I woke up with a caffeine headache. A pressing need to clean everything in my house. Figure out the meaning of my life. And try not to worry about my boy and driving troubles.

Shouldn’t take that long, right?

Sometimes it’s so wonderful to be an idealist.

You see the best in everything. Your heart pounds as the golds, blues and rose colored clouds sweep across the sky, mixed in with the shimmer of sunlight as it dips below the horizon. Eyes dazzling on a walk through a small town, with its enchanting brick sidewalks, pumpkin patches and bursts of autumn leaves mix together a kaleidoscope of fall.

An idealist sees the worst in herself, too. And feels it deeply.

I’ve been working through lately how I take in this world and how easy it is to feel overcome by everything that happens to me. But the truth is that God is in control. Those aren’t words that I recite to sound religious, they’re words I believe and want to live out.

It’s astonishing how much of an impact my date had on me yesterday. Not in a good way. But still, I couldn’t help but being deeply impacted by what happened.

You see, I went on a date with a boy I don’t like.

Before you stop right there and turn off your internet browser, or worse, switch back to MSN (you know you love those news updates about Trump and Hillary), please bear with me.

I went to a party last weekend. One where I dressed up as Hermione, showed up early, where screaming took the place of chatting (over the music blaring from the speakers), and met a boy.

You have to understand, I don’t play with hearts. I don’t see love as a game. I don’t ever want to just date a guy because I’m desperate for attention. Want affection. Am overcome with loneliness. None of those are valid reasons. They never should be for any single girl. But when you’re single, dating rules aren’t black and white. Sometimes they’re gray.

And a cute guy asks you out, and he has a really exciting great job and you know you’ll get a free meal out of it and so, what do you do but say yes?

The sixteen year old me would not have understood this. Maybe not even the twenty four year old me.

I want to tell you that it went well. That I gave him a chance and he surprised me. Swept me off my feet with his dreamy eyes and his cavalier demeanor. I want to tell you I fell for his laugh, his contagious smile, his chocolate brown eyes.

But that would be a lie.

You see, love can’t be forced.

I know, you want a good love story, but not all stories include them. Romance can’t be lit easily like a fire. It’s just about as simple as deciding whether to save another person’s life at the risk of your own. It’s frustrating and perplexing and painful. You debate if you should do it just to make that other person happy. Your thoughts wage a war against your emotions. And sometimes logic wins. But logic doesn’t equate to compatibility. Or harmony.

What throws me even now is that while I talk about this being so difficult for me, there’s a boy who lives a couple miles away who at this second believes it to be so simple, so easy. He’s already falling for me and to him, love is just like another box to check.

I mean, what if we really ended up together, I put my misgivings behind me and jumped?

I wonder if I would forfeit a part of myself. I wonder if I would lose myself in the past or in wondering what love could really have been like. Could I fake love? Apparently I can if I’ve led him to believe there could be something between us.

I wish there was a rule book on dating. Because then my heart wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in.

I’ve come to this conclusion before, but I need to restate it again to convince myself and maybe you, too, reader. Guys are amazing. Incredible. They make you stop breathing just by looking at you. I don’t know how that exactly works. But they can also be incredibly cruel. I never knew that love could be so painful, until I fell for someone. And then tried to walk it back. Which didn’t work. And so I’ve prayed. And prayed. For release. For my emotions to move on. To just not care when I see him again. And to forgive.

I think getting over someone is like a long distance run, and that you build up your endurance to singleness and rejection the longer you have to bear with it. But it doesn’t make it any less painful or challenging or arduous.





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