I feel like Katie Gregoire whenever I give advice about relationships or talk about relationships because I’m “the relationship guru who’s never been in a relationship.”
What can you do, though, when you’re a girl stuck in a culture where girls initiating anything is “forward” and “flirty,” coffee dates mean proposals, and “I want to get to know your daughter” means “I want your daughter”?
(Just kidding.) (But not really.)
I was talking to a friend a few months ago about how she’s developing feelings for a guy, even though she’s just in her early teens. “Why?!” she asked me. “I’m not ready to be married or date, so why do I like this guy?”
“Because feelings and hormones are stupid,” I told her. (And that’s the truth.)
We went on to talk about why God might’ve brought the guy into her life or brought the feelings on. I explained that – although I’m no expert – I thought that God gives us feelings like that to teach us lessons, primarily self-control and patience.
“It’s not our feelings that are the problem,” I told her, “but rather what we do with those feelings that could potentially be a problem. It’s a waste of time to develop feelings for every other guy you come across – but sometimes it just happens. You’ve just gotta stay sane and remember that you probably won’t marry any of those guys, so it’s not worthwhile to spend time dreaming about them. Just give it to God. Surrender is a daily thing.” (etc etc)
Like I said before, I’ve never been in a relationship. But I sure know people who have.
My friend Katelyn and I were talking the other day about how, although we’ve never been in relationships and it feels like we’ll be perpetually single, we’ve been able to observe others. Their mistakes, their amazingly wonderful choices – all of it.
“We’re Watchers,” she told me. “We watch the couples around us and learn what works and what doesn’t. By the time our turn comes around, we’ll be experts.”
I completely agreed, although I doubt I’ll ever be an expert (at anything amiright). Better to watch and learn than keep your head in the clouds romanticizing about what’ll happen.
I’ve been so content about my relationship status for the last year or so. No ridiculous pining, no dreaming about my “someday,” blah blah blah. I’m very content with there being no prospects in my life, no guys even on my horizon.
But the other day, I was watching Friends and a cute Monica/Chandler thing happened and I just started bawling – first because I was happy for them, then because I wanted it so bad. Blame it on stress from school, staying up too late studying, whatever, but when it all came down to it, it was just just a yearning for a relationship like theirs. (Because Mondler is about as #goals as you can get.)
I had to have a good shower cry and go before God, saying, “Um, I know I’ve been asking for contentment and You’ve given it to me and I haven’t forgotten that, but I’d like to remind You that I do want it. I want a relationship. I want a boyfriend. I want a husband – eventually. Not tomorrow, not even next month or next year, but I just want it. Sometime.”
So, despite all the above and all the things I’ve learned through observation and the stupid mistakes I’ve made relating to guys… I’m still learning. I’ve still got those days where I’d just like a boyfriend, if only to get free guy-hugs whenever I want them or to steal his hoodie. (Well, that and to know that I’m actually likeable. Because sometimes I feel like the Hulk – like I can crush but I cannot be crushed [on].)
But I’ve made it this far, and I’m holding out hope that it’ll happen someday.