Too Self-Protective?

21 Feb

Last night, as I was ending a meal with a girlfriend at our favorite diner, an old friend stopped by. The friend was a man with whom I share a bit of a history. My girlfriend knew nothing of this when she invited him to join us. In explaining his and my history, this man said to my girlfriend, “We flirted with dating one another.” True. Also true: At the same time, unbeknownst to me, he was already dating a friend of mine. Ultimately, all was revealed and, by the grace of God, I remained friends with both this man and with my friend whom he was seeing while flirting with me. (Got it?) Each of them moved on from my church, and the woman he was seeing became one of my closest friends. All this happened years ago.

Fast forward to the present. This man is now back at my church. I see him regularly and hold him at arm’s length whenever our paths cross. I tnhe feel bad about my frostiness and resolve to be nice, to greet him warmly, the next time that I see him. But I never seem to do it. And here is the real reason why: I am physically attracted to him. Like, a lot. He is tall and attractive and if I had a “type” it would look like him. This is a problem. Not just because of my friend, his ex, but because he still has the same personality quirks that made things difficult when I knew him years ago. He name is etched in stone on my “definitely not possible” list. Yet I’m still attracted to him physically.

This attraction is frightening for me. It reminds me of the last time I was physically attracted to someone who was “definitely not possible”, who was married. I’m reminded of how I couldn’t seem to resist him, despite his not-possibleness. We became very close emotionally (though not physically, thank God). I ended up being in a bad situation with his wife, being hurt terribly, and of having my integrity compromised. The shadow of this ill-fated attraction still looms large over my life. And this explains why my current attraction to a “definitely not possible” man has me behaving badly. I do not trust this “definitely not possible” man, and more importantly, I do not trust myself where he is concerned.

Last night it became clear that the way that I was responding to this man was hurtful to him. He thinks it must be bad blood from all those years ago. He apologized at length. He hoped I could forgive him. He wants us to turn a new page in our friendship. He was sincere and charming with a hint of flirtation. I said, I am not angry with you. There is no need for you to apologize. I am really sorry that I have been so cold to you. My attitude towards you is really not about you personally. It is about me and my baggage where men are concerned. He prays a beautiful prayer before leaving my girlfriend and me.

I want to learn from my past. I do not want to be held hostage to it. How many other men I have put-off because of my fears and unresolved guilt?

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6 Responses to “Too Self-Protective?”

  1. VeryTrue July 29, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    i certainly do blame God very much that i am still single today, and i am hoping to meet a good honest woman to share my life with since my wife of 15 years cheated on me. i was a very good, loving and caring husband that was very much committed to her as well. women have become so very hard to meet nowadays, especially the way that they have changed over the years which is not for the good at all. so i certainly will not blame myself at all since i am going out all the time hoping that i will be at the right place at the right time. it hurts me so very much to see so many men and women that were very blessed by God to have met one another and have a family today just like i would had wanted as well. i wonder why God would punish me like this since i didn’t do anything wrong to begin with, and what makes so many men and women that were blessed to have a life so special together? i am certainly no different than they are which i wanted to have a normal life as well. it is very amazing how God could be very good to certain people, and punishes other people like us which is very unfair. i guess there are so many women out there that have been so very badly abused by the men that they were with at one time, and are very afraid to meet so many of us good men that are still waiting.

    • Tired and annoyed with God December 11, 2015 at 1:49 am #

      I can certainly relate and I blame God. I don’t understand how he sits high looking low and determine you and you are worthy of having a mate. He wants you to save your self for marriage but yet he doesn’t give you a companion or mate. Are You SERIOUSLY telling me that I will never experience certain things with a partner because You haven’t
      blessed me with a mate. That’s not far. The others He blessed are no better than me, so how do He determine who gets married or not. God is so unfair. I feel He doesn’t have a right to get upset with someone who chooses not to wait til marriage because he hasn’t done his part by blessing them with a mate. Like if your God, what is so hard about giving people the person that’s right for them. If I wasn’t scared of pregnancy, I would of been done broke my virginity. That is a big big desire everyone wants to experience one day. So it’s nothing to be getting shocked about when they do it before marriage. I feel you should take this desire away if your not going to fulfill it.

  2. SingleChicagoGirl December 19, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Hi..love your blog. I don’t think you should ‘beat yourself up’ about the way you treated this guy friend. I mean, I would probably have been ‘cold’ to him too. It’s a defense mechanism and it’s okay. My thinking is, though all is in the past (his ex is your good friend blah blah blah), nothing will happen between you and him other than friendship. I think you’re justified in treating this particular guy with coldness. He flirted with you while he was seeing your friend (back in the day). Now, he’s back year’s later flirting again (kinda sorta). Something is not right about that…to me. What you may have to work on is guys that you have NO prior history with…You may be cold to a ‘new’ guy who could turn out great. However, in the case of your good girlfriend’s ex (who was your friend as well) I think you are right for putting up the defense. He needs to not be ‘pushing up’ on his ex gf’s friends. Plus, (tough love here, sorry) maybe you should not even give this guy the time of day either. There ‘are’ lots of single guys out there (we just have NOT met them as of yet lol) but there is no need for us to be ‘flirty’ with our gf’s exes. It should all stay in the past while you work on your issues with your past with men. Me personally, I don’t go backwards at my age. I feel like certain guys in my past didn’t work out for a reason and it should all be a past distance past (LOL) memory. There are too many new guys to meet.

  3. Nicole M. August 15, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    I can relate in being attracted to men who are either “off limits” or “unhealthy”. I’m learning the importance of having “character discernment” so that I can be a healthy person and have healthy relationships with others. It has become clear to me recently that because of my own issues I have been attracted to the wrong type of guy. Over and over again. But thankfully, I am now healing and choosing to not fall into those same unhealthy relationship patterns (by God’s grace!). I highly recommend “boundaries in dating” by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. They have several other books that help in becoming a healthier person. I would say be careful with this guy. He seems like he has some “stuff” working in him that could ultimately lead you to be distracted from your purpose. I am sure he is probably unaware, however that doesn’t mean he is less dangerous to your calling. God Bless 🙂

  4. Sadly Single Man. May 11, 2017 at 4:10 pm #

    Being single is just like having a disease that can’t be cured.

  5. The Ttuth Tells It All May 14, 2017 at 2:29 pm #

    It is really not God’s fault at all why many of us very good innocent men are still single today since it is the women of today that have really changed for the worst unfortunately. God really has no control at all over a woman’s behavior these days since they’re the ones to really blame for this mess in the first place since the women of today are so very selfish, spoiled, greedy, and very picky these days since they will only want the very best of all and will never settle for less either. And with all of these reality TV shows now that they have on as well as social media has made it much worse as well. The women of today have certainly changed from the old days since the women back then were very much the complete opposite of what they’re now which tells the whole story right there. Just remember it really does take two too tango nowadays which many of us men Aren’t really to blame at all.

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