I appreciate the people who ask about my love life and list of prospects even though I haven’t had a date in three years. They refuse to give up on me when I, myself, am hanging on by a thread of faith. I still don’t understand how I’ve gotten to this point in my life. I’ve always felt I was meant to be a husband. However, I feel like I’m starting to give up on the dream of a lifelong marriage.
Before we begin, save your tired, “You’re still young”, “Give it time”, “Don’t worry about it”, “You’re too picky”, and every other rebuttal I’ve most likely heard a dozen times by this point in my life. While I reserve judgment for new material, I really don’t care to hear those typical words of encouragement or random attempts to point the finger at me. I’m tired of it.
I still try. I’ve been fighting off bitterness for about two or so years now. I refuse to let it consume me, but my relationship with rejection has gotten old. I am tired of seeing women do the most for me and I never feel any inclination to pursue a relationship with them. I am tired of hoping for the world from a woman who has no real interest in me. At times, it can make me feel like my wires are crossed, and I am unstable.
I can’t blame anyone but myself. I refused to listen to my uncle when he told me not to awaken love before its time. It’s hard to resist the fairytales lullabies and romantic films when they start to feel like your life in the presence of a beautiful woman. It feels like a long-awaited hug from a loved one. But I also refused to listen to my mother when she told me pornography would delay things. How can I expect God to bless me with a wife when I’m training my mind and body to look at other women and be aroused? You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. You can’t expect sin and blessing to dwell in the same space forever.
I have no problems admitting that I struggle and I sin. In fact, it would behoove many of my friends and family to realize that. Being called a better man than most seems hypocritical when I sin right along with the least. Even still, I refuse to be trapped. I just have to master avoiding the backslide, especially when I’m in the place I am now, without a prospect.
The most recent backslide was the result of a breakdown in relations with a woman I had grown very enamored with. I knew from the start, it wasn’t going to be permanent, because she was already a mother of grown children, and I refuse to surrender the experience of fatherhood to any woman. Yet, I had come across a woman I enjoyed the company of very easily, even with the warnings of, “I’m crazy.” I didn’t see much crazy, and it certainly wasn’t enough for me to dismiss. My friends know I dismiss rather easily, so believe me when I say she was awesome.
For the first time in five years, I was enjoying the company of a woman consistently. It felt like soaking your feet in the cool ocean on a hot summer day with your favorite drink in your favorite glass while you were wearing sunglasses. It had all the makings of a start to a relationship, but I wouldn’t budge on my initial decision. Fatherhood was too big a goal. As a result, I lost her company, and was left alone.
I don’t blame her for that decision. It made the most sense for the both of us, but bitterness rose in me and it became anger. I listened to rock music for three weeks straight wanting to scream. Sometimes I did. But when my air ran out, I was left empty and in pain. I hate being back where I started. Square one felt a little too much like home. Singleness felt too much like inadequacy. I wasn’t husband enough.
I didn’t realize how much of a problem it was until my anger broke through the threshold of tears. I’m not a man that can hang onto anger. I always end up crying, and that’s what I did one night when the rock music just wasn’t nourishing my rage anymore. There was nothing I could do with my anger. I had enough. I was ready to let go. One gospel song and I was in tears.
Making some girl happy was “supposed” to be the next year, not the next decade. My nieces and nephews were “supposed” to grow up with my children, not babysit my children. I know timing is everything and everything is in God’s hands, but why does it feel like He has a vice grip on my wife? Why does it feel like we’re playing hide and seek in the dark, and I have to wear shades and soundproof headphones? Why does it seem like we’re playing “Marco-Polo” and I have no arms or legs? What prayer haven’t I prayed? What sin haven’t I erased? Men who behave worse than I, and think worse than I, have a ring. Some have had two! What is it that I’m doing wrong?
Perhaps, it is nothing. Perhaps, it is everything. Regardless, I am weary. I never wanted to be single forever. My heart was always set on wife and kids. Family is important to me. I recognize the blessings it brings. Call it romanticism, but even God said man should not live alone, and though I am not alone… It’s hard to not feel like it.
It’s hard to know your friends don’t invite you because it’s “a couple’s thing”. It’s hard not to be able to have those marriage discussions because you don’t have the experience, and as much as you want to help, you just don’t know. It’s hard wanting to be another great example of love for your niece, and not having that woman beside you. It’s hard to not be willing to backslide when you want to (censored) with a woman.
It hurts sometimes, but as mush as it hurts sometimes, I won’t give up. I’ll keep looking for someone great to pursue. I’ll keep checking my heart to make sure it aligns with God’s desires and not my own. I’ll keep praying and demanding God bring me my wife with full expectancy. I know I don’t serve a powerless, mute, or uncaring God. I serve the One who said, “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Singles, divorcees, or recently made single singles, you are not alone in this. As you can see, I can relate. I know about the frustrations, both sexual and nonsexual. I know about the tears, the pain, the prayers, the hopelessness, the bitterness, and the anger. I know about the confusion of it all. I know the dating pool is tampered with, to put it mildly.
My encouragement to you is that you not look at the “pool”, but the heavens. All the encouragement and advice in the world is not going to outdo the will of God. The path to marriage never goes the way we think it should go, it goes the way we need it to go. Stay in your prayers as well as you stay in your lane. Pray for me as I pray for you. Keep your held up. We’ll get there.
With faith, hope, and expectation,
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