The biggest lessons in life are often the most painful.
While I was in Greece, I met a man who gave me butterflies while also bringing out a deep sense of calm in me. There was something about him that immediately drew me to him, and to this day I still can’t figure out what it was. We spent hours talking together one night, and even though he agreed to see me the next night, he cancelled for unknown reasons. I had to leave Greece soon after meeting him, but while I was in Austria I decided to fly back to see him before I went home. I couldn’t shake him. I booked my flight and my hotel and flew to Athens the next day.
While I was there, we only spent two hours together. Before he left, he promised he would see me again tomorrow, my last day in Athens. When the day came, I received a message from him saying that he was sorry, but he couldn’t make it. He knew he promised, but he had an important basketball game to watch with his friends. I was crushed. I understood that he had other commitments, but it was the fact that he made me a promise that he broke so readily. I cried that night, the last night of my four month trip, not only because I was disappointed, but because he was just another guy, another heartbreak, another, “What’s new?”
Being at home has given me a lot of time to process this and there have been some deep realizations that have unfolded. I’m talking brick-in-the-face realizations. First, I realized that I need a man who is going to be reliable, whose word is his bond. I need a man whose yes is just as good as a promise. Secondly, I realized that I don’t often like someone, but when I do I go all out. I give too much away too fast. With my first love, I flew to Wellington to see him. With my first boyfriend, I drove every time to his place to see him for the four months we were dating. And now, with my first overseas heartbreak, I flew internationally to see him only for one night. I gambled everything with these men while they had nothing to lose. I know some may see my efforts as desperate, but honestly, I don’t think I’m a desperate person. I’m actually really proud of how much risk and vulnerability I pour into love.
However, risk and vulnerability must be balanced with patience and discernment. You must love fully and you must love well, but you also must wait to see if he is worth your love first. He must meet you halfway. You can’t do all the work yourself. After all life, and love, is all about balance.
It was a painful and expensive lesson that I believe God needed me to go through to truly wake me up. It was as if he was saying to me, “Jenny, I’m so proud of the way you have learned to be vulnerable in your love, but you must wait for a man to earn that precious part of yourself first.”
Lesson well and truly learned.