As a precursor, this post contains content which is not graphic by nature, but does disclose on my ideas and findings during my motion towards sexual purity. The entirety here is geared towards men, and much of the language used here would not be easily voiced towards a female audience, knowing the respective and natural differences we hold between the two genders.
It’d be easy to become objectifying with how I talk about women here. I can’t speak about this subject without stating truths that most men pursuing Godly relationships think when considering who they may want to be with, but I’m still going to watch my words, knowing that I can’t lock out non-males from reading this. Great. I’m also going to be talking about the “mistakes” that I’ve made in past relationships. This is not me saying that the women I had been with were bad people by any stretch of the imagination; I am merely saying that my actions were hurtful in nature. I shouldn’t have been with them, knowing now that those pseudo-relationships inherently were created through my own manifested brokenness as a man.
As a recovering sexual addict, there are many things that I’ve always been able to write off about myself as being my own unique crosses that I am doomed to carry. As time has gone on, I’ve tried desperately to find truth in what I thought many of these things were, and now after countless months of berating myself over being too “girl-crazy,” I’ve finally spent enough time in singleness and prayer to be confident enough to detail the gutter I think many males (if not all people) fall into emotionally with what they long for in relationships.
So, to be clear, I have messed up here. In return, I have time and time again found myself having to sit down with girls, explaining to them why I’ve suddenly changed my mind about wanting to be with them, or that although we were moving towards dating, I had turned it around completely after spending any time away from them. It’s so hard to even begin to explain how wrong I was to chase after those girls all those times, since I didn’t understand what it was that was bringing me to that point. I hurt them all, finding myself calloused by “righteous truth” in knowing that I shouldn’t be with them. Then, for a time afterwards, I find it satiating my hunger for true relation in knowing I had failed.
There was usually a cycle I followed, which contritely breaks down my hurtful actions towards these poor girls.
- I meet a girl who I think seems perfect for me.
- I am rejected by said girl, or realize that me being with them seems nearly impossible. (This is usually them seeming “out of my league,” dating someone else, them being emotionally unavailable for being in a relationship, or just outright turning me down.)
- The rejection or impossibility gives me a sense of challenge, mystery, and plain “grass is greener” syndrome. If I can’t have it, I want it more.
- I spend time dwelling over this challenge, overthinking the situation, and in accordance, removing myself from prayer since I know (deep down) that this “pursuit” is NOT what God has in mind for me, or any man, at that.
- I either decide to quit the chase, or after they accept, God hits me with the truth of the situation, and I have to end things.
If you can relate to poor relational cycles you feel unable to break as well, but your pattern simply looks different, it could be said that the pains, fears, insecurities, hurts, and traumas that you have been fed throughout your life have altered you in a way to simply search for completely different things than what I’ve been taught to be attracted to. I promise you, these things are not unique, taboo, or perverted towards society. The enemy does a great job of convincing us that by holding and suppressing those attractions, we make them less “wrong,” and that it is an us issue instead of it being a result of the cards we’ve been dealt.
By now, this might sound like a Christian recap of Freud’s motivational theorems, but there is truth in much of our past manifesting in a contorted form of the pure sexuality God has given us. I can most easily demonstrate this by getting real vulnerable and sharing some of the understandings about what I have been taught to seek after by the world.
First, I am attracted to non-Christian girls. As a broken Christian, there will always be a part of me that believes I wouldn’t have to worry about my imperfect Christianity around a non-believer. They wouldn’t judge my lack of all the things I believe I lack at times.
The lie associated with this: I’m not good enough for a “good” Christian girl.
I am attracted to girls who don’t care for me in a Godly manner. This comes from the childhood belief that I needed to work to earn respect or care from anyone, and so I have spent time after meeting girls who seem uncaring in attempting to eventually impress them.
The lie associated with this: I’m not worth being treated well.
I am attracted to girls who are thin and very fit. This comes from a childhood riddled with the bullying I received for being overweight. You can only be told that being fat sucks so many times before you start to believe it.
The lie associated with this: I have to find a girl who fills in the gaps that I was never able to fill myself.
I am attracted to girls who I feel are incredible difficult to win over. As I stated before, the hunt for that girl who is dating someone or who is completely uninterested is possibly the most hurtful of them all. This comes from my constant fight for my parents’ affection.
The lie associated with this: Important things MUST be fought for; they can’t be given.
I am attracted to girls who are emotionally fragile. Another incredibly hurtful aspect fed by the “wounded deer” analogy. I’ve always wanted to fulfill the savior role for someone else every time I’ve failed to accept what mine has done for me.
The lie associated with this: Emotionally stable girls have no reason to date me, and emotionally unsound people are loyal and dependent.
You have these things. Some will disagree, some will say I’m overthinking it, and others will have completely different attractions. That being said, you do have these things in yourself, as a real, air-breathing, human male. We have all been put down, beaten, insulted, and traumatized in ways that cause our thoughts and desires to be shifted towards habitualities that are hurtful to yourself and others. Other than the pain we bring others with being attracted to them for the wrong reasons, these skewed thoughts manifest in hooking up, denial, God-less relationships, pornography, fantasizing, and a complete feeling of hopelessness.
When we begin to understand the reasons we think and believe these things (the things I shared took me three years), our lives change radically as we become able to understand where we’ve come from in our strive for purity. It’s hard to make claims as to what God wants for us specifically in a significant other outside of how we’ve been told to treat our spouses, but it’s pretty easy to know what we shouldn’t have.
The girl I need will go against all the things I listed as what the world has tried to get me to like: I need a Christian girl who loves me in a Godly way, accepts herself and I for who we are, doesn’t withhold herself, communicates well, and is emotionally secure in who she is in God. Further, I have no doubt God has that person in mind for me already, in a similar manner that he does for you, too. Until then, those manifestations of the associated feelings must be worked through on a personal level with God alone.
Guys, it’s hard. I have felt myself wanting to give up, fail, and fall into the numb embrace of my past clawing those familiar scratches in my back that have long since scarred. The enemy will throw his worst at you to keep you from the realization of what a true Godly relationship, or singleness, looks like, and I believe that that true goodness is drawn from the clarity of our own minds. I can’t tell you to stop taking second glances at girls or reverting to old websites that make us cringe at the thought of them being shown. Treating the symptoms doesn’t work, and they will continue to plague your life until you ask God to reveal the old, childhood noise that keeps you stuck in your rut.
Get real, get on your knees, and ask God how you can stop harming yourself and all the girls that we’ve hurt. And if you need help, or just a push in the right direction, message me. Your hurts are not unique, and we can’t do it alone. Amen, brother.