Gentleman or Jesus?

There are three things you should know about me.

1. I’ve never dated ever. In any sense of the word.

2. I think I’d be horrid at it.

I don’t really know when I started to think that, but I do. Which is depressing. Because someday I’d love to share my life with a man, the right one. Whomever that might be.

The thing is, I don’t think I’d be bad at dating because I’d be one of those really intense, scary girls who keeps tabs on her boyfriend’s every move and stalks his Facebook with the skills of an FBI agent. That’s entirely too much work. (And I use up all the stalker energy on my crushes.) But seriously, why bother to be with someone if you can’t trust them? I’ve never understood that. Then again, I’m used to being alone. I’m used to caring for only myself. I’m independent, I guess. Honestly, I can’t really imagine what it would be like to depend on someone else. There’s never been a chance for me to try.

This is tied to the third thing you should know about me.

3. I’m a bit self conscious.

I’ve always struggled with my self esteem. With feeling good enough. With feeling worthy. The fact that I’ve never dated plays into this in two ways. First, it’s hard to let a guy know you’re interested when you’re not all that confident in yourself. And second, it’s hard to have confidence when guys don’t seem all that interested. Vicious cycles, and all that.

As I’ve lived more of my life, gone into the world, and accomplished some of the things I’ve dreamed of, my confidence has grown. While I write this, I’m happy. I’m content. I’m proud of where I am. I’ve worked hard to make some of my dreams come true, and I’m still working on others. It’s a constant chase. But a lovely journey.

Still, in all my years, I’ve never had a boyfriend. No relationships for the woman who loves perhaps too strongly for her own good. And I sometimes I get caught up in the “why?” Why haven’t I found someone? Why am I always alone? When will it be my chance? I’m more curious than defeated, because I hate the not knowing.

One of the songs by The Killers that always hits me is “When You Were Young.” The beginning grabs my attention:

You sit there in your heartache
Waiting on some beautiful boy to
To save you from your old ways
You play forgiveness
Watch him now, here he come
He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus
But he talks like a gentleman
Like you imagined when you were young

I’m not sure if I’ve ever had my heart broken, not really. It’s been bruised to be sure. The perils of wanting and not having. But it’s healed over time. Yet, as I hear this song, I wonder if I’m waiting for a beautiful boy to save me from some supposed heartache. I wonder if I’m hoping a man will come into my life and undo all my insecurities and self esteem issues. I fear I’m waiting for a man to tell me I’m worthy of love, when really I’ve always been worthy and I’ve always been loved.

Perhaps I expect too much from a man, and that’s why I can’t find him.

The line I love is “He doesn’t look a thing like Jesus.” It’s so easy to look at the person we are interested in and make them into some sort of hero or heroine. This person, we tell ourselves, is exactly what I need. She will love me like no one else. He will take care of me better than the others. This person will heal my heart and rescue me from my past mistakes.

Only, he doesn’t look like Jesus. Because he isn’t. He isn’t perfect. And he’s not a savior. He can’t vanquish your demons or take away the nightmares. One man or woman can’t erase the troubles of your past with a look and a kiss and sweet nothings in your ear. Expecting that only sets you up for disappointment. It creates the illusion that your partner is above reproach, perfect. He can do no wrong. She will never hurt me. He is everything I need. She can stop me from going back to the bad behavior of my past.

No one, man or woman, can be held to that standard. We are all human. Beautifully flawed and wretchedly imperfect. And while we should expect the man or woman in our life to walk with us through the hard times, he can’t heal us and she can’t save us. Only God has the power and ability to do so in His infinite love and grace. He is our Savior. The man by our side needs healing just as we do. We are all broken people. We all have the secrets of our past. We can’t be Jesus for our partners. And we shouldn’t try to be.

So maybe I haven’t found the man I’m meant to be with, because I wouldn’t be able to be with him without assuming too much. There are things I’ve held onto since I was young, born out of a place of innocence and naiveté, that it may be time to let go of. And there are things in my past I have yet to resolve, with myself and with God.

Maybe I’m not simply looking for a gentleman.
Maybe I’m searching for Jesus.
And after I understand they are not one in the same, maybe then I’ll be ready.

Thank you for reading! And maybe (definitely) follow me on Twitter. I’m pretty entertaining.

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22 thoughts on “Gentleman or Jesus?

    • Exactly. We can’t hope for a guy to come and rescue us. They are only human after all. But God can save and heal us, and maybe we can learn to rescue ourselves.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)

      Cassi

  1. It’s almost frustrating how much I relate to these posts. But personally, the line that resonates with me is “But more than you’ll ever know”, there’s so much that can be said about that I’m sure you can articulate better than I can.

  2. It is kind of know what is needed from a partner and from Jesus, isn’t it? For me at least it is, but it took dating the wrong women to realize this (and thank God I didn’t marry either of them) I guess what I’m trying to say is thanks for sharing and also even after dating TWO girls I do not know how to talk to the opposite sex.

  3. As a gentleman who is not Jesus, I agree. I often imagine my life would be so much better if I found the right girl. I wrote a blog just yesterday that included these words that had been running round in my head.

    “Why do you think the grass always looks greener in someone else’s yard? We don’t have to work their yard, we didn’t have to weed it, we don’t see all the little imperfections we do in our own yard, that we’ve studied closely as it continues to disappoint us. It is easy to want what you haven’t got. What you haven’t got can’t disappoint you or leave you unsatisfied. It is much harder to cherish what you have and make the most of it. The grass may be greener somewhere else, but most of the time it only looks that way.”

    When we look for a partner, sometimes we imagine this perfect person that we long for more than we long for the God we already have, and the blessings he has given us. I don’t know if you get told this as much in the US of A, but here we get told Singlehood is a gift. It’s not, but the time and emotional energy you have free to spend on God, and the opportunities he can bring your way, that is something to cherish, to cling to, and not to pass up in favour of seeking perfection in a potential relationship.

    I think God is pretty pleased with the state of your priorities!

    • I agree that often when we imagine our future spouse, we imagine them to be perfect. We put them high on the pedestal of our expectations, and really no one can live up to that. It’s unfair to put that pressure on someone who is just as imperfect as we are.
      Thank you so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate it :)

      Cassi

      • Amen to that. We have to be careful also not to get into relationships where we’re being put on a pedestal, where others are dependent on us to rescue them, and we need to teach (by example mostly) our partners or friends to rely on God, with us there to do his will!

  4. Hi Cassi,

    Poor baby. I see so much of myself in you. I know what it’s like to be single, so, chronically single, to be watching the dating world from the outside, wondering why nobody asks you, why you’re never picked. I understand completely. And I wish there was something I could do or say to take the pain away.

    I have to say that, first of all, you can’t predict when a man will come along. Sometimes he comes along at 19. Sometimes at 25. Sometimes at 32. And sometimes at 50 (yes, this has happened!). And some of us, for whatever reason, just don’t attract that many men. You have to understand, Cassi, that you’re perfectly normal. I know that, especially if you’re living in certain communities, it seems like everyone has paired off and is living in coupled bliss and you’re the freak for not finding someone, for never having found someone.

    But it’s so, SO not true. Romance is so fickle. It’s perfectly normal to be 25 and not really have dated anyone. It’s perfectly normal to be 32, as I am, and never have had a serious boyfriend. For that matter, it’s perfectly normal to be 27 and have only had one serious long-term relationship with a neurotic anime-addict who couldn’t get it up. For THAT matter, it’s perfectly normal to be 35 and a newly-christened divorcee from a frigid workaholic with an addiction to painkillers.

    Do you see what I mean? I know a lot of people, WAY more than you think, who just really haven’t dated in their twenties. For lots of reasons. They’re unique people – Christians, gamers, intellectuals, quirky artists – who just can’t relate to most of the people they know. Or they are just working through some social or personal or self-esteem issues that keep them isolated and make it difficult to connect with others.

    Don’t worry, Cassi. You’re SO smart. And judging from your blog, you’re SO sweet. And judging from your picture, you’re SO cute. If you were here in Brooklyn and were a little more confident, you’d have 10 boyfriends. I love your hipster glasses. Don’t fret. It’s just not your time yet. Focus on yourself. Give yourself every luxury. Follow every passion. Indulge every urge. Enjoy yourself. And when it’s your time, he’ll come.

  5. “Maybe I’m not simply looking for a gentleman.
    Maybe I’m searching for Jesus.”

    Good for you. Better that you and the man He’s prepared for you find each other as you both at journey to discover Him rather than each other. Makes for a solid foundation, even before you two met. You’d both be sure that you both share the same goal.

    God bless you, Cassi.

  6. i have read through about five of your posts so far (tough to do on my phone but i am soldiering on!) and i feel like you are writing my life, like you have been sitting in on my conversations with my roommate for the last 8 months. like perhaps we are twins or something.

    i am looking forward to reading through everything else, and seeing what new things you have to say. i read your “about me” section, and while i consider myself an adequately articulate person with a fondness for journaling/essaying, you definitely have a gift for representing what many of us think and feel and lack the skills or mental capacity to say after a long day of work, me included.

  7. Cassi, you are such a Solidly Interesting girl,…
    and articulating some serious wisdom as you grow,…
    I’d just say, don’t overthink it,…Live, Like Crazy as a single woman, cause those are great times

    Imagine yourself being prepared for some guy, who is going through the same level of prep and testing
    you’ll be So Glad you had these years,…I promise

    and Thanks, beyond my ability to describe in words,…for writing this all out, for us

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