What’s it like on Valentine’s Day if you’re divorced? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I was never a fan of dating. I always hated having to go through the process. Expose your heart to a girl and get it trampled on as she chased after some guy who was “hotter.” Not understanding how to read social cues is a big problem. Realizing you’re very different from other guys in that you don’t have the muscular appearance at all, don’t care about sports, have an odd diet being on the spectrum, etc.
When I was with my ex, I was relieved in many ways to know I didn’t have to go through that again. What a joy to have someone in your life who loves you for you. Valentine’s Day became a day I looked forward to as I got to show love to the woman in my life especially that day, though I always did that anyway.
Last year, I knew I was heading for divorce and was already living with my parents, but I didn’t tell you all that. I had no wish or desire to shame my ex until the news somehow came out and I still don’t have any such desire. This year is different.
Scripture tells us it’s not good for a man to be alone. Many of us men know that passage very well. We would love to have someone in our lives. I hate sleeping alone. I hate having no one to share my life with. I hate having no one special I can give extravagant gifts to. I miss a hug, a kiss, and the joy of lovemaking.
Recently though, my friend Sam Andreades sent me his latest book Dating With Discernment and I have already started it and find it a great read. One part I’ve read is all about guarding the gold. That includes steps such as avoiding sexual intimacy before marriage, but it’s also about how you see yourself.
It’s the need to see yourself as gold worth being loved by someone special and able to love someone and I try to hang on to that. I try to remember that people who saw me with my ex know that i doted love on her constantly. I wasn’t a perfect husband by far, but if any husband ever loved his wife, it was me.
I try to remember that as we age, that that is the kind of character a good woman is looking for. I would hope someday I could find someone, naturally a devout Christian, but also one with more of an interest in apologetics this time around perhaps. I do also want to still have someone I find attractive, but I hope they will see me the same way as well.
Part of the gold is that a guy like a girl wants to know he is desired by someone. Family can love you because they are family. Friends do so by choice, but that is still missing the intimate component of a marriage. A marriage involves a love that is a giving of heart, body, and soul.
I know many of my friends are still single. I honestly think it’s harder being divorced and single than being never married and single. When you’re divorced, you think about what you’re missing and know you have had. It is also living with a cloud of rejection hanging over your head.
None of this is to be down on Valentine’s Day. I want to celebrate my friends who have love, but it is hard. Still, I have refused to give up on love and my therapist and I talk about it every time we have a session together. I know that I want romantic love in my life again though and I don’t want to hold back on getting it.
To this end, I have also got other books on learning how to do this. Even simple things like learning how to make brief eye contact and smile are helpful and I do get amazed with how many women smile back at me when I smile at them. Assuming I get to move to New Orleans for seminary, I hope I will meet some great girl in that area or in the seminary itself that I can form a relationship with.
To my friends who are single and don’t want to be, I encourage the same. Don’t like being single? Work your hardest to do something about it. Get Sam Andreades’s book and go through it. Learn how to read body language better, which I’m still working on, and talk to other guys who have marriages you admire and get their input.
For me, a woman is still a prize worth pursuing. Instead of being down on myself today, I could just use today as an emphasis to go out there and make sure my next V-Day is so much better. Wouldn’t that be more productive anyway? Yes. There is a time for mourning, but that time is not now. I have had well over a year of mourning.
To those who talk to us, please remember especially to listen to us. Platitudes don’t really help. Consider if you would say the same to a Christian couple who were faithful and heartbroken because they were trying to conceive and having no luck. It’s the best analogy I can come up with.
To my married friends, enjoy your day today. Hopefully soon, I will have a Valentine to enjoy it with as well.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)