Monday, November 22, 2010

Confessions of an Emotional Masochist

When I was a student at Concordia, many of my friends would joke around about how I was the center of the infamous "Concordia Grape Vine". If one of my friends wanted to know something about someone on campus, I was the one the would go to. Well, since I have not lived on the campus of Concordia for about three years now, I am no longer the center of the "CGV". However, I have learned that I do happen to know a lot about another community of people....


As a youth minister I hear about all of the latest drama happening at the Jr. High and High Schools. If you are either currently in that age group, or remember what it was like, you should know what that is like. Who likes who and who is dating who changes nearly hourly. It can be exhausting. But I have to say, I am honored that the youth at St. Andrew and their friends trust me enough and feel comfortable with me to trust me with the goings on in their lives. It's awesome and I love it.

But I have noticed a trend lately that causes me to look back at all of my past experiences with the opposite sex:

I then realize how much I see myself in the teenage girls around me. Or at least my high school self. WOW.... did I make some HUGE mistakes when it came to the opposite sex. I went after all of the wrong types of boys. Which makes me look like this when I see myself in the teenage girls I work with:

I see the way that they act around boys that they like and are friends with and it makes me want to shake them and yell


If you are a girl, at some point in your life you have fallen for one (or more) of these four guys: (mix and match them as you wish)

  1. The "IT" GuyWe all know him. He is the guy Molly Ringwald would have gone after in the 80's in Sixteen Candles or Pretty in Pink. He seems perfect. Plays on the football team, homecoming king, really popular and gorgeous, etc. The only problem is that he is too busy with his super-hot popular homecoming queen girlfriend or hanging out with his football buddies to even know that you exist. 
  2. Mr. Charming:  No one knows why, but this guy is surrounded by girls almost at all times. Most of his friends are girls, and no one can tell which one he is dating, which one he has a crush on, or which is simply a friend. Therefore, you are constantly getting mixed signals from him and it's incredibly confusing and exhausting.
  3. The Best Friend: He's the one you always go to when you have problems and feel as though you can be yourself COMPLETELY when you are with him. It seems like a match made in heaven. Until he says that he sees you as a sister. BOO.
  4. The Mysterious Loner: He may not be completely alone or anything, but he seems to be on the outskirts. You just can't "get" him though. Maybe he's a poet, or a musician, or maybe even a closet politician or theologian. If only you could get him to talk to you then you could figure it out....

So there they are. The four "typical" guys that girls will tend to have crushes on while they are in high  school at some point. Again, you can mix and match and one guy might have more than one description. This is just a basic overview/summary.  But I have to ask.... WHY? Why do we girls go after these types? All they do is cause us problems and heartaches, and most of them tend to be jerks. 


OK. That might be an exaggeration. Sometimes they aren't jerks. I know guys who fall into each of these categories and are not jerks at all. They are actually great people. They just may not be the great person for you at the moment. 
I have a long time friend who is a perpetual dater of jerks. Almost all of the guys she has gone out with are jerks, and all of her friends know it. Heck, she even knows it. Then when she finally goes out with someone who is nice she breaks up with him because he's too nice.  Which makes me look like the girl you see on your left. Frankly, it leaves guys confused as well.

The "nice" ones complain about this quite often. If girls want nice guys, why do they always go out with the bad boys? 

Thinking about all of this the last few days has made me EXTREMELY grateful for my guy friends. Even in my most recent "drama" when it came to the opposite sex, I realize that it could have been a lot worse. They don't play games and you always know where you stand. I wish more girls had guy friends like this. 

But... I've come to a conclusion. Girls are EMOTIONAL MASOCHISTS. It's true. In some weird, sick way, we enjoy it. Here is my theory as to why we are this way.

  1. When guys are nice, we don't know what to do with it. We are so used to guys acting like jerks, we think it is how every man in the world is. So when someone is genuinely kind, we don't know how to handle it. 
  2. We think that we can change him. All he needs is the right girl and naturally that girl is ourselves. Yeah, he may have cheated on every other girl he has dated, but WE OF COURSE are the one who will change all of that.
  3. We don't think we deserve it. We aren't pretty, thin, athletic, smart, musical, talented, or [insert your own insecurity here] enough to deserve a truly good man in our lives. 
So there you have it. Girls are emotional masochists. We are completely messed up in the head when it comes to relationships. But I have a feeling boys are too.... which either makes me feel better or a whole lot worse. I'm not sure which yet.

This is what I have to say to those four things, even though I do the exact same thing:

  1. When a guy opens the door for you or something, just say thank you and appreciate what he did for you. Just seeing you smile or say thank you will probably make his day. 'Cause he's a nice person like that.
  2. NO. You can't change him. You might be the perfect woman for him. Good for you. But that won't change him. As much as you hope it will, it won't. The change has to come from him and not you. If he has cheated on all of his previous girlfriends, or goes through girls every few weeks, he's not going to change that behavior just because he's dating you. So move on.
  3. For this one, I say yes and no. I say no because well.... when you look at it from a Christian perspective do we really deserve anything good? No, we don't. But the thing is, Jesus still died for us. We may have not deserved it, but he did. So even if we don't deserve kindness that doesn't mean we shouldn't accept it. Then I say yes we do deserve it because we are God's daughters. He doesn't make junk. If you ever think you are not enough whatever, you're wrong. God has made you enough. So when a genuinely caring, kind, and nice man comes along... don't push him off to the side. Give him a chance. 
Are those all of the answers to everything girls think about and why we do the stupid things that we do? Of course not. But that's at least my two cents. So in conclusion....

Ladies everywhere, you are wonderful and beautiful. Let's all stop making dumb mistakes when it comes to relationships. It'll save us a lot of heartache and we might even get more sleep than we have been. It'll be awesome.
It's a good thing I'm holding out for guys such as this:

Blake Mycowski - founder of TOMS shoes.

Zach Efron- if you don't know who he is, you live in a hole

Darren Criss

Derek Hough - Dancing with the Stars

Tom Felton from Harry Potter, and source.
Mark Salling- Glee

It's nice to know I have such realistic expectations for my life - right?

1 comment:

  1. Emily, you are awesome! Even at "my age" we struggle with some of these same issues.

    The key is remembering that God's grace has given us greater value than we will ever know. We are worth being loved and respected by everyone, including the "right" man.


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