Here’s the thing: women can be such contradictory creatures sometimes. We say we want one thing, and then we turn around and live like our words are a lie.
I’m talking about men. Good men.
Every little girl dreams of her prince, the one who will sweep her off her feet and rescue her from life’s deadliest perils. Then those little girls are introduced more fully to this broken, harsh world we live in. And then years of hurt and heartbreak lead to despondency. We give up. Our very skin tingles with rage when anyone refers to those supposedly long forgotten childhood dreams. We don’t need men; we’re sufficient and capable and better off without them. We lower our standards. Prince Charming isn’t reality and neither are the characters Ryan Gosling plays. Real men can never live up to those standards – they aren’t good enough for that. The good ones only exist in the movies.
So we watch love stories set to the sound of sweeping music, and leave feeling destitute because for an hour and forty-five minutes, we let down our guards enough to feel. But once we wallow in self-pity for a couple more hours, we’re ready to reinforce the iron walls behind which we hide our hearts. It’s back to the not-needing, the not-feeling, the not-caring, the self-preservation. That’s the only way we can steel ourselves against the disappointments the men in our lives are sure to be.
Well, I don’t buy it [anymore].
Good men exist. In this very broken, treacherous world. Good men exist. And they’re better than the ones in the movies because they are living and breathing the same air I am, all around God’s beautiful earth. I do not, for a second, believe that God is molding me into an exquisite woman who reflects His character in order to present me to a joke of a man. I believe that if I’m doing all I can to be the best woman I can possibly be, there are men out there who are doing absolutely all they can to be the best men they can be. I believe that the kind of love I’m holding out for is not unrealistic, because it was taught to me by the author of Love himself and I know He is teaching His sons to love that way too. I believe that they exist, but maybe they’re waiting for us to live up to our own expectations; instead of telling them they’re not good enough, maybe they’re waiting for us to see what they see – that our hearts are hidden, our words bitter and accusatory, our feet constantly carrying us in the opposite direction of what we say we want. Maybe they’re waiting for us to stop running away from our desires, and stand still long enough to let them romance our wary hearts.
I believe that our standards should stand tall because there are men who meet and exceed them. Let’s stop robbing them of the opportunity to be excellent by expecting nothing but mediocrity from them. And for the sake of the hearts of all the good men out there, let’s stop assuming that because a few men broke our spirits, no one else is worth our trust. It took me most of my life to learn that; I pray your journey is not as long.
We so desperately want to be “rational” and prepare ourselves for “reality” which excludes the existence of good men. What a shame. Let’s learn to dream a little once more. I don’t believe that perfect men exist, but good men certainly do. And who would want to date a woman who is constantly either complaining about the lack of good men or her lack of need for them? I certainly wouldn’t. And here’s the other thing – if we live like we believe that good men exist, it will make us better women. Good men need good women too.
In case I haven’t said it enough already, good men exist. Don’t believe me? Here’s one. (And here again.) He’s not a fictional character from the latest chick flick. Just a living, breathing, human somewhere on this earth. And he’s not the only one. I know of many more.