I was talking with friend the other day about singleness and he said something that I really resonated with. He said essentially, “I can get a date, I just can’t seem to get the one I want.” Man I have thought that a lot.
I think it’s a common theme for a lot of guys. The idea is that if there is someone that I really want to date, they are unavailable, live too far away, or just aren’t interested in me at all. There are dates to be had, just not with the someone that I really want to go out with.
First lets acknowledge that in a way, as a Christian guy (or gal) we are shooting at a small target. Here’s what I mean. First there are all women. But that won’t work for obvious reasons. If we’re honest you aren’t probably going to pursue someone that you are not attracted to physically. So that narrows the field (I’m not talking about being a perfect 10 here but someone who is in shape and generally good looking). But even if you are attracted physically you still have to really enjoy each others company. So the field has already been narrowed. Now as a Christian however, they have to also be following Jesus. So someone attractive, who you “gel” with who also is following Jesus. Add timing and context and that friends, can be a small target.
That being said, there’s a lot of things that “not being able to get the one I want” can mean. There are traps we can fall into, often more than one at a time. Let’s look at a few.
We can be intimidated by the people we are attracted to. In other words, when we actually like someone we over think it or make it too big too quick. Sometimes we’ve gone awhile without being interested in someone and so when we meet someone we mess it up. We become like the excited puppy that pees all over itself. Or other times it’s a true pattern in our lives. Whenever we like someone too much we end up giving them power over us and that is as I’ve noted a lot, not attractive to women.
We might have marriage as an idol. In other words, if I can just meet the right person all in life will be right. If we do that, whenever we meet someone who could be that person, we often put them in the sentence. In other words it becomes, “If I can just get Sally all in life will be right.” This of course isn’t true but it can feel true. It’s a bad place to be. Usually it means you have no chance with the girl. But even if you do somehow miraculously do get the girl you won’t know how to be with her. We become like the dog that catches the car. Not good.
This “one that you can’t get” is not perfect. She is not the answer to your main questions in life. She is not the only one you could marry. There will be others. We need to remember that no woman should be the goal or the trophy. That will not end well.
A second angle on the “cant get the one I want” idea is there are some of us who pick people we can’t have so that we don’t have to actually get someone. It’s usually subconscious but we can over and over again sabotage ourselves. These are the folks who are always dating the “wrong” person. If you always date someone you can’t marry, that’s about something deep going on inside of you. You need to investigate that. Maybe you don’t think you aren’t worthy of that. But you are.
The third angle is the whole consumerism issue. This plays out all sorts of ways. Some guys struggle with once they have someone, they need a new someone. It’s like they are dating an iphone. When they first get the iphone it’s the answer to all the worlds problems. Right up until there is a newer iphone. There will always be a shinier new toy. There is no perfect person. These folks bail at the first sign of trouble and then find a new person to pursue – who they don’t know well enough yet to see their flaws.
To top this all off we are inundated with all sorts of false advertisement. I’m speaking here about everything from advertising, to the movies, to porn. We have a perfect look, perfect romance, perfect performance that we are comparing everyone to.
So when we meet someone who seems to be THE ONE material we either freak out and can’t get them, put them on a pedestal and chase them instead of moving on, or date them until we realize they aren’t as perfect as the new girl (actual or in our mind) that we don’t know yet.
I’ll tell you right now that in my 20 plus years of singleness I struggled with all of the above at one point or another and I definitely believed the lie that I couldn’t get the one I wanted.
So how do we fight this lie. Here are few quick steps.
1. You have to get your identity in Christ not in getting married or “getting” a particular person. We need to have our core questions answered by God
2. Realize that biblically speaking there is not THE ONE
3. Begin to believe that you can indeed learn to interact with any woman that you want to. That you are capable of delivering if it counts.
4. Recognize the truth that no girl that you think you have to have is actually perfect and maybe the girl you “could get” is better than you think.
Which trap do you fall into? Do you believe that you can get the one you want?
As a 36 year old christian female I totally relate to this blog. I think I have allowed myself to fall into all of these traps at some time or other. It feels good to finally be at peace with my singleness and to continue to always do my best to find my identity in God. One of the things I struggle with now is having everyone else be okay with my singleness. Everyday, and I’m not exaggerating, I am asked if I’m dating anyone…. Or what’s new in my life. This makes me totally crazy! I hate that people assume I have to be in a relationship. I sure could use some advice on how to handle the questions from everyone. I don’t know what the future holds but my goal is to do my best to honor God with my life…. Single or married!
Yeah it’s tough when people are always asking. It can become a trap to make our identity about our singleness (or desire for marriage). I used to just say no or I’d say, I’ve been on lots of dates (especially if I wanted to mess with them). With people you don’t know well, I think you just have to blow it off. We do the same thing to married people. “How’s your spouse?” “How’s the kids”. It’s all surface conversation. I think with people closer to us, it’s worth a deeper conversation where we say how much we want them, or don’t want them to ask us about it. I think it’s good to have people in that part of our life with us, but then that needs to be more real than just the surface questions. Hope that is helpful. Anyone else got some thoughts?
All I can say is that I nearly missed out on a wonderful man because I was fixated on another Christian brother who showed no romantic interest in me. We were friends and attended the same church and I really thought he was the one for me; we had the same interests, read the same books, liked the same preachers etc etc. I even prayed to God to ‘get’ him for me, ha ha! Months went by and the guy never showed or hinted at having any interest beside platonic friendship. So when my now boyfriend of four months showed up and didn’t dilly dally but just told me straight out that he liked me, was attracted to me and wanted to date me I first paid him no mind. I was waiting for my ‘Mr. Right’ to come around. Thank God for my boyfriend’s persistence. I’m now in a loving relationship and I’m loving it! We may not have a lot of things in common, we may not finish each other’s sentences but we enjoy each other’s company, we have fun and laugh a lot, he puts a huge smile on my face but perhaps more importantly, I’m happy.
So I have concluded that for me, the one I initially wanted, wasn’t actually the one for me. In retrospect I realise that I thought he was the one because he fitted certain criteria I had set up for my ideal man (something Justin has addressed in various posts previously) But one crucial thing got left out; did he want to be the one for me? I guess that’s what it all boils down to.
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