I’ve realized how much I expect life to imitate the movies.
You’d think I’d have a better handle on this, especially because I work in television.
I know how to see through the façade.
And yet, I’m fascinated with a Hallmark view of reality. And in the back of my mind, I think that all scenarios, if given their best shot, would play out like such. Or even better, like my favorite John Hughes 1980s movies. There would be turmoil and unrest, but the third act would bring the resolve and completion of the character arc we’ve all been waiting for.
But real life—the ones we live, are far more nuanced and I find sometimes, lacking the resolve we’d hoped for.
He told me in very certain terms, that he only wanted friendship with me.
I think I knew that from the beginning.
But I was starting to become so smitten with the idea of him, that I convinced myself that I could convince him.
When does that ever work? Especially not in the long run.
But I painted this picture of us in a classic 1980s teen movie and I just knew he would fall for my eclectic goofy charm. If I just took my “glasses off”, then he would see the real me, wonder what took him so long, and fall madly deeply in love with me. Fade to Black.
But instead, there were two different conversations happening at the same time. I thought we were clicking. And he thought we were clicking.
Let me clarify that for the men reading:
“I thought we were clicking”. Translation: I thought we had an uncanny chemistry and rhythm that would expand into a relationship.
“He thought we were clicking.” Translation: Nice girl. It’s cool she works in television. It’s good to have another friend in California.
But by the end, when our conversations were exposed, I had already had my heart open to this person. Who by the way, I would have never thought twice about prior. That’s not meant to be a mean dig. It’s just, I didn't have any thoughts about this person prior. We are truly from two different worlds. And I respect that.
Normally, I’m all for that. But in my gut, I felt as though I wasn’t the real demographic this guy was looking for. But my head started to turn in his direction, when I heard about how open he was about his faith in God.
And then my head started to turn a little bit more with his persistence, our common ground, and later his humor.
And with that progression I was won over.
I think it was the mystery of who I was in the beginning that made him pursue, even if he says it was merely a friendly pursuit. Is friendly pursuit a thing? I feel like that’s a made up thing. But anyway.
I’m quite sure now that it was not the essence of who I am that he was truly after. I know this because I don’t think he can name two things that I’m currently working on in my life, or what’s important to me in this season. But I could answer both of those things in regards to his life.
Maybe he thought I was one of those “Trendy L.A. Christians” ready to hit it and quit it, friends with benefits, etc. (Nope. Nah, bruh. That’s not me.) And when that opportunity was off the table (actually never on the table)…well, perhaps his mindset was…”on to the next one”…
Or maybe he was just hoping for a good Hollywood connection.
Now before I completely vilify him, life is not like the movies.
And I cannot assume his motives.
All I can do is take his word and actions at face value.
So we’ve started over.
This time, more or less friends, but more accurately acquaintances.
I’m pulling back. Wayyyy back.
But as you know, I can do this role quite well. #expert
I almost feel as if I was born for this part. I’m the "cool girl friend" (not girlfriend…but a friend that’s a girl) surrounded by a ridiculous amount of good-looking guys. I guess that’s a compliment?
But it has the same connotation as “Always a bridesmaid…never a bride…”
But I have to be careful, because that song could easily become: “I’m not as valuable as...”
Because for a split second, I thought…”Wait, am I not desirable and worthy of being pursued 100% by someone I like. Someone who knows what they want and who they want? Someone who isn’t afraid to commit to an adventure with me? Someone who is intentional towards me…Someone who also makes me laugh…Someone who’s not afraid of me. And Someone who’s taken the time to prepare their heart for real love.”
And the answer is, yes--I’m worthy.
And so are you beloved.
I love this quote by Kimberly Jones-Pothier:
"At your absolute best, you still won't be good enough for the wrong person. At your worst, you'll still be worth it to the right person."
As much as I’m a turtle, there’s a part of me that wants the movie-romance lightening bolt. You know what I mean, when both individuals “just know” and feel no need to waste time, and sprint down to the church to make dem vows.
And yet, I very much want to take things slow.
I know. I’m such an oxymoron.
But I know when it happens for me, my feelings will be met with mutual fervor and passion.
I won’t seem daunting or pressuring, because the man trying to win my heart will match my passion and intrigue.
And even as friends, he’ll understand the art of valuing another person’s life and interests in addition to his own.
I’ve learned so much from my chronicles with Mr. Friends-Only Pursuit.
He’s still tender and beautiful, with a touch of sadness and kindness.
And he still makes me laugh.
Yet, I'm reminded that intent and value must be expressed early in a relationship--especially a friendship. Leaving space for both hearts to feel safe while free to flourish and discover in the current context.
I’ve also relearned, that love and life don’t necessarily play out like they do in the movies.
But rather, we experience a much more splendored thing.
A story that will truly surprise us, ignite us, incite us, and eventually bring forth redemption in the end.
And redemption, my friends, does come in the end.
Just you wait and see.
And when it does--
Yes, when it finally, finally does...
You’ll know it in your bones and feel it in your soul.
Because, Hallelujah, Beloved--it’ll be better than it was in the movies.
Jim (Dad): Well, if it’s any consolation, I love you. And if this guy can’t see in you all the beautiful and wonderful things that I see, then he’s got the problem.
Samantha: I know. It just hurts.
Jim: That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call ’em something else.
Samantha: But if I were Ginny, I’d have this guy crawling on his knees.
Jim: Well, let me tell you something about Ginny. Now, I love her as much as I love you. But she’s a different person. Sometimes I worry about her. When you’re given things kind of easily, you don’t always appreciate them. With you, I’m not worried. When it happens to you, Samantha, it’ll be forever.
--“Sixteen Candles” (1984) – Director: John Hughes