It was a love story waiting to happen. I was head over heels and so was he. And, finally, after seventeen years, I was living alone. I didn’t have my mother’s strict rules to live up to, which meant that I could date David with no hassles. I wanted to feel all those wonderful things I’d read about in romantic novels, seen in romantic movies and heard of in romantic songs. My time had finally come! I was excited by what I was feeling. David was practically mine. That’s how I was feeling when I sat down and began to type...
You are not the guy for me. You want a girlfriend, someone you can enjoy your time with. Well, I want a husband, someone I can spend the rest of my life with. I’m sorry, but the person I choose to date will be the person I intend to marry. He will have the same faith, values and future goals that I have, and unfortunately, we both know you are not that person.
I wish you all the best with your dating...
It was the shortest yet longest email I had ever written. And, after a long internal struggle, I finally hit the send button and chose to follow my dream instead.
Why do such an unexpected thing? See, I was a Christian and David wasn’t. We didn’t share the same faith. I wanted to do the Work of God and he wanted to pursue a career in engineering. We didn’t share the same goals. We were simply not a match. So, even though I experienced all those wonderful feelings and had a promise to experience more of them, I also knew that it would not last and would probably not end well. And, I didn’t want to waste my time dating around. You may ask me, ‘But what about what you felt for David?’ Well, what about the dream I cherished so much of getting married and doing the Work of God? I had a choice to make and I refused to lower my standards. I refused to exchange forever for a moment of pleasure. I simply refused to settle, even though settling seemed so tempting and exciting. So, I followed my head and not my heart.
That whole experience taught me how fickle and overrated our feelings are. Marriages are broken because husbands or wives ‘feel’ like having affairs. When they later have to deal with consequences, it’s always with regret. Tell me if I’m missing something here, but wouldn’t it be better to deal with one’s feelings than to deal with the consequences that stem from bad choices? I would rather listen to what my head is telling me than live by what I feel. That’s when I make rational choices for myself, when I sit and weigh consequences, instead of living my life like there was no tomorrow, only to wake up tomorrow regretting yesterday’s choice.
The more I started relying on my intelligence to guide me, the more David seemed like a disaster waiting to happen instead of an exciting youthful adventure. From then on, the blinders that I had on suddenly lifted and I could see clearly what a future with him held – regret, pain, more regret, more pain. As good intentioned as he was, he was the wrong man (or boy) for me, and I owed it to myself to protect myself and my dream. I learned that being young and in love wasn’t an excuse for being foolish. So, if you are stuck at a crossroads and are about to make a bad choice, please come up with a better excuse than, ‘I can’t help how I feel.’ Fact is you can help how you feel. Believe that you are worth more than bad choices and fight for your dreams! Have courage to say 'no' to your own feelings. You will learn that leading is much more fulfilling than being led.