I’m not going to get all sappy for Valentine’s Day. Okay I lied. I am. But not yet.
First, I thought it would be appropriate to share some free advice.
Patrick and I got married when I was a wee 23 years old. Don’t feel bad for me, though. In my first twenty-two years, I dated enough and got my heart broken enough to be as cynical as an article in the Onion. A relationship here, a fling there, a really good friend that I talk to every day on the phone that ought to be my boyfriend? I’ve tried it all. It was also enough for me to listen to and believe a whole host of lies about love, and men that all turned out to be absolutely and one hundred percent false.
And for Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share them. In honor of true love, here are ten lies I used to believe.
1. A text is the same thing as a phone call
It’s not. Texts are inherently contrived, flirtatious and enticing. Phone calls are legitimate conversations. I remember certain times of my life where the vibration or chime of a text message put butterflies in my stomach, and marathon-texting conversations spanned hours. Hours of contrived conversation that created false-relationship.
2. I’ll help him find God
3. If he doesn’t want to kiss me, it’s because he’s being “pure”
Rebounding from guy #2, I found comfort in a relationship with the “super-christian” who kissed kissing goodbye. Turns out, if he’s not all over you, something’s probably not right–either in his mind–or in the relationship. If you like someone, kiss them. It’s okay, really.
4. He’ll stop smoking weed
He didn’t. For a while.
5. That song he burned on a CD for me is how he really feels
Dave Matthew’s “Angel” told me that he was strong, but wanted me back again. “Hey There Delilah” meant he really missed me. Ryan Adams’ “Come Pick Me Up,” well, I’m not exactly sure what that meant. But, whatever the song was at the time, my mind warped it into the sappiest love song I’d ever heard. Some of these I can’t even listen to anymore, because my mind goes dangerously whirling back…
6. He doesn’t have to take me on a real date
Hanging out at his place, watching movies, meeting up at parties, texting (see #1), those all count as “dating” right? Wrong. If he didn’t want to take me out in public, he probably wasn’t worth my time. But I believed the lie.
7. We’re just friends, of course he’s not interested in me!
This was the hardest lie to get rid of in my mind, and did the most damage to people I truly care about. We’d talk on the phone. Hang out over the holidays. Share childhood stories. Go to dinner at dives and nice places, all while laughing innocently. Never holding hands. Never kissing. Friends, right? You know what I’m talking about. I didn’t realize until much too late that I was slowly, and painfully hurting my friend. Girls: If he’s acting like he cares for you, and not dating anyone else–but you don’t feel romantically interested? Be honest.
8. If he calls me “a snot”–it’s a term of endearment
Man, how do I explain this one? A guy I was dating called me a little snot once (okay more than once), and I convinced myself it was cute. Yes, to answer your question, he was hot.
9. Those nerves, they’re butterflies
No, they are not butterflies. Butterflies are two-winged creatures that are made by God to pollinate flowers. These are self-conscious insecurities and misgivings that rise up in your belly when you’re dating someone who is sizing you up constantly. If he cares what you’re wearing or judges the wit of every single comment you make, do yourself a favor: stop dating him.
10. He’ll choose me, eventually
So there it is, ten desperately embarrassing lies that I believed as a single girl trying to find Mr. Right. It’s easier to admit these now that I’m married, but I can still look back and easily remember how I got to this place of self-deception. I was lonely, in need of love, and willing to compromise on truth for the sake of comfort. And that, my friends, doesn’t change when you put a ring on it. I am still a lonely girl, in need of love, and capable of compromise. This Valentine’s Day, I choose to seek out the Truth, both in relationships, and in my own heart.
What about you? Ladies? Gentlemen? Are you willing to admit any lies you believed about love? Do share.
(Photo from: Wit + Delight)