I have a feeling that, for at least the immediate future, we will hear quite a bit about how horrible the year 2020 was. While it’s certainly been a year filled with undesirable realities, there have also been positives to a year that will perpetually carry a negative connotation. Whether they were small reasons to celebrate or more significant life changes, many of us have at least some good things we can take with us from a year that future generations will read about in history books.
One area that I can confirm has not exactly been thriving for everyone is the dating scene. I mean, how are you supposed to meet someone during a pandemic? If you’re hoping for this to happen organically and not through an app or behind a screen, it’s an added challenge—you can’t even see a person’s entire face when it’s covered with a mask.
For someone who is as single as a dollar bill, this coronavirus world can make you feel like Chuck Noland—stranded on an island, personifying a volleyball, and making it your bestie.
I already was not in the best mindset in this regard prior to COVID-19 taking over our lives and conversations. Truth be told, I’m really tired of getting hurt. It’s gotten to the point that I don’t truly believe that anything will ever work out for me in terms of a relationship. When I’m interested in a guy, and maybe I even go on a date or two with him, I’m just waiting for the moment that I know is coming but that I don’t want to face—the moment when I realize that what I want to happen isn’t actually going to happen.
It’s a moment I know all too well.
I wish that all people were genuine. I know that it’s a lofty expectation, but it sure would spare people quite a bit of heartache. Why is it so difficult to say what you actually mean—or at least avoid saying the things that you don’t actually mean? If what you’re about to say has no truth or sincerity to it, then don’t say it. It’s pretty simple.
Or so you would think.
For some reason, though, many guys seem to struggle with this. Maybe some girls do, as well. I’m not really sure. But I know first-hand that some guys FOR SURE do.
Don’t tell me that I owe you a lifetime of memories—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that you’ll go to a concert with me—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that you moving “isn’t the end” after you kiss me—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that I’m one of your favorite people—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that you’ll go to a wedding with me—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that I’m special to you—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that you’re crazy about me—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that you had a good time with me—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that you’d love to get together again soon—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that you’ll call me when you get back from your trip—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that I’m the most intriguing person you’ve ever met—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me that you’re being intentional with me—unless you mean it.
Don’t tell me any little thing that pops into your head—unless you mean it.
And don’t play with my heart unless you’re willing to pick up the scattered pieces when you break it.
I understand that we’re human, and we will certainly make more mistakes than we would ever care to admit. So, of course we will hurt people, whether accidentally or not. The truth is, though, that it hurts a lot less if you’re honest from the beginning rather than leading people on or leaving them wondering.
Because a wondering woman can be a very dangerous woman.
So, what does any of this have to do with finding the positives in 2020? I met a guy back in May in the midst of this pandemic. We texted often and had two FaceTime dates before getting together for an actual in-person date. If you think that I’m about to give you a happy ending to this story, you’re wrong. He suddenly decided that he didn’t know what he wanted and a bunch of other mumbo jumbo—all he really needed to do was tell me that he wasn’t interested in me anymore. A simpler translation of “I don’t know what I want” is “I know that I don’t want you.”
I was upset for a bit, but there is a positive: I’m fine. I don’t mean like a “It’s fine. I’m fine. Everything’s fine.” kind of way that no one actually believes. I mean that I’m legit fine. I’ve survived much worse (cue 2016 and the onset of the worst heartbreak I’ve endured), and I’m OK.
Much of 2020 has, for lack of a better word, sucked for a number of people. Some of them have not survived, which might even add to your own hurt, and I wish that I could hug you right now. But you did make it. No, the turning of a calendar to a new year doesn’t change our current reality, but there’s something about the start of a new year that impacts people. It’s like a book you’re reading—there might be a chapter you really didn’t like, and turning the page to the next chapter doesn’t change what’s already happened in the book or change the content, but it provides a freshness of possibilities.
And maybe that’s what 2021 is for you—a fresh start in the midst of chaos, frustration, and an array of emotions we don’t want to feel.
We’re all going through different things right now, and it’s important to remember to be kind and have a little grace. And, for the love, please be genuine with people. No, you don’t have to say every little thing that’s on your mind, but you also don’t have to say things that never even once crossed your mind just because they sound better.
Our hearts are not toys, and I believe that they’ve already endured more than enough lately.