Valentines is a day for reflecting. If you are in a relationship it is a time for reflecting on all those things you love and appreciate about your significant other. For those of us that are single, it is a time for reflecting on the ones that got away. Are we really progressing in this dating adventure or have we just gotten more desperate and too picky along the way?
To start this time of reflection for myself, I am going to guess where some of my past beaus are now – hopefully you can relate to some of the types of people I have dated (please? make me feel less abnormal!)
First, there’s Little Justin. I am not sure he counts since he was my next door neighbor until I was about 4. All I remember is chasing him around trying to kiss him. Since I have not seen him for 26 years I am just going to guess he is in therapy.
Then there was Tyska. I chased him on the playground in first grade and kissed him on the cheek (I am JUST NOW realizing what an aggressive little girl I was!). He told the teacher on me so I had to go sit in the timeout chair. I am going to guess he works for a collections agency or for the CIA.
Then there was Jesus. Cause, you know, I kissed dating goodbye. But it got hard when I wanted to cuddle or kiss him. He felt distant….physically. Don’t get me wrong – best boyfriend I’ve ever had. I just thought we should not get so exclusive so fast – I was only in High School and I was sure my parents would not be happy if I settled down so early.
Then there was SpongeBob. The guy that had spongebob everything and was a little too obsessed with vampires. But you’re willing to overlook the really odd things because he worked as a barista so I got a lots of free coffee. I am guessing he is an extra in some of the Twilight films and currently collects Robert Pattinson paraphernalia.
Then there was Blogger. I hope you don’t know this type, but I think they’re pretty common. The guy that after you break up with them write terrible awful things about you in a public forum, and USE YOUR REAL NAME. I am guessing he works for TMZ now.
Then there was Peru. You know, the guy you’ve know forever that you finally kick it up with over email even though you know it’s a bad idea since you’re long distance. But you accidentally really fell for him. And then he breaks up with you. Via email. When you’re on vacation in Guatemala. I am guessing he cries himself to sleep every night with the regret of ending things with me.
Now we will run through a series of men I went on just ONE date with (see if you can guess why!):
Ferris: The guy that got behind the wheel of a car after drinking and said “seriously, I am fine, but just don’t get too rowdy, I don’t want to get pulled over – cause I am good enough to drive, just not good enough to blow into one of those tubey thingys”. My guess is he is dead.
School Bus Guy: The guy that admitted hitting a school bus full of children with his car. I am guessing he is in jail.
Latin Lover: The guy that I met salsa dancing that later that week dropped cases of beer off at my house. I PERHAPS should not have let this one go.
Myself: That one night I drank a whole bottle of wine, ate a two year old steak and too many chocolate chip cookies, and then topped it all off with the second cigarette of my life. What? Oh, yes, I did wake up puking at 3am. And my lovely roommate cleaned it up.
Eyeball: The guy that would pinch my nose and play with my hair throughout our meal and then tried to kiss me three times at the end of the date after I explicitly said no. I am guessing he works in a hair salon.
Even though none of these guys turned out to be the love of my life, I don’t regret the journey I’ve been on. I’ve laughed a lot – and those who know me have laughed even more (mostly at me). Sure, some of them were mistakes. And some of them, like Peru, were great guys that made me question what I did wrong and what I could have done differently – but I don’t think that’s healthy…or the point.
I think the journey is about growing– and learning about yourself. Be a hater if you want, but Katy Perry’s got this one right:
But now, I don’t negotiate with insecurities
They always seem to get the best of me
I found I had to love myself, the way I wanted you to….love me,
No more second guessing
No, there’s no more questioning
I’ll be the one defining who I’m gonna be
No concealing feelings, or changing seasonally
I’m gonna love myself, the way I want you to love me.
Christian society puts too much pressure on perfect love, on finding “THE One,” on not taking an active role in your own life and waiting for lightning to strike you until you ever do anything for God or yourself. I’m not advocating you go crazy – date everyone you see – have promiscuous sex – and marry a couple of wrong guys to find the right one. I’m just saying that dating around isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If I’ve learned anything from all my experiences it’s little bits of myself. The kind of love I was willing to accept at 21 is much different than the love I am willing to accept at 30. I’ve grown and changed, and hopefully I’ve matured in in learning how I can best love others – which starts with loving myself.
If you’re single this Valentines Day – take joy! Cause if you can’t learn to love being with yourself, to see yourself as the Beloved that God died for and has no greater joy than spending time with, then how can you expect someone else to? Start loving yourself the way you want to be love, and then love others that way.