All The Good Ones Aren’t Taken: A Letter to Single Ladies

All The Single Ladies

“All the good ones are taken.” If you’re a single gal, or you’ve ever been a single gal, you’ve either A) said this yourself, or B) heard another single gal say it, and nodded your head in agreement. (Maybe even adding a sassy little “Mmm-Hmm.”)

Well, it’s not true. And? It’s offensive.

All The Single Fellas

I, personally, know of several upstanding, successful guys, who have been single for at least a year, minimum. Why? Because they’re waiting for the “right” lady to come along, and aren’t interested in dating, just for the sport of it. You heard me right: they are not looking for a hookup. They are looking for the real-deal. “Single, mature young men, without commitment issues? Openly looking for a long-term relationship?” They are not unicorns, ladies; they are real, and when you hear what they have to say, maybe you’ll think twice about all of that “all the good ones are taken” business. (Before I go too far, what I have to say is aimed at Christian young women, but regardless of your spiritual beliefs, the struggle I’ve described is universal, and is worth some consideration.)

Let me share with you something that a male reader recently wrote me, in regards to 50 Shades of Grey and Magic Mike (don’t worry, I have his permission to post this quote):

It is hard enough being expected to be a respectful, godly, and upstanding man on one hand, and seeing the women that we are interested in often fall for the exact opposite of what they say they want. But it is completely maddening to see women fall for the same type of cheap objectification and destructive appeals to venal human nature that men have been plagued by for generations, and to have that celebrated as progress rather than being viewed for what it truly is: degrading for both the producer and the consumer.

Hindsight is 20-20

When I read this, I got so frustrated, not because it’s not true, but because I see it happening all around me. I WAS one of those girls, falling for the exact opposite of what I said I wanted. Honestly, his comment was simultaneously a slap-in-the-face, and a push forward. Immediately I was confronted with visions of my past-self, and I figure that two or three of you out there might be able to relate, so allow me to get real vulnerable, real fast.

Facing visions of my past-self is always difficult. It’s getting easier, but I can’t help but hurt for young-me. How many times had I compromised myself in an attempt to win the affection of someone that was totally undeserving? How many times had I turned my back on what I knew was right, just because I wanted some cute guy to think I was cool? How many times had I made myself ultimately vulnerable to a guy who I knew wasn’t interested in me in a “real” way? (All the while griping about how “all the good ones are taken.”) Looking back on it, I see that I was looking to other people to define my value, rather than knowing my value, and standing firm on it. In retrospect, I thank God that he didn’t introduce me to my husband in that season of my life, because I hadn’t even become myself yet. I feel like God was waiting for me to get my act together before he’d deliver me a “good one.”

A Disposable Heart

If you allow an unworthy guy to define your value, do you know what your value will be? Zero. Nothing. Less than nothing. Disposable. And that’s exactly how I felt. And when you allow yourself to be treated as if you’re disposable, you begin to believe that you are disposable, so that when you do cross-paths with a really amazing, godly guy, you will not feel worthy of his affection. Not only that, but I’m convinced guys have a sixth-sense about this kind of thing; they can “smell” when a girl doesn’t value herself, and generally, they keep their distance. Like I said, the “good ones” are looking for the real-deal. Are you preparing yourself for that, or are you caught-up in pursuing guys who will ultimately treat you like you’re disposable? When you meet a “good one,” will he see a girl who knows her value and stands firm on it, or will he see a girl exhausted from chasing down the shadows of her self-worth?

(Some quick questions: If you are identifying with me at all right now: do you see the extent to which this cycle is damaging your ability to begin and maintain new, lasting relationships? Are you ready to dramatically shift your way of thinking? What will it take for you to be ready?)

Maybe all of the “good ones” aren’t taken. Maybe you’re blind to them, because you’re involved with a bad crowd. Or maybe they’re blind to you, because they’re looking for a girl with maturity and self-respect, and a solid foundation.

I know these might sound like harsh words, but here’s the thing: I know how you feel, because I have been there. Maybe I’m subconsciously writing this to my past-self, because the fact of the matter is that no one in my life was telling me the truth about this kind of stuff. (Even some distant stranger’s voice from across the Internet would have been better than nothing.) So I figured it out on my own, and was completely obliterated along the way, and eventually came back to square one: where, and what is my identity?

Living In The Tension

Before we get there, let’s address a very real tension that exists for women: from day one, many (most?) of us feel “less than,” as compared to women in the media. Many of us had fathers who openly lusted after women that the culture deemed worthy (or our fathers flat-out abandoned us), and though that’s not the only cause, it’s one reason why many women feel that they NEED to be more like women “of the world” than women of God. We’ve seen our fathers, step-fathers, church leaders, political officials, etc live in a way that says they place more value on “worldly women” than godly women. And over time it has caused many of us to harden our hearts, and choose to live in a way that says “Oh yeah? Well two can play at this game.” (Therapist-types call this “acting out.”)

Whose Am I?

No matter how hard you push back, nothing you do will ever undo anything that has happened to you. It won’t bring your father back; it won’t restore your trust in men. All “acting out” does do is move you further and further away from the truth, and build massive walls around your heart. It prevents you from healing, from growing up, and from moving forward. What’s left, after all of this trauma and subsequent acting-out, is a population of young women who have very little of their identity rooted in God, and most of it rooted in their worldly value.

Reversing this cycle of brokenness, claiming your identity in God, and discovering your real value takes time. But just in case you’re thinking you can cut corners and “fix it” as soon as you meet Mr. Right, let me prepare you: I’ve seen it happen so many times (I’m one of them) where a “worldly” Christian girl meets a godly guy, and changes her tune SO FAST. Suddenly she believes in modesty, purity, the whole shebang. The problem is that she is doing it to win a man’s heart, and once that has happened, she no longer has an identity. She has abandoned her worldly ways (which often means severing ties with poisonous friends), but has no identity in God; usually the relationship fails because she gets drawn back into “the world,” and the guy leaves, or she puts her identity in the relationship, and that scares the guy away. Then he leaves, she feels betrayed by (yet another) man, and the cycle repeats itself.

This cycle might be the greatest tragedy facing the young women of my generation, and the next generation, and it breaks my heart.

And lest I forget to mention them: I do know that there are young women out there who do have their identity firmly rooted in the love of God their father, alone. They are beautiful in their security, and they are choosing not to approach dating as a sport. They are serving God with their time and talent, thereby blessing their future husband and future family with a life spent in truth and light. And what an example they are to those around them!

Decisions, and Moving Forward

It is never too late to choose to begin making right decisions, and there is no shame in recognizing your mistakes, turning your back on them, and starting fresh. And depending on what, exactly, you’ve been through, I highly recommend seeing a therapist*. Most insurance plans have coverage for therapy, and it will cost you a minimal amount of money.

I would love to see a real call-to-action for change in this regard. I have this vision of fathers who have blown-it coming forward and confessing to God, and then to their daughters, and of daughters choosing forgiveness and allowing God to soften their hearts, and confessing themselves to their Father in heaven. It’s beautiful, but I’m not sure it’s realistic. It’d be amazing if we all reconciled with our fathers, but in real-life we often have to choose forgiveness, even if the other person hasn’t seen their error. Even if the other person isn’t apologetic. And it’s hard, but it’s worth it.

Does any of this resonate with you, or am I just shouting into the wind, here? Though I wouldn’t wish anyone to go through the kind of junk I put myself through in my late teens/early 20s, I think one of the reasons it all happened is so that I can share my experiences with others, for their benefit. From that perspective, I’m very happy everything happened as it did, and I hope you were able to glean something from my experiences.

As always, feel free to say whatever you want in the comments below. 🙂

xoxo,

mj

PS- Well after posting this, I was brushing my teeth and remembered this verse in Proverbs 31 (sorry to trot out Proverbs 31 :/). It’s verses 11 and 12: “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” (Emphasis mine.) For some reason I never understood that ALL means ALL. That means she brings her husband good and not harm before she ever meets him. So simple, but so profound. 🙂

*A quick note on therapy: Therapy was able to provide me with the tools I needed to understand what I had been through, and cope with it on an intellectual level. I couldn’t have healed if not for therapy. But even after therapy, my heart still didn’t feel right. I was bitter, and cynical, and couldn’t seem to forgive. Therapy was only one big piece of the puzzle, but the other piece was God. God was able (and continues) to restore and revive my heart. He has, as the cliché goes “created beauty from ashes.” I could not be the person, wife and mother that I am today if not for the work God did in my heart, and the work he continues to do in my heart. (I put it in bold because I am that serious.)

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Let’s be friends!

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54 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to show this to my daughter!

    Reply
  2. Once again, you hit it dead on. It\’s funny because as I was reading this, I was thinking to myself that this has the potential to attract flamers and offended people. (I even found myself getting offended on behalf of single ladies! How silly is that!) I was thinking, \”Nice of a MARRIED woman to lecture single women on why they aren\’t married yet….*eyeroll*.

    But then, I read the whole thing. Amen, sister. So much of your openness and transparency blesses my heart. I\’m 37 years old, not a spring chicken by any stretch, and I am JUST NOW discovering my own identity as a daughter of the Most High Father. My husband will never be what I need to provide that, my father wasn\’t, the transient friends that flitted through my life certainly weren\’t. I just thank God so much for His grace, cuz without it, who knows where I\’d be now?

    I am so glad you are gently reaching out to single sisters out there about the importance of looking to God the Father to fill the holes in their lives and to not give up hope that He has a plan for them.

    Reply
  3. You could be talking to me a few years ago. I was known to say Love is lame on several occasions. I even have a t-shirt that says it. But it took meeting some wonderful youth that helped me to see my hardened heart towards men was hardening my heart to God and other people. It took sometime for me to mend my relationship with God and with myself. But when I did, I met the love of my life. He’s an amazing, Godly man who God created for us to be together. We knew each other in high school but it wasn’t until over 10 years later that we found each other again. And I was ready for the first time for him. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be saving this to share with girls in youth ministry.

    Reply
    • Isn’t God’s timing amazing? My husband and I have talked lots about all the opportunities we had to meet each other before we actually did (we have many mutual friends), and I am SO glad I didn’t know him way back then! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Reply
  4. hollycoxHolly Cox

     /  July 12, 2012

    As a 20 year old attending a Christian college, I sincerely appreciate these words of yours. It is a sad, true experience that I see entirely too often (including myself). Thank you. Thank you for your encouragement and your words of truth spoken (written) in love.

    Reply
  5. Wow, wow, and WOW! I am sharing this with my sister today, by the way. You definitely were not just shouting to the wind! I feel like this posting individually grabbed me and I can’t get over how what you say gives me a sense of freedom to my thoughts. It’s kind of like I knew the way I was carrying on with dating and purposely TRYING to find the RIGHT one and a Godly man at that, was oh so wrong, but your post just confirmed it. My identity needs to be complete in God first. Ironically too, when you mention those guys who aren’t deserving, I have been dwelling on a specific situation recently and it’s almost toxic.

    Exactly what you said about compromising ourselves for the affection of an unworthy person and how we may be looking to others to define our value, instead of standing firm on it. Unfortunately, this has been me lately. I have recently found my peace with the Lord and came to openly accept Him into my heart, but as soon as I found something that I thought was worth everything in a guy (by worldly standards) I started letting those things define me, rather than keeping God the center of things. I can see now that I think He wants us young women to cling solely to him throughout this time in our lives and “prepare” us first.

    Thanks so much again! This was a fantastic read! I’ve read something else on your blog before and made a post commenting towards it. I’m new to this WordPress and still trying to get used to the whole thing….I would love it if you follow me? Have a great day! 🙂 God bless!!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad this was helpful for you! I knew I couldn’t be the ONLY one who has gone through/is going through this type of stuff. I’m headed over to your blog now to check it out. 🙂

      Reply
      • Thanks, I appreciate it. Is it possible that you could tell how you got your pictures to line your page at the top. I’m not sure if there is a website to do all that? lol

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        • I used a program called “Pixelmator;” it’s like photoshop, but only $20, and WAY easier to use. So I made the header in Pixelmator, and added some of my favorite pictures from Instagram to it, and exported it as one big image, if that makes sense.

          Reply
  6. I am not a religious man but i am a man of god and high miral character….. great men are something women tend to believe is a myth, so when they encounter one they put him though countless test to prove they actually exist(ARE WORTHY). The catch to that is, no great is going to prove his existence because he is confident he live, loves, and breathes!!!! So, that leaves him single and still searching and the woman settling for what she can believe in, a faulty, dishonest man; that unconiously make her feel confide because she is the standard. Well, faith is the foundation of any strong relationship and without that faith in the ability to believe outside of our negative exprriences, all we will attract is more negative experiences!!!! Great thought provoking educational piece. Enjoyed every word!!! Keep shaing your wisdom to create other that will be wise enough to share theirs oneday!!!!

    Reply
  7. AB

     /  July 12, 2012

    You hit this article spot on! I’m guilty of saying that.. Not anymore though

    Reply
  8. Ariell Larson

     /  July 12, 2012

    Great Post. I totally can relate. I feel my younger years could have been better. I probably could have used some therapy. But God has definitely been my strength and the only way that I have made it to where I am today. I really liked the quote you inserted. Amen, to the man who left that comment. Thank you for being the kind of guy women want, but for whatever reason find it challenging to find or feel truly worthy of. I am grateful I found one.

    Reply
  9. Candice

     /  July 12, 2012

    Love this post. I wish I had read this about five years ago. It sounds like we have been through similar experiences. By the grace of God my husband found me and pursued me. We Are expecting a baby girl in November. Her name will be grace because I want to be reminded of God’s grace everyday.

    Of course the reason why girls are single isn’t only this. However, following this advice will prevent unnecessary heartache and time wasted with unworthy men.

    Reply
    • Congratulations on your daughter! What a blessing. The past two years with my kiddo have been the best time of my life. You have SO MUCH to look forward to!

      Reply
  10. sweetly_broken

     /  July 12, 2012

    THANK YOU so much for sharing this! Your openness and transparency has made a big impact! I shared this with a newly single friend of mine who is struggling to believe that real love and happy, fulfilled marriages exist and I think she will relate to this post.

    You said: “And when you allow yourself to be treated as if you’re disposable, you begin to believe that you are disposable, so that when you do cross-paths with a really amazing, godly guy, you will not feel worthy of his affection” — these words are so so good and super powerful. I think this happens so subconsciously that we don’t even realize it, and often when we do come to terms with the reality of what has happened, it’s “too late.” But being able to rationally see and explain where this comes from and know how to make the necessary adjustments is VERY helpful! Thank you so much for putting your heart into this post 🙂

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you found this useful! I wouldn’t want anyone to have to make the same bad choices I did, so it feels good to share what little insight I have. 🙂

      Reply
  11. I’m 27 (I’ll be 28 in 2 months), single and content. I really want to get married and have kids, but I’ve never messed around with the dating game. I watched it cause damage in my friends during our teen years, so I have focused on being friends with guys, trusting that God will take care of the rest. I *hope* that I can be described as the kind of single lady you described in the last paragraph of the section “Whose Am I?” & Proverbs 31:11-12. That’s been my hope.
    I just wanted to say that I love this. It’s perfect and exactly what I teach the girls that I mentor. I am so encouraged that you took the time to say this and then convicted for ever having thought those words :”All the good ones are taken.” It gets discouraging, even being someone who refuses to settle and knows their worth in Christ, but it’s still wrong to think this dismally. It’s unfair. So thanks for encouraging me while causing me to think and change. I think that means you did a good job as a writer. 🙂
    Your blog is my new favorite. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • You’re right, it IS discouraging. I’m not going to argue with you on that one. Once I figured some things out, and finally started investing in my relationship with God, I began to feel like I would never meet a guy who was deserving of my affection. For some perspective, though, my husband (who is amazing, by the way) is 9 1/2 years older than me. We were married when he was 36. I’m SO glad he was patient and didn’t settle, and I believe that your future husband will say the same thing about you. 🙂

      Reply
  12. AM

     /  July 12, 2012

    I recently started following your blog and am very happy to have randomly come across it. Especially today. This post spoke so much to me. I never liked to date just to date but it was always hard to think I shouldn’t be out there “exploring my options” when even my Christian friends were out there telling me to go talk to a guy and get to know him – you never know where it could go. My view has always been that if I’m not going to marry him, why would I date him just to say I did? I knew I wasn’t ready for marriage and some days I’m still a work in progress, but I’m getting there. This past year I’ve been working on who I am and who God wants me to be and I know he will bring the right guy into my life when the time is right.

    The whole world-view ideology is definitely the majority view these days and that is very sad. For whatever reason I’ve not had an easy time dating and I’ve mostly felt like it was me that was the problem, or if I didn’t want to feel like it was me that was the problem I probably did think “all the good ones were taken”. I’m not sure exactly why I had trouble committing but now I think part of that reason is because my vision was not set on God first and finding a guy second. I knew you were supposed to grow up, get an education, get a job, get married, have kids, etc. but no one really said HOW to do it and often times God came second to accomplishing worldly success. Sadly. It made it difficult and confusing trying to go out there and date and not really knowing what to do or expect. I was getting confused between the world-view idea and the Godly-view idea making it all the more frustrating. I hadn’t even realized the world-view idea had taken over my life instead of the Godly view until very recently. (That came to light when I started reading the book Family Driven Faith [which I really recommend to any Christian]). And I wondered why I was having trouble. It all makes sense to me now.

    This post spoke a lot to me and I am very thankful for your sharing it and offering up some vulnerable moments of your past. I’m not sure I’ve ever directly said “all the good ones are taken,” but I do know I’ve heard it and agreed, then thought it again later myself. Now I have a new look on this phrase, thanks to you, and I hope to never see it the same again. Thank you for that. I hope you have a blessed rest of the week!

    Reply
  13. ann gardner

     /  July 12, 2012

    mj, i recently stumbled across your blog and am so glad i did! i love that women are speaking out about these deeper topics, and using the web to encourage younger women in their faith. being a 21 year old christian is TOUGH, and i feel very convicted for all the times i have said ‘all the good ones are taken’.

    i have one question for you……are you mentoring someone? i really feel you need to be. i know life is busy with kids, but i hope you’re taking time to mentor a younger lady to help her grow in her faith. we need more women like you in this world! maybe pray about it? annnnd if you’re ever wanting a ‘mentee’ from Ohio, PLEASE let me know 🙂 LOL.

    Reply
    • Ann, thank you so much for your encouragement! I’m not mentoring anyone, though it’s been on my mind quite a bit for the past year. Looking back on it, I really could have used a mentor (I STILL could use a mentor!), and I’d be thrilled to have the opportunity to mentor another girl. 🙂

      Reply
  14. There you go again, pouring out beauty from ashes…
    We desperately need fathers (and mothers) and mentors. Big brothers and sisters. Grandparents. If even 10% of the Chirch stepped forward to do this, I believe the Church, and then the world around us, would look radically different in short order.
    But we think we need to leave it all to the pros (we need them, too, but we need family as much or more). We need family. Don’t wait til you’re perfect. Get mentored and start mentoring. Or get parented and start parenting. It’s never too late. You’ll be amazed how readily people respond to the love of a parent.
    And sometimes it helps to stand in for the bio-parent. Let someone say te things they need to say to their parents. Ask their forgiveness. It’s not about you, it’s about them, and this is radically freeing.
    Love. Encourage. Forgive.
    You’ll rock their world.
    This is the cry of my heart. And Daddy God’s.

    Reply
  15. RT

     /  July 13, 2012

    Thank you so much for this article! This whole issue has been bothering me for the past few weeks. I kept wondering if I have “missed the boat” so to say; blaming myself for the wild younger days, for messing up my entire life doing things I knew was wrong, giving in when I should have made my stand. And now as I look around and see how most of my peers are happily married and starting a family, regret and self-blame is just intensified. Honestly, I’m still struggling with one of the issue you raised, about how when we might actually finally meet a great guy, but we feel unworthy of him, or great guys are just blinded to us. I keep wondering if it is because I am not intelligent enough, or not attractive enough, or perhaps I’m not godly enough.

    Turning back to God, and learning to find my own identity in Him is definitely not easy and sometimes I really feel like giving up. But, your article has really encouraged me today. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  16. I agree with this article. That is, from a logical standpoint. I know and understand what you are saying, and I’ve said it enough times to girls I know. Personally however? I’ve decided forget the looking, forget the men, they may not be all taken but I’m not getting my hopes up, nor do I believe that such a man exists for me. I am, and have always been, independent, and I certainly don’t need a man in my life to complete me given I’ve gotten on fine for the past several decades. Yes, I’ve had the same sort of society pressures heaped onto my head, a lot said about ‘If you just act more feminine’ and advice of that sort. In my case, I will believe for other people, but not for me.

    And yes I know, this is probably going to draw a lecture or else some other homily about faith, and trusting in God. I do trust God – most of the time. My faith has taken me into some sink-or-swim situations, and I am fine with being stretched. On the issue of marriage and men and me though? Maybe I’m just cynical, or else I’m at a stage in my life where I am just too busy trying to make life count for the real things, not just playing at being successful or rich or whatever. Fine if all the good ones aren’t taken – they’re always the province of someone else, and I don’t expect the remaining good ones to look in my direction or even want to. I stopped with the dating games a while ago, and if a man wants a woman who’ll bend to his every whim, he can look elsewhere because I don’t swing that way.

    And before I get fire called down upon me for seemingly being the lone dissenter – this article is very much what single women need to know. I don’t dispute that at all. This is just what came to mind for me, personally. Thank you for writing this piece, and for reminding us all that renewed minds and identify are the way to go.

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  17. Sharon Jeanguenat

     /  July 13, 2012

    This is a very good article, & very apropos for today. Too many women, both young AND old settle for something less than God intended. I made 2 bad mistakes, & married twice, & both times ended in failure. However, I have come to realize that the failure wasn’t entirely THEIR fault, but, I played a big role in it too. My dad left my mom when I was 8 & my brother 4, & basically abandoned us. We saw him maybe once or twice a year, if that often. So I know that affected me, & my outlook on men. However, God saved me 21 years ago, & since then, I haven’t looked at, or for, another companion. I figure that IF God wants me to have one, He’ll send him my way, AND let me know it. Being married is NOT my goal in life. I want to be the woman that GOD wants me to be, & if that means not having a companion, I can live with that. Another mistake that women make is to look at, & date, men from outside their religious beliefs. It will NOT work! If you are a Christian, & marry a non Christian believer, you are setting yourself up for a fall. God wants us to ‘seek HIS kingdom FIRST’ & then ‘all things will be added to you’. IF we please God first, then He will make sure that the things that are necessary for our wellbeing will be given to us. God bless you for writing this!

    Reply
  18. You should have written this earlier! I learned it the hard way – very hard. But I’m still very thankful because God does care and love me. I was in the wrong path and he pulled me back. I was broken and he healed me. It is all by his grace.
    I am now pulling back from dating or looking out for guys cuz I know I’m not mature enough for such thing and I also don’t know whether it’s best to pursue marriage or singleness. The culture and society pressure shouldn’t determine my life because my life was given by and belongs to God. It is hard, but thank Jesus, we can always pray. 🙂

    Reply
  19. Denise Carrera

     /  July 13, 2012

    This stirred up so many emotions that I don’t like to face. You are such a brilliant, insightful woman at such a young age. I am 48 years old and wish I knew these things years ago. It would have saved me such heartache.
    I will have to comment later. I am sobbing. Thank you

    Reply
  20. Thank you for the post. It was and is a big encourager and being a single guy who longs to be with someone special I found myself agreeing with many if not all of your conclusions.

    I’ve been single all my life (I’m 34 now) and I have been on the receiving end of many rejections and whilst there was a time in my life where I was angry with the girls who’ve hurt me it dawned upon me that there were many things that I too needed to do in order to become the man that God would want me.So to be fair to all the girls out there we guys have our work cut out for us as well cos’ a lot of us just don’t know the following:

    – How to be ourselves (especially with the ones that we like)
    – How to be men of God rather than to be the kind of man that Hollywood constantly portrays
    – How to have self-worth
    – How to lead a woman in a way that is respectful of her rather than in an authoritarian & dictatorial way
    – How to be romantic

    But the fact remains that it’s painful to feel inadequate in the eyes of the world especially with many women (Christian women included) having mixed up values that are part the world’s and part God’s. It’s no wonder that men (even outstanding Godly men) can feel very unattractive to women.

    As much as I hate to say it but somehow I have this picture that I should look like Brad Pitt and in a lot of ways be the charming, debonair guy that is able to sweep a girl off her feet. That unfortunately isn’t me. And the more I mess up and fumble the more inadequate I feel especially when I get tongue-tied around the girls that I really like which is really true right now as I’m deeply in love with someone whom I’ve been waiting for for 4 years (don’t ask me why… I just love her).

    It’s been a long and painful journey but in hindsight I am a much better man now because of how God has worked through rejection and the great thing is that by running into the arms of our Father in Heaven I’ve found much comfort and strength to continue to work at it. I may not be perfect but I know that as long as I am honest with myself about the person that I am; I know that I can be that man who’ll be able to love, care and protect rather than to be a man who is self-indulgent and self-centred.

    Thank you for the post Melissa!

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  21. grypsteph

     /  July 14, 2012

    Thanks Melissa for the post. It’s definitely an encouraging post to look at being in a relationship in a very different perspective. I can’t agree more with what you’ve said. Being in my 20s and just looking at my friends that are in relationship, some of them do not take it seriously and are just planning on a “short” term relationship which is really sad. Well, you’re post affirmed to me that in God’s timing the right man will come to me. =) I hope many more young people of my generation will understand the true meaning of being in a relationship and just not rush into such a huge decision.

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  22. Christina Lemon

     /  July 14, 2012

    Beautifully written! Thank you for both the conviction and encouragement!

    Reply
  23. Beca

     /  July 14, 2012

    Tears and tears and more tears. I can totally identify with what you are saying. I think what makes it worse for me is that I so desperately searched for a mentor when I was a younger women, but I couldn’t find her. Instead I was confronted with cold and hard stares by women in our church. 😦 But every hard thing I went through has molded me into the person I am today. I thank God for his MERCY!!!!!! 🙂

    Reply
  24. Thanks so much for your article! Interesting and full of many truths!! I had learnt this the hard way, and still learning… Was only aware of it after i got married, that i understood where my worth was…only in God, the One who created me fearfully and wonderfully! Thanks again and God bless you and your beautiful family! ❤

    Reply
  25. Lily

     /  July 16, 2012

    “And lest I forget to mention them: I do know that there are young women out there who do have their identity firmly rooted in the love of God their father, alone. They are beautiful in their security, and they are choosing not to approach dating as a sport. They are serving God with their time and talent, thereby blessing their future husband and future family with a life spent in truth and light. And what an example they are to those around them!” This is totally where I’m at…at 36…still waiting (hopefully more patiently than not!) for the person God has for me. This is after trying online dating, being set up by friends, etc. Unfortunately, at this point in my life there are zero single, christian men in my sphere – there aren’t even any that I have been looking at but just haven’t “seen” or had my eyes opened to them. I’ve never dated a non-christian and am serious about marriage and family. I WANT the good guy and have never gone for the guys who are the opposite of that. For some reason God has just not seen fit to bring someone along my path, despite my best efforts to be available and open. In my world, it does in fact *seem* as though the good ones are taken..but only because I literally don’t know any that aren’t. 🙂 Great article by the way…many words of wisdom and good reminders.

    Reply
  26. Jerrod

     /  July 21, 2012

    MJ,
    I haven’t read your blogs much (just found them today thru your work at ifixit). This article is one I, as a [single] man, had to comment on. You are dead on. I am looking for a woman that is confident in herself, and I don’t want one that finds her identity in the relationship that we have, but rather knows who she is before we ever start. I’m not interested in disposable, I’m interested in permanent. I’m not some crazy guy either (I like to say I’m mostly normal).

    A book you might look into to help explain the “love” concept is “The 5 Love Languages”. His first little bit (before he gets into specific “languages”) is extremely insightful. As a single man, its opened my eyes to what I need to know to develop a relationship that will work with whoever is out there for me. An example: the author says that many relationships fail in the first 2 years because that is the average amount of time that a lust-based relationship will last. After that, relationships based only on “the feelings” die. Love is a choice, and it can be a little bit of work.

    Reply
  27. yselle

     /  July 22, 2012

    I’m in this season right now. Thank you for this. I wanna meet you personally and just talk with you for one whole day. I think I’ll be getting lots of words of wisdom. :)) God bless you dear.

    Reply
  28. Heather

     /  July 22, 2012

    Finally got around to reading this one! In all honesty this was a hard pill to swallow. As a single woman I have such a hard time accepting advice or insight from married women. It’s something I’m working on, it’s mostly based in jealousy, but I tend to want to stick my fingers in my ears and go “La la la la la la” when a married woman speaks on singleness. But you are so right and I can’t afford to not listen this time. I’m 27 and a single parent, there are no words for how much I want to get married. And I have absolutely said that “All the good ones are taken” and I’ve felt completely justified in saying it because I believed it to be true. I’ve had to repent and talk to Father a lot about my heart and in doing so I went on trip down meory lane. In my late teens I had serious boyfriend for 2 years, after he broke things off I was devastated. I was sure he was “the one” and we were going to get married. We were picking out rings 2 months before he broke things off. Shortly after, I began a string of meaningless “flings” (for lack of a better word) to validate my idenity and boost my self esteem. I was emotionally detached from most of them, and they were all the exact opposite of what I really wanted but they wanted me and that was enough for me. But when I got pregnant something happened, God got my attention. As I contemplated whether to keep the baby or find adoptive parents God did an amazing work in me. He told me one day that if I kept her, he promised to take care of us always. So 6 years later he has been true to his word (Duh, he’s God) So I’ve been single the whole 6 years with a few dates sprinkled in and 2 mess ups that I regret to this day. But I’ve watched several “men of God, ” or at least I thought they were, end up with women who weren’t….well, what they said they wanted. So to my eyes, “All the good ones were taken”. I have no idea what hapened to those couples but I’m learning to focus on me and my worth in God and not in whether I’m single or seeing someone. My worth was defined by men who did not have the heart of God, I was completely disposable and I was ok with that! As a parent though it’s different, I am her role model. How I see myself will be how she sees herself, I can fake it as much as I want but eventually she’ll catch on. I often wonder “What’s wrong with me? Why am I not married yet? What do I need to do to make myself better?” But guys are not attracted to insecure and that’s what I am struggling with. So what I want, is to really value myself and as hard as it is, I choose to belive that there are still some goood ones out there and that I deserve him, that he will be lucky to have me, and that we will be perfect for each other because thats how God designed us. And I will wait however long it takes. I will hold onto my values and my standards and I. Will. Wait. Because I am worth it. (Thanks for that slogan L’oreal) So. All this to say, thank you Melissa!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have had such a profound impact on my life in such a short amount of time and I think it’s fabulous! Please continue to let God use you…you have something so incredible and I’m grateful you’ve chosen to share it and not hide it.

    Reply
  29. This post has been in my queue to read ever since you posted it and it is absolutely fantastic! I’ve definitely said at least once in my lifetime that all the good ones are gone or taken or non-existent. Thank you for your beautiful words and powerful reminders of what it means to be that woman for the right reasons! Our beauty as women comes from the strength we find in God and if it doesn’t come from Him then it isn’t going to last! Thanks again =)

    Reply
  30. Jason

     /  July 26, 2012

    Good word, thanks for sharing. I relate

    Reply
  31. What a fantastic post. I consider myself to be so lucky to have come through that time period relatively unscathed, having married the one and only guy I ever “dated” (although I definitely had my lessons to learn on clinging too hard to not-being-single and releasing the relationship to God). But I see my sister struggling with this issue so much and, at this point in time, she seems utterly blinded to what she is doing to herself and her children in this mindless pursuit of marriage. It breaks my heart and I pray every day she will come to the realization that all the good ones aren’t taken and just cause they pretend they are “good” doesn’t mean you have to rush ahead before confirming they are…

    Reply
  32. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and your life with us! Lately I have realized how much I need to (as a wise woman, Sarah Swafford once told me) “become the women of my dreams and I’ll attract the man of my dreams.” That woman is exactly what you described above, confident in her relationship with God, and in the fact that her beauty and worth comes from Him and Him alone. And convinced that God has an amazing plan for my life. I just need to be patient and wait for Mr. Right. I’m definitely going to share this post with my friends who are feeling the same way. Thank you again for sharing!

    Reply
  33. Great post! As Sheila Gregoire noted: “You have to BECOME the kind of person you want to marry.” At nearly 43, this has been a major struggle for me, and something I am still wrestling with:

    http://www.gregdonner.org/thoughts/thoughts6.html

    It doesn’t go away as you get older. God created us for companionship and intimacy (Genesis 2:18, Proverbs 18:22), and waiting is incredibly difficult.

    Part of the struggle for singles following Christ lies in the logistics of just being able to meet other singles. I realize God can take care of that, but we need encouragement and opportunities to interact with others; loneliness is a frightening place to be.

    Reply
  34. Amazing post! So glad I found your blog 🙂

    Reply
  35. Jason

     /  November 3, 2012

    Thank you…and a WOMAN said this! I am looking for that “Proverbs 31” woman, your essay really re-inspired this “Godly “man. Thanks!

    Reply
  36. Peregrinus

     /  November 3, 2012

    In response to Lily who posted on July 16th 2012, not sure if you will ever see this, but would you ever consider a man who was non-religious but had strong morals? 🙂 Just a curiosity!

    As to the piece itself, very nicely written melissajenna. 🙂

    Reply
  37. Bob

     /  November 3, 2012

    This issue has more to do with looks and appearances than most would care to admit. There’s PLENTY of good men out there!…Problem is, most of them aren’t “hot”. The man who looks sexy but treats them poorly always wins out over the average looking guy with the stellar personality. I see this same behavior time and time again. It is the RULE, not the exception. The conventional reasoning that says “women are less visual than men are” really rings quite hollow when we men see the exact opposite behavior on a daily basis.

    I used to be very plain looking and didn’t have much luck in dating. I always made female _friends_ very easily, but remained perpetually single as none of my friends saw me as anything more than that. My attempts at trying to meet women outside my social circle never produced any results, either. Then one year, on a hunch that my looks were the problem, I took up bodybuilding and saved up for extensive cosmetic and orthodontic surgery. 4 years and $56,000 later, I look like a completely different person and have no problem getting dates. Finally, after a lifetime of nothing but self-esteem crushing rejection, I am now worthy of love and affection just like everyone else. I finally feel human.

    Want to know why “sexy” men are typically assholes? The typical “sexy” man out there know knows full well that if he didn’t have his looks, y’all would dismiss him outright and treat him poorly. That girl might be sweet as pie to HIM, but when he sees her turn around and be a total b*tch to guys who’s only real flaw is “ugliness”, well, he looses respect for her real quick. The hotties are watching how you interact with the other guys. Keep that in mind. Words are hollow. Men watch your behavior instead. Girls that are long term candidates are ones with a PROVEN track record of not judging guys by their looks, otherwise she gets slotted into the “good for one thing only” category. We don’t want someone who will divorce us once we age and lose our looks.

    Reply
  38. Zee

     /  November 27, 2012

    You’re not just shouting into the wind. Your words have reached deep into my heart. You are His beloved. Thank you for choosing to speak against the deafening sound of this fallen world. Your vision, though probably unrealistic, is definitely possible through God’s grace and love. He has promised Revelation 21:4, “the old order of things has passed away.” Let us hold out for that His return. Keep being blessed to be a blessing!

    Reply
  39. HI MJ,
    I was led to you via Fix-it as I looked into fixing an iPhone with volume button problems. I loved your clear speech patterns and sincere interest in helping us with our tech problems. When I checked out your Blog and saw your Faith section, everything became clear! The spark that drew me to you was of the Lord. I am a Christian, a husband, the father of four grown children (23, 25, 28, 30), and a Bible teacher from Houston, Texas. I only browsed this section and a couple of comments, but I am so proud of the woman of God you are becoming and so excited to see God blessing your faithfulness to Him.

    I have one daughter (28) and she has lived in Las Vegas for the last seven years and is struggling with her faith, her life and her surroundings. I continue to pray for her and recently she has been planning on moving back to Texas and has broken up with the love of her life who has chosen his growing faith walk over the chaos spilling over from her struggle with party addiction and self absorption in the midst of sin city. She hasn’t changed her lifestyle or really even seen any reason to change even though she is brokenhearted over the breakup. Please pray for her to see how her self protecting, selfish behavior is hurting her relationships and how the Father can restore broken relations and broken lives. Perhaps she will take advantage of counseling and other means of support to mend her heart and her relationships as you have. I hope to read more on your life and get to know you better.

    I will put you and your husband & daughter on my prayer (and praise) list, for your new job, your family life and for your ministry to the broken who fear they cannot be made whole or good enough. Such were most of us! Thank God for sending His Son Jesus, that we might be made whole…that we might be set free!! Thank God for fellow believers; sharpening and encouraging each other, even as we now are doing!

    Your Brother in Christ,
    Stephen

    Reply
  1. Let’s Be Friends « Swing For The Fences
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