No Guys in 2018 Turned into No Guys in 2019

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And honestly, I’m not even mad about it. Taking a year off of dating in 2018 was one of the best decisions I made, and I don’t think I realized how much it changed me until I went through this year… alone.

I think after 2018 was over, I thought God was going to miraculously dump my guy in my lap. Like “Hey Sarah, great job- you are now worthy of the husband I have for you.” Haha silly me. I think I’m still learning the appropriate and delicate balance of setting expectations too high and clinging onto hope. I know God is a Big God, but I also know sometimes He shows up in different ways than my brain can imagine, than my heart is expecting. And I’ve learned that it is those moments that some of His best gifts are revealed.

January actually started off hopeful as I began talking with an attractive Christian. I was excited for our first date… our first date that never happened. He was what Matt Chandler would probably refer to as a “good Christian boy,” not a great godly man. And I’ve had my fair share of guys that attach themselves to the Christian label with no true intentions of following Christ. My hope of meeting a guy at the beginning of the year quickly vanished. My single life had become much more appealing to me, now that the quest for the husband-to-be had not taken up so much head space. I was focused more on my calling and the purposes God had for me. It wouldn’t be until August when I would have my first official date in almost two years. And what would start out as a heart full of hope, would quickly end in disappoint yet again.

Paul knew everything to say to allow himself to enter my heart. He said and did everything I wanted to hear. He started to lead me to believe he was the male version of myself. After our first date, we had set up another and then he wanted to see me even sooner. He pursued. He was intentional. He was everything I thought I wanted… until he wasn’t. The problem was while he said and did everything perfectly, it was never really who he was. He came on strong and fast until I let my guard down and as soon as I did, he vanished. He left. It was as if I was just someone to conquer. He withdrew and when I questioned him about it, he just said he thought he moved too fast and wanted to take it slow because he was scared. I made the mistake of believing him and held on. Little did I know at the time his words were code for I’m just not that into you. The “I still want to go on dates and get to know you but just not like the world dates” equated to never hearing from him again. I think what hurt the most was feeling betrayed and lied to. As if I wasn’t worthy of the truth. I trusted him. I had believed him. It just made the whole process more painful as I tried to make sense of everything- and worse, attempted to justify his actions. It was one of those “I’m going to gaslight you and then call you crazy” scenarios. I had been down this road before. I knew better. I was mostly mad at myself at this point.

I began to question how something that I thought felt so right in my spirit was so wrong. Can I not trust myself? But I think God has taught me that it’s okay if I can’t trust myself because I can trust Him. And maybe that’s where He wants us; maybe that is what I was supposed to learn. I had thought as long as I had the Holy Spirit in me, I could almost know all. But maybe that removes the intimacy in a close, much needed, dependent relationship with God. Because at the end of the day, God protected me- just like He always has. He protected me from something that wasn’t for me. And while I’m mad at myself for not knowing, I take comfort in having a loving Father that’ll step in even though it is painful in order to protect me from further, worse pain. As painful as that was, it’s so much better than being partnered with someone who is less than God’s best for me. There is beauty in the grace, beauty in the growth.

I left our weird non-relationship of marriage and future talk with all the hope I once had completely crushed. It was as if I went from validating my hope to no hope at all overnight. In that moment, I quickly wanted to recoil and build my walls right back up again. This is why I hate dating. But I haven’t. I’m just more careful with who I let it. Ironically, while this situation should have left me hopeless, it left me more hopeful. Sometimes God removes people from our lives that He knows we wouldn’t remove on our own. How comforting. I know the one God has for me would never hurt me that way and whoever I end up with doesn’t deserve to reap the consequences of lies and behavior sown by guys prior. I’m sometimes amazed at how quickly I am to trust again- some may call it naive, but I think there’s an innocence and purity in starting fresh. Surprisingly, Paul was a faith bump for me. A way for God to say, to show me, Paul maybe wasn’t everything he said he was but there are others who still believe in the same values I do. While Paul turned out to be nothing like me, there are others who are. And though I may have had my heart broken a few times, I’ve learned a broken heart still has a whole lot more love to give than a cold one.

Why I won’t have sex even though I want to

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Sex is awesome. And I don’t have to experience it to know. God created sex and He desires for us to enjoy it- for more than simple procreation, although that is a wonderful benefit. It would be foolish to discredit these desires. We all have this legitimate, innate, intense desire but we have to ask ourselves if we are aiming it in the right direction. A misguided search for simple satisfaction can lead to our destruction.

Proverbs is full of scriptures related to the seductress. Do not kid yourself, the devil is alive and well, trying to steal a loving, satisfying, secure relationship from your life and replace it with the loneliness of the self-satisfaction, hook-up culture. And he will constantly look for opportunities for you to give yourself away to another person, outside the sanctity of marriage. It’s not that I hate sex; I just want to experience it to its fullest potential. Sex is meant to, is designed to, be enjoyed in the safety of a committed (marriage), loving relationship. The problem is the devil seeks to separate sex from love, commitment from intimacy. And it breaks my heart.

The message in society reads “commitment less sex with no consequences” while nothing could be further from the truth. We believe forbidden fruit tastes the best. 70 million dollars was made in ten months from 50 Shades of Grey. 70 million! So in turn we live in a society where we believe this is the norm. Where women make themselves available in order to feel any sense of love or wanting and men don’t even have to chase or pursue anymore. It’s a heartbreaking cycle.

And the sad truth is, if we don’t actively fight it, we will find ourselves in the middle of it. It’s just too strong. The longing to feel special, the low self-esteems, the desire to feel good in an instant gratification society. There are too many excuses and reasons to justify it today. And the consequences are silenced, hidden, and buried too deep.

24% of married men and 14% of married women have affairs. 1 in every 4 marriages, someone cheats. This is the leading cause of divorce. If you don’t honor and value the sanctity of sex within the confines of marriage before you are married, what makes you think you will understand its role and place once you are? I have several friends who are loyal and think it’s okay prior as long as you are in a committed relationship but it’s not good enough. It’s not going to sustain you when you’re alone on a business trip with the perfect opportunity. It’s not going to sustain you when you’ve had a huge fight with your spouse and they leave and you think you are justified. It just won’t. Because you have already blurred the lines and compromised where you know you shouldn’t have. I wish I could put into words the peace and security- the foundation that is made when following Christ. I tell you, it makes decisions a lot easier and the regrets a lot less.

So I wait. Even though it’s hard, I wait. Because I know it’s worth it. I have these truths engraved in my head and in my heart, I have to. Because temptation is great sometimes but I know.

I know that desire I have to be a Victoria Secret model is meant for my husband to enjoy, not for the world to see.

I know no one needs to really “drive it before you buy it” when it comes to sex. I have the rest of my life to enjoy it and figure it out with the man I love. Besides, would I really want a relationship that’s dependent on my sexual performance?

I know when he says I don’t know his needs or that he wants to know I love him, that he really doesn’t care about me.

I know if I start to feel pressured sexually, that he isn’t the one for me. Because he doesn’t respect me and he doesn’t fear God or His words. And that’s not the man I want in 10 years.

I know I want someone who wants me but has the power and the ability to restrain himself until he can look at my parents and say he wants me and is putting commitment down, money down, everything down. That’s the man I can trust. That’s the man that will be able to restrain himself if times get hard.

I want to say for those who have already given it away, there is still hope. The beauty of our loving God is that He is the author of second chances. The book of Hosea is one of my favorites and shows that no matter our history, God can give us a clean slate when we give it to Him.

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*Notes and statistics taken from Ben Stuart’s Wisdom & Sex podcast

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3 reasons to keep your options open

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This almost seems like the antithesis of one of my most valued characteristics: loyalty. But that is precisely what I’m saying. I think somewhere along the way we started to blend liking someone, dating, and marriage. Having all of our eggs in one basket, not open to anyone else. Now I know what you might be thinking- what is so wrong with that? Well, here’s my theory of why you should keep your options open:

So you can be yourself

I had recently started talking to someone and I caught myself filtering what I was saying. Like how can I make this not sound like I’m arrogant? I was wondering if what I would say would align with his beliefs. But I was glad I caught myself because I stopped to think about why I was doing that. I realized this was a guy I was interested in, who also liked me, and I didn’t want to mess that up- as if being myself could mess that up. It was then that I told myself there were a couple other guys I was interested in and if for some reason this guy decided not to like me anymore it was okay. I know it can be easier said than done because nobody is fond of rejection. But I wonder if I would have had enough strength to be myself and not care as much if I didn’t have other options.

So you can be honest about what you really want

Do we really want someone we can’t be ourselves around? No. While it may help me keep the guy temporarily, it’s not what I’m looking for long term. The problem with closing yourself off to others is you start settling on things that were important because you think it’s your only option.

“I’m just happy he is going to church with me, it’s okay he isn’t a spiritual leader.”

“She is always rude to people, but she treats me well most of the time.”

“He doesn’t like it if I go out with my friends, but that’s just because he wants to spend time with me.”

“She puts me down in front of others, but I know she doesn’t mean it.”

Do you see what ends up happening here? Of course there will be compromises in any relationship but you should never compromise on major, important things simply because you have no other option.

So you don’t end up with the wrong person

Some people don’t believe you can end up with the wrong person but I do. I’ve seen the impact family members, co-workers, friends make on another person’s life. How much more so a spouse? You have to remember that talking, dating, even engaged are all stages leading up to see if you are ready to make that commitment to one person. You are not married yet. It shouldn’t be scary to think about spending the rest of your life with someone; the thought of spending the rest of your life with them should make you the happiest you’ve ever been.

If you allow yourself to keep your options open, you are more apt to be yourself and keep your priorities straight. It will either allow you to see you’re with someone you shouldn’t be or solidify the relationship to a deeper level, allowing you to appreciate them even more. I firmly believe that we took this approach we’d see a lot less fake people settling only to end up in a divorce and more relationships ending in happily ever after.

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The time you gave up on us

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“I’m done.” I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget these two little words. It’s amazing how six letters can cut so deep. I don’t think I’ve ever said these words to someone before and I don’t think I ever could. There’s just something so finite about it- not to mention the pain they cause.

I remember you telling me the one thing your ex said to you you’ve always remembered. “I don’t know if I can do this anymore.” The time you needed her most, she was giving up. And it hurt you so. Years later. To this day you still remember it so vividly. Yet, here you are- in the same situation. But it’s me you are hurting this time. Does it feel better being on that end? With tears streaming down my face as I write this, I can still say confidently that I don’t think it’s better on that end. Because at the end of the day, I get to say I tried. I get to say I never gave up. I was willing to try. I was willing to fight but I don’t have to carry this burden anymore.

“I’m done.” Two such painful words that give me the power and strength to move on. To know I’m not missing out or losing anything. Because you see, the guy for me won’t ever give up. He will fight. Not for me but for us. He will pursue. He will hold on in the worst of times. Because that’s me and that’s what I would do. That’s what I’ve always done.

I think one of the most beautiful things about marriage and relationships is how they are just a small glimpse of how God loves us and chases us and never gives up on us. Our relationship could never be that.

I realize now you never really saw me. You just saw what I could do for you. Because you don’t treat people you love this way. You just can’t. You wondered why it was so hard for me to open up to you and trust. Do you understand why now? You may have heard me but you never listened. It was always my fault. I was never good enough. You always thanked me for being such a great encourager and supporter yet I could never say the same about you. Shoot, a few hours before saying you were done you thanked me. Do guys really expect women to follow and trust them when you treat them this way? You did. Ladies will only follow a guy if the guy has their best interest at heart. That’s biblical. Why do we forget it’s a two way street?

But I trusted you from the get go. And you also broke that trust from the get go. I never gave up though. Maybe it was my fault for thinking we could work through it. Maybe I was naïve in thinking I could learn to trust you again. It’s a process but that doesn’t stop us from growing impatient. My gut knew there was something wrong. Why does it take so long for my actions to catch up with my gut? This is definitely not what I want. I was still willing to try. But here you go, breaking the trust yet again. I don’t understand how people think it’s okay to treat others this way. We are set way too far back now so maybe it’s a good thing you’re done. Even though I know you aren’t really. But we are done. And that’s on you, not me.

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I could be the perfect girl and still not be good enough because I’m not her

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While I want to be mad at you, I’m really mad at myself right now. One, for letting this go on longer than it should have. But more so, for letting my pride and vanity get in the way of something much more important. You see, I should have known early on when you would mention your ex way too much. But I’m sort of naïve when it comes to this I suppose. I mean why would you be talking to me if you were in love with someone else? But you did. And you continued to. As I look back it was never about seeing if I actually liked you but seeing if I could get you to fall for me because I didn’t want to accept the fact that someone could be better than me. How noble was I?

Maybe I deserved the way you treated me then because can I honestly say I was any better? But the way you made me feel- it’s like an abused victim who keeps going back for more beatings. I had hoped you’d change. That one day I would be pretty enough. One day I would be smart enough. One day, maybe you would think I was good enough. It took awhile but I realized that day was never going to happen. I read a quote on Instagram from @thegoodquote and it hit me like a ton of bricks:

“At your absolute best, you still won’t be good enough for the wrong person. At your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right person.”

And it was at that point I realized I was done trying. I’ve never had someone make me feel so bad about myself in my entire life, yet you do it under the guise of “I really do like you, Sarah.” What?! I’m not sure if I should feel bad about being treated so horribly or bad for you since you think there’s nothing wrong.

So what exactly makes them the wrong person? Why can’t they be the right one? Why is it then that some of these guys can’t seem to get over that one girl? I’ve still struggled with this. And so has my vanity and pride. Why am I not good enough? What makes her better than me? But you see, many of these stories involve “the one that got away” aka the one that rejected him. The one where he thinks he could have had something great but he messed it up and now is left wondering. And therein lies the root of the problem if we really face it dead on.

The truth is I know how the guys in my life treated their exes and I don’t think it was ever true love. They miss how that girl made them feel and their own pride and vanity was hurt when she left for whatever reason. He was in love with the idea of her and what she represented. Remembering the good, forgetting the bad. I hate to say this but I’d be hard pressed to find a girl that would leave a guy who was truly in love with her. I’m not talking about lust here. Not talking about like or obsession either. True love, in love. A girl knows when she is truly loved and it’s rare to find a girl who would leave that.

I heard a quote once that I enjoyed- “men are like taxi drivers- when they are available, the light goes on.” There is so much truth in that statement. It has nothing to do with you because they don’t even see you yet. You could be the perfect girl but if the guy isn’t (emotionally) available he won’t see it. And he isn’t available because he’s distracted and dependent on that feeling again. He’s obsessed with it. But we won’t call it love. Because if he was really still in love with her he wouldn’t be talking to me. And he wouldn’t be talking to you. No, what he is missing is the love and attention that he was used to and until he gets over himself he’ll never be able to get over “her.” And be careful because you may be next. Remember when he comes crawling back or attempts to chase you this time, it won’t be about you either. It’ll be about him and the way you made him feel and the cycle continues yet again.

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Mom’s Advice & Dating

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mommies out there and a big special HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to mine. I decided to a post on mother’s advice because my mom has been so instrumental in helping me to become the woman I am today. And I can’t thank her enough. Although I am very fortunate enough to have her as a mother, I hope there is someone you can identify in your life that has been a strong role model for you that will help you to relate and realize how blessed you are. There are many reasons I love my mom and when it comes to dating, these are some of the reasons I trust her as much as I do.

She’s never been wrong. Yes, I hate to admit this one but it’s true. One thing I don’t think we realize or want to realize is that we are emotionally attached when we like someone and we will excuse that person’s behavior to no end. However, moms aren’t and they can see right through the smoke screen we fall under the spell of.

She understands. My mom has never acted like I was dumb for liking someone I shouldn’t. She always acknowledges that my feelings are real and they matter. She encourages me to get closure as long as she believes I am healthy enough to handle it. She knows me better than I know myself. And though I may make dumb decisions, she understands and helps me to work though it.

Her mistakes were mistakes I didn’t have to go through. I’ve never understood the mentality my peers had while growing up. I would hear the excuse “Well you drank, well you had sex, well you did ” when they would argue with their parents. This was done in hopes to justify their choices. I would hope that each generation improves as we are able to learn from our elders. My mom has always told me she wants a better life for me than she had for herself. It was never about keeping good things away from me but protecting me from the bad so I could have the best life possible. She has always been so open and honest about her life and because of that there are many mistakes I was fortunate enough to avoid. It is such a blessing not having to learn the hard way.

She loves me unconditionally. I think the one thing that trumps everything else and why I am able to trust my mom as I much as I do, is the fact I know she loves me unconditionally. When you feel that unconditional love, you feel so safe and secure that you can do anything. Without it, you are always on guard and are left to question motives. Because of my mom, I now know what unconditional love looks like and can only hope to love people the way she does.

I wouldn’t say my mom is a tough mom when it comes to potential boyfriends. She isn’t too concerned with money. She wants me to be attracted to him but looks aren’t that important. And while a fun personality is a plus, that won’t win her over either. No, my mom has and always will look for one thing- will this guy love my daughter the way Christ loved the church? And she knows. She’s unbelievably smart. And this is why I don’t bring many guys home to meet her. She’ll point out what I already know deep down. Thank you mom for teaching me self-respect- letting me know my value and worth. I love you so much! Oh, and good luck future suitors:p

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I want a guy who is willing to fight for me but will never have to

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I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Trying to work through my feelings and I think I finally have. I’ve always wanted a guy who was willing to fight for me and up until recently I wanted a guy who WOULD actually fight for me… until I started to think about what the implications of that would mean and questioning my own views on fighting for someone.

I’ve been real conflicted about this because I want a guy to fight for me but at the same time, I wouldn’t want to be with a guy who didn’t want to be with me. So why would I fight for him? Is that fair for me to expect a guy to fight for me if I’m not willing to do the same? Does that make sense? I’ve never said it out loud but I’ve thought numerous times as I’ve seen my relationships with guys fall a part. Why won’t you fight for me? If you really wanted me, thought I was valuable, you’d fight. But you never did. And as I look back now, I’m glad those guys never fought for me because that would not have solved our issues of why we were ending things in the first place. Of course we want to feel loved and it would have felt great for the time being but it wouldn’t have lasted. Maybe I’m wrong but if one person is already pulling away doesn’t that mean there is something about the relationship they don’t like? I know there has to be exceptions to this as I have seen men pursue and fight for women and are now in loving relationships. I don’t think I’ve seen any relationships where the woman fought for the man. Well actually I have- but if I’m honest they tend to be jealous of other women and don’t have the highest respect for their husband. Can you really feel loved knowing that at some point your husband didn’t want you? I don’t know.

I do think there is a difference between men and women’s roles. All throughout the Bible we see references of men pursuing women. Shoot, Jacob worked 14 years for Rachel! Talk about perseverance. And the women made themselves available. Proverbs 18:22 “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” Men are the leaders throughout the Bible and I don’t think it would change for the sake of pursuing a woman. I believe that is still the man’s role. I think it’s a lot more important for women to feel loved (pursued, fought for) because it’s the one commandment Christ calls the husbands to do- love your wives. And wives submit to your husbands. When a woman feels loved, it’s so easy to submit. But when she doesn’t, it’s one of the hardest things in the world. Men desire respect. Women desire love.

Would I love for my guy to fight for me? Absolutely. But what I want more is for him to never question my love for him. To never feel that I’m not all in. To never feel that I’ve given up. So yes, I want a guy who is willing to fight for me, but I hope he never has to.

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