We’re All In Relationship. Except The Singletons, Who Watch Netflix A Lot.

(Just Kidding We’re All In Relationship, And Relationships Are Messy)

Everyone gets bad news.

The visceral, human response goes something like this:

Oh, %$#!. Great. Now my palms are sweating, my heart just fell out of my butt, and i really really might vom. Everywhere.

While everyone gets bad news, a very special Bad News is reserved for the Single Folk. I left “folk” singular on purpose. It’s a pun of sorts. And I’m from the south.

Even better. I’m over 30, single, AND from the south. It’s great.

I digress.

So. The Bad News that my People (Singletons, namely), have the unique privilege of getting is the “In a relationship” status on Facebook. Staring us down…from the page of the guy/girl who just (and I mean just) expressed interest in us.

I think the Indigo Girls poetically described this feeling:

Guess I wasn’t the best one to ask
Me myself with my face pressed
Up against love’s glass
To see the shiny toy I’ve been hoping for
The one I never can afford

Yep. An obscene number of people come to me for relationship advice. Meanwhile, my face is pressed up against love’s glass, probably looking awful and contorted, and likely inciting adult acne…because my face is PRESSED AGAINST GLASS. It’s gross. And in this case, a sad metaphor for the Singletons among us. There’s a shiny toy – we see it; we’ve even been looking for it – and we can’t afford it. I honestly don’t even know what currency would procure the toy. And even if I did have access to the currency of The Lovely, I’m not sure I would know how to count it.

So there I was. Face against glass. Acne getting worse. Probably super uncomfortable.

“In a relationship,” it read.

Instead of telling me himself, the guy (let’s call him Jar Jar) that pursued me just a few short months ago let me find out on Facebook that he was in a relationship with someone else. His ex, no less.

Am I mad about him being in a relationship?

No. I had the sweaty palms/heart-through-the-butt/vom-face reaction, but that took a matter of moments to get over. I’m really, really ok with the fact that we aren’t together and likely never will be. I think it was a good move on God’s part. Seriously.

Do I think I deserved for him to tell me himself?

On the spectrum of Awkward, that would rank right up there with Watching Your Close Married Friends Mia and Randall Fight, Watching Mia and Randall Make Out, Watching Too-Angry Guy Fly Off The Handle Because His Team Is Losing, or Listening To Anything Ricky Gervais Says At Any Time. So no.

My frustration isn’t that he is in a relationship, nor that he didn’t hand-write a note and Pony Express it to me, declaring the transfer of his affections. He doesn’t owe me anything.

So then where is my frustration?

When he and I had The Talk a few months ago, he gave me a song and dance about “being called to a season of singleness,” “not being in a healthy enough emotional place to be a suitable romantic partner,” and “I don’t think it’s what God wants for us.”

A couple of things to note about our The Talk (I left “our” in there on purpose…everyone’s The Talk is different):

  1. I had to bring up The Talk. He responded by saying that he, too, had been thinking we needed to talk. I mean. Ok fine…I could deal with that.
  2. Our The Talk was via Facebook message – exclusively – until I basically insisted that he call me. I mean. Who has those The Talks over Facebook? Really. I mean…just…really.
  3. When he finally called, he told me he’s had to have these conversations with girls relatively often. Red flag, Sparky. Red freaking flag.
  4. He did, in fact, like me. Ok. Yeah that’s fine.
  5. He then said we should pray about what our friendship should look like going forward – not ruling out the possibility of “us,” but also not holding onto hope. I agreed to this…because I actually did think it was a good idea. I love God. I love prayer. I could have loved Jar Jar.

So I prayed, and I really do believe he (probably) prayed, too.

But then it happened. And by “it,” I mean nothing. Nothing happened. He just stopped talking to me. We went from texting/messaging every single day to almost nothing. It was very abrupt, and without explanation. Just like that, we were gone. I was there. He was there. We were gone.

There would be an occasional “have a great day” text, and an even less frequent  Facebook message that would begin with “Hi, friend” (yeah. loud and clear, buddy).

But other than that, we were gone.

So here’s my frustration:

He didn’t just say what he meant.

I’m not a dude, but from everything I’ve heard, if a guy really wants to be with someone, he will pursue her.

The bottom line, here, is that he didn’t like me enough to want to date me (I think it’s also safe to say he didn’t want to put a ring on it, like, ever).

But when it came down to it, he didn’t just tell me that. He didn’t tell me the root of why we weren’t going to be together. He told me the truth. Just not the whole truth.

I’m not mad that he didn’t want to be with me. Because that would be ridiculous.

I’m hurt that he wasn’t forthright with me – and the It’s Almost Completely True “reason” we weren’t dating that I got from him didn’t hold up. Three months before he started re-dating his ex, he was called to a season of singleness (3 months) and not in an emotionally healthy place (that was fixed in 3 months).

HEAR ME ON THIS – I’m not saying he didn’t grow during that time, nor am I saying God couldn’t have brought him out of the season of singleness. So I’m not bemoaning the things he’s had to go through to get to where he is.

But in the process he was dishonest with me.

My Bad News came in the form of “In a relationship” on Facebook. Thanks, Jar Jar. Singletons know the feeling. But, married or single, we are all in relationships of some kind. Family, friends, co-workers…and in order to keep the Relationship Bad News at bay, we need to have integrity. Maybe it’s a good idea to reexamine how well we love others.

Am I lovingly honest?

Am I forthcoming?

Do I keep people guessing how I feel?

Do I consider others as better than myself?

I haven’t done everything right. Jesus knows. He knows I still mess up, and way more often than I would like to admit. So, you need to know I’m taking my own advice – I’m asking myself the tough questions. It’s less of a New Year’s Resolution, and more of a commitment to walking in the ways of Jesus, Who is Love.

So, here I go. Jar Jar is forgiven (because that is an act of love). I’ve learned. I’m moving forward. Determined to love.

– Marty

PS – Now I’m extremely available for Zachary Levi to go ahead and start falling in love with me.

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