Current Mood: Poetry?

I haven’t written poetry since high school, so be warned. I have no idea if this is good or not but whatever.¬†Tonight I found myself swept away by my powerful imagination yet again and HAD to write what I did about such experiences. Here is the song that I had on repeat while writing this, if you want the full experience ūüôā

Some Other Place

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Where I’ve Been

Five years. It’s been five years of writing this blog (and ghosting in true INFP fashion in-between). Sorry for the extremely long ghosting session this time and if I’ve worried you. I’m alive. I haven’t forsaken my faith in Jesus. I haven’t randomly boned someone and quit writing out of defeat.

And it’s crazy how not much has changed in my circumstances and yet much has changed in my heart.

First, I want to say, God is good. His mercy and His grace are complete and wonderful…and undeserved yet so lovingly given.

I’m 30. I’m single. I’m a virgin. I’ve never been kissed. I’ve never been in love or even in a serious relationship. I’ve never had a boyfriend.

2016 was a crazy year of growth for me. Going to the small group for the first half of the year was amazing and such a good experience. I learned so much, met people who challenged me, and was creatively inspired. The small group stopped in the middle of the summer, and though I was sad and missed it, I knew God had His reasons for it ending.

Work kept me busy all fall, and I asked for some time off. I was granted a 7-week sabbatical which I took in March and April. I rested, traveled, and it was soooo good. I began to learn more about my personality-type and it has been eye-opening to say the least. I know that Meyers-Briggs is not the Be-All-End-All but it has definitely helped some things fall into place for me.

I went on one single date with an acquaintance of a friend but nothing came of it. Dating is even more obscure and confusing than ever, and the experience dredged up some old insecurities and frustrations, but I survived.

One of my close friends has been divorced. The first of my group to do so. Her experience kind of reinforces the side of my brain that appreciates my singleness. I know God loves me and His love is perfect, even if it isn’t always easy, and so I can trust Him. But trusting another person that way when it’s guaranteed that they will hurt me because they are human… Good gosh my fairytale ideas of romance and marriage are laughable as the years go by and humanity, my own included, takes a big dump on that sort of foolishness. ¬†I think God has continued my singleness to keep my little idealistic self from being completely destroyed by disappointment. Real love isn’t appealing the way romanticized love is. It’s the humility of the mundane. It’s hearing someone tell the same story a million times. It’s accepting that people don’t change in ways we wish and do change in ways we don’t. And sometimes it’s getting your heart ripped out and your identity being stripped from you because everything you thought was true suddenly wasn’t because that other person chose not to keep their vows. Once again I’m learning lessons by proxy, from people braver and more impulsive than me.

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve posted and I can tell you most of the reason why:¬†I’m still horny. I still masturbate. But I’m in a new place with it and I have been figuring it out and I also don’t want to cause anyone to stumble. This is the main reason I haven’t written. So let me explain where I’m at with this as carefully as I can.

One of my married friends mentioned that she had trouble in her sex-life with allowing herself to be vulnerable with her sexuality. She was struggling with being embarrassed and inhibited in certain ways, and asked me if I was still staunchly against masturbating.

“Now that I’m married, I¬†can’t say that masturbating is the worst thing for you.¬†I just wonder if¬†it might help you¬†more comfortable with yourself and so it might be easier for you when you get married than it’s been for me. But don’t take that as from the Lord. If you still have that conviction then please keep it.”

Basically she was wondering if she’d shamed herself into an unhealthy view of her sexuality, making her own pleasure a place of insecurity and embarrassment.

I did think about this.

At this point in my life I’ve finally realized that my sin no longer separates me from God. It does have consequences and it does have an effect, but it does not have separation. By this I mean that because of Jesus, in the very moment you screw up, God is there. It is forgiven. No distance exists. No working yourself back into His good graces. His good graces are already on you full force in that moment. His good graces being His love, His kindness, His fondness of you, His acceptance of you, His approval of you. He doesn’t even have a disappointed face on when you turn back to Him.

Sin and pride produce shame because we know when we screw up. And that shame tells us that we have to wait a couple weeks until God cools off from His latest disappointment in us before we can hear from Him again. Shame tells us that as our latest screw up fades from our memory it will do the same with God. Shame tells us that if we are extra good we can make up for our mistake and slowly take down the giant wall of sin we put up. Brick by brick we can take it down until we can once again be in His presence.

But shame is a lie when Jesus is involved. Shame is the tool used by the enemy to keep us from realizing that God is right there, waiting for your relationship to continue. There’s no barrier in-between. Jesus paid the price so the veil could tear and nothing comes in-between anymore. No working back. No tearing down. It’s already been done.

Masturbation is not the problem. Masturbation can be a symptom, however, of a deeper problem.

It is something I’ve turned to in place of God. It was a habit I relied on as an excuse to distance myself from Him because I couldn’t live up to what I thought I should be.

Pride. I wanted to be perfect. I knew I needed God, and I was a sinner, but pride made me want to need Him less. It’s that damn independent thing inside us that demands our own way, when we were created to be dependent on Him.

Somehow, it’s just¬†easier to be a lustful failure who rages against the sinful desires that plague her than to allow myself to be accepted just as I am. I want to change and be rid of these shortcomings, but it isn’t to please God, not really. It’s to please myself.

These truths started to sink in. Grace permeated yet another layer of my heart. And with it came the realization that my masturbation habit was no longer an excuse. God was right there. EVEN WHEN IT WAS HAPPENING. And I could resume the conversation with Him at any point and in any moment and not have to work back into relationship at all.

If you’ve read some of my oldest posts maybe you remember my processing at the time.

But then I think, ‚ÄúIf it isn‚Äôt wrong then why am I so hesitant to ask God if it is? If it isn‚Äôt wrong then why does it happen when I‚Äôm not close to God? Why do I feel farther away from Him when I‚Äôm doing it?‚ÄĚ

I think masturbation becomes wrong and damaging when:

  1. It is interrupting and controlling your life. If you can’t function without it. If you can’t abstain from it. If it is a habit and it controls you vs you controlling yourself.
  2. If it is lustful. Lust is fantasizing about someone. Which of course leads to…
  3. If it supports the consumption of porn. Porn is harmful and damaging on so many levels. Porn is the embodiment and food of lust. Porn hurts not just individuals and their sex-lives, but society as a whole.
  4. If it is replacing intimacy in a marriage instead of supporting it. And last but not at all least…
  5. If you are convicted by the Holy Spirit that you are turning to the act instead of God to meet your emotional needs.

I no longer hold myself to a standard of living masturbation-free because I no longer believe the act is itself sinful. But I do know that having the freedom to do it holds very specific parameters for me because it can become sinful. I also know that I cross the line at times, that I still turn to it instead of God. But instead of being this huge road-block it’s an indicator. It’s a symptom of something deeper going on. When this happens¬†I need to ask myself: Why am I turning to this lately? What am I feeling that I need to take to God?

Let’s stop making masturbation the issue and get to the heart of the issue. If you are struggling, please believe that grace has you covered and be brave enough to start asking yourself the question¬†why?

And then go boldly to the Lord with the question and the answer. Easier said than done, I know. But until you accept that Jesus has given you His righteousness so that you can go freely before God, shame will continue to plague you and drive you to anything other than relationship with Him. But shame is a lie. There is no more guilt and no more shame. So live in that freedom! Stop trying to make yourself a more palatable version of yourself! Because that person is a mirage. The only truth about you and me that matters is that Jesus saved us and we are new and His. We will never stop needing Him to be that savior. Praise God, He will never stop being that savior for us!

This confession was a long time coming because I hate inconsistency in people and this is definitely a change from my previous writings. And I don’t want someone who has been experiencing freedom differently to stumble. And I haven’t known for certain that I’m right. But it’s where I am. And if that changes, then ok. That’s covered by the grace of God, too.

One last thought as to why it’s taken me so long to post again: honestly I’m just kind of over this subject. I’ve been content and focused on other areas in my life for once and writing would simply be more of the same story: I’m single, ya’ll. Same old thing, ya know? The fact that there’s nothing to report is in itself a bit painful. In this season, if I’m not having to write about it, I’m not thinking about it. So I might not write as much.

If any major happenings take place in my love-life, there will probably be lots of posts about it because I will be freaking out and need to process. So I’ll tell you what I told my mom: If anything happens, I promise I will let you know.

Because I love you for caring enough to read and comment. Thank you for that.

 

 

 

 

The Unrequited Love Saga Pt 3

Headlights on the road, backseat full of laundry, and my heart resisting the continual urging of my brain to beat at a normal pace, I made my way to George’s apartment.

Our dryer was broken and he’d offered his to me.

George and I had spent hardly any time without Lara. This was exciting and nerve-wracking all at once.

The evening started out just fine. We talked and chatted as my clothes tumbled about in imitation of my insides.

Then he changed the direction of the conversation.

George: Ok, ok, so I’m going to pose a hypothetical question.

Me: ….ooohhhkaaay…

George: Ok so¬†hypothetically, what would be the chances of you…telling me…if someone in your house liked me?

Me: That’s funny because I was actually about to ask you how long you’ve liked Lara.

George: No, no, no, no! This is¬†hypothetical! (looks at me very intensely and says with emphasis) What are the chances…of you…telling me…if someone in your house liked me?

Me: Uh…good I guess?

George: So, then, my next question. Does someone in your house like me?

Me:¬†So, you’ve got it pretty bad for Lara, huh?

George: Ace, no no. Does someone in your house like me?

I’m sure I just blinked a few times as he continued staring knowingly at me.

Him:

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Me:

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My thoughts: Holy crap, he knows! Why is he asking this way! This is so weird!

(George continues to stare. He can see right through me.)

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My thoughts: If he knows about my feelings I might as well be honest.

Me: Maybe a little?

George: (With a satisfied smile) I knew she did! I knew it! I could just feel that there was something there!…

My Thoughts:

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George: ¬† I could tell by the way she looked at me and I just knew she¬†had feelings for me! It’s in her posture and everything!¬†You know, I’m really good at reading people….

Me:

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(George continues to go on and on for a few minutes about sensing her “feelings” for him and how he liked¬†to go to the mall and just people watch and try to pick up on things about them and how good he was at that)

Me:

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My Thoughts:¬†I have no idea what to do in this moment. Not a dang clue. He’s not very good at reading my distress! She expressly told me she doesn’t like him and now he thinks she does and I can’t just interrupt him and say, “No. I meant me,” now that he’s gone on and on about how right he was. What is happening. What is happening…

Have you ever had a moment where¬†the narration in your head would make J.D. from Scrubs proud? Or where you wished you could freeze the world around you with a Zach Morris-style time-out in order to say to the camera, “IS THIS REAL LIFE!?”

There have only been a few times in my life that felt more like a movie or a TV show than reality.¬†This one was supremely surreal. I just kept thinking that it had played out like a script. Could a worse miscommunication possibly have taken place!? I had no answers, no knowledge of how to fix what I’d just done. I don’t remember what we talked about until my clothes dried but I laughed/groaned all the way home at the insanity of what had taken place.

I confessed to Lara what had happened when I arrived and she was very alarmed. I don’t remember either of us doing anything to correct what I’d told him. I guess we figured that if he made a move she would just turn him down…but I really don’t remember the in-between very clearly.

I just remember that not long after, he and I got to hang out again and we talked about deeper things and got to know each other better. And not long after that, we had a party at my apartment.

I could tell something was bothering a friend of mine, and so he and I decided to take a walk so he could tell me about it, and we decided this while Gamer was in the same room so I figured that it was fine to just leave because Gamer knew where I was going and who with.

I should have realized that Gamer’s head is in the clouds 90% of the time and he was not paying any attention to me and my friend. We were gone for probably an hour and when I got back George was absolutely furious. He was legitimately angry (which I’d never seen) and gave me an earful about disappearing without my phone. Reader told me after that she’d never seen him like that. She said he realized I was gone early on and he searched and searched and kept making her call me and was really worried.

I apologized to him. I was touched that he cared about me that much. And for the rest of the night I noticed that he was giving me more attention than usual. There was a slight change in him toward me after that night. Was it possible that he was starting to have feelings for me too?

 

(To be continued…)

Silhouette

This post is titled after the song which currently has me under its spell. Check it out here.

I¬†was enjoying it for it’s own merit, but after yesterday I’m afraid it will be associated with a certain person and certain feelings that overtook me yesterday.

For a while now I’ve had a very minor crush on a guy in the band (I’ve never mentioned him before). Not even a crush, really, because I would just dismiss my attraction to him as the result of loneliness or just the lack of eligible men in my life in general. As well as the fact that I’ve been determined not to crush on someone unless I have reason to believe they are actually pursuing me. I spent my young life falling for guys, seeking out fellas to crush on, until the big, heart-rending, unrequited last one toward the end of college. After that I was done. I’d had a number of big, pointless crushes that left me longing and feeling unseen, not to mention wasting my time, thoughts, energy, and affections on someone that had done nothing to deserve any of that from me. After that last heartache, I realized that I was done with doing that. I could be interested in someone, but I wasn’t going to silently pine, throwing my heart at someone who didn’t think of me the same. If he pursued, then I’d consider letting my emotions get more involved. So, I’ve had a few almosts since then, but I was very much in control of my emotions and never in any real danger of getting hurt.

Yesterday I was blindsided by my own emotions. I’ve explained before that I have emotions and am actually slightly more of a feeler than a thinker, but most of the time I’m not even in touch with those emotions and it’s rare that they surface enough for me to feel them strongly. What’s more, they were so strong no amount of logic could budge them, which is abnormal for me as well. Basically logic tried to enter the scene and got its ass handed to it by the hulk smash my emotions dealt. It freaked me out!

See, this guy is younger than me. Like…7 years younger than me. He’s in college. I know that compared to other couples it’s not that big of an age gap, but where we are in life makes it seem pretty big, as well as the fact that I’m older than all three of his older brothers. So it weirds me out a bit. Not only that but I can be a pretty strong woman and I want to be with someone who balances that. My hesitation is that because I’m older and more experienced, established, and know who I am while he’s in such a transitional phase of his life, that I’d be…I don’t know…taking advantage or something? It’s just given me many pauses.

And yet it’s been strange over the past months. Like, we both gravitate toward each other but then we both dismiss it because I’m going, “I’m too old. He wouldn’t REALLY be interested in me,” while, perhaps at the same time he’s thinking the same thing. It isn’t just me either. I catch his glance. He takes care of me in little, adorable ways.

I’m not saying I think he’s desperately in love with me or anything. I don’t know the level of his feelings. But I can tell I’m at least on his radar in a way the other single women at church aren’t.

So it’s been fairly easy to dismiss my feelings, yet over time I’ve found myself having to do it more and more often. More and more frequently I catch myself thinking about him, or wanting to be close to him.

As you know (if you don’t know then you should read this blog from the beginning ;P), I’m no stranger to mere sexual attraction. Before I could also write this off as that, like I said. I mean, he’s simultaneously adorable and yet still manly. I won’t lie. He’s hot. But I’ve been merely attracted to guys before and was perfectly able to keep my emotions under control.

Last week I dosed off on my couch for a few seconds. In those seconds I dreamt a very simple dream. I was standing, facing a door and it opened and he walked in through it. He looked at me and smiled the way he always does, and in my heart joy and light blossomed at the sight of him, a smile growing on my face to mirror his own.

I woke up, a little freaked out.

I mean… wow, subconscious. That doesn’t help me deflect anything! I began to worry that maybe it wasn’t just desperation and loneliness that was making me consider him.

And then yesterday happened. Being around him I wanted nothing more than to hug him, talk to him, just continue to¬†be¬†around him. “Carelessly” handing him something so that our hands touched, realizing that I’d done it on purpose after the fact.

We were talking after the service was over when this lady came up to me to talk to me about a guy she wants to set me up with (I’m not interested in this guy. Everything she says about him makes me less and less interested) and she just started talking about this right in front of him and he suddenly walked away!

No! I thought, super frustrated, Why now!? Go away lady!

I wanted nothing more than the chance to roll my eyes at him so he’d know I wasn’t interested in that guy. But I didn’t get the chance and it really upset me. Then, just looking at him, a strong and powerful emotion nearly bowled me over.

It scared me.

My eyes welled up a little. I grew breathless.

I haven’t felt like that in a very long time, and I haven’t ever felt it despite my efforts not to. But yesterday I realized that despite all my dismisses, my logical maneuvering, and my sheer will not to like someone who isn’t pursuing me, I…well…I’ve started falling for this guy.

Bushbaby saw my eyes well up and, because she knows me so well, when I told her I was “having all the emotions,” she was like, “Would you just admit to yourself that you like him already!?”

Me:

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Her: “Just admit it!”

Me: “But I don’t!”

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Her:

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Me:

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Her:

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Me:

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Ok I didn’t throw the Love-word around but I did admit that my feelings were real and they meant something.

I don’t know what will come of them. I could feel different in no time. Or there’s a possibility I could feel for him for a very long time before anything comes of it. But I’ll stop fighting it. I’ll give it a chance.

I trust the Lord to give me wisdom and help hold me together. It is a chance to grow, to open my heart to what God might do. I won’t cower away because I’m scared and didn’t expect this. Life is too short for that. So I’ll listen to this song and for once let the feelings have their way.

A Confession of a Bad Excuse

I was texting a friend tonight who also struggles with masturbation. He was telling me about this video game he was playing that he’s been grossly invested in in the past couple weeks.

His character fell in love with another character and he said he was surprised when a seemingly innocent conversation option led to a graphic sex scene. He said it was really awkward and “bad bad bad.” To which, knowing the struggle, I gathered that it was fuel for his fantasies.

I tried to call him a while later about something else and he sent me to voicemail. Sadly, my thought was, “He’s either in the middle of playing that game, he’s asleep, or he’s masturbating.” Because, after him telling me about the sex in the game, I assumed about him what would very likely happen if it were me.

Often, when I consume the sex thrown at me in entertainment and advertising, I give myself the excuse to masturbate. “Well, I didn’t see¬†that coming so now that it’s in my brain I’m going to have to get it out.” And of course in order to “get it out” I rationalize that the only way to truly do that is by getting off. Getting it out of my system. Like it’s some sort of food I’ve digested and the only way to pass it is by having an orgasm.

And in some ways this becomes a truth, even though it’s twisted. It is possible to consume sexual material and develop a hunger for it…a need for it. Ask anyone with a porn-addiction and they will tell you the same. But food’s main purpose is to¬†nourish, and sexual material does nothing of the sort. It leaves you wanting, longing, itching for relief from the loneliness and the lack in the places you wish were being filled. It’s more like a drug.

But when it comes down to it, when you shine the light on it, it’s not that either because it’s not an actual substance. It’s a thought. An image. It doesn’t actually have tangible physical properties. Which means you don’t have to physically expel the material! It doesn’t require digestion like food. It doesn’t have to run through your veins like a drug. It absolutely can pass into your mind and back out with only a mental response instead of a physical one.

So basically my excuse to masturbate when I’ve viewed something that got me going is not really an excuse because I can change the channel, I can think of something else, or even rebuke the thought in Jesus’ name when it comes back later. And I don’t mean being aroused because that can happen really fast and is usually a natural response to viewing sexual material. But just because we were aroused doesn’t mean the material¬†has to stay in our heads¬†until we can satisfy that arousal. Because, again, it’s a thought. It has no physical substance and therefore needs no physical processing, only mental.

On the flip-side, when you look at a sexual relationship the way God designed it there is no lack. There is an actual physical person requiring an actual physical response. You physically consume one another while mentally processing real experiences instead of mere ideas. Seems a whole lot more satisfying and…well…natural, I guess.

I know that porn has always been around, but I try to imagine what it would be like to live back before TV and internet and billboards infiltrated every facet of our lives. Back when sexual material was something you had to go specific places to seek out instead of something you had to go to specific places to retreat from. I probably would still have masturbated. As I’ve mentioned before, my imagination is fantastic. But perhaps I’d have one less excuse.

(P.S. For my more literal readers…by “the places you wish were being filled” I mean need for relationship and also the vagina. In case that was too metaphorical for you I thought I’d spell it out. Again, Relationship and the Vagina. You’re welcome.)

Chin Up, Buttercup!

When Smiley and I were in public or talking about grown-up topics things were great. I enjoyed our time. I connected. We had the basics, the foundation of beliefs and values that is needed. He actually pursued and was a gentleman in a way that made me feel valued and respected. Where it broke down was in just hanging out and having fun.

Honestly, the more time we spent together and the more comfortable he got with me….well… the less I was attracted to him.

He’s goofy. I’m goofy. But it wasn’t the same kind of goofy. I didn’t really laugh much. I didn’t think he was funny and he tried so hard to be funny and it just made me feel awkward and bad.

I can’t fake stuff very well. I’m just me. Occasionally I’ll humor people if I absolutely feel that I have to in the situation, but for the most part I suck at it. I’m just an honest broad who ain’t got no qualms about being genuine. And I’m not super great at schmoozing people. Needless to say, I can’t fake having fun and laughing for the rest of my life so this was problematic.

I know that no matter who I marry I will have to deal with him¬†doing annoying things and he¬†will drive me up the wall in some way. I acknowledged this as my mom, my sister, Dreamer, and Charmer filled me in on the various ways that their husbands got on their nerves (the way he¬†chews, the awful clicky noise he always makes, etc.)….but the problem with Smiley was that his annoying quirks made him seem SUPER unmanly and were an enormous turn-off. It makes me cringe just thinking about it. Their husbands were just doing things that, yes, were annoying, but didn’t make them seem less manly in their eyes.

Now, please understand me. I think that Smiley is going to be a WONDERFUL husband to someone and make a really great girl very happy. I genuinely do. That girl just isn’t me.

As I’ve mentioned, I am an INFP (only a slight F though). I don’t express my emotions a ton, or at least not with words to people. Occasionally I’ll write a blog post to process. Occasionally I’ll try to put my feelings into words and it usually¬†is a process because I don’t know how I feel the majority of the time, nor does it really concern me. I have emotions. I feel them. I don’t feel the constant need to express them.

Smiley is an ISFJ. The world of an SF-type generally exists in the now. Meaning, what they see before them is their reality and they will have an emotional response to it. They have lots of feelings and those feelings are powerful and dominant. Bushbaby is an ISFP. She needs reminding in a tangible sense (words or a hug or a smile) that she is loved and everything is good. She also expresses her emotions more often. Even if she knows that she is loved by someone, it’s hard for her to accept that and feel peaceful if she’s not sensing it and she will feel turmoil about the situation until she’s reassured in a tangible way.

Smiley was the same. Only, he felt the need to talk about his emotions ALL THE TIME. At first he was constantly bombarding me with texts about his excitement and his feelings and his feelings and emotions and feelings…until I told him in a very nice way that I needed some space because I don’t work like he does and I’m trying to figure out my feelings and that’s hard to do when I don’t have space to even process them. How can I know if I’m excited to see you when you are constantly telling me about your excitement. It’s hard to react to someone’s excitement and emotions when you don’t know how you feel, and yet there’s a pressure to react when someone is constantly emotioning on you.

This is what I learned that I need. It’s perfectly ok and good for a man to have emotions. I don’t want to marry someone who can’t communicate and is completely stoic. I don’t want a robot or someone heartless. Future Husband, HAVE emotions. FEEL things. But please don’t feel the need to express them 98% of the time. I can’t take it. I’m the girl. I want to be the more emotional one, or at least not have you be WAY more emotional than me. I can’t deal. I will be nurturing and take care of your heart, but I can’t baby you. And I’m not a gusher. I’m never going to go on and on about how I feel. Nor am I going to text constantly throughout the day. Need mah space! Nor am I going to constantly reassure you 20 million times that I do, in fact, like you and am glad to see you. I need someone who is also intuitive to know that I love them because I’m spending time with them. Who will know that I love them not only because I say it, but because they know me and they just¬†know. They can have the fact of my love in their head and just trust it. Again, expressing love is important, but trusting it and not needing to say it constantly is important, too. To me anyways, because that’s how I’m wired.

He needs someone like him. I’ve met girls who, similarly, need to be reassured. Who need love expressed over and over all the time. Who love to share how they feel and who KNOW how they feel most of the time. I’m very hopeful he will find that.

I also learned that it is more important that I find him manly than that we are both nerdy. Smiley and I had many things in common, but when it was all said and done having those common interests wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of masculinity.

I’m sure you want to know what he did that was so unmanly? Well, he REALLY liked cutesy things. And, you know, it’s okay for a man to think things are cute! I’m cool with that. But how a man expresses it can really alter a woman’s perspective of him. For example, if you’re watching a movie and there’s a cute animal, it’s cool if the guy says, “Aw,” or, “That’s cute.” The woman goes,¬†He’s secure enough in his masculinity to admit he thinks something is cute! But if he starts squealing like a little six-year-old girl over the cute animal and bouncing up and down on the couch…well…

WHAT IS HAPPENING!?

He also would send me “Cutes” as he called them which would be various pictures or videos of cute animals. I can appreciate cute things but that is not how you woo me. Just…what? And he actually used the word “Squeee” in his text messages.

“I’m so excited to see you Saturday! Only two more days! Squee!”

Me:

and why? WHY!? Why are you a middle-school girl!?

Seriously, it makes me shudder a little just remembering some of these occurrences. And there were plenty of other things that added up but those effeminate reaction moments were by far the most painful.

When I ended it he got very upset and it was not a fun conversation. I honestly had done my best to do right by him and when I ended it I tried to be as kind as possible. But he was mad anyway. I know he was disappointed but he kind of accused me of leading him on (to which I replied that I told him as soon as I knew it wasn’t going anywhere) and then accused me of being very closed off and walled (which I didn’t respond to, but know is bull because I was as open and honest with him as I could be). I felt like¬†he reacted as though I was ending a long-term and serious relationship when the truth was it was 6 dates. I knew he was speaking out of his emotion, but I wished he’d shown more grace or at least had the sense to not emotionally vomit all over everything. But he wasn’t done. An hour later I received a text from him. And if I needed any more reassurance that I’d done the right thing I certainly got it.

He told me he loved me. He said he needed me to know though I didn’t feel the same. He said he loved me “in the purest form of I Corinthians 13.” Then he said something about “thanks for the best of times.”

And then he added a weepy emoji.

A WEEPY EMOJI, GUYS!!!

This one!

Me:

I didn’t respond. There is no correct response to that Hail Mary or last farewell or whatever the hell it was. Thank you, Smiley, for embarrassing us both by rashly deciding to text before you’d managed to climb out of your emotions box.

I’m sad that I hurt him¬†but overall I don’t regret dating him. I’m a little bummed it ended so unnecessarily icky¬†but that’s part of dating.

It did help me see that, even though he wasn’t the whole package, there are still men of character out there who are single and who will pursue. And I got to know myself a little better and what is important to me and what isn’t when looking for a spouse.

So I’m going to chin up! Overall this dating experience was a win!

“Why are they still single? What’s wrong with them?”

Even I am guilty of saying this.

Let’s be honest, the assumption that there is an undesirable reason someone is still single is an easy assumption to make.

Because we’ve all known those perpetually strange folks who are socially awkward. Or those guys who never want to grow up and act like teenagers into their thirties. Or those girls who are super insecure and will date anyone and end up just being used. Or that guy who is stalkery¬†toward women and creeps them out. Or that girl who is painfully shy and can’t even have a conversation with the opposite sex.

It’s hard not to judge someone when they are nearing middle-age and still single. You naturally just wonder what’s wrong with them. I get it. I do it. And then sometimes I wonder the same thing about myself.

What’s wrong with me? Am I unattractive? Am I awkward? Do I have a glaring flaw that I’m blind to?

But then I think of Reader and how she was socially awkward and not exactly¬†the most attractive girl¬†and yet she married WAY before I did. I think of other people who have numerous or significant¬†flaws who have found love, people that you can’t help but raise your eyebrows when you hear they are getting married. I know this makes me sound pretty terrible but you know. YOU KNOW and don’t act like you don’t.

Your mom: Did you hear that So’n’So is getting married?

You:

And just when you are about to process that So’n’So…SO’N’SO of all people!!!…has found someone who is willing to not only put up with but also tap that…THEN the thought hits you–

If¬†SO’N’SO can find someone then what the hell¬†is wrong with ME!!!!!!?

And then your thoughts and self esteem kind of do this:

Your mom is the bird but she doesn’t know it.

But then logic and reason eventually return and let you realize that So’n’So is marrying someone equally strange and it’s nice that most of the time there’s someone for everyone…even the quirky ones, and so there HAS to be someone for you (as if you aren’t quirky at all, right?). And also that you literally do not KNOW anybody and don’t get out of your bubble very much and also you have high standards and you are unique and so it’s going to take someone awesome and unique in a way that compliments you and it’s all going to be okay. You are happy being single. You won’t settle for less than God’s best. You are open and optimistic but also patient and enjoying the time you’ve been given with your friends and the people He’s placed in your life to minister to.

Shut up, Satan! There’s nothing horribly wrong with me. I’m just waiting on God’s timing!

And then you hear that people have been asking if you and your roommate are lesbians.

And then you do a little this:

And then feel John Watson’s pain and inform the messenger:

Because someone is single does not mean they are gay. Because they spend time with their best friend a lot doesn’t mean they are gay. It means they are single and they have a best friend. No one would think a thing about it if I was younger, but because I’m single and nearing thirty…oh I must be gay. Nope. Sorry. I’m interested in men. Women don’t do it for me. Thanks for assuming that about me.

Also, thank you woman who watched me grow up, for not trusting me to drive a van full of students because “Are you old enough to drive a rented van?” “Um, yes. I’m 28 years old and I’ve driven it before, and I’ve never been in a wreck and have been a responsible driver in the 12+ years I’ve been driving.” I bet you anything that if I were married this wouldn’t be in question (I understand I look younger than I am and that that is a good thing, but being treated like I’m irresponsible is really frustrating when 20-year-old married people get more credit than I do).

Married friends, thank you so much for assuming that I’m miserable and worthy of your pity because you are one of the blessed married people while I’m a poor lonely spinster. Thanks for the frequent consolation¬†that he’s out there or that “we’ll find you a guy” when you actually have never set me up with anyone. But, you know,¬†you seem to feel worse about my singleness than I do, so when it comes to your pity, thanks but no thanks.

People assume you are too picky, or you need to get out more. People assume all kinds of things and it’s hard enough sometimes when you are having to fight the lie that there’s something wrong with you that makes you unworthy of love without others speculating and accusing you, too.

That’s not to say that you “Shake It Off” as TSwift would say, because in reality it’s just not that easy. In reality it isn’t bad to question and examine yourself to see where you need to change, where you need to become the person that the person you’re looking for is looking for. But in the end what matters is what God knows about you and what you know about you. You persevere though it feels unjust, trusting that God sees you and truly does have a purpose for the delay. Trusting that you’re life is on the course He set and that is the course that will bring Him the most glory and in the end, you the most joy.

In the end I think “What’s wrong with that person? Why are they still single?” is a harmful way¬†of thinking. Singleness is not actually tied to performance or favor or worthiness. It’s not something that needs fixing. Some single people are¬†walking the path God has laid out for them.¬†Some people are still single because they are doing it absolutely right.