Sunday, July 30, 2006

Singled out

In an effort to get to know the man behind the blog, some of my online friends have asked me why I'm so cynical about relationships. After all, doesn't the Bible tell us that "Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord" (Proverbs 18:22)? Why, then, do I have such a negative outlook on dating and relationships?

Well, let's clarify one thing here. I'm not against dating and relationships. I just don't think that the idea of it all applies to my life. People who know me outside of this blog (Imagine that. I don't spend my whole life on this blog after all!) mostly think that my 'cynicism' is a product of my failure in a certain relationship. They'd argue that I shouldn't allow one relationship disaster to affect my outlook on relationships as a whole. Normally, I would agree.

But...

The fact is: I've been in just about every type of relationship there is. I've been with an ultra-intelligent woman; and a not-so-intelligent woman. I've been with a shy, introverted woman, and an outspoken, extroverted woman. I've been with a suburban woman and a woman straight out of 'da hood. I've been with a socially conscious, righteous women and a woman who only cares about the world of celebs. I've been with a woman whom I hardly knew and a woman who I've known for most of my life. I've dated Christians and non-Christians. I've even dated interracially.

Interestingly enough, though each relationship was as different as night and day, the results would invariably be the same. I'd make that person my queen, she'd make me her court jester, and -- when she grew tired of me (or, in most cases, someone more appealing came along) -- I'd get the "You're a nice guy, but..." speech.

Every time.

It never fails.

For me, the only question became "When's it gonna happen?".

Is that the type of cycle I'm supposed to run around in for the rest of my life?

I'm slowly getting to point where I'm thinking maybe it's not in God's will for me to realize a successful relationship. Maybe this is God's way of telling me that I'm more useful to Him as a single man. That being said, my outlook on relationships (for me) is not cynical, but rather an attempt to discover the truth. I think that God blesses some people with fruitful relationships, but not others. That's not to say that He doesn't bless single people in other ways; just not when it comes to finding mates.

Paul was one of the greatest apostles in history, and he accomplished that feat without being married. In I Corinthians, he states:

"But this I say by way of concession, not of command, Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that. But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I."( 7:6-8,)

Though Paul clearly indicates that this is not a commandment from God, he does a terrific job of reminding the Corinthians that neither being single or married has a higher emphasis over the other. Rather, they are both gifts. Paul mentioned -- on more than one occasion -- that if it were up to him, the Corinthian church would all be like him (unmarried). Granted, it would be hard to imagine Paul standing up in front of my church telling all of us single cats that it's better for us to stay that way. But for people like me -- who have been torn down from relationships more than they've been built up, singleness may be the best thing to happen to us.

Cynicism? I don't think so. I like to think of it as protecting myself from hurt and hardship so that I can serve God a little more adequately.

- ACL

22 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

monique said...

Awww!

Andre, I would hope that these bad experiences wouldn't make you think that you are suppose to be single. I'm going to try to look at this from another perspective....Maybe God just means not right now. Maybe God is preparing you for that RIGHT girl. It may feel like you're going through an cycle of bad relationships, but it could mean that God is shaping and molding you for your mate. You may be single now, but does that mean you will be single forever? Even with my new single status (no tears, please)I believe the guy that God has for me is still there. I just have to make sure I'm in line with how God wants me to be.

I say hold on, she may be closer than you think :)

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre~ My GEM

Hmmmmm,,,,Hmmmmmm,,, uh why the rush ?, you are 26 years old , in school becoming what you want to be and working hard , it is a wonder you have time to look up let alone date all the "Woman" types you refer to in your post.

You being cynical or jaded as a defense against getting hurt is natural but can lead to you not experiencing the full flavour of love , In your Bio you state you would rather be rich than in love , if you ever were in love , all consuming cant live without the girl love , you would choose that . even if you dont like the end result it is best to taste life than watch it drip away.

You say you have dated this /that type of woman , putting us into catagories is predicting this type will be like this etc.....bad .....he who looks long enough will find something he dislikes , relationships feed of energy from those involved ,could it be you are not realizing but giving the women negative energy and this kills the romance , each person is a collection of lifes lessons, memories,feelings etc, not just the "Looker, or UBER smart or as you put it of a different race , obviously you have not dated/met one type , the right one for you.

As far as the Bible , it is my understanding that we are to marry to produce children and unless you are ready for that , I again ask , whats the rush?
If all roads you are travelling are producing the same result , change the road , it may not be the female but the type you are attracted to , they all must have something in common , sounds like "shallowness"
Love will come , it may not be in the form you think but it will come and as far as any woman you make your Queen , they do not deserve you unless they make you their king .
You can always become a man of the cloth, but according to your bio again celebacy would be an issue :}

Greeneyed GIRL

JD said...

NO NO NO!!!

I WILL NOT stand idly by and allow the other bloggers to allow you to feel sorry about yourself.

Fellow "Andre readers" take it from someone who knows Andre VERY well...

1. Andre is probably one of THE SMARTEST people in this world

2. Andre is VERY handsome. That picture does him NO justice. I mean, How many Black guys do you know that have gray/green eyes? Andre has a very unique style of dress. It's like "relaxed preppie", which works cause he's a nerd (like me) :)

3. Andre is genuine. Never on this Earth will you find someone with a heart like Andre's

4. He's a man of God. Okay, this probably should've been number one, but hey.

5. Andre is educated. Andre has TWO degrees and is working on his third! (Can I borrow just one of those?)

6. Andre's a gentleman and yet is for women's lib. ?????

So, you're probably saying, "Hey, this guy is damn near perfect! What's the problem?"

Problem: ANDRE DOESN'T KNOW HIS WORTH

If Andre could just realize what a bomb ass person that he is, he'd be MUCH better off in relationships.

*Going to phone to cuss out Andre about this entry*

Anonymous said...

Relationships are overrated!

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre~ My Gem
I sincerly hope you don't feel I was bashing you , I truly was trying to help .
as a testament to your friend JD
I feel a kindness from you that is very warming and inviting,outside of your handsome physical being ,you are articulate , funny and are well educated ,,sooooo ,,,,,,,,,you are a great catch and should be able to have your pick but what is the rush ,relationships are difficult to say the least , they are hard work and alot of people think it should come easy but compatability doesn't come easy on any scale .There would not be as many country songs if it did LOL.
Dont give up on love that would be a shame ,let it come to you ,(I'll be there soon HAHAHAHAHAH)Maybe you should start looking in different places , places you would never think for the right girl , she may be under your nose , under that book of course . I wish you to be loved as much as you love , and a whilrwind romance in your future .
Greeneyes

thehc said...

Hey Andre,
I think that you may be right on the money with your assumption that some of us are just meant to be single. Even though I put a high premium on Marriage for raising children, some of us should accept that we're not the marrying type, instead of forcing ourselves into something we're not cut out for. Maybe you were meant to be single so you can focus on what is obviously your gift, writing. On the other hand, I can give you a word of encouragement, just when I had given up on ever finding my soul mate, I met my wife, who I've now been happily married to for 27 years. It's your choice, but one final bit of advice, look for someone who thinks your flaws are cute, not someone who focuses on your strenghts.

Andre said...

My turn...

@ Monique: Truthfully, I don't know what type of scheme God is up to (just kidding...). But, I think that if I were getting "molded" from my bad relationships, I would have learned a new lesson after each one. Rather, I've discovered one IMMUTABLE truth when it comes to my experience with relationships: the novelty of it all wears off for THEM long before it does with me. To date, I haven't been in a relationship that hasn't ended with me being left out in the pouring rain, while the ex trods on and lives their happy lives with their richer, taller, darker, more handsome guys. Frankly, I don't think that this is the type of lesson that leads me into a solid, God-centered relationship.

Then again, I don't know HOW God works sometimes...

@ Greeny: I wouldn't say that I'm rushing anything. I think that the point of this post was to identify how maybe I need to stop placing such a high premimum on relationships; especially since they've historically left me more broken than uplifted. I think that Einstein put it best when he said that insanity was the process of doing the SAME THING over and over again, while expecting DIFFERENT results. If I continue chugging away at this relationship thing -- knowing how bad I apparently am at them -- doesn't that make me insane?

The hidden message behind my 'rather be rich than in love' statement is not that I'd chose money over love (I agree with you in saying that consumption without someone to share it with is not good). Instead, I'd rather dictate my life based on something that I can control myself. If I work hard enough and dedicate myself enough, I can be successful (or rich) in one way or another. Working hard in relationships, however, doesn't automatically equate to success. Evidenced by my history, I can pour myself into a relationship and still wind up being just the "friend" when it's all over (if, of course, the new boyfriend doesn't mind). I think I'd prefer to be in situations where the outcome is based on what I put into it...

@ JD: Where do I make the check payable?

*Note to the readers*: See, JD is on my payroll. I hired her to come to this particular post and say great things about me. Like in the movie "I'm Gonna Git U Sucka", every hero has his own theme music. In my case, I have my own cheering section.*

@ Greeny (part II): *Andre looks around the corner for a gorgeous, uplifting, insightful, green-eyed bandit. He thinks he sees her. Nope. It's just the mailman...*

Seriously, thanks for the comments and (from what it sounds like) the concern. But, I wouldn't say that I'm turning my back on the idea of love and stuff. I'm just not following it around like a lonely puppy as much as I once was. At least I'm trying not to...

I assure you. I'm not suicidal. I'm not depressed. I'm not even really that lonely.

I'm just a little more enlightened. That's all...

@ HC: Odd that a conservative (yes, you've graduated to a conservative. I read your last post. To be continued...) would shun the idea of marriage. *evil grin* Well, maybe "shun" wasn't the best word to use, but you get the point...

At any rate, I think you're correct in saying that some of us are just NOT marriage material (or dating material, for that matter). I think it's interesting to note that I've accomplished more growth in school, church (well, sometimes), and with anonymous, online interaction than I ever did in a relationship. I guess the element of rejection isn't as likely with those things as it is with being in a relationship.

I'm a defeatist or a cynic. I'm just keepin' it real...

Thanks for your comments, guys!

Andre said...

@ anonymous: I'm sorry. I think I missed you. But, I really don't know how to respond to your comment.

Uh...

Andre said...

@ HC (again): I meant to say that "I'm NOT a defeatist or a cynic..."

thehc said...

Did you skip the part where I said all three of the "Axis Of Evil"
countries have gotten worse under Bush? (sigh) There's no pleasing you Lefties.(JK) Also, I definately support marriage, but it's not for everyone, and those people should not have kids if they can help it. I guess that is a conservative point of view and one I support. After all, I'm not the Hippie Liberal you know.

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Hello Handsome Greeneyed man
Your cheering section just got a little bit bigger . <:0} (**)=pom poms LOL
If you get any boxes with airholes LOL and green eyes peeking through, its your own fault , LOL although you did give me a bogus address I forgive you LOL.

Greeneyes

Andre said...

@ HC: What fun would you be if you were one of the silly liberals anyway? Now, all I've got to do is purge that evil, sinful Conservative ideology from you and you'll be good to go...

@ Greeny: Those are the strangest pom-poms I ever saw. But, I at least appreciate the gesture (though the eyes peeking out of the box thing was a bit freaky).

Dude, what bum address are you talking about?! Let's try this again:

alouis@umflint.edu

or

alouis_1@hotmail.com

*Hoping to be forgiven...*

JD said...

Andre,

LOL at the "payroll" joke. You're getting off topic!

Andre, you know that you're a cynic. Like others said, some people are meant to be single but that doesn't apply to you and you know it. See when you meet your wife she's gonna read this and you're gonna have to say: "I wrote this a long time ago....a real long tiiiiiiime ago... in '94."

Sorry, it came on last night and I was cracking up! I had to work it in the post somehow! Post the attachment so people won't think I'm crazy!

*That post is funnier than, "I need more cowbell"*

Andre said...

Ooooh J,

You're treading in very dangerous waters by comparing the Cowbell skit to the Tupac skit. It's too close to call.

N E way, I'm not a cynic. I was cynic a long tiiiime ago. A reeeal long tiiime ago. Feel me! Ha!

Thanks for the morning latte.

Andre said...

@ Greeny/HC: You know, I just read something that you two wrote, which I somehow missed the first time around. You guys indicated that the purpose of marriage was for procreation.

I think I disagree with that, to an extent. I don't think that marriage was designed specifically for the PURPOSE of having children, but that -- instead -- having children is one of the charges given to married couples. I think there's a difference.

But, I appreciate your comments. I get where you're coming from...

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre~ MY GEM

Strange Pom Poms huh! well my drawing skills from a keyboard are a little limited ! LMAO

And As far as the BOGUS address , it was the writing (home )address I was talking about that you left on my blog, I suspect it was meant as a joke but google - ed it from your zip code,on a address finder thingy (yes technical name !:) )and it gave me some strange male penn/jail listing . soooooooo I dont know if you recall doing that but it should still be there . and I was going to mail that box with air/eye holes teehee . Dont worry I am harmless but fun !.
and by the way I learned in my faith that the primary reason for marriage is to produce children if at all possible .
hope you have a great one Andre~

Greeneyes

ajbendaña said...

what a synchronicity, here i am thinking about a lost love and how it is affecting me when i stumble upon this post. The funny thing is I had noticed it before but did not read it. I am with you Andre, if people give thier all to a relationship and dont get the same in return, you start to develope scare tissue over the places where you heart was wounded and it makes you (subconsiously) start to protect yourself from hurt and hardship.

Then I notice that once you move on you dont have that somthing (relationship) holding you back from the individual accomplishments you would have normally been striving for.

So i end my comment by stating my belief that "You dont find love, LOVE finds you."

Great post though, it sort of uplifted me abit. I dont know why though.

Andre said...

@ My long distanced, green-eyed love: If you found a jail address using the info I gave you, I don't think you google'd it correctly...

At any rate, Eve was given to Adam initally as a helpmate. When God indicated that it was not good for Adam to be alone, He created Eve for him. From there, they were given the charge to 'be fruitful and multiply'. But, marriage was created exclusively for the purpose of creating children. More than anything, having offspring is supposed to be a BI-PRODUCT of marriage. If sex creates children; and you're not supposed to have sex before marriage, it's logical to deduct that -- if done correctly -- marriage = children. But, I think it's important not to get in the habit of thinking that marriage is SOLELY for child birth. God created marriage as a way to create a people of worship unto Him. Yes that DOES include children but, if you think about it, children can be created virtually any time. But, again, I see where you're coming from...

Thanks, as always, for your enlightment!

@ ajbendaña: I would agree that it's perfectly OK to build a protection around hurt and scars. But, I think you should also avoid protecting yourself SO MUCH that you start to develop callouses around your heart; making you numb to any kind of feeling.

*I feel another blog entry coming on here*, but if you think about it: a callous is formed from repeated contact or exposure. The body essential builds a tough layer of skin to protect you from it that exposure. But, if it gets too hard, you eventually can't feel a thing. Don't get that way. You'll regret it...

Thanks for stopping by!

ajbendaña said...

agreed

joanne said...

Andre,

While you're giving people advice about how not to be "callous", I really don't see how you're not doing the same. After all, as YOU stated yourself, the Bible tells us that he who finds a wife finds a GOOD THING! Why turn away from that? Why turn away from one of God's blessings?

I'll be interested to hear your response.

green eyed girl on planet earth said...

Andre~
My GEM
I must googley you again , on address search . the listing did show up jailhouse :} so I we retrace just to see what will come up
Takke care ,you greeneyed very handsome man .:}
Greeneyes

Andre said...

@ joanne: The Bible states that find a wife is "good" thing. It never says that it's a "necessary" or "required" thing.

It would be 'good' (nay, GREAT) if I won $10 million. But it's not a necessity to have that much money to be happy and fulfilled (unless, of course, I decide to get married. In which case, 10 mil is probably not enough...)

If some woman DOES comes along for me, I'm not gonna say, "Thanks, but no thanks. I don't need a good thing." But, at the same time, I'm not going to vulnerably throw myself out there any more. It causes too much of a headache.

Thanks for you comments.

@ Greeny: For the 'stalker' in you:

I think that if you use www.zabasearch.com (the free part of it), you won't be disappointed...

Have a great weekend, my cyber love!