I think Disney trains us very young to look and find our soul mate. In each fairytale, there’s a handsome prince, a beautiful princess, a curse in the land, a rescue, a first kiss, and they live happily ever after.
But I think we keep forgetting that these are fairytales. Fiction. Not true. Unrealistic.
As a boy I imagined an unconditional love from a beautiful woman who would be perfect for me. I had already planned my wedding. It involved a hot-air balloon ride from the ceremony to the reception. Fireworks. Raining rose petals.
I had it all planned out.
I wanted to say “I love you” for the first time at the altar.
The word “love” was thrown around way too much growing up during middle school and high school. You’d hear, “I love you” all the time in the halls from boys and girls who would break up a week later and then find their true love again and again and again .
But that wasn’t me. I wasn’t dumb. My princess was around, and I was waiting for her. And she finally came.
In 2007 I met a 5-foot 10-inch, Spanish-speaking, beautiful Latina. She was definitely a head turner. And that was just on the outside. She was everything I hoped for my wife to be and more. Sweet, kind, family oriented, well-educated and on her way to grad school. She served in several areas of her church and was well respected by her peers.
On paper she was perfect. I was 6’1″, Spanish speaking, family oriented and a believer. But little did I know that person that I dreamed of my whole life, would be the person that would make me feel the worst about myself.
There is nothing perfect about two imperfect people coming together. We were both broken on the inside.
I was very immature in my walk. I had a porn issue that I felt a girlfriend would solve. I wasn’t in community, I wasn’t serving and I wasn’t reading my Bible. I wasn’t doing anything a committed follower of Christ would do. However, I did want to be that person, but just needed that girl to push me along. Well she did that and then some …
The honeymoon phase ended about five months into our relationship. She envisioned marrying the man that I could be, not the man that I was. I wanted to be that man, but my priorities contradicted it. I mean after all, I got my Barbie doing what I was doing, so what really needed to change?
As we become more comfortable with each other, our conversations became deeper. Our past lives would come up. I had revealed that I used to watch porn. And then the question came. “Have you watched it recently?” My answer would prove to be a seed of doubt in her mind that would grow and grow and grow.
My brokenness would eventually reveal her brokenness. I consistently fell short of her expectations.
“Are you serving yet? It’s important that you serve.”
“Did you read your Bible today?”
“What did you mean by your wall post on her page last year?”
Those weren’t necessarily bad questions. In fact, some of them we really good. I just wasn’t ready.
We had a long-distance relationship, so our weekends together were filled with fighting and arguing. I didn’t know how to treat a woman. We crossed the boundaries sexually on a number of occasions. That in itself will leave you in a bad relationship longer. You give an intimate piece of yourself to someone, and you want to make it work because of what you’ve done.
I held on to this relationship much too long. But I couldn’t leave the woman of my dreams! I had to make it work! She’s right, it’s me! I have to step it up! It’s the enemy who’s trying to break us apart!
But eventually I had enough of the beating. This relationship reminded me so much of what I thought of myself during all my childhood—that is, I am worthless, I can’t do anything right, and I am a failure and I should settle for anything because I don’t deserve anyone like this.
I was so disappointed and just emotionally drained.
Prior to this relationship I worried if I’d ever get married. After this relationship, I didn’t want to date again. Taking the time to get to know someone like I did her just seemed so taxing. She definitely cured me though. That internal clock that I thought only women had, I definitely didn’t feel it anymore.
If this is what marriage is like, then I will stay single.
I needed healing prior to that relationship in many areas of my life. I wasn’t mature, and I didn’t know how to lead or discern what was good for me. And although I felt like we were both broken, all I could do is take responsibility for my actions.
I learned three things:
- I had lots of baggage that only God could take care of. I was disqualified from leading any woman in any stage of her walk. I ended up hurting both of us.
- Take freedom in the fact that you’re not married. You don’t have to stay and make it work. Yes, with any amount of counseling, any relationship will work. But you don’t want make the wrong thing right.
- There is no dream girl. There is no princess. I had her, and she wasn’t for me.
1 Samuel 16:7 says God looks at the heart not the outward appearance, so my continuous prayer is that I allow the heart to be my standard of beauty because, quite honestly, those women are all around, and no one takes a second look at them.
I finally understand you, ladies. I’m sorry we’ve taken so long to notice you. Don’t lose heart.
Men, take care of your baggage. And if you’ve taken care of that and desire marriage, find the most Christ-fearing (not prettiest) girl and ask her out.