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.