singleness. In hindsight I should have broken this up into parts, but I've decided that I like my writing as raw as possible. If this is what was intended when I started, then I'm going to leave it at that and continue writing.
About a month or two ago one of my mentors told me he felt like I should remain single until this year's Christmas. This wasn't a remotely challenging idea at the time. It is true that I have been in multiple broken relationships over the years, and it is true that I have found myself relying on my relationships with girls more often than not. However in this particular situation, after having God work in and through me over the past year, and with my mentor's help, I've managed to find myself at an entirely different level. I could accept his challenge because, even though there were many cute girls that I was interested in, I hadn't felt called to pursue anyone in quite a long time. I was content. I felt that God was still doing some amazing things. I didn't need a girl.
Well...we won't go that far. "Content" was sufficient enough. Of course, my mentor and I were quick to acknowledge that, once accepted, the challenge would become more difficult over time.
Man. Was I unprepared for what came next.
It wasn't what we had originally anticipated. Girls were not "coming out of the woodwork" (cause that would just be too awesome wouldn't it God?) Instead the problem was coming from within. It is not as if I started to feel "extra lonely" or even that I began to fall in love with any particular girl. No. I was still content. I still didn't want to pursue anyone.
But you see, I have a problem. This particular problem isn't ever actually considered a problem until it is a problem. Confused? Let me explain.
Four months ago I took a strengths-finder test at the encouragement of another mentor of mine, and of those five strengths two of them came out to be "Woo" and "Empathy". My mentor made me aware that this is a deadly combination around women, because on one hand I'm very good at listening to them (empathy), and on another I can be very friendly and open (woo); which can come across as flirtatious. Turns out I was aware of this and had kept it under control for quite a while, but I just didn't have a way to explain it, so this further helped to keep my actions in check.
Well after so many months of making sure I don't use my "woo" in all the wrong places or for sure evil, it turns out the "woo" is bursting to get out. It wants desperately to make a connection with a girl, romance her, and caller her my own. "Any girl will do." my woo is trying to tell me, and yet I'm determined not to. I've been down that road before. I understand those dangers. I'm simply just not ready. Let's also keep in mind that I have yet to narrow down a girl to pursue (cause there's just so many! harhar! - False...)
Then I began to reason with myself. Why am I being single? What's the point of not dating right now? Would it really be so bad?
Then I asked myself a question that I have been applying over-and-over in my life for the past several weeks: What is the big picture?
Never once had I considered that maybe this "being single" business is not for me, but for God's purpose. Maybe this is for somebody else. Perhaps God wanted to use me, whom is so proficient in giving relationship advice and talking about my own experiences, to speak to another facet of relationships often overlooked. I considered the truth that God was needing me to BE single, so that I could speak to OTHER single people - males in particular.
Because I've never been single like this.
Sure I've been single. But those times I was always single and "wanting." Now I'm single and happy, putting my joy and trust in God and am in no way worried about my future any longer. Far from the desperate helpless romantic of yesteryear. I am satisfied.
It seems that anytime a married person gives advice to the single person about being single, the message never quite hits home. Sure they are speaking truths that we all know well, but as a single person I am inclined to think that it is EASY for the married person to talk about being single because, well, they FOUND the person they were meant to be with. They're no longer struggling through the same things that I am. Of course they can talk about being single like it's no big deal, because they never have to be single again, and they found their happy ending.
However, if I talk about being single, well that's a different story altogether. I haven't found the girl of my dreams yet, and if I can do it, SO CAN YOU.
So what have I learned after so many months of being single? A few things. Gentleman - pay attention.
1. She is not yours.
When Adam first uttered the word "woman" it is said that he was actually saying "mine", but let's get one thing straight, this was AFTER God had given Eve to Adam. Before she was presented to Adam she belonged to one being: God. This is how we should view each and every girl. Too often we make lists of qualities we think the girl of our dreams is supposed to possess, because we believe that she was made specifically for us or for our benefit. This is simply not true. She was made as her own person. She was made uniquely. When God gives her to you, he's not saying, "This is yours", but he's saying "I trust you."
Because you should be focused on making her happy. Treating her well. Loving her like Christ loves the church. She is not a gift. She is a blessing. One given to man because God thought of us as capable.
Well man has screwed up. Over the years we've looked at women as property, animals, or our own to do with as we please.
Men, we have to start thinking differently if God is going to ever trust us again. Understand that she was not made for your benefit, not just because you are lonely, but so that you might have the chance to love unconditionally. That you might get to show grace, mercy, and other such qualities that God wants to bring out of you.
Those single girls around you, imagine them as belonging to God, and stop pursuing something that isn't yours, that he hasn't given you the permission to pursue. Because if you don't, you'll treat them poorly, and you'll screw it up, and you'll hurt a lot of people in the process. Believe me. I've done it.
I know what it's like to fail.
2. She is not your friend.
In "When Harry Met Sally" Harry famously says, "Men and women can't be friends because the sex part always gets in the way." Whether or not this is entirely true I have yet to determine, but I do believe that Harry has a point. In my case, I will never again date a girl who ever says to me, "I get along better with guys than I do girls." Because that is a GIANT RED FLAG in my book.
Guy. I get it. You are a ladies man. The girls love you. Your intentions are pure. You can't help it if you can relate to them better than you can other guys.
Seriously. Stop it. It is not a healthy relationship. You're not supposed to be the one texting and calling them all the time. You're not supposed to be filling them in with every intimate detail of your life. Get some guy friends. Man up. Let her do all that stuff with the girls. Save it for the one that counts.
Why am I so adament about this?
As I said before I'm very good at listening to girls. I'm good at talking to them. I'm very good at wooing them. The issue is that I don't want to woo every girl I know. The issue is that I want the girl that I woo to be very special. Unfortunately if I treat every girl like my best friend just because I can get along with them, when that girl God has for me finally comes along, I won't be able to treat her with any special attention. I won't be able to set her apart from all the other girls because I already have a lot of "girlfriends." In fact the only way I'll be able to really make her special is if I stop talking to other girls and give her all the attention, and then I have friends who are hurt or confused because I don't share my life with them like I used to. Or I choose to set that girl apart by giving her the one thing I don't give the other girls: physical intimacy, or sex.
Then it becomes something it wasn't intended to be. Then I'm connecting with her only in the physical sense, and I'm not guarding her or my heart. Then when we decide it's not going to work out I stop treating her "special", and a piece of her heart comes with me. Then I've made things worse.
The reason God hasn't given you a girl to love is because you have too many girlfriends. She doesn't want to be just another. God doesn't want her to be treated like everyone else. He finds her too precious for that. So should you.
Girls are not your friends. They are your sisters. Hang out with them in groups. Be there when they need you, but don't give them too much attention. She belongs to God, and is possibly meant to be loved by somebody else. You're meant to protect them until he gets there. Don't steal her heart.
And when that other girl comes along, and God points her out, you can show her how positively different she really is in your eyes.
3. Find the beauty.
Chances are if you are a male, and you are reading this, you have probably looked at pornography before. You've lusted after more women then you can count. You have idealized women in your head and found "perfection" in all the wrong places. If this still describes you and you still struggle with these sorts of things, then I'm sorry to say that your view of beauty has become skewed, and you may not even realize it yet.
Day in and day out you are bombarded with images of beautiful ladies. On the street. In the magazines. On the net. etc.
You've trained yourself to scrutinize every girl you encounter. You like her eyes. You like her smile. You like her legs. Her hips. Her waist. Her cheeks. Hair. Face. Lips. And you've pieced together in your mind the perfect girls for you. The only ones you could ever see yourself with. The only girls you'd ever be caught dating.
That is just terrible.
Yes. You may be attracted to certain women, but you don't know what you like. Far from it. You're lost. You're delusional. And you need to start understanding that the beauty of a girl is more than how she looks, but includes what she is like. I'm not saying you should end up dating someone you are not attacted to, because that is just plain wrong, but I'm saying that you need to stop looking at girls like you could only ever find certain ones beautiful. Because they are all beautiful. God has created each one as a framework in which to represent a specific kind of beauty, and you need to find that within the women that surround you. Find the uniqueness in each woman. Let that beauty bring a smile to your face, and stop looking for perfection.
Perfection, in my personal opinion, is when the girl of my dreams falls victim to sickness, or a disease, or has an accident, or even old age, and I still find her unequivicolly attractive beyond anyone else.
4. Do something.
I love Sara Barielles' song "King of Anything." Because though it is an insult to specific men delievered in a positive manner, it is a constant reminder to me that my purpose is not to save women, it is to be something.
God created us with a specific purpose in mind. He gave us gifts and talents to use so that we might follow him and find the deepest desires of our heart. I think at times in my life I've forgotten about that and instead followed my heart towards specific women, instead of working towards what he created me to become.
Listen fellas, I'm going to make this brief, unless you are the King of Anything, you are nothing, and you have no say. God isn't going to trust you with loving a woman if you don't have your own life figured out. If you're not following him and pursuing your purpose then why would he allow you to be blessed beyond all imagination. Trust me. You're not ready for that.
Find your purpose. Do your duty.
Let the woman see this. Let her fall in love with it. Let her see that you are a man of God, a man of integrity, and a man of determination, resolve, & intent (among other things). Stop worrying about finding a girl to fall in love with. Fall in love with your passions. Fall in love with God and his promises.
When a lady sees this, and she knows without a doubt that she wants to be a part of it, then, and only then, will you know who God has intended you to share life with.
(These are my opinions at the moment. What do you think?)