A few years back one of my good friends wrote a song called, "Expectations, Realizations." I have been privileged to perform the song with him at a few venues over the years, but the meaning of the song never really took hold until recently. The popular chorus line states, "expectations rarely equal realizations," also meaning reality. Now, this is not to say that we shouldn't have big dreams and standards for ourselves in life (face it, I'm a theater teacher so I am ALL about dreaming big!) but there is a point where we must also recognize and embrace reality. Sometimes reality gives you an even happier or more peaceful outcome than a lack of acceptance for reality. Also, sometimes I believe that we cheat ourselves and others by being unrealistic in moments when it is necessary.
This is only a PORTION of what I wanna talk about. It all ties together- promise. :)
A few days back I was horrified to hear a break-up story from one of my friends. Incredibly, I have a similar story in my past... We'll get to that. The "break-up" goes like this.. A boy and girl had been dating for around three years on and off. Some may say that I am issue within itself, but I say everyone's timing is different and unique. Finally things came to a head for these individuals and it was brought up, "is this really going anywhere?" That is when this response from the boy came out:
"I'm just concerned I may not be attracted to you in ten years because you like food so much."
Well, that was strike one times eight million over. Talk about taking someone's self-esteem and shattering it like knocking icicles. Talk about the conversations and statements like this being the reason that THOUSANDS & THOUSANDS of girls have eating disorders or hate themselves/their bodies. Talk about the reason that some girls try to be overly sexy and just perpetuate the issues with sexual addictions (or just having sex too young) that you would/should NEVER want your mothers, sisters, or daughters to take on for themselves. Talk about a mindset that perpetuates the mindset that women are just bodies or sexual creatures. He continued to talk about if they had kids she wouldn't feed them right... The conversation went on, but I was stuck on the statement above....
"I may not be attracted to you in ten years because you like food so much."
First issue: IF you argue that this is just a cop-out because he wasn't into her, WORST COP-OUT EVER! Be a man. Be a woman. Have the balls to say what the REAL issues are about.
Second issue: IF this is him being real and saying what he really felt, I believe there is a way to be blunt and honest without being distasteful and cruel. We have to remember that words are powerful. Words are either your band-aid to the wounds created or the salt poured onto the wound to make is seep open. You might create the wound by saying goodbye to someone, but let's not bury the person in salt.
Third issue: The statement above in general. You "might" not be attracted? She "might" gain weight? (Keep in mind, homegirl is THIN and GORGEOUS.) With that kind of thinking you're planning the weddings to your third and fourth wives while at the alter with your first wife. We need to plan for the future - I get that completely. However, there is something to be said for having trust and faith in the Lord - and in another human being. There is something to be said for looking at more than JUST the physical.
"Being “in love” and attracted to a person is a good start, but clearly not enough."
-Thomas B. Holmes
Attraction IS important! Attraction IS necessary! Attraction IS part of a successful and happy marriage! I am not in anyway undermining or devaluing the importance of attraction... With that being said, I was speaking with my mom the other day on the deck and asked if she was attracted to my dad when they got married. This was two weeks ago and for some reason, I just asked. She kinda laughed and said, "Well, yea..." I said, "Well, I don't know I assumed so, but I didn't know if it was like really, really attracted." Haha! Yep, I don't know where that came from, but I asked. She laughed again and said, "It just seems so juvenile when I think about all that we've been through. Yes, I was attracted to him, but it's more than that... It's more than butterflies when I see him or thinking he's cute... We've been through so much together now and I'm attracted to him WAY past the physical."
"A happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion." - Gordon B. Hinckley
Love takes on a new meaning as you go through time and you realize that the physical attraction becomes secondary to all the reasons you're really staying with another person. You LOVE them, and hopefully through the attraction physically might change and hit high or low spots, you wouldn't want to leave them because you see them through new eyes. Your eyes should change in marriage.... I'm not saying get frumpy and gain weight once you're married. Again, attraction is important... but I think that there's just so much more to marriage than my future hunk-o-rama's looks. Attraction can spark a relationship, AND keep it going.... but it CHANGES. Your relationship becomes so deep that at your physical lows you can look at all the reasons you love them and just not focus on that - they serve you, they make you laugh, they take care of you, they take care of your children, they carry intelligent conversation with you, they carry dumb conversations with you, they make you a better person, they strengthen your testimony, they know you better than anyone else and they just get you....
... and you know each other so well that if that was more important to you, you could work on getting fit together.
The issue isn't him saying as much him THINKING it in the first place. He might not have meant it to be so negative, but that's what worries me the most. That kind of thinking.... the lack of trust in her and the overwhelming focus on the physical is what worries me most. It worries me because I have a LOT of male friends who have made similar comments to me about others. It worries me because I've had more than a handful of girls have things like that said to them. Now, I can say this because right now in my life, I am 100% confident in who I am, I like who I am (body and all), and I do not mean it as a put-down. I am a bit more to love. If a man said that to me, it would hurt and be wrong... I would be angrier at the situation. However, I still find myself angry with this situation and it's not even regarding me... Why? First, because if someone thin and gorgeous has that said to her, how can those of us with actual curves even stand a chance?! If the focus is so much on the physical there are only so many men around here who dig a girl with curves.... I've had enough of my guy friends tell me that when speaking of other girls. If you think when you talk I believe it "doesn't apply to me," guess what - it does boys.... It applies to all us girls and we know it.
It's just sad that you can't see past a body-image.
Second, you make me worry when you're so focused on the body image about the world we live in... a world so focused on sex. It's in out music like CRAZY! It's in our movies and TV shows WAY more than it use to be. It's all over with pornography - and that addiction is skyrocketing like mad with each passing day. It just makes me sick to think that sexuality has been twisted.
I have enjoyed working out and toning my body a bit more.... I am striving in my life to be healthier and yes, thinner, because it makes me healthier. It is NOT so that a guy will like me or so I will look better naked. THAT is why I have actually been able to lose some weight... and when I forget that I plateau.
Sidenote (but not so sidenote): This applies both ways... If, ladies, you are doing the same thing in your dating, then shape up and stop the shallow drive around the lot. I just see it WAY more in men and so I'm addressing the frustration and concern here... on my blog... cause I can.
The point: Look past the physical. I didn't say don't look AT the physical. Being attracted to someone is important, as stated before... However, look PAST that and see what is beneath their body and skin. What makes them a beautiful person and not just a beautiful body.
If the focus is so much on what I may or may not look like in lingerie, underneath covers, in a shower, or wherever (I'm talking about SEX people!), and not on my heart and what I have to offer you one human being to another... one child of God to another... than I am glad I'm still on the market and lookin' for someone who understands what marriage, love, and relationships are really about. I'm not holdin' out for a hero (though that would be okay too).... I'm holdin' out for one of the simple, good ones. I'm holdin' out for someone who knows I am more than my body.
Song of the Day: For those who know me well, you know that I really love Sara Bareilles. I love how she encourages people through words to feel and grow. She is an incredible artist with an amazing voice... and she had a new CD come out recently! Needless to say I was elated - ELATED! Thus, here is her newest single, "Brave." It's applicable in being brave and embracing who you are ladies (and gentlemen)! To all the girls who have felt the "backlash of somebody's lack of love" or had words used as a "weapon or a drug" on you... BE BRAVE. Enjoy!