Saturday, October 18, 2014

Let's Be Honest: My View of Love Has Been Ruined

The other day, I was describing my view of love to a friend of mine from home (Kentucky home) and she told me that it has been ruined. She said "love should be exactly the fantasy you can dream up and even more and if it's not that, you need to keep looking. Don't settle for someone less than your prince." My prince? Yeah, I'm not a modern day princess and my life is not a picturesque fairy tale. I'm not looking for a prince, I'm looking for a man that can love me for me.

 I grew up in  VERY loving home with parents who loved me and my sisters. I was very blessed to have been raised in a family where divorce was never an option. Of course my parents had arguments, as any normal married couple would, but there was never any infidelity or separation or whatever else the world has to throw out as option for a couple who believe they "just aren't working out".  Even though my parents loved each other and I grew up with the example of a healthy relationship, my friend was right, my view on relationships and dating HAS been ruined.

Okay look, don't feel sorry for me. I don't write this to get sympathy votes, it's just the way it is for me. My view on relationships and love has been ruined by many a failed relationship. Ever since I started dating at age 16, it's been failed relationship after failed relationship. It didn't really matter much to me in high school, but 3 years into college, I have to use both hands to count the amount of times I've been dumped, lied to, or used as a stand in for someone better to come along.

Recently I decided to take a "break" from dating so I can focus on school, church, work and myself. No dating drama. Seems pretty easy, right?  Well, this actually isn't an easy feat for me (easier said than done) because I like going on dates and meeting new people. I enjoy getting to know people and I don't like saying 'no' because I know how hard it must be for some guys to ask girls on dates. So when a guy I met last semester, let's call him Sam, asked me to watch a movie with him, I was in a really tough spot but I couldn't say no. The first time I met Sam it was through a mutual friend. When I saw him, I instantly thought he was really cute, but never did anything about it because I thought he was taken. About a week ago I found that he wasn't dating anyone. We started talking on our own instead of always waiting for me to be invited to a group activity that he would be at. It's only been five days since this spark caught flame, but here I am waiting for the fall out.

Honesty is very important to me. I don't want to hear all the reasons why you think I'm a "great girl" or why you're  "sorry that there was confusion," just be honest and the whole world will keep on spinning, and my heart WILL keep on beating. If you don't like someone that likes you, tell them that. Do it nicely, but do it. Dishonesty is one of the HUGE reasons why I'm more inclined to deny a relationship. I don't want to be lied to. Who does? Dishonesty scares my very soul. If you can't love me for me, I don't want you to love me at all.

 Really, though, if I'm being honest (ha, get it?), I can be very insecure and what dating has taught me so far is that I'm not enough this, or I'm too that. I used to believe in the whole 'fairy tale love story' that movies put out there for little girls to grow up hoping to have some day, but I don't anymore. I've learned that it doesn't work that way. Seriously, though, dating has taught me to wait for the spark to die out, to jut sit around waiting for the day that he gets bored of me, to wait for the day that someone better (no matter how good of a girlfriend I am, no matter how honest and real I am) comes along and I'm left sitting between Point A and Point B having to trudge my way all the way back to that starting point. Again and again this has happened...and I, well, I have gotten used to it. I'm realizing that I EXPECT it now. How sad is that?

It's pretty sad if you ask me.

Look, my view on relationships is a little bit of a negative one, but that doesn't keep me from actively looking for the person that will treat me differently the next time around. I don't expect someone to miraculously change me, and I don't expect some fairy-tale "knight in shining armor" to save me. I'm doing my best to change my view on relationships and I do that by meeting people who make relationships look real, instead of like some fantasy world that only the most happy, perfect people are allowed in to. I spend less time trying to dream up this fantasy man and pray more to find someone who has a lot of patience, because heaven only knows I have to marry a patient man. I spend less time worrying about having a boyfriend, and more time trying to be a better daughter of God, a better sister, a better friend.

My view on relationships isn't perfect and it can be a little bitter sometimes (welcome to almost every single, 20-something, hopeless romantic's life) but I won't apologize for that. I am not in any way atni-love or anti-relationships. In fact, I absolutely love the idea of relationships and falling in love, and getting married. I LOVE the fact that two people who love each other can spend the rest of eternity together, even after death. Just so you know, I WANT a relationship. I WANT to find that person who is going to help make me a better woman. I WANT to find the love of my life, and I'm working on it, I'm just slowing down a little bit. So, to all those people at home who ask my Mom every week if I'm married yet: Nope, I'm not and that's okay. I will be eventually and I promise to let you know when I finally get to say 'I do' to that special man.

My view of love has been ruined, but mostly my view of love has just become more realistic and mature.

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