why are feelings: current thoughts on love n’ stuff.

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.

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28 thoughts on “why are feelings: current thoughts on love n’ stuff.

  1. Pingback: year in review: 2016. | inklings press

  2. You feel like Katie, eh? haha! 😄 This post actually kinda sounds like she could have written it. 😉
    Really, it’s a great post, Ashley! And I’d love to write a long comment, but I have way too many thoughts and not nearly enough time to try to wrangle them into coherence so I’ll simply say this: I understand and I can totally relate.

  3. Even though Mom and Dad have said it would be fine if I got married right now (as long as the right person came along), I’m really not all that anxious to get married right now. I mean, sure, if the guy God wanted me to marry showed up at prayer meeting tonight, I wouldn’t be sad (*wink*), but there are lots of things I’m more than content to do/pursue while I’m waiting. (I do really, really want to get married young.)

    Your story about seeing the ship moment and then crying…sometimes I feel like that, especially while watching that TV show, Psych, because the ship is ridiculously CUTE. And someone I know said that one time, when she was single, she totally broke down watching Sense & Sensibility 1995 because she wanted to get married so badly. (And Jane Austen = #relationshipgoals.) She got married when she was twenty-eight and she said that waiting for so long was hard, but God did give grace. ❤ (He is amazing that way.)

    Loved this post, as always!

    ~Eva

    • Hahahahaha. I know I’m not ready, but if my crush told me he liked me back, I’d be all in. 😄 And I’m definitely in the same boat – I have so many things to do before marriage! (Like, literally probably going to write a blog post about marrying young. I’m all for it – well, mostly for it – but it just hasn’t/didn’t happen to me.)

      I’m glad you feel me there, too. Aww that’s so sad! I totally get it, though. Emma and Knightley are my goals. *heart eyes emoji* That’s amazing! I know people who have gotten married later in life (lol “later,” like, in their late twenties or early thirties) and they’ve all said that waiting is best. (Amen.)

      Thanks, m’dear!

  4. Dammit why am I always commenting on your posts? Because they’re relevant that’s why. Hope it’s not getting too annoying! I’ve DEFINITELY been there (still am aha). I’m single but I feel like some of the crushes I’ve had have given me a greater insight into relationships. Whatever the case, I’m certainly not short on doling out advice… My pastor has preached some really really good advice on this topic. Basically, it comes down to the fact that sex / a relationship is NOT the pinnacle of life. I know I have that mentality – that the last hurdle before I’ve done it all in adulthood is marriage and so often in Christian and secular environments, marriage / sex are built up to be the absolute pinnacle in life, the ultimate. It sounds hard to accept but God says yes, marriage is awesome but a relationship with Me and glorifying Me are always, always more important and wonderful. It’s possible to remain single and yet be just as much of a human and have just as much life experience as someone in a relationship. I’m still struggling with getting that view, particularly when singleness is often viewed as no one wanting you but I’m working on being content with the fact that GOD loves me and He really really wants a relationship with me! Why on earth am I not content with that because that’s pretty friggin awesome?!! We’ll get there! 🙂

    • HA! You’re sweet. 🙂 You’re not annoying at all – I loooove it when people comment! 🙂

      I completely agree about crushes giving insight and about marriage being the pinnacle, especially in Christian circles. Glorifying God is more important than marriage – and if you can’t do that better with someone beside you, you’re better off alone. I read a really good article on this… lemme see if I can find it… here it is: http://phyliciadelta.com/why-christian-girls-idolize-marriage/

      AND UM HELLO SINGLENESS DOESN’T MEAN NO ONE WANTS YOU. I struggled with that, too, but it’s just not true. All it means is that you just haven’t found The Right One yet or God hasn’t placed him in your life yet or (my personal favorite) you’re just too awesome for anyone right now and you’ve got better things to do than talk to a guy about wedding dates. Simple as that. It’s really not about you. ❤ You're so right – we WILL get there! SOMEDAY! 😄

      • Thanks! I LOVE phylicia’s articles! They’re sooo good 🙂 I agree with her that if we aren’t satisfied now, we won’t be satisfied by marriage either. We really do need to put God first. I’ve seen enough of marriages and relationships to know they’re definitely a LOT harder and messier than you sort of think at first.
        Haha I hope singleness doesnt mean no one wants me… right now, I seem to be the kind of girl who attracts the creepy guys in the street but no one else :O
        Thanks again for sharing!

        • Me, too! I’ve spent literally hours going through her posts and it’s always so encouraging. Definitely agree with that as well!

          Haha no, it definitely doesn’t. HA. I don’t attract any guys, so. 😛

          You’re welcome! Thanks for commenting!

  5. Feelings and hormones – so confusing, mean, and can send us on a crying spree in 2 seconds flat.

    Yeah, we’ll never be relationship experts, just experienced Watchers. Every relationship is different. We just do our best, and try no to fall off the beaten path.

    I totally understand your crying during the Monica/Chandler scene. You get me, girl 😉

  6. But . . . Ashley . . .

    Feelings and hormones AREN’T stupid.

    I don’t want to sound argumentative but I . . . just don’t agree with that statement, I guess? Or maybe I’m not understanding you right? But I don’t believe that it’s stupid to have feelings for guys that you can’t act on (like, if you’re still too young or whatever.) That’s just a normal part of human life, created by God. And I kind of think the reason He designs us to start having those emotions BEFORE we’re really old enough to act on them is so we’ll have a good long time to get used to them, and learn how to manage them, and all that.

    I mean, heck, imagine getting hit with a whole truckload of hormones for the very first time on the day you turned eighteen. THAT WOULD BE AWFUL. You have to get comfortable with them before you can actually do anything. Sexual maturity is a multi-step process, I guess that’s all I’m saying 🙂

    • Haha, I know they’re not. (I partially said that sarcastically.) They just make no sense sometimes. 😛 It’s definitely not stupid to have feelings. I told my young friend the other day that I’d be more worried if she DIDN’T have feelings for a guy. I totally, TOTALLY agree with you. It’d be even more confusing if you just flipped a feelings switch the second you got married. God gave you the feelings at an early age for a reason, and it’s up to us to figure out what we’ll do with those feelings. (Here’s where the stupid comes in because sometimes they don’t make sense and sometimes I make bad choices because of the feelings.)

      And I talked about flipping a switch before I read the rest of your comment – great minds, etc etc. 😉 Flipping switches and being hit by semi-truck-feelings would NOT be a good way to live life. You *absolutely* need to get used to them before The Time Comes, or else you wouldn’t know how to control them. (Self-control is why I think God gave us lovey-dovey feels before marriage. I’m absolutely certain of it. I’ve learned more self-control through situations with guys than in any other area of my life! XD)

      So I’m sorry if my sarcasm wasn’t clear but I do completely agree with you, and feelings aren’t stupid (most of the time lol), etc etc. 🙂

      • Oh, I see! Sorry–yeah, I just wasn’t really sure what you meant there 😉 I think I was a little concerned when I read that mostly because I HAVE occasionally run into the attitude of “you should not have these feelings before marriage, and if you do you should suppress them,” and I think that’s really, really unhealthy . . . So I just wanted to make sure that wasn’t what you were saying. (Although I should’ve KNOWN you would never say anything like that–you’re much too sensible of a person!!)

        I think I sometimes get confused when people talk about “feelings,” too, because my own feelings seem to express themselves . . . differently? Or something? Like, I’ve had plenty of times when I’ve cared a lot for a particular guy and then been disappointed (found out he had a girlfriend or whatever), and it’s been super upsetting and unsettling, but it hasn’t made me “emotional” in any sense that other people can see on the outside–like, I’ve never cried over it, or anything. Even when I’m all alone. It just . . . it just doesn’t OCCUR to me to cry over it, I guess? (This is coming from somebody who can count on her fingers the number of times she’s actually cried over a movie.) So I think what I’m saying is, my feelings don’t tend to cause me any inconvenience because they’re so easy to hide, even from myself . . . So when you said “Feelings are stupid,” my first reaction is kind of, “Feelings? WHAT feelings?”

        That was very . . . rambling. Not sure if I made myself clear at all 😉

        • Haha, it’s totally okay. I know people like that, too – people who say that feelings before marriage are unhealthy and immature and that they’re saving “everything, even those feelings” for marriage. And I’m like, “Good for you, but I completely disagree.” Not only is it impossible, it’s too hard! You’d have to live under a rock to do that – and no husband will find you there. 😄 (Haha, you’re sweet. :P)

          I feel the exact same way. I’ve only cried over one guy who didn’t like me, but most of the time when I get the vibe that it wouldn’t work out, I just have this “oh well” feeling, maybe watch a movie to get my mind off of it or whatever, but not obsess or cry about it. So you’re sensible and wise. 🙂 (And that makes even more sense bc I CAN’T count the number of times I’ve cried over a movie, lol. So even though I’ve cried over movies and cried in front of two guys (but that’s a long, stupid story), I’ve only cried over a guy once.) Hahahahahaha, I feel the exact same way. I mean, I can count on one hand the number of guys I’ve liked. And I know girls who fall for every guy they come across. I’m just not that kind of girl, and that’s okay.

          Haha, me neither. 😛

          • Do you ever feel . . . well, weird . . . because you don’t cry over stuff that you’re “expected” to cry over? Because I definitely feel that way; although I know it’s pretty stupid, because there really are no rules about how you show your feelings. But still, when everybody you know is talking about how emotional they got over such-and-such and you’re just like, “nope,” it can be a bit #awkward 🙂

            Oh, well, I guess it’s just about trying to be comfortable with who YOU are, not who somebody else thinks you should be . . .

            • I DO. And I literally just wrote about that in my last post – not crying over spiritual things when I sob over fictional characters all the time. *sigh* It’s hard to remember that there aren’t rules. Completely agree. Definitely!!!

              • Right . . . and I’m the one who doesn’t cry over ANY OF THE THINGS (basically), which is even weirder. (Especially since in my religion, crying over spiritual things is really not an expectation and is looked on as slightly unusual, so nobody thinks it’s funny that I don’t do that . . . but not crying over movies? AM I ALL ALONE HERE.) But I just have to keep on bein’ myself, like you say 🙂

                I love the way Cait at PaperFury talks about it–where she says “I didn’t cry over it, but that’s because I am Vulcan.” I like that muchly 🙂

  7. Thanks so much for writing this, Ashley! I could relate to pretty much all of it. Thanks again for the reminder to trust and surrender to God. I know in my heart he has a plan for my life (whether it involves a boyfriend and future husband or not) But sometimes it’s hard to get my head to listen. ;P

    • You are so welcome! Trust and surrender is SO key – and I’ve forgotten it a lot! I feel the exact same way. However, somebody once told me that if God put the desire in your heart, He’s got a purpose for it. 🙂

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