There are seasons when Matt travels more often. A few months ago Matt went out of town consecutively. He got home after a week long trip, and then had to travel again the next week. I think he hates me. The first week he went out of town was rough. And by ‘rough’ I meant I sat on the couch, alone, watching the Nicholas Sparks marathon that was on and bawled. Yes, in case you were wondering, there was also Ben and Jerry’s ice cream involved. I am somewhat stable, it’s fine.
He gets home and I am going on about how it was a hard trip for me, and as I am crying he says, “So now is probably not a great time to tell you I am leaving next week, right?” CORRECT SIR.
The second time around was much better for me. Instead of sitting on the couch lonely and sad, I made people interact and hang out with me, which felt much better in the long run. Seems obvious enough, but this has actually been a struggle for me for a while.
I am in a unique position in life where I am around people a ton. I am the wife of a pastor who leads a college and young adult ministry. We are surrounded by such wonderful people so often, and yet still loneliness is a real struggle. (I may or may not have just bought a shirt that says, “The struggle in real.”)
Before I go on, I want to be clear that I am in no way blaming anyone for the feelings that I am feeling, a big part of this is my stuff. But the more I have talked to people, the more I have found that this is an issue for many people.
What happens for me, is that people see me with and around people often. They then assume that I have plenty of friends and probably a lot to do, so they do not attempt to reach out to me. But I get it, I’ve done this to those around me often. Met a person I am interested in getting to know more and then opposed to initiating friendship, I assume a life of busyness and people, and I don’t even try to wiggle my way in. And from what I have seen, done and experienced, I think people do that all the time. So really we have a bunch of people living lives lonely and wishing the person next to them would reach out, while that person is thinking the same and no one does anything.
And I think the Bachelor showed me one reason why this cycle happens.
Yes I do watch the Bachelor.
Yes I do know it is trash T.V.
Yes I was team Raven.
I watch these girls meet this stranger, and from day one attempt to spill hearts, express feelings and make their intentions known, (which was my actual nightmare in relationships. I would have either been friend-zoned or kicked off week one.)
These girls have learned how to pursue.
And while they are pursuing a romantic relationship, the need of being wanted and pursued is at the root of most relationships.
I want to be known, wanted and chosen.
But I do not want to be the one who has to intrigue, ask or chase.
So I don’t, and you don’t, and they don’t. So loneliness is.
People. Stop waiting for a stranger to guess your need for friendship. They need it too.
And if no one puts down the pride of wanting to only ever be pursued and not pursue, loneliness will continue to silently kill the art of friendship.
So take a risk and give the person next to you that first impression rose. First impressions can either lead to a simple conversation or a lifelong friend. Either way, it’s a lot sweeter and less lonely with roses being passed around.