4.28.2015

An Open Letter To the Three Guys I Almost Dated, and To the One I Will


Guy #1:
You were my idea of perfect.  You were everything I wanted.  You met every requirement I had on my little 'list' that I had written when I was a fourteen-year-old, romance-lover little girl who knew nothing of the real world.  I first met you around my fifteenth year.  You were dating a girl.  I was happy for you.  But then, about a year and half later, we met up again.  You were single.  I had never dated.  And later, we both told each other that that night, watching The Dark Knight Rises, was a time that we both realized our deep attraction to each other.  I remember how caring and kind you were, asking after my family, making sure I was comfortable on the floor in front of the TV, asking if I was warm enough.  You were such a gentleman.  You still are.  And that's a word I'm thankful I can use - 'still'.  Because you're still in my life.  You are still considered a friend to me.  We talk, sometimes.  Off and on.  You always text me when you drive by my house and let me know that you waved.  That's a tradition we've had even before we almost started dating.  And why did we never start?  I remember that evening so clearly.  We were on the phone.  I was sitting, cross-legged, on my bed, holding the ear to my phone, hearing your deep voice I had grown to love.  But I didn't like what you were saying.  We got in an argument about something that I felt so strongly about in one way, and you the other.  And it was mutual.  We mutually agreed that a more serious relationship wouldn't work, because this topic would always come up in conversation and would mostly like ruin anything we started.  And you exited my life as a potential boyfriend.  But you're still here.  Just as a friend.  I hope you will always think of me as the same.  You blessed me and cared for and respected me during our whole time together.  And I never doubted your affection.  We never returned sentimental things to each other.  I still have the journal, the bracelet and the Valentine you made me.  I will always love your family, and look forward to seeing you whenever we're in each others' state.  I hope you keep smiling, keep adventuring, and keep living.  And hopefully, someday, we will meet each others' spouses and know that it didn't work out for us because the ones God has planned for us are so much better and perfect than we thought we were for each other.  You were my idea of perfect when I was a seventeen year old girl.  But I am very different now (I threw that list away).  And that's okay.

Guy #2:
Our friendship started off like the romance story where the hero and heroine hated each other at first.  I still remember the first time I met you.  I couldn't stand you.  You were good-looking but knew it, snobby, arrogant, and came off as the tough guy who played ultimate frisbee to show off.  Oh and I'll never forget how you bragged about how often people told you that Channing Tatum was your celebrity look-alike. We met through a mutual friend.  I'm sure you remember that.  You added me on Facebook, and sent me an apology message for 'what a jerk' you were the first time we'd hung out.  You wanted to 'make it up to me' by hanging out again.  So I gave you a chance.  Something about my view of you changed.  And I trusted you.  We spent time together as often as we could that summer.  I remember you picking me up from a friend's house early one morning and taking me for a walk around the lake.  It was a gorgeous day.  So warm and sunny.  And then one day, you called me.  And through much stammering and stuttering, finally managed to say that, against your will, you had developed feelings for me...and if I somehow felt the same.  I did (surprisingly).  And following that, was a time of 'getting to know each other before officially dating'.  We did well at hiding it from our friends.  To this day, many people don't know you and I were sort of a 'thing'.  But then, you told me that you felt God was encouraging you to stay single, to work on becoming a man, and not to involve a girl in your life yet.  So we backed off.  It was difficult.  I hated not having any closure.  It was like I felt committed to you, but at the same time, I didn't.  I had no clue what the heck was going on.  The fourth of July came around.  I invited you to come watch fireworks with my family.  'I'm gonna be out of state, staying with a friend and her family.'  Her?  Well that was interesting...  I should've known then.  The week after, you called to tell me that we couldn't be together because you had a lot of life things you needed to work on and you 'felt God telling you that you weren't ready for a relationship'.  I honored that.  Because all I ever wanted was to help, support, respect and bless you.  Four days after that phone call, I opened my Facebook and the first post to greet me was you smiling, your arm around a dark-haired girl, announcing that you were 'in a relationship'.  I cried the first day, was calm and cold the second day.  But then you had the guts to text me the following Sunday with 'At the lake.  It's not the same here without you:('  Oh I bet it wasn't.  And I hope that every time you go back there, you think of me and remember the wonderful times we had.  But most of all, I hope you remember how much I was always there for you, faithful to you even if we weren't 'official', and how I wish I would've seen how little of man you really are because obviously you didn't have the nerve to tell me to my face that you were interested in someone else.  And that that was the reason 'we couldn't work out'.

Guy #3:
We didn't meet through a mutual friend.  I found you through a hashtag on Instagram.  Pretty cute way of finding someone, if ya ask me.  We commented back and forth for a bit before exchanging numbers (which I basically never do).  We talked and talked...everyday...for a couple weeks.  And then you told me that you still really liked your ex-girlfriend.  My attraction kinda spiraled downhill for a bit.  We lost contact for a while, but then you randomly called me (I was in the shoe section at Walmart), seeking advice on how to get back together with her.  And I helped.  Cuz that's what I do.  You said 'thanks', hung up, and I saw pictures of you two together on Instagram not long after.  Skip to about a year and a half later.  You texted me out of the blue.  Surprisingly, your name and number were still in my phone.  We texted back and forth...then had a phone call that was about 3 hours long...  Things quickly sped up.  We had so many things in common, yet balanced each other well.  The most attractive thing about you was your love and passion for God.  To this day, whenever I tell someone about you, I always stress the fact that you are, above all, a man of God.  Despite your flaws, despite the reasons we didn't 'end up together', you will always have my respect in regards to your strong beliefs, and confidence in defending the Word of God.  Things were going well.  Our friendship was definitely leading to something more serious.  But I didn't feel a full peace about it, about 'us'.  You did, though.  And that was when things started becoming more difficult.  You were persistent.  You were pushy.  You were possessive, and yes, even controlling.  All of these added up together gave me more of an unrest about pursuing something serious with you.  The last straw was when you told (not asked) me to 'make time for you because you were needy'.  Now, Guy #3, everyone is needy.  Even the strongest men I know have their needy moments.  But to voice your need for attention sounded like a five-year old little boy who wanted mommy to come hug him.  I don't want a boy.  I want a man.  And that, is why I said 'no'.  I have men in my life who have shown me what a real man is, have challenged me to raise my standards higher, and who are men I look up to for wisdom and advice.  You weren't really measuring up to that.  I am so glad I never gave you what you wanted, never did anything with you that I would regret now, never let you force me to do anything, and that above all, I kept open communication with my parents about you and me.  Because thanks to them, you were told to give me space, and when you didn't, they called you and just told you to leave me alone.  Maybe we'll reconnect in the future sometime.  But for now, I'm thankful for some breathing space.

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In one way or another, I am thankful for these almost-relationships I had.  I learned a lot - about myself, about guys, about relationships, and about what I need/want and what works for me.  I had a good time too.  Made some good memories.  We made each other laugh and had fun together.  And I hope those will always stay good memories.

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Dear future boyfriend,

I may have met you already.  We may be very close right now.  Whatever the case, I know someday you'll read this.  And this is my open letter to you.
This could be ridiculously long.  And I know I will never say everything I want to in this small blog post, but I do want you to know a few things.  About me.  About who I am.  About us.

I have witnessed a fair share of immature relationships, high school crushes, and painful heartbreaks.  I've also seen marriages fall apart, serious dating relationships end and friends being led on only to be told after a while that their heart was just being played with and that the person really didn't care for them afterall.

These are just a few reasons why I love being single.  Because I don't have to deal with any of that.  I know who I am, I love who I am, I love who I am going to become, and I haven't met anyone who could keep up with me.  Not only to love me too, but to challenge and embrace me.  I also know what I want and need and am looking for in a man.  My standards are high, sure.  But don't they have to be in today's world?

I have an amazing life.  I love my family, my friends, my busy schedule, my relationship with God.  I don't need anyone to make my life 'perfect'.  It is perfect.  It's the perfect life for me.  And something I think a lot of people don't realize is that we are all living a life as a whole human being.  No one is going to make us complete.  You are not going to complete me.

But that doesn't mean I won't need you.

I do want someone.  I want you.  And it's not for the sole purpose of just 'having a boyfriend', but because the man I date is the man I can see myself potentially marrying.  And the reason I can see myself marrying that man is because he is someone godly, someone who I can trust and who trusts me, someone who has proven his care and affection and loyalty to me.  A man who complements me, who understands me, who wants to study me even if we've known each other for years.  Someone who is strong, yet gentle; stubborn, yet willing to be wrong; firm, yet forgiving.  And that man will be one who will be there beside me through thick and thin and I would always be able to depend on his stability and compassion for me and everything life throws our way.  This man will have to be one who also needs me, who will fight for us, always pursue me and not give up at the first rough patch we hit.

I'm not perfect.  I'm not easy.  I'm a fighter and will argue for my point to win.  It takes a lot to earn my trust.  I speak what's on my mind.  And I'm also pretty selfish.  I can hide what I'm feeling very well.  I can cover up my pain when I feel it's needed, but I want a man who can gently pry my fingers away from clutching at my hurting heart and gently kiss the tears away.  I want a man who looks beyond my figure and physical appearance to love on and connect with my soul.  I want a friend, an equal, a man who I can respect and submit to, a lover, a fighter, a leader - not only for me, but for our future children.

Together we will define what love is.  An action, not a feeling.  A commitment, not an emotion.  The greatest bond between two people, and a union that will only grow stronger because the two challenge and help each other grow into better individuals.  And still love each other no matter what.

I ask one thing...
Don't give up on me.  In every sense of that phrase.  Don't give up on me when I push you away.  Don't give up on me when I disagree.  Don't give up on me when I don't show you affection.  Don't give up on me when I tell you to leave me alone.  Don't give up on me when I'm being impossible.  Because remember that I got along wonderfully without you for however many years.  And I've dealt with many different kinds of guys.  It'll take some getting used to for me to have a real man in my life who actually and genuinely cares for me - my heart, not just my body.

I am happy with my life.  I love where I am right now.  I am learning new things about myself with each passing day.  I enjoy being single because it allows me to dream of you and pray for you while pursuing my dreams.  And I know that God will allow us to meet at the right time, in the right way, in the right moment.

I hope you're looking forward to that as much as I am.

In love,
Your Future Girlfriend

P.S.  Just because I've 'been' with other guys doesn't mean you're not as important or significant.  You are everything and more than I deserve and will forever be blessed by your choice of me.

10 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful four-strand love letter to yourself, really, and I an endeared by that. The most important thing we can do in life is learn from our past because it will propel us into the future in the right direction. If we don't learn from our past relationships then we'll never find the right one, the one that fits us just right and actually encourages us to grow. You're young. In fact, I'm a decade your senior and I'm young :-P We don't know what we want until we know what we want, if that makes sense, and sometimes we need to explore the things we don't want to know that they aren't for us. It's how we shape who we are, become our own person.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, everything you said made sense. I completely agree with you. Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy letter...

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  2. Raquel, what a beautiful post. So applicable and relateable right now in my own life. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post from your heart. I'm so sorry you have been hurt in the past, but like you said, it is a great learning experience and allows us to grow into the person God made us to be. It is hard to have such high standards for your boyfriend and wait for the right one, but it is so worth it! Thanks for sharing Raquel :)

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    1. Thank you, Britt. I wrote this not only for myself, but also in hopes that it would encourage any other girls out there who may have/are experiencing similar situations and times of life. Amen. It's a very good learning experience. And God is using it all for our good and His glory.

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  3. This is beautiful. I love how you share your heart and open up on the internet so that complete strangers can see inside. This is beautiful because you are beautiful, and if a guy can't see that, he must be really, really blind.

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    1. Thank you so much, Rebekah. I appreciate you realizing the vulnerability of this public letter. And your compliment was very sweet <3

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  4. Powerful post, Raquel. I share the same feelings on finding a future spouse as well.

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    1. Thank you, Nela. I appreciate your encouraging comment.

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  5. *prepare for an extra long comment*
    I was stopped dead in my tracks when I read "watching The Dark Knight Rises." I can't tell you how many of your "almost" stories have related to mine, which is why I loved this post so, so much.
    My first ended with no closure (which still kills me to this very day; he's now dating my bestfriend).
    And my second ended because he was like your guy #3... way to clingy and needy. I had to just tell him no, and from that point on he built up walls that will never be torn down.
    I fell in love with the honesty in this post, and I hope that your future boyfriend falls in love with your honesty as well. I don't know if I'd ever have the guts to fully open up about this (I still feel a bit uncomfortable with all I shared in this comment). Your honesty in inspirational, the kind that makes people want to be honest and raw too. I truly wish you the best, Raquel, in your future relationship. I know that Christ will bless you because of your standards and ability to have executed them in the past.

    Molly Marie
    mollyslittlecorner.blogspot.com

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    1. I love extra long comments:) Thank you for yours!
      How funny! What a small and unique detail.
      I am so sorry. That must be very painful. Have you spoken with your best friend about your need for closure?
      Yeah, the 'way too clingy and needy' is something I feel a lot of guys struggle with nowadays. Because good girls are so rare, when they find one, they don't want to let her go. I understand their viewpoint completely. They just need to exercise their 'neediness' in a different way haha

      I absolutely loved the honesty in your comment. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your heart and tell me about things you've been through. You are a beautiful daughter of God. Never forget that.

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