Out, Out Damn Spot!

As I write this, I’m sitting on my bed seriously considering not ever pursuing the lady that I’ve mentioned in a couple of posts now. This isn’t because anything has happened between us, I haven’t seen or spoken to her since the game night we were both at last Friday, but it’s been a stressful evening, and I’m rather down on myself right now. At the moment, I just don’t really see the point in trying. My thoughts keep coming back to a single question: Who could ever love me? No one ever has, so why would this woman? I’d just be setting myself up for more pain.

Often we let discouragement convince us to give up before we’ve even made an honest try at something. We get depressed, or we get hurt, or circumstances turn hard, and we just give up because there’s no point in trying. The above paragraph shows two major problems: 1) Will I create a self-fulfilling prophesy? And 2) If I honestly think this little of myself, then am I really ready for a relationship?

Honestly, I’m not sure I have an answer to either one. If I can’t believe that she might be interested in me, then is there really a chance that she would be? Not to say that I’m not a worthwhile guy, but my perception can have a strong effect here. If I convince myself that she couldn’t be interested, and act accordingly, then chances are that if she is interested, she’ll lose interest pretty quickly. Thus, I create exactly the response that I expect.

However, I really think the latter question is the more important one. This is the question to which I keep returning. Am I ready for a relationship? I want a relationship. I want someone to love me, and I want to love someone… ….those should probably be reversed… but am I ready for one? I’ve been through a lot in the last couple of years, and there’s been a lot of pain and rejection, not just from women, but definitely from women. I like this woman, but I’m really not sure that I’m ready for anything even remotely smacking of romance at the moment.

I have a friend who has recently started dating a guy in this same situation. Well, he was in the same situation when she first got serious about him a year and a half a go. I actually find the similarities somewhat amazing. He’s a little older than me, so at the time he was the same age that I am now, with a similar history with women (I don’t know if he was celibate), and the same questions and concerns that I have now. My friend, we’ll call her Jill 2, waited for this guy for a long time, loved him, and didn’t pressure him, and when he was finally ready they got together.

A part of me wonders if maybe this woman that I like could be Jill 2 for me? At the same time, I wonder if I would want her to be. While I have no idea where I am right now, I’m not exactly keen on making someone wait like that. I have waited (2 years at one point) for women and I know how much it hurts to wait for someone you love. I also know how much more it hurts, and how unfair it is, for that waiting to wind up being for naught.

Sometimes we get discouraged. Sometimes that discouragement is because of guilt or depression, lies or foolishness. Sometimes that discouragement is because we’re trying to do something that we really shouldn’t be doing in the first place. Sometimes we need to play through the pain and keep on going, and sometimes we need to stop. The problem is trying to tell which is which in a life where we generally don’t get second chances.

My answer? I’m going to pray about it… a lot. I’m going to pray and pray and pray, and then I’m going to pray some more. Then, I’ll probably ask her if she wants to see a movie with me and see what happens. Ultimately, I don’t know where this goes. I wish I did, and I hope God tells me to either go for it, or to leave it alone… very, very clearly. However, I do know myself. I’m not generally one to let an opportunity go by without at least giving it a shot.

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