By Kenneth Stepp
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.” The Velveteen Rabbit
Two toys talking. It may be the best example of how we become very real. You see, becoming real depends on perception from others. What I mean to someone matters. But what matters even more is that I mean something to someone who knows me, the real me. I think the real me would surprise many of my readers. It surprises me at times too.
I believe we are all much more complex that others can see. In my case, I live a very public life. That has very few advantages. I can’t imagine actually being someone famous. They can’t have a normal life. Life is full of tradeoffs. I’d rather be completely unknown, a nobody, than famous. Famous means you must share your life like an open book with anyone reading the gossip columns. No thanks.
This morning I was hit with the same thing I get a lot of. How are you still single? I used to ask this when I met someone amazing. These days I understand the math much better. I also understand that few will take the time to actually get to know someone enough to really see the real person they are. It’s a sad truth in the singles community that may never change.
For myself, I have things about me that I doubt anyone would guess. I can work a room full of people, yet I’m an introvert. I am an alpha male to the fullest degree, but find myself crying often, especially when I write about things with depth. When I enter a room, I find who I believe would be the biggest threat and study how I would destroy them should trouble happen. Add to this crazy mix, I am very shy but hide it well.
I talk about myself here, not to shine a light on myself, but to use me as an example of why relationships take time to begin. All of us have things hidden from others. My goal is to find a girl who will not judge me while doing a drive by glance but will judge me while parked and conversing about who we both are. This first takes trust, then transparency, 100% honesty and being authentic with one another. Now you see why trust is the first thing.
We can only become vulnerable after we trust someone. Opening up fully to someone that isn’t trustworthy will always lead to disaster and pain. The first time a girl shared a screenshot from a guy she met with me, I realized how dangerous being single and sharing things without trust can be. Obviously, she was not my person. My girl would never break trust enough to share what was said in private with another man. It doesn’t matter what was shared, only that it was shared.
Moving on with hopefully making a point. If your goal is to date as many people as you can squeeze into your life, go for it, this is America, you do you. But if you want to find your forever love, treat those you meet along the way differently. Be more understanding. Odds are, one of them is your forever. Treat them all with the respect and patience your forever deserves. Show them your heart at the level of trust they show you.
Being single at a time in life that you thought you’d be growing old with someone is hard. The road is bumpy at best. I never thought I’d dread holidays, weekends, and down time. But here I am, waiting for someone who may not exist, hoping someone slows down long enough to see the real me and even who I am becoming. I may be becoming the man you’ve asked God to send.
The romantic is me believes she and I are both becoming the person the other has been praying for and at the right moment, our eyes will meet and we’ll know. The romantic in me gets me in trouble too many times. Time to take a better look. Look for depth not glitz, look for integrity not a good game, look for a stable heart, not one that goes from house to house. Learn what real unconditional love is, look for a heart with that capacity to love. Look for someone becoming yours…