“I just want to find a nice guy who appreciates me.”
“All I want is a good girl to take home to my parents.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this sort of thing, or a variation of it. (The beauty of going to a Christian college I suppose.) Nice guy. Good girl. A gentleman. A Proverbs 31 woman. We have these ideas and ideals of what we want our someday spouse to be like. We have them on a pedestal. We put them up there and admire them. But they aren’t real people. They are imitations of perfection. They are statues we’ve molded from our imagination. They are untouchable and unreachable. They are beyond us.
I’m guilty of doing this. It’s so very easy to let my thoughts run wild, forming images and hopes of what my husband ought to be like. I have expectations of what I’d love for him to be. Tall and handsome with a quick smile and charming wit. Free and affectionate, with a dark edge that maybe only I can really see. I want him to love words as much as I do. I want him to care about me, love me deeply. I want him to be a good, Christian man. I want him to love his family and love mine, despite the craziness. I want so many things.
But the more I imagine him, his past and his present, I don’t feel as if I belong in his future. I imagine him into a perfect, blameless being that I don’t deserve. I could never deserve him. He deserves a good girl, the sort without a past she sometimes feels ashamed of. He deserves a woman with a strong faith and relationship with God. He deserves someone who will encourage him to be better.
He deserves a woman I could never be. Really, it’s too late for me to be all those things.
And that breaks my heart.
We place our future loves on a pedestal and we realize that we don’t deserve them. We never could, because they are far better than we could ever be. We aren’t worthy of them, we tell ourselves. We don’t deserve that sort of happiness. We can’t have it, because of the things we’ve done.
And it leaks out of our fantasies and into our reality. We meet decent men or lovely women in real life, and we let our insecurities hold us back. We project our shortcomings onto the possibilities a relationship may hold, and we tell ourselves they are too good for us. They could do better, because they are better. Better then we could ever be.
He shouldn’t have to deal with my past, she says.
She could never understand the things I’ve done, he says.
It’s selfish, I think, to deny ourselves love and affection, because we imagine the men or women in our hearts to be better than us. It’s unfair to put them on a pedestal and convince ourselves and them that they should find someone else. We place expectations of being the “good girl” or “nice guy” on them, and they can’t possibly live up to that. No one can. We know we can’t.
We create for ourselves an impossible situation – we find a person we could love fiercely because of who they are, but we can’t trust them or ourselves enough to take that chance because of who they are.
But they aren’t perfect. And it’s unfair for us to believe they are.
Everyone is a bit broken, a little twisted, a tad askew. We all have pasts and baggage. None of it’s the same, but all of it makes each of us less than perfect. We’ve all been knocked off the pedestal by our thoughts and actions. We’ve made mistakes that left us feeling guilty, and we’ve held on to the shame. We look in the mirror and tell ourselves we are unworthy of love and undeserving of happiness. Good relationships are for other people. Perhaps we have to settle for something less.
I say no. You are lovely. You are good. You are amazing, strong, resilient, and wonderful. You are better for what you’ve experienced and inspiring for what you’ve gone through. You are a beautiful, fearful creation of God. You are His child, and He loves you in spite of everything, without conditions. And you deserve a person to come into your life who will love you in the same way.
You are allowed to have an amazing love story.
Instead of placing the men and women in our lives on pedestals and expecting them to live up to standards that we have convinced ourselves make us unworthy, we should have a bit more faith. Because if you feel as if you are unworthy, chances are the love interest in your life may feel the same way. Work together past the insecurities in honesty, rather than denying yourself the beauty of relationship with a good person.
Because we are all good. Good men and good women, and we deserve real love. We deserve to be given a chance.
You deserve to take a chance.
Thank you for reading! And maybe (definitely) follow me on Twitter. I’m pretty entertaining.