A few months ago I read a magazine article about the “ideal American woman, and on the outside the image looks pretty good—prestigious 9-5 job in the outskirts of New York City; dressed in Valentino and Jimmy Choo; dancing through life with the self-confidence that only comes with complete control and authority. But then I read her story.
She already had the job, although she was not as high up the ladder as she was when she emerged at the end of the story. She had the “perfect” relationship. She certainly never thought she’d be one of those people. But she was. She met a guy at work. She didn’t have self-control. After a year of lies, she finally came clean, but the relationship with her husband was ruined. He left her. Over the next ten years, she promised herself that she would never commit to anyone again. Oh, she ventured into relationships, but they never lasted long. She focused on her career, and people came second. She would claim that now she is living the quintessential American dream: good job with great pay, relationships when she wants them, and the authority to rule her own life and do with it whatever she wants without regard for anyone else. She has removed all responsibility.
At first glance, this scenario may seem ideal. The woman can enter into relationships that provide her security and comfort and companionship and not be heartbroken when the relationship ends, whether it be her doing or his. For a while I’ve been thinking the same way. I’d love it if I could have a guy “best friend”—someone to talk to when I’m lonely, someone I can rely on to “be there for me” when I have no one else, someone to take for granted. Most importantly someone I won’t fall in love with. Who cares what our friendship does to him as long as I’m not hurt?
First of all, whoever thinks like this is completely selfish and, therefore, will be miserable. Second, this ideal is impossible to achieve. What goes up must come down. No one can get away without facing consequences. This woman may seem strong, smart, and independent, but she needs people to depend on, she needs people to give her advice, she needs people who will love her and let her love them. We all need other people. We are not meant to be solitary creatures. God created us to need communion.
I am not ashamed to love.