This was a very hard post to write; I don't have all of the answers to this issue, and not every situation is the same for each person. I am only discussing my thoughts based on my own feelings and experiences, and am not passing judgment or telling anyone what to do. Take it for what you will.
Where have all the good guys gone?
This seems to be the million dollar question, especially among a lot of young women my age. You either get the ones who uphold the "there's someone out there for everyone" philosophy with stars in their eyes, or the ones that will adamantly insist that they've all gone extinct. Honestly, I've chosen to take both views with a grain of salt, because there is a much bigger picture than that. Instead of wondering why so many of them turn out to be jerks or flaky, maybe it's time to examine why we want to or do become involved with relationships in the first place.
It might have been having to watch a dear friend of mine cling to every man that paid attention to her, only to have have her heart broken a short time later. It might have been the lack of respect and heavy amount of dysfunction that I witnessed as I grew up. Or it might have been the ridiculous amount of Facebook postings indicating why someone's boyfriend was the best, and later on why the break up was so horrible. Either way, it made me really not like the idea of needing someone to complete me. I don't want to make a guy my "everything" and expect him to fill some sort of hole in my heart.
But why not?
Because I wouldn't want a man to view me in that kind of light, either. Sure, it's good to have someone that supports you and makes you want to be the best person that you can be. But there is a difference between that and completely putting your happiness on their shoulders. I have this saying that you should not look up at another person and idealize them, nor should you look down on a person and try to be perfect for them. You should both be looking at each other and be on the same page.
And that's why a lot of couples, or just the whole concept of true love in general, seems to be failing; we want the other person to meet every single one of our needs and to make us whole. We're choosing to give and receive love for all the wrong reasons.
Now let me be clear, that does not mean that anyone deserves to be lied to, cheated on, or abused in any way or form. But at what point does it no longer become only about the way a man is treating a woman, but also about the way a woman is allowing herself to be treated?
It just baffles me how we put so much faith in them, only to think the exact opposite once reality sets in. Don't get me wrong, a lot of guys are selfish and seem like they care more about their hormones than anything else. In fact, people have become really selfish in general because everyone wants their own sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. But if a girl constantly gets hurt every time she gets involved with someone, that might be an indication that she's simply picking the wrong ones.
My biggest struggle since I was a teenager has always been that I am way too nice. Whenever a guy wronged me in some way, I used to never bring it up out of fear of being confrontational and driving that person away. When a boy I just met would try to emotionally or physically taking advantage of me, I pretended that it wasn't a big deal; I figured that I could at least give them a chance, and it probably wasn't a good idea to make them angry or cause a scene.
It took a few close calls for me to realize that there is a difference between being nice and allowing someone to treat you like crap. There is a difference between giving someone a chance and putting yourself in danger. And if the situation doesn't feel right, for whatever reason that may be, do whatever you have to do to get away from it.
The biggest lesson I learned involved the importance of setting boundaries and even standards when it comes to the opposite sex. I'm not talking about a long list of every single quality you want a potential boyfriend or husband;. I mean four or five big items that could make or break the relationship. When I finally sat down and made my list, I felt more secure and confident. Not only did I gain a deeper sense of choosing not to be with just anybody, but I gained a deeper sense of what I deserve.
And even though a guy may be good to you or have a strong sense of character, that doesn't mean you should date him. It's all about where you're at and whether the time is right for it to happen. Looking back on it, there were many times where I was not in a good place, and therefore it was probably best not to be getting involved with someone. Use good judgement when it comes to deciding whether or not you're ready, and surround yourself with people that can hold you accountable for your actions.
While it's easy to complain and wish that our culture wasn't so hyped on casual sex, I don't see the point in being overly negative about it. You cannot control another's actions or their choices, you can only control your own. Stop focusing on everyone else and concentrate on what is best for you.
In my case, that is growing in my faith and learning how to be fulfilled and content with what I have. It has taken me a long time to fully understand this, but there really is so much more to life than who you come home to or who you go out with. While I may not have the standard definition of experience when it comes to dating, I would rather wait for something that is meant to be, so that when it does happen, my heart is fully prepared and open to give and receive the kind of love that lasts. More so, the kind love that lasts for a lifetime.