Monday, December 8, 2014

Romantic Expectations

I've been wanting to talk about this for awhile.

I read this graphic on Pinterest awhile back, and I pinned it to come back to -- just so I could write this blog. (Go read it.)

Because the first time I read it, I had two thoughts.

1. Wow. That's a lot to live up to.


2.  No... maybe that was the only thought I had.

That's a lot to live up to and, perhaps, written with not a lot of experience with men -- and that's possibly the problem.

Sometimes we are broken. We feel empty, lonely, sad... whatever it is.  And we look for the things that are missing... and sometimes, what is missing is romantic love.  Now, romantic love gets built up in our culture so much -- every book, every story, every movie, every song -- that, when we don't have it, we come to believe that the romantic love we're missing is the key. If we had that, then our brokenness would be healed. What is empty inside of us would be filled.

And so, as women... we hold up those phantom men as our saviors.

But not only do we hold them as saviors, but we build up this image of what a real man is, with expectations that no living man could begin to touch. No person at all could be everything that we expect this guy to be.  So... when he isn't perfect, and he doesn't fix everything that's wrong in our hearts, we're unhappy.

I am married to a guy who I think is one of the best men on the entire planet. He is funny and kind and selfless and humble and thinks he's a ninja. I literally could not have a better husband (unless it was one who is actually a ninja). But I don't expect him to fix me. He loves me and he supports me and he is there for me. But he can't fix me. People aren't really meant to. But if I expected him to fix me, if I expected him to be the guy in that description up there... I would be waiting a long time. I'm not sure that the guy in that description wouldn't be kind of a pain to actually be involved with.

"Shut up already, I know I'm awesome."

I guess what I'm saying is this...  Single girls.... or even married unhappy ones... a guy isn't going to fill all the broken parts of you. He can make your life pretty darned wonderful. He can love you. He can make you laugh. He can hold you when you cry. He can be your partner. But he isn't a magic solution for what is missing in yourself. That goes so much deeper.

And it's kind of unfair to expect a real guy to be a storybook character, and to live up to expectations that are...  strange, at best.

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