As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, I thought I’d take it a little further and explore the underlying motivations of some of the relationships I myself have experienced and/or observed.
I was never the guy who went on lots of dates. If I approached girls at all (you know, shy introvert and all), they would be girls I found attractive and those I could see the potential for something long term.
I know there are many of us who sometimes get into a relationship, not because we are looking for love, but are instead longing for affirmation. We convince ourselves that we are satisfied with being wanted, although not necessarily loved. The fact that some person wants us becomes enough upon which to base a semblance of a relationship. Even if, in many cases, it is destined to fail because of the shaky foundation.
Of course there is a huge difference between being LOVED and simply being WANTED.
To have someone LOVE us typically means that they’ve committed to accept us; an imperfect person with all of our relationship baggage, emotional filters, and strange family dynamics. They’ve identified something within us that makes us someone they’d rather not live without.
To have someone WANT us often means that we are more akin to a possession. It’s not so much about who we are, but rather what we represent. We’re an award, proof that the person is capable of being with someone (anyone?), or perhaps we provide the person with bragging rights or some increased level of prestige. Depending on our previous experiences, either with family or prior relationships, we somehow find this acceptable.
If we settle for just being wanted, it can leave us feeling empty, unsatisfied and undervalued. And that’s an unhealthy dynamic for any relationship. Some people see being wanted as a means to an end. Some of the women to whom I’ve spoken are in their early 20s and are afraid that if they don’t settle for someone now, they’ll have no one later. They have convinced themselves that a relationship built on being WANTED can become one revolved around being LOVED. Unfortunately, shallow relationships rarely, if ever, achieve any depth beyond their initial superficial existence.
However, I can tell you unequivocally that LOVE is worth waiting for.
My amazing wife, whom I absolutely adore and thank God for every day, was 34 years old when she married me. That would seem late to some people, but we’re going more than 15 years strong and have six (6) beautiful children. As the Rascal Flatts song says so well, it was well worth the broken road that led us to each other.
So please don’t sell yourself short because of a false perception that you’re running out of time. Because when you have a fulfilling love, it can make the rest of your life feel like an eternity.