I was reading this article on The Gospel Coalition blog by Matthew Barrett and wondering, will I ever be counted worthy for the joys of marriage? Is that even where my desires are?
I had a good conversation with a brother who wrestles with same-sex attraction who is married. We talked about the dating process and I seemed to get positive feedback on how I’m approaching the idea of going on dates to figure out if I like the girls I’m hanging out with in a variety of contexts.
See, I’ve liked a girl before…enough to desire to date her. If things had progressed, I’d have wanted to marry her. I didn’t just love her as a friend…I desired her in every sense of the word. Now, when you’ve never desired anyone physically who wasn’t male like yourself, you don’t really know what to do with that. But I pursued her quietly but persistently for four years and was shot down each time. We remained friends for a time, but I finally decided it was too painful to keep up communication with her. I still think the world of her, but when she got married, I declined to go to the wedding. I knew I couldn’t handle that emotionally, watching the one girl I’ve ever wanted say “I do” to someone else. Just the thought of it reminds me of the feeling I had when I read the wedding invitation…like my heart was being ripped out from my chest. Maybe that sounds cliche, but it’s the truth.
I don’t know if I want to be married at all, or even to whom. If I’m married, my interests are divided. But far from being a simple drain on my time, marriage could provide a re-charge when I needed it. Someone to come home to at night…someone to do things for…someone to love and share hopes and fears with. As it is, I more or less come home to an empty house. There’s no one waiting for me. Sure, there might be people here, but they aren’t waiting for me. And by the same token, I’m not anticipating them. They just happen to be here.
At the same time, will I ever find a girl that I desire? I tend to think it isn’t fair to whatever girl I’d ask out that I’d drag her into a situation where if there’s an attractive man somewhere in the vicinity that I’d be sitting there wrestling with my eyes and fighting to keep my attention on her.
Now, in one sense, I understand that the particular battle I’m talking about isn’t one unique to any straight guy who sees a cute girl walk by. But a girl can’t compete with a guy the way the girl can compete with another girl. Another friend said to me yesterday, “Yeah…that’s like apples and oranges. No comparison.” And I think he’s right.
I want to know before I ask a girl out if I’m even interested in not being single at some point. But I can’t know that. So, I’m doing stuff with friends that are girls to get to know them better and to treasure them as friends…and then maybe, just maybe, I’ll decide I want to marry.
So if it’s that cut-and-dried and no one is pressuring me to do this, why are my feelings so out of whack?
Guess the effects of the rebellion in Genesis 3 are more far-reaching than even I thought.
Honestly, I think a lot of people approach dating in this way–even straight people. Even if you know for a fact that you like the opposite sex, that doesn’t mean you’re going to definitely want to be with the person you decide to date now. It doesn’t mean you’re going to love them and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re going to marry them. Dating is just how you described it. Making friends and then MAYBE that will lead to something else. I don’t believe it’s any more harsh for you to date a girl and decide you aren’t ready to commit to her than it is for a straight guy to do that. It’s just the way it goes sometimes. Don’t let guilt keep you from trying things and spending time with someone! But I think it’s very sweet that you are that concerned about their feelings. It shows you are a very worth-while guy! 🙂
I empathize with nearly every point. It reminded me of a girl i knew in college and “desired in every sense of the word.” It shined a light on the fact that ssa was not always a battle. Thank you for writing this.
We were close. She is someone I would have married. She was not and still is not a believer. Had she been I would have pursued her and acknowledged the attraction between us.
I did go to her wedding. it was tough.
Now i am very content to remain single.