Hit Me With Your Best Shot
If you haven't had a chance to read my last blog (Check Out Line) I would suggest you do that before you continue reading... it is sort of like a pre cursor for this one...
I'll be honest, I know that some of the things were potentially offensive. Some of you were astonished that I spoke my mind so openly and honestly. Others, were put off with my "cocky" attitude. And some of you felt it completely okay to speak your unsolicited opinions of my life choices. Now, I get it, how can I sit here and "tell you how to run your life" if you aren't allowed to tell me how to run mine? All's fair in love and basketball- uh- I mean war. But I want to break down a little why I said what I said last week and if you still don't enjoy what I have to say than no one is holding a gun to your head to read this- unless they are, which if that's the case blink twice and I'll send help.
Out of all the comments I received about my blog (and there were lots) this one was my favorite...
"You know, you're kind of like Taylor Swift- be careful not to date her or she will blog about you- and not in a good way."
- First of all, I know that Taylor and I look exactly the same and I taught her all the dance moves she knows- so you're welcome world. Second of all, she is a poetic genius, so thanks. Third of all- ouch.
As I processed through the comment(s) and flip flopped back and forth between feeling good because it was speaking to people and feeling like I had posted my plans for mass nuclear male destruction, I came back to these thoughts...
"Am I really worth what I write about? Is it really worth all of this? Is it okay to have these standards?"
Let me lay something out real loud and clear here; every single one of those bullet points I wrote about were from personal experiences in my dating life. If we were sitting down for coffee I would tell you about all the times that I've been treated like a piece of meat at the market. All the times that guys have taken it upon themselves to comment on my chest size, how they would like to sleep with me or how I'm probably a "freak" in bed or pretended to be interested just to disappear. But, this is a blog, not Jerry Springer and I decided to leave all of that out. Let me lay something else out here, that blog was not a bash against men, at all. If you know me at all, you know that I deeply respect and cherish the men in my life who have fought for me and work at protecting me daily and don't think that I am naive to the fact that women have a job to do in this dating life as well. But, I am a woman, so I will speak of my experiences through the lens of that filter.
The Taylor comment made me laugh, and it really did get me thinking.... Women (and men), I want to tell you something from experience and from wisdom; You are worth EVERY single standard that you have laid out- within reason, do not become a diva in your requests. I do not for one second believe that holding yourself and those that you come into romantic relationships with to a certain set of standards is a bad thing. Multiple people told me that my standards were too high and that I would scare off future love interests with trying to hold them to those standards. Well, than I will remain single for life if those standards are too high. I believe that in today's day and age we have lost sight of what it means to have self respect, to hold ourselves to standards that are not only Godly but healthy. I expect a man pursuing me to be open in communication, have a life plan (maybe it hasn't happened, but I want him to have vision and motivation for his life), show his interest in me in a respectful way, be respectful of my time and be an adult in how he handles things. In return he can expect the same from me. Women, we are not exempt from being responsible for treating men with respect, honour, dignity and kindness. If you want to be treated like a Queen, than you need to be treating him like a King- it goes both ways, relationships are not give and take, they're give and give.
If you find yourself in your single season- what're you doing to use it wisely? Some of us have been in our single season for longer than others- the aches come and go, the pain is deep but not as surface anymore but our time is still precious. When I was 26 I remember standing in my kitchen with tears in my eyes with frustration with where I was romantically. In that teary eyed moment I had a revelation that has significantly changed the outcome of my adult life- What was I doing to be the wife that my future Mr. was praying for? I was asking for a praying husband, but was I myself praying? I was asking for a man that was after God's heart and had the character to prove it- but was I chasing after God and sharpening my character? I wanted a man who was chivalric, held doors open, treated women with respect and was a gentleman- but was I treating men with honour, respect and giving them opportunities to be a hero without the pressure of romantic feelings? The answer to all of those was no, and you better believe that I hiked up my pants, put my hard hat on and went to work. I have made it a mission to continually better myself, I stopped making excuses for my singleness and I started using it as a tool for my life. The fact of the matter was I was single! I had time, resources and a full life ahead of me that was waiting for me to start the journey. (Not to say that if you're married you don't also have those! But it is very different when you're single). I have said this before and I will say it again- singleness is not a plague, it's not a disease that we are strapped with and have to bravely endure. It is the greatest gift if we would just use it properly! I began seeking people out who were in seasons that I desperately desired. I wanted a family, so I started spending time with my friends that were married with babies. I started spending intentional time asking their husbands questions, finding out what was important to them and how they operated. I spent time with women who I greatly admired, who were fighting for their dreams and positioning themselves to be successful. I made lists of characteristics that I wanted (both as a woman, and one day as a wife), and then I found books that spoke about those attributes, and I found people who held those attributes and I spent time with them. If I was going to be single than I was going to use my time to my advantage, I was going to be diligent with becoming who I was meant to be. Like all important things in life- none of this came easy. I cannot tell you how many times I have fallen, sometimes in front of people and sometimes alone. The disappointment ran deep, always. The fear of failure became more real than I ever imagined. But it's not the falling that counts, it's the getting up that matters.
Just because your standards are different than your friends standards, or even the worlds standards, does not mean that they are not vital to your process. There a certain things that I hold myself to that I have continuously gotten made fun of, but it doesn't matter anymore because I know that it is important for me. This is your life, no one will hold your standards up unless you do. If it's important to you that your man holds doors open for you, than stick to it. If it's important to you that your man treats all women with platonic respect, than hold to that. If it's important that he is a good communicator than stand firm in that. I will say this- these are things that can be "taught" I understand that not all men (or women for that matter) were raised to treat people like this. If this is important to you, than you must be willing to communicate that graciously to them and be prepared to teach them. I find that if you hold yourself to the same standards that you expect others to treat you, than often times that is who you attract and they will often observe you treating others that way. The golden rule stands true even all these years later- treat others the way you want to be treated.
You are worth the effort.
You are worth the risk.
You are worth the sacrifice.