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Teacher’s Reflection: Why did I stop dating since 2014?

True story. During an event for Valentine’s Day, the host just randomly picked me out of nowhere to share my love story. I have no idea how to tell my tragic love story since I know that I’m over it and I don’t want to create any spectacle of my past life. But I did and it just spilled out like “word vomit” in the tip of my tongue. I felt uncomfortable seeing the reaction of people after that. But what’s worst about this feeling are the thoughts and swirling of emotions rushing in, that led me writing this blog so I can get over it. And it got me thinking, what should I worry about that story? Why does it affect me still? And why I can’t seem to have someone new in my life despite that decision to get over that past love?

I’d been dating since I was 15. Had infatuated relationships here and then to some random guys I thought I can love and trust. I’d been in situations that led me to many compromises and wrong choices in life. And after being in a serious but complicated relationship for 7 YEARS with a guy I thought worth “fighting for”, I decided to call it quits. My love life, in summary, is a combination of messy, ugly and complicated. No love, no commitment, not even security to hold on to because I’ll never know if the person is willing to fight and stand for me.
I’m already 26 years old and It’s been a long time since that hard break up. I only prayed once and believe God that He will give this man for me, but ended up marrying someone else (that’s another part of the story). But I feel like I’m not moving forward with my life. I always had this feeling of longing for a boyfriend and a “husband-to-be,” especially when almost all of your friends, classmates, and strangers are happily in a relationship.

So why did I stopped? It’s not that I hate dating and be with someone. But I believe that there are many things in this life I realized better when I know its purpose.

I’m DONE with “toxic” type of LOVE

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There’s a line in “The Perks of being a Wallflower” that struck me for days, “We accept the love we think we deserve.” During childhood, the world makes me believed that love is something I need to earn. I’d been working my ass off pleasing people to do what they want me to do. I’d been to places in my life where abuse and rejection are so big, I need to work hard for attention and acceptance. Just for me to be invited, I need to earn that invitation. And maybe that’s the reason I fed up. I’m done being the girl who always on the wrong side of things. I don’t want to continue to ruin myself, being in the “toxic” relationships where I need to be perfect, lovable and pleasing to earn that “love I deserve.”

Dating has NEVER BEEN THE SOLUTION

My abused and rejected story led me to have that conclusion that I should have someone to save me, like a “prince charming” to the rescue. Material things, power, sex, and dating made me believe that I’m the most important person to pursue. And for almost 10 years, I thought I was the happiest girl. But being in those relationships made it worst for me to grow. I’d been so empty, desperately want to be filled. The filling part is good, but it’s not long-lasting. And the more I craved, the more I hurt myself in the process. Then it hit me, I have to let go and leave because I’d been dwelling to the wrong source. This is not worth living, and I learned that dating is not a “scapegoat” for me to run. Yes, I may have issues in life that needs to fix (even now), but I will not use other people to fix that for me. Dating for me is not the solution because I know that it will lead me to more compromises and selfishness in life. Do I still want to have someone to love? OF COURSE, I WANT TO but not in that past selfish ways anymore.

I found the LOVE that’s way better than dating can give.

I stopped the dating game last January 2014 and the first thing I want to do that time is to ESCAPE. I escaped my old environment and find new people to meet, new activities to do, and new lessons to learn. I did some “soul searching” at the age of 23, and I found nothing. I still cried myself to sleep, done many strange decisions here and then, and I found myself mentally and emotionally depressed. Saving myself, I thought, is the only option I have. I thought having a new environment, new principles, and new people will change things. But it’s not. I’m still the same depressed, lost, and lonely girl who just want to love and be loved by this world.

Those things happened because of my foolishness and wrong people, and I can’t fix it anymore; Until God came and showed Himself to me in an unusual Sunday church service last February 16, 2014. I only knew that I don’t have any choice to change my life until He invited me in. That’s the VERY FIRST invitation I had without any cost, except for His Son. The best part, I don’t even need to earn and work hard for that invitation. I just need to accept His Son, the One that I consistently sang to every church choir service, yet run away every single day. I thought I don’t need a God in my life to love me, but He opened my heart and mind to know that He’s the ONLY LOVE THAT CAN SATISFY ME. And that’s what my heart longs for a long time. A God who’s Holy and Powerful, but knew my name. A Father who kept on pursuing me even in my wretched life. And a Savior who, RESCUES, DELIVERS, RESTORES AND REDEEMS what is lost in me. I found love in a HOPELESS PLACE, and it’s the BEST LOVE EVER.

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What’s now for me? Am I going to be celibate and stay single for the rest of my life? I don’t know and I don’t care that much anymore. I don’t need to panic and be too anxious if I don’t have someone to date this Valentine’s Day or have someone to hold. I can’t neglect the fact that as a human being, I still long for a lover’s love and affection. But I know and fully convinced by this: that there’s NO GREATER LOVE that can satisfy and completes a man and woman the way God does. And it is made available EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR EVERYONE. Not to those who go to church nor to the nice people we know.

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So if ever I will have someone to date and marry soon, I just wanna let you know that I don’t need to have you and to be with you, just to be loved by you. But I want to love you the same way God loved and accept me as I am. And there’s no greater source I can get to than the His love. So I conclude this blog with this quote, “Love only makes sense with a GREAT GOD who DEFINES LOVE DIFFERENTLY.”

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