Some of you probably know that I have very little experience being in a relationship. I have been perpetually single for most of my life: through high school and university, I did not have a boyfriend, and certainly not before then. There were guys that I had intense crushes on but these never resulted in relationships. I’ll always have my men I never dated, of course, but as you can imagine, those never resulted in relationships. Ten years ago, I went on weekly dates with a guy for almost three months, but we did not define our relationship before it fizzled. In 2010, I actually went on a few dates with guys I met on online, but those didn’t go past one or two dates.
When I share my dating history with new friends there’s usually surprise that I have not had a boyfriend because for most people, having a significant other for whatever length of time is rite of passage. Even if the guy was a slacker who left you for your best friend, or an incredibly romantic guy you broke up with because he wanted to get married and you weren’t ready, even if you kept making the same mistake and had a string of boyfriends who were party boys, 419ers who could buy you anything you wanted, or non-believers, my response was always “at least you’ve had boyfriends!”
Whenever I would blog that I was sick of my single state and longed to have a boyfriend, one of my friends would comment that she knew exactly how I felt. I told her that I resented her comments because she’s about five years younger than me, which I felt did not give her a right to complain and worse, she did not lack for dates or men who wanted to be her boyfriend. She had quite a number of first date stories (most of them bad sha) but still: I felt like she was the lucky one because being asked on dates meant she was at least attracting men while I was starting to wonder if the male sex was unable to see me. And even if several of her boyfriends were jerks, well at least she had boyfriends, right?
Well today I’d say wrong. Quality really is better than quantity, and I thank God that in my desire to be someone’s girlfriend, I haven’t entered unhealthy relationships. I am grateful that my heart has not been banged around as much as the average 31.5 year old’s. I have been hurt deeply in matters of the heart but I’m starting to see there might be a reason that God did not make boyfriends a part of my life during those years I dearly wanted one. Maybe He knew that given my tendency to feel things deeply, a breakup could leave me unable to fully recover. Maybe He wanted me to learn to have faith in Him, to give my heart’s desires to Him in prayer (still learning!). Or maybe He wanted me to be able to be a bridesmaid for all my friends rather than a matron of honour! All I know is that He’s given me the wisdom to be able to dispense relationship advice to friends despite not having had a boyfriend. And I don’t think that’s an accident.
In my single journey, I’ve alternated between “this is God’s way of telling me that I’m meant to be single for life” (trying to prepare for the single life) and “I’ve waited this long; God better have an amazing person in mind for me in the end!” (spoiled brat with a sense of entitlement). Now I can honestly say that God’s timing is best and I’m hopeful that I’ll be a Mrs. before the end of this new decade (lol).
Your turn: How many boyfriends have you had? What’s your current philosophy on having a boyfriend, fiancé or husband?