Just Rodney...

I'm a 24, a teacher, and these are some of my thoughts. I'd love to hear your comments - hopefully their nice ones - but I'll take anything.

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Location: Tomball, Texas, United States

Friday, September 08, 2006

Girls: The thing Don wrote about the thing that Tony said
In case you haven't heard my story; I came from a church background where I was encouraged not to date. Although I value the progress I made spiritually at that church, I honestly regret not dating. It's not like I feel that I have missed out on something as much as I feel very weird and out of the loop on relationships with the opposite sex. There is this strong tension that exists in me between the parts of me that desire a girlfriend and the parts of me that still believe dating is wrong/unspiritual/etc. There's a part in Don Millers "To Own a Dragon" that I really enjoyed. It's a long selection, but I resonated with it (not sure I understand it fully - but I feel like there is a profound truth for me to eventually grasp in this particular chapter). The first part of the chapter is Don explaining this situation where he was able to see a girl break up with a guy at a coffee shop (he was listening in/watching this go on), then watch the guy leave, then watch the girl go over to another guy and begin to mingle. Later that day he was at another coffee shop and happened to see that SAME GIRL do the same thing to a completly different guy!!! That sucks! After describing what happened Don writes this:

And this is the part of the story where I tell you what it is a girl really wants from a guy, what it is that stops her looking and has her facinated with a particular boy, you or me, for example. But the truth is I don't know. I really don't.
I know some guys turn girls on and some guys don't. I know some girls play games and some girls don't. I also know it feels good to be tired of it. I only say that because there was a day when I would be attracted to a particular girl and yet the attraction would have nothing to do with her. What I mean is, I would be attracted to a girl, and feel very real feelings for her, only because she was a challenge and I wanted to know whether I had what it took to be the one she would end up dating. Most of the time I wansn't, and worse; if I was, I lost interest shortly after she became attrated. I guess that's why they call it a game.
Watching the woman at the coffee shop made me realize how shallow the game was, and that my soul was more than a bit tired of it. For the forst time, perhaps, I didn't want to play anymore. I wanted something else, something better.
I learned to put words to what I wanted from my friend Tony. We were having dinner at a Mexican place a while back and I had just started seeing a girl. I was telling Tony how much I liked her, how I liked her honesty and the feeling I got when I was with her. I like that she was a girl I wasn't uncomfortable praying with, and this was something different from past relationships. Tony said he thought she sounded great. But then he asked if I thought I deserved to be in a relationship at all.
"I don't know," I told him. "What do you mean?"
"Do you feel a girl would be grateful to have you in her life?" he asked.
"I've never thought about it," I told him. In relationships, I had spent most of my time wondering if the girl liked me, and moreover, if I was likeable. I think Tony was asking a different question.
"What are you getting at?" I asked.
"I don't know," Tony said. "It's just that with my wife, with Aimee, I've come to the conclusion I don't deserve her. I really don't. And the fact she would want to spend the rest of her life with me strikes me as incredible. I'm grateful, is all I am saying."
"Do you think I'm not grateful?" I asked my friend.
"Not saying that," Tony stated. "Just saying that I think we can use other people, romantic stuff, to validate ourselves. It has nothing to do with love. And when you find love, or when you are mature enought to understand it, the feeling you get is gratitude. I'm not saying I am mature by any means," Tony continued, "but when I wake up in the morning and look at my wife sleeping next to me, I am sometimes overcome that another human being would want to share her life with me."
The thing Tony said stuck with me. And I've started to wonder if what I was really lacking in my understanding of relationships was humility. I don't mean to sound mushy or weak, because that will kill a relationship too, but I wondered if love stemming from the ego and love stemming from the heart were very different things, and what was happening in my soul was a kind of transition from immaturity to maturity.
I really like this passage. I liked it enough to stay up at 1:40 am and type it up. I'm even wondering if anyone will take the time to read this long entry. I doubt it, but it doesn't matter. I think this is a good way to process things. So what does it mean to me? I honestly cringe when Don says that he's tired of it. The thing is, I can see what he's saying; I can see that there are A LOT of people caught up in this stupid game of validation. Where girls play games with boys so they can feel pretty and desireable, and boys play games to make themselves feel validated and feel like they have what it takes to get a girl. I want to be like Don and be able to say I'm tired of it all. In a way I am because I understand and agree with Dons description of the game. In fact, I recently read a guys story in a blog that was talking about this crazy relationship (I won't go into too many details in case somebody finds out who it was). This dude is totally crazy for this girl (or is it for his own validation???), and everything else hinges on whether he is with the particular girl or not. His view of God, his view of ministry, his overall view of life hinges on this one girl (or could it be other girls too???). One minute he's thankful that God is going to grant his request to bring this girl back to him. He's restoring his relationship with God and deciding to devote his life to ministry. I don't mean to bag on this guy. I'm glad he's able to be honest with what he's feeling - and I can even empathize with him - because as embarasing as it is - I have and do struggle with the same kind of thought processes. I think it's important not to allow your so called feelings for a girl to be the hinge that your life pivots on. But still it's hard for me - because I want to be validated. I'm not where Don is - not if that means passing up a girl that I have feelings for and that I can somehow 'win'. I guess what I'm hoping for - what I'm praying to God for - is courage. Courage to be like Don, and be tired of the game. To not only want to be validated - and to love from my ego - but from my heart. My fear is that in this mindset I'll become 'weak and mushy' like I've always been and never pursue a relationship out of self pitty or something like that. This is all confusing and scary to me, but I hope soon God will bring me someone that I can connect with. Someone that will journey with me - that will put up with the awkwardness that I can't seem to get away from - that I would somehow be thankful to be with - and be filled with a healthy kind of humility. God bless you if you read this awfully long blog. Welcome to the mess that is my head and my heart.


Blogger texelct said...

Yeah, it was long.

8:07 PM  
Blogger juli said...

wow. i liked that a lot. don m's a good man...

(good talk, good talk)

and i'm so proud of you. so many boys don't even think this all the way through...and as a female your age i wanna encourage you rod. i'm so glad you're here...so glad we're friends.

oh! and i refuse to comment on your other blog. but thank you...those were very kind words!

3:50 PM  
Blogger SpocKirk said...

I think the Beastie Boys said it best:
Girls, all I really want is girls
And in the morning it's girls
Cause in the evening it's girls

I like the way that they walk
And it's chill to hear them talk
And I can always make them smile
From White Castle to the Nile

This has been another Useless Post with your host, SpocKirk.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Redeemed*Rachel said...

Hi I'm new up here first time commenting this blog though long is quite interesting.It kinda reminds of myself even tho I'm a girl.lol I was also raised not dateing in a christian home.

Now I still have really no dating experience.That makes it hard and scary.Also as I look at relationships of my friends,relatives and the problems and so forth.

I'm confused and not sure if I want to or should date right now. I've decided I probably want not now anyways.Good luck and God Bless with u tho hope everything works out.

10:08 PM  

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