Sometimes you just need to start being honest with yourself. This post is less about me giving you an answer, and more just about letting you know that if you feel the way I do, you are not alone.
The very first time I had “crush” was in 4th grade. I had started going to a Christian private school and there was this girl in my class named Jessica. She had braces, she liked cats (doesn’t really go on the pro list, because dogs are better, that’s just one of the few things I remember about her.) I remember one time at night while my family was walking somewhere, (I think it was to get ice cream,) I began to daydream and wonder whether she liked me.
That was the first time I had ever thought about a girl with feelings attached, I literally remember fantasizing about getting married one day and living happily ever after. Like a Disney movie. Back then, my idea of marriage was just two people who lived together to make pillow forts, went on adventures, watched movies, and made meals together. But they also had these feelings that resembled butterflies pulling them together, making them want to just jump and smile and be super-duper happy.
That was 4th grade. And to be honest, I don’t think my heart has drifted off too far from that.
I have always been a hopeless romantic. I have always had a heart that longs to give attention, affection, and love. I never had a desire to just do my thing and date a lot of different girls, I just wanted to date one girl and that was it. I wanted to be that guy who seemed as if he had jumped out of the pages of a fairytale. The guy who will go to the ends of the earth for love. No distance would be too far, no challenge would be too difficult, I could endure it all for love.
However, singleness has been a part of my story ever since I was in high school. After being forced out of an emotionally abusive relationship in 9th grade (my first girlfriend), I decided that I would be single for a year. Not that I had a lot of opportunities knocking at my door or anything, I was a goofy kid. But I had decided even if there were girls I wanted to date, I wouldn’t pursue it for that year.
Well, one year turned into two, and the next thing I know–with the exception of one relationship–my entire high school experience was lived as a single pringle. I only cared about living as a missionary for Jesus in my community and beyond. While there were many challenges within those years, it was the most purpose-filled time of my life, and I was completely content.
But eventually, the knock of romance would grow louder and louder on my heart. No matter how much I tried to ignore it or “give it to Jesus” it would always come back around. And each time, it knocks harder. Sometimes it just kicks down the door. Over time, I have grown more and more impatient. Because I honestly thought that by now I would already be married.
I Thought Being “The Right Guy” Would Be Enough
I am twenty-five and it’s been about six years since I have dated someone who has lived in the same town as me. I have not dated a lot of people since then, but one way or another those relationships have been long distance. It’s not that I preferred long distance, but I think the challenge of it continued to keep my attention because that’s what “the right guy” would not be afraid of.
The idea of a passionate, yet kind man who loves Jesus. A guy who sings and plays music, occasionally to enchant you to sleep when you feel restless. A guy who isn’t afraid to embrace his emotions and express them, longing to listen to you talk about your emotions. A guy whose genuine and sincere. A guy whose strong enough to lead and protect you, yet soft enough to listen to what you want. And to top it all off, he loves so deeply that no challenge will be too difficult for him, no distance will be too far, but he will continue to fight for the love you two share. Isn’t that what girls daydream about? That sounds like the hero of the next best-selling romance novel! haha!
Through different conversations or ideas, one way or another, that’s what I was led to believe throughout the years. I have kept very firm convictions about the experiences I wish to share with my future Mrs. Davis. I believed that if I just continued to be “the right guy” that in no-time, I would be able to meet the right girl and she would be just as infatuated and stary-eyed for me as I would be for her.
I still haven’t had sex, because Jesus finds sexuality sacred, to be an experience within the beauty of marriage. So I believed that my virginity alone would earn me some points for #HusbandMaterial. But here I am, twenty-five, and still not married. I wish I didn’t care that I am still single, but I do.
I Hate That I Care
I know so far this all sounds very melancholy and like a pity party, but I really hate that I care so much about this. As pathetic as you may think this all looks, it looks twice as pathetic in my eyes. I have been praying for a long time for God to take away the desire for romance because it just feels like it has only caused me problems.
Deep down, a part of me believes the girl I am looking for doesn’t exist. So I pray and ask for God to take away this desire in my heart. The Bible tells me to lay aside every weight that holds me down at the feet of Jesus. (Hebrews 12:1) So I try to do that, every day, love and romance stir up loneliness more than happiness, it creates an ache in my heart and I plead with God to take away because most days it is not worth what I have to endure.
Deep down, a part of me believes that what I look for does not exist. But then again, if I were honest, there’s a small flicker of hope even deeper down that wants to believe. “Maybe there’s a little fight left in me,” I tell myself as I continue to reach down for that flicker when someone catches my heart’s eye. I want to believe and there is this thing inside of me that refuses to quit no matter how many times I will literally yell at myself to give up.
I could be SO MUCH more productive if this desire wasn’t screaming at the top of its lungs. I could be so much further along in my ambitions and dreams if it weren’t for the deep desire to share my life with that right girl. I keep praying to just be content. I have a friend who seems so content with their singleness, in a very healthy way and God-honoring way, and I envy that contentment.
Simply Love Jesus
The only relief I experience is when I am physically busy with sharing God’s truth and love with others. This past weekend I traveled to California and was blessed with the opportunity to preach God’s love to many students. During trips like those, I don’t think about my problems, I don’t dwell on the aching desires of my heart, I am living as the purest version of myself: the one who simply loves Jesus. The Caleb whose eyes are fixated on the one who never gives up on Caleb, the one who fully understands Caleb, the one who fully knows and fully loves Caleb.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)
I am not writing this post to give any answers. Sometimes we don’t need answers, we just need to feel what we feel. Sometimes, we need to just be. I write this because it’s on my heart and I know if it’s on my heart that means there is at least one other person who feels this way. So for that one other person, know you are not alone.