Day Count- 79 down 287 to go.
So, I’m back from the road trip with my mom and sister. And let me just say, there are some major stories to tell. And I will get to those later. But for some reason I feel like this takes precedence today. I’m not sure why… just something that’s been weighing on my mind for a few days.
A couple of years ago, when I had just moved home and had pretty much given up on a ‘good guy’ ever being interested in me, I signed up for a Christian dating site. I figured it would be a good way to get back out there without much room for major disappointment. Boy was I wrong.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. So here goes- I signed up for this dating site just to kind of see what was out there. I was kind of leery about the whole thing to begin with. I had been majorly burned by men in the past, most of them taking advantage of my vulnerability after my relationship with Voldemort (he-who-must-not-be-named… i.e. really bad ex). The problem was, even the ‘Christian’ guys that I knew were playing on my emotions to get what they wanted. I was in a pretty bad place, but I resolved to see what else was out there. Living in a small town, it’s hard to meet good people that I didn’t know in high school and I thought that a dating site might be the answer.
This particular dating site had chat rooms for different age groups. And despite the 20-somethings being filled with people that acted more like highschool cliques than anything else, I managed to make some friends. And then Texas Boy came along. He was a major flirt- especially with me- and we really hit it off.
And he lived in Texas.
That might not be so bad…. if I didn’t live in New York.
Despite the distance, we became fast friends. We chatted most nights, we played games online together, we texted during the day. To be honest, it was more than a friendship. But it was also less than a relationship.
You see, Texas Boy made it very clear that he didn’t want a long distance relationship. But that didn’t stop him from flirting with me, from spending most evenings chatting and having fun and growing into a deeper friendship. This went on for a good eight or nine months. We really got each other, in a way that I hadn’t felt a connection in a long time. He was a ‘Southern Gentleman’ and an all around good guy. I was convinced that somehow, some way, we could make things work.
He told me about how if we lived closer together he would ask me out on a date in a heartbeat. I thought that maybe our circumstances would change. After all, I had other friends that lived in Texas and surrounding areas. Friends that had told me on numerous occasions that I should move down there. I didn’t have much holding me in New York. My family was there- but I had lived away from them before.
I visited my friend Courtney in July of that year. Texas Boy and I had been texting and chatting online for about 6 months. I was there, in Texas. I was a mere 8 hours from where he lived. My skin tingled as the airplane touched down on the runway in Houston. “This is it,” I kept thinking to myself. “He’s going to want to get together.”
And there were a few nights where we talked about it. But when he told me that he had to work and couldn’t get out of it, I knew that it was never going to happen. I tried to resolve myself to just be his friend. To stop thinking of him as a potential boyfriend. But it wasn’t easy.
You see, by the time I made that resolve, we had already blurred the lines.
The bridge says:
Ready to run, still holding on, we just blurred the lines. Gave all we could, took all we need, we just wasted time.
Man, oh man, how I wish Texas Boy could have heard this song. And before any of you yell at me that he told me he didn’t want a long distance relationship, trust me… I already know. Because 2 months later when he stopped texting me, and then his relationship status on Facebook changed to ‘in a relationship’, the fact that he didn’t want a long distance relationship became abundantly clear.
And even though I knew that he was never mine, I still felt a pang of loss. Because it was then that even the potential became null and void.
Throughout my life, there have been several other instances of blurring the lines. Friendship, relationship, right and wrong, it doesn’t matter what it is. Blurring the lines always seems like a good idea at the time. But when you give all you can, and take all you need, Jeff LeBlanc is right that all you do is waste time. Texas Boy and I both wasted our time. I wasted my time with what I thought could be. We both needed to feel special to someone. We both took that emotional intimacy when we needed it most. And the end result was a feeling of loss and a pang of regret. It left me with the persistent and unanswered question of what could have been.
It’s so hard to think that for the better part of a year, he was one of my closest friends. And then he got a girlfriend and dropped me from his life, further solidifying the fact that we blurred the lines to more than friends.
The sermon series in church over the last few weeks has been about guard rails. What they are tangibly and how we can insert them into our own lives to protect us from dangerous situations. I think I’m starting to realize more and more that doing what I’ve always done- especially in blurring the lines with friendships- does way more harm than good.
I think that’s another reason why this year means so much to me. It’s a guard rail of sorts- keeping me away from potentially dangerous situations. And while this ‘guard rail’ of no dating isn’t something that is especially Biblical, it IS something that I need in my own life to keep me on track. I could live my life blurring the emotional lines between friendship and relationship. But what good would it do? Why would I want to continually put my heart through that? It’s no better than jumping from one relationship to the next. And if I’m blurring the lines that way, what’s to stop me from doing it in other areas? Once you start saying yes to something, saying no to the next thing becomes that much harder. It’s like a snowball on a downhill slope. As the situation gets bigger, so does the consequence.
Ok. So, that’s my story of Texas Boy.
I’ve still got lots of writing to do about my roadtrip.