Yesterday’s post on my friend Anna’s wedding has had me thinking a lot about the notion of settling when it comes to relationships.
Though many times today in our culture, romance is overlooked for meaningless hook-ups and quick fixes to make women feel needed, as a single girl, I wanted more. Most of The Sex and The City and Gossip Girl (yes, I watched Gossip Girl…please don’t judge me!) relationships I saw portrayed on TV were built entirely around sex just weren’t cutting it.
As Julia Roberts character in Pretty Woman, Vivian Ward, confidently declares, “I want a fairytale.” And like Vivian (minus the whole prostitute thing) I wanted my very own fairytale. Though classic love stories are harder to come by, there were a few I hung onto, holding out hope that true love was possible.
One winter, before B was in the picture, I found myself quite taken with a guy, trying hard to convince myself I could make it work.
But here’s the thing: no matter how nice they are, how cute they are, how special they make you feel—if there’s no spark, there’s no spark. There’s not really much you can do about it. As my mom once said (though she will deny this if you ask) “chemistry is important…sometimes, it might get you into some trouble, but you can’t have a fruitful relationship without it!”
One night in college, I went to see to Pride and Prejudice starring Kiera Knightly with several friends. I had heard for years about Pride and Prejudice and always intended to read the book, or watch Colin Firth’s 100-hour miniseries, but the closest I had come to Mr. Darcy was only via parallels through Bridget Jones’ Diary and You’ve Got Mail. Those of you familiar with the story can easily understand why women everywhere are so taken by their love story—it’s timeless and captivating.
So, as I was introduced to the handsome, mysterious Mr. Darcy when he confidently gazes into Elizabeth’s and says, “My affections and wishes have not changed…you have bewitched me, body and soul, and I love you. I never wish to be parted from you from this day on,” I was a goner. Talk about LOVE!
My heart melted in a puddle right there in the theater as I realized that the current object of my affection may have been preppy and cute, but no matter how I tried to slice it, he was NOT my “Mr. Darcy.” So that night I went to my room, grabbed my cell phone, and gave what I consider to be one of the best “parting ways” speeches that I’ve ever delivered.
It went something like this, “So…I’m not sure how you’re feeling about things, and I’m not trying to be presumptuous, but I just wanted to let you know now before things go any further, that my heart just isn’t in this and I want to be fair to you and let you know that now, before we take any more steps forward.”
Believe it or not, sometimes just being totally honest with boys actually works! He completely understood, thanked me for being so forthright, and wished me the best.
As incredibly cheesy as it sounds, Mr. Darcy taught me a lot about love.
Years ago, I was talking to my dear family friend, Dee, about love one day and I asked her how she knew her husband Johnnie was the one. She looked at me and told me that after going on her first date with Johnnie, he stood outside the door to her house and kissed her goodnight, and it was unlike any kiss she had ever experienced. One that stops time, buckles your knees, and makes you unable to feel the ground you’re standing on. She said, she walked inside that night, closed the door, and knew that he was the one. They were married several months later.
Now, I love a good smooch as much as the next girl, but at that point in my life, I had never once experienced a kiss like what Dee described. As I listened to her, I was wide-eyed, hopeful, and excited about what would eventually come and decided that at some point, I would meet my very own “Mr. Wonderful” and he would be worth the wait.
That night with Dee truly changed things for me. Sure, I still was looking for love. To some extent, you have to put yourself in a position to meet guys, but my standards dramatically increased. I wasn’t looking to settle down with just anyone just so I wouldn’t feel lonely, I was looking for my fairytale.
Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely still lonely days. But I will say this: whether you’re single, or married, no matter how perfect, handsome, and successful, a man may be; even the best of kissers; and even those who DO turn out to be your “Mr. Wonderful,” the security we’re all looking for can only ultimately be found in One.
We can search for acceptance and love in every corner of the world, but at the end of the day the truth is that God is the only One who can truly satisfy the longings of our heart. Our hearts were wired to only be truly satisfied when we allow God to come in and love us with His perfect, everlasting love.
This is something that has taken me years to learn, and something that I still continue to lose sight of, but even on my loneliest days, there has always been one Man who has never left my side. One who looks at me and tells me that I’m perfectly beautiful, that I was made for a purpose, that I am fully loved and accepted, and that no matter how empty and lonely I may be feeling, One who promises and assures me I will never be alone.
On these days, this God of ours, can whisper promises to our hearts, assuring us of His affections.
Telling us that we are “loved with an everlasting love” and that we are “perfectly and fearfully made”.
Even if I never met Mr. Wonderful, I slowly came to see that ultimately, God’s love was more than enough and it would always be sufficient.
We have to hold on to the hope that as long as we are following and trusting in Him, we will never be deprived–no, not ever!
“I have loved you, my (daughter), with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”Jeremiah 31:3 (NLT)
“I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!” Jeremiah 31:3 (MSG)