Maybe it’s because February is here, because for some reason, recent conversations I’ve had with friends keep returning to the topic of love. And when that happens, one thing is almost certain: I would have to explain why–in a time where being part of a couple is mostly the rule rather than the exception – I’ve chosen to stay single. A lot of people have told me that my standards are too high, that I’m too idealistic. So this got me thinking: Could they possibly be right? Am I waiting for someone who exists only in my imagination? Am I playing it too safe?
Maybe, in a way, I am being extra careful. I’ve made mistakes before, and I know the ache that comes from regrets over wrong decisions. But fear isn’t my motivation for waiting. It’s hope.
I’m hoping, no matter what the odds, that when the time is right, someone I can love without reservation will come. I am dreaming of a person who will be gentle with the most vulnerable side of me, the side that very few people get to see. More important than his physical appeal will be his wisdom, his tenderness, his faith. I’m not asking for someone who will go to the ends of the earth for me, but for someone who will take the effort to know me more deeply than anyone else has known me before. That may not be as easy as it seems – I am ridiculously neurotic when it comes to my personal boundaries. So I’m hoping that he will also have the patience and the sense of humor necessary to deal with the less-than-ideal aspects of my personality. And because I am obviously far from being perfect, I am praying that he will also trust me enough to let me see his flaws so that I can love him for who he is. Without hesitation, I would gladly trade all the moonlit serenades in the world for a lifetime of laughter and conversations with such a man.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for romance and the thrill of being in love. Every girl dreams of being swept off her feet. But what I’m saying is this: Without the friendship, without the spiritual bond, then all the roses and all the candlelight in the world will not make a relationship last. It’s the commitment that’s vital, more than the adrenalin rush. It’s the daily decision to make a conscious effort to put the needs of another person first. This, for me, is true love. And I know it doesn’t come easy. Love like this doesn’t grow in the time span of a slow dance or a kiss. It takes time: time to grow together, to learn about each other and to mature in generosity. So I’ve chosen to wait until I’m ready to give and to receive this kind of love. Because right now, I know that I still have a long way to go.
I know this is a risk – a risk of hoping, of trusting that somewhere in my future is the love story I am praying for. But I’m willing to take it. I’m ready to take the chance that I may be missing out on what could be the most exciting years of my life by waiting for something that I can’t even glimpse on the horizon yet. Because isn’t this what faith is all about – the substance of things unseen, the evidence of things hoped for? And I do have a guarantee that I could stake everything on: the certainty that Someone who loves me deeply is in control of my future. So from my perspective, this gamble is definitely in my favor.
It may take a long time, but that’s how it is with everything worthwhile. I don’t feel a need to rush, for what are a few years of waiting when I’m anticipating a lifetime with the right person? In the meantime, this I know: that when he finally arrives, I will know why no other person could have taken his place. I will know that I can only belong with him and with no one else. So no matter what it takes, I am saving my heart for him. I know he will be worth it.