July 15, 2013

From failure to triumph.

     According to the world's standards, I am a failure.


     I am almost 19 years old, and I have never had a boyfriend. I've never been kissed, I've never been asked by a guy to be his date to a dance or formal event, and I've certainly never been in love. Today's teen culture isn't made for girls like me. Messages everywhere scream that the only way to be happy at this age is to have a boyfriend, and that there's something wrong with you if you haven't experienced dating yet.

      A lot of these messages come from the media. One example that I found recently was in a recent issue of Cosmo magazine. I don't regularly read Cosmo because of its explicit content, but my grandma somehow ended up with a subscription and asked me to take an issue home so I could call and cancel it for her. I noticed that there was a special section in that issue on college life, and I thought I'd take a peek at what the magazine had to say. One of the college articles was solely on "hooking up" and how to make your sex and dating life extra spicy for the coming school year. I believe 100% that today's hook-up culutre is wrong, and isn't what the Lord instead for His children, but reading about the sex lives of girls the same age as me definitely made me think that I have some catching up to do in the dating department, and left me feeling terribly about myself.

     The messages aren't always as bold and straightforward as Cosmo articles. Every single popular teen television drama these days features some sort of dating relationship or hook-up between characters. Even if the main plot of the TV show isn't about sex and dating (such as Pretty Little Liars, a mystery show), you can bet all of that stuff is going to be there. I've said before that my favorite TV show in the world is 7th Heaven. I loved this show because it emphasized Christian and family values, but even with that, all of the show's main teenage characters started dating by the time they were in early high school. There's quite a few make-out scenes throughout the seasons. Television shows might not be coming right out and saying "You're weird if you haven't started dating yet," but these themes can sure make a person feel that way.

     One thing that seems to have become increasingly romance and significant other focussed is Christmas. This wonderful holiday should be all about celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, but instead it seems to have become almost more love infested than Valentines! There's tons of Christmas songs all about finding true love, or mourning the fact that your love won't be there to celebrate with you that year. There's the photos that everyone sees on social media of girls bragging about what their boyfriends or husbands got them for Christmas. And what about the whole idea of kissing someone under the mistletoe? With all of this and more combined, it's no wonder that girls that are still single can feel pretty down in the dumps throughout the month of December.

     And then there are the messages that come through real life instances. Those moments that come year after year as your see the fellow high school (and now college) students from your home church attending services with their significant others. The moments when the seven and eight year olds from my short stint as a day camp counselor say things to me like "Why don't you have a boyfriend? You're 18, you're supposed to have a boyfriend!"

     And the hardest moments are when your realize that you've seen every single one of your high school friends go through at least one dating relationship. These moments are when one of your girlfriends shares to you with excitment that the guy she's liked has asked her out, or when a friend tells you about the cute thing that her boyfriend did for her this week. Those moments come when some of these relationships hit a rough patch or come to an end, and your girls call you and cry to you on the phone about how terrible their love lives are, when all the while I'm just thinking to myself I'd give just about anything to have experienced love, or a guy's admiration. At least you got to know what it feels like! How can you be venting to me- I clearly don't know anything about any of this stuff!

     .....

     When I see all of this written out, all I can think to myself is how I've failed and failed in the dating and relationships department by the world's standards. There must be something wrong with me, or I must be too prude or too picky about guys, or just plain unlucky. Whatever the reason, I'm not doing too well.


     But thankfully, God's standards give my dating life (or current lack-thereof) a totally different view. God does the same for every other teenager girl or 20-something young woman that has a similar story to mine. How His heart must break when us ladies cry and complain about not being in love with an earthly man... when God sent his Son to endure torture and die for us, and wants nothing more than for us to fall completely in love with Jesus! Something that I've been trying to tell myself lately is Jesus is enough. If I am able to someday develop a truly strong and unwavering faith in Him, then I will have the greatest gift ever. A gift one million times better than any bouqet of flowers from a boyfriend, a diamond ring from a fiance, or the wedding of my dreams to a husband.

     Even though falling in love with the Lord should be enough for anyone, God is good enough to provide precious romantic relationships to many Christians. The beauty of relationships done is His timing is that they will be God-honoring and pure, and the type of relationships that can last through the years and stay strong through any trials or hardships. When someone will enter into this type of relationship one cannot predict, but God knows. In the bible it says:

     "Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." -Psalm 37:4

     I'm definitely desiring a relationship with a wonderful at this point in my life. But all that I can do right now is surrender this desire to the Lord, and trust that He knows what's best for me and will bring someone into my life when the timing is right.

     Until then, I will triumph in the fact that yes, I am almost 19 years old and yes, I have been able to keep purity a priority in my life! I can be happy that my first kiss will be shared someday with the first guy who treats me the way that I'm supposed to be treated, and not just with some random guy that will leave my life as soon as he entered. I can be relieved with the fact that since I'm not having sex I don't have to worry about STD's, pregnancy, birth control or any other worries that come with premarital sex. I can be glad that since I don't have a romantic relationship right now I can take this time to work on the areas of my personality that need some work, and try and make myself the best person that I can be before adding a second person into every asepect of my life.

     And most importantly, I can triumph in how I'm proud of myself for being what I think is a great example of a modern and independent young woman who keeps up with the trends, yet still places her faith first and has fallen in love with God's plan for her love life.


     Single girls: will you join me in being triumphant?


     xoxo Miss ALK


     P.S. This post was written mainly as a way to cheer myself up after I felt the "single girl blues" creeping on me this past weekend. Writing all of my thoughts down in this post made me feel so much better, and I hope that I was able to encourage some others in the process! :-) 
     

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for this post friend, I needed it. I definitely have been feeling the single girl blues lately. After dating a couple boys in the past who were honesty just jerks and not the guys God ever intended for me to date, God has made it clear since those mistakes that I must wait on His timing and His timing alone. It is definitely hard, because I feel this desire getting stronger and stronger and like you said I feel so much pressure from the world around me to have a boyfriend. Thanks for reminding me that Jesus is my first love and that He is going to give me a husband when the time is right. After all, He clearly knows me way better than I could ever know myself. Love you!

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  2. I can't say how awesome you are for posting this! I feel the exact same way and I can relate so much to this! I think I've told you before that I've never had a boyfriend or been on a date before. In high school, I thought that was the worst thing ever. I thought having a boyfriend was very important. Mainly because of that stage of life and because of the messages the media and the world were sending. I never thought of it as a failure before, but I think I did feel that way: like I failed. You chose the right words to describe this!

    Towards the end of high school, I started to put my faith in God and His timing for my love story. Yesterday I was reading about how God romancing us and our lives with Him are the ultimate love story. It's so encouraging and comforting to know that God has everything under control and he's faithful!

    Thanks for your courage to write this post and to share your thoughts :) Love ya girl!

    xo, gina

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  3. Hi! I've been following your blog for a while, and let me tell you something. You seem to be an extremely sweet girl and should not worry about not having a relationship or dating yet. I personally don't share your religious views (I'm christened but I'm not a practicant anymore), but I agree with you, timing is key. Even though I've had my flings, I have never had a boyfriend, and I'm 21 turning 22 soon. It's true that I've sometimes felt terrible about always being the single one in my group of friends, but I believe that Prince Charming will turn up when you expect him the least, for sure! My advice is that you don't rush things, they will come when it's time, and remember that you're eighteen-years-YOUNG! You have plenty of time!

    You should focus on the things that make you happy now. Family, friends, the beach, summer, fashion, your faith, home, whatever it is. I read that you are transferring to a new college, so you will meet tons of new people, and who knows, maybe the right guy will be one of those!

    I'm in a similar situation to yours, as I'm starting my MA in one of the Big Ten universities, and I couldn't be more excited!! I love meeting so many people from totally different cultures (I'm Spanish) and this will be a great opportunity! And maybe I'll finally meet my Prince Charming!

    Stay strong and happy! :)

    Ane
    http://aneicardoincolorado.blogspot.com.es

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  4. Annaliese,
    Can I say how much I love this post?

    I got my first kiss a little bit over a year ago (all of my friends were having sex, yet I still was yet to be kissed), and I went a little crazy in college first semester and kissed a couple more guys (a couple more than I wanted to..), and it wasn't until six months ago that I had a boyfriend. I was "talking" to this guy from school who was, quite frankly, a major douche! He would play me so bad, and we'd kiss and then he'd do something that got me annoyed and we'd be back and forth for a while. Finally, this semester, I told him on the first day back that I was done with it and I didn't want to be anything more than friends with him.

    It was that night that my best friend called me to come over, and I went as usual, and he kissed me. He was the quiet boy I loved, the one I went to church with, and the one who told me it was "distasteful" that I kissed a handful of guys first semester. A week after that, we began officially talking, and a week after that, we were official. It's been almost six months with him and I am the world's happiest girl because he was a great guy. So, wait. Seriously. Don't rush into any relationship because there's someone who's worth it for you.. I used to be so frustrated that I was 18 and never had a boyfriend, and I would get so annoyed that doucheface wasn't serious about me, until I realized he wasn't right for me.

    I'm so proud of you for this post and for your views :)

    xo caro | the caro diaries

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  5. Hello! I just found your blog through a guest post you did and I love what you've been posting! This post especially is what I've been struggling with as well. I'm in the same place as you--19, in college, and never had a boyfriend. This past year I tried to find a boyfriend in all the wrong places and it wasn't until I left for the summer that I realized that God has someone special picked out for each and every one of us. There's nothing I can do other than to pray for him that will make this future husband come any faster. I started reading the book Lady in Waiting as well and I loved it! It focuses on being single and preparing yourself for your husband. I think you'd really like it!

    I hope you have a great day!
    ~Ruth

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