By Kenneth Stepp
To be chosen, picked, or favored. It feels pretty good. I remember when I was about 20 years old. A bunch of us guys gathered in a local park to play football. Two captains were picked and the teams were to be chosen by the captains.
I was a monster back then, already quite the athlete. Ronnie had the first pick. He looked at me and chose another guy. He pointed at me and said, big but clumsy. I was chosen by the next team. I spent the rest of the day proving Ronnie was wrong. At one point, grabbing his belt from behind when he tried to get past me and tossing him about 20 feet. Clumsy? Nope.
Today, I am a single man, swimming in shark infested waters. What’s ironic is that I am still trying to be chosen, and for some reason, overlooked when it matters. I dated a girl a little over a year ago who couldn’t choose between another man and myself, so she secretly kept us both. It ended poorly.
Not long before I met the girl I just mentioned, I met a girl and thought, maybe we could build something. She had just broken free from a relationship where the guy had been physically abusive, unfaithful, and wiped out her bank account on his way out the door. I asked her if she’d like to see where we might go. Yes was her answer. Before our second date, she had taken her ex back.
Given my history trying to find my forever, you can see why I am more guarded these days and just a little confused about why women who claim to have standards, throw them away for a man who isn’t worth having. If I date you, I’ll not date anyone else, I am always honest, and I treat everyone with the same respect I want to receive. Too old school for most I suppose.
The list… Most of us have a list of traits and things we desire in a mate. I’ve read a lot of these lists, even had conversations about these lists. Most of them I can honestly say, I’m that list. Yet I remain apart from my special someone.
I’ve come so close in the past, a few very near misses. But as always, I’m in this sea of singles, treading water and smiling at anyone who looks my way. I thought it would be easier.
I have standards. I know that standards aren’t really in style anymore and for what it’s worth, I have suspended them a few times and paid a price for doing so. I think deep down everyone has standards. But a pretty face, a nice body, or a bad boy comes along and these girls today drop them and smile like a cheshire cat. Not all, but many.
Dating these days has become quite the game. We all have our own set of rules. And these rules are flexible, very flexible. I remember when things were different, but that was then, this is now. I continue to look for someone I hope exists. I found one, but we weren’t a match in a few other ways. But finding her gave me the hope that girls like her do exist. Hope does come from strange places.
My thoughts on love are simple. Love with reckless abandon, love without caring if it makes sense, love beyond you, love in a way that at least half of your friends think you have lost it. I guess what I am trying to say is that love is more important than our ego, our sense of self, and our belongings.
Love is also more important than what others think or believe about you. Love, or the decision to love unconditionally, is why we were created. It’s our purpose in life. Live with that in mind…
“Because, if you could love someone, and keep loving them, without being loved back . . . then that love had to be real. It hurt too much to be anything else.”
― Sarah Cross