Dr. Erik Strandness says it’s not just historical facts that...
Does he appreciate the 80s? Or at least the New Romantics? Does he know what the New Romantics is? Can he beat you at Trivial Pursuit? How tall is he? If he’s shorter – just tell people he’s more down to earth than you are. If he has a small man chip on his left shoulder – make your excuses quickly. Is he fancy to the eye? Or are you focusing on his fantastic personality?
I remember, about 7 years ago, I fell head over heels in love with someone. Gosh he was handsome: blue eyes, a smile so flawless Colgate were willing to donate a generous bid for his teeth, body like Brad Pitt (circa Fight Club), but the moment he told me he didn’t believe in love – I pulled out.
Tough isn’t it? Knowing what to fight for, and when to throw in the towel? Are you being a perfectionist, or are you just refusing to settle? Should we be comfortable with having some specifics around age, attractiveness, and attitude, or should we just be all encompassing and choose to accept everything about them? After all everyone has their stuff. What kind of merciful Christian are we if we are dumping them because of their inability to remove themselves from Call Of Duty – Advanced Warfare, 3 times a week?
Jesus still loves them, right? So why shouldn’t we?
We should love them – I just don’t recommend a romantic endeavor with mediocre.
The place in which you find yourself being too fussy compared to settling is within the question of – are you looking for a boyfriend, or a husband?
Because those are two very different answers: one entertains, provides romance (hopefully), fills in the timetable of textual banter and conversation – the other looks at team work, intense commitment, beautiful sacrifice, and the most vulnerable intimacy known to man.
One hangs out at the movies. The other births children, covenant and long-term exclusivity.
But let’s discuss this as if we’re looking at longevity, rather than an adventure over your canteen break with that ‘hot guy’ in your day job at Royal Sun Alliance insurance. Longevity requires more, not on the surface but within your guts -your soul.
Let’s imagine you’re seeking the one and each relationship potential has come upon you with a proposal of dating, maybe to fall in love, maybe then to wed. I mean we’re rushing ourselves here, but I know you girls, you like to dream. If I could stop the dreaming it would to make the dating path a little less frightening for the boys, but still, we’re there – let’s embrace the moment shall we?
‘Here’s what I want Carrie: Are you listening?’
‘With bated freakin’ breath,’ I reply. My girl has come from outta town and she’s placing it all on the table one evening.
‘I want gusto. I want ambition. I want accountability. I want teachability. I want sexual attraction, without him believing that’s what drives his desirability. I want insanely in love with the Lord, without floating so high off the ground he’s not in touch with reality – or humans. I want flowers. I want a generosity that doesn’t halve the check – just once in a while. I want a man that isn’t intimidated by my strength and voice, yet isn’t ashamed to challenge a goddess like myself. I want power. I want ownership. I don’t want this victim BS that too many men seem to spend their conversations over. I want joy. Fun. Karaoke. I want action. I want a man that can write calligraphy. I want passion.’
‘Hold up – go back one….Calligraphy – is that a necessity?’
‘Oh. Yeah. It shows a skill that he had patience to work on something.’
‘How long has it been honestly, since you dated a guy for more than a few months?’ I ask
‘I like being single what can I say?’
‘Is that the case? Or did we just get a little more pedantic because it’s more comfortable and easier for you to become a perfectionist, a little narrow on the goal posts, so you don’t let any man into the place that you really would be seen, known and vulnerable. What I’m asking is are you getting fussy over Script font because you’re worried he’ll see you for who you really are? Or are you worried that if you settle for the man that could write as eligible as I can, he may not be ‘the one’?’
All of those things in character are real, and we don’t have to sacrifice attractiveness for drive, ambition, intention and honesty, but don’t define the packaging. Age aint nothing but a number. Love handles can be worked on. Skillsets can be created. But the route desire is character, teamwork, a mutual appreciation for enigmatic love.
Most of it should be easy before marriage. According to the many couples I interviewed for my book: there needs to be an understanding in core values: honesty, accountability, an intense love and very present relationship with God, teachability, desire for growth, ownership, boundaries with other females are all pretty vital to me. It shows maturity, a willingness to place teamwork above the ‘self’. But poor choice in footwear? Blue eyes only? Inability to keep the place tidy. Well now we’re crossing the T’s and not dotting the I’s. As you grow, preferences will change. The list above will not match the woman’s next to me. But that’s what I know I can’t settle on.
When it comes to deciding on giving a man a chance, I always say take the risk – unless there are red flags – disloyalty (whether it be to themselves or to others), indecisiveness, infidelity, arrogance, pride, hypocrisy.
My main fear is that in a world where 40 million women are labeled as codependent in the US (and I talk about this in the book) we’re settling more than we are being fussy.
A lot of people aren’t healthy. A lot of the world isn’t interested in growing outside of their own desires. A lot of today’s self-gratification is making us a more selfish generation. But within the 7 billion on the planet, I do still believe that men are still built with justice hearts. That some will sweat hard to learn from mistakes. That fighting for love is real for men as much as women, and that there are as many crazy lu-la women out there scorned and irate, as there are men.
Settling too much can reflect the lack of seeing enough value in ourself. A lack of hope. A lack of belief that you deserve the finest. And if you’re doing that, in any extent, if your gut is telling you the opposite to your current actions, the only thing that needs confronting, is your inability to ask ‘why don’t you believe you deserve the best?’
Don’t get powerless. Don’t be the victim to your past experience to end up sabotaging the future you truly deserve. Know that real gorgeous men are out there and if you haven’t found them yet, go seek the marriages that encompass the qualities you look for, so you don’t settle for anything less than your heart desires.
Settling is a toxic as a punch to the face. Why? Because you let the world (or society) tell you what you should feel. You were made to be powerful, to be intentional, to have the highest standards to match that of Heaven.
Next time you’re called a princess because you settled for his character defects that aren’t healthy. Wink, thank them, and remind yourself of your counter cultural ways. For the man you walk towards down the aisle, will be really grateful you walked away from the guy before.