Letters to Luthien

Letters to My Future Bride

Heartbreaker

As she stood before Aragorn she paused suddenly and looked upon him, and her eyes were shining. And he looked down upon her fair face and smiled; but as he took the cup, her hand met hers, and he knew that she trembled at the touch. ‘Hail Aragorn, son of Arathorn!’ she said. ‘Hail Lady of Rohan!’ he answered, but his face now was troubled and he did not smile.

Dear Darling,

I’m sitting here at the end of another busy day (actually, a busy week — come to think of it, the month has been rather frenetic too) and reflecting on my “history” in relationships. It is a shallow pool, Darling, but perhaps you will think it wide. I find my own encounters with the opposite sex, no matter how brief, to be amusing and fraught with lessons. Most striking to me is my own apparently different approach to women, and to relationships, a subject I have written on often, and meditated on longer.

For one thing, they say a man mentally undresses a woman he is interested in within seconds of meeting her. As a man, there are things that do not escape my attention, but I am careful to guard my thoughts and protect the honor of any woman I am interested in.

For another thing, I am saddened by how many women are attracted to me. Such a complaint may be found amusing by men and arrogant among women. But it is true.

Darling, I’m not perfect. Not even close. Not even ballpark. Not even “fly-ball-shot-out-of-a-canon-in-the-dugout” ballpark.

But as you’ll recall, we already discussed the idea of “perfection.” Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people who come across me and they think I’m perfect for them.

I said before, I’ve worked hard to be that way, and I’ve built distinctions in several different areas, developed diverse skill sets. To complain that people find me “too good to be true” would seem like the epitome of so many brands of arrogance. In truth, I find myself instinctively defending myself when people think I have it so good. I instantly want to prove to them that hard work and the Lord favor me, not fortune. I’ve had grown men twice my age look at me and confide they wish they’d been as tall as me. I’ve seen the jealousy in the eyes of colleagues.

I’d like to think all I’ve done is make the best of the opportunities God has bestowed.

I know I’m looking for someone special to share that kind of life. But as I look for you, I run across a lot of other girls who would love to have someone like me to take home. The arch-typical conversation goes something like this:

“You’re great. You’re pretty much exactly what I’ve been looking for.”

“Oh my. Thank you. Are YOU?”

[Girl bows her head, averting her troubled eyes. “No,” she whispers.]

When I first meet you, I think one of the first questions I’ll really want to know is how many guys you’ve known or gone out with in the past. In so desiring, though you may find it foolish, I may as well return the favor.

I’ve had my heart wrung, though not broken, and I have dealt my share of pains, though not always willingly.

There was one girl who I met on the internet. (I shall call her “Rachel.”) Rachel and I enjoyed very close conversations about anything and everything, and traded long e-mails back and forth. We even met a few times when it became apparent we were such good friends. But this was when I was in my late teens. You don’t know what life is about at that age, much less love. There are three areas of compatibility in relationships: friendship, faith and romance. I felt kinship as friends and in our faith, but when it became apparent I had no romantic inclinations, she told me she felt it best that we discontinue discussions. We were always honest about not leading each other on, but I fear she did let me too far into her heart without telling me, and I’m afraid I hurt her very much in a parting which did me no injury whatsoever. I spoke with her again years later, and only then did I realize the extent of the damage. To get over me, she burned a bunch of our e-mails and letters. (Wow.) She is happily married and has children now. I should have known she’d beat me to the altar.

There was one special girl for whom, I’ll not deny, I still hold a fond memory. (I will call her “Jaime.”) I did not intend to fall for her. She merely befriended me, and our friendship extended to phone calls. She was warm, caring and compassionate, more than most of my Christian friends and certainly more than any girl I’d known. Once again, both of us told each other we weren’t interested in a relationship. I was torn because she was not yet devout in her faith to the Lord, and hadn’t waited. Perchance, it was the first compatibility of both friendship and romance which lacked the faith. As feelings developed, she was the first girl I hurt because I was continually compelled to try to talk out my concerns, which she interpreted as me throwing them in her face. She was the first person to make me feel special simply for being me, and I think in departing, she left a much-needed wound which allowed me to feel. I’ll be honest, Darling, against some measure of logic, this could be that “first flame” which they say never really goes out.

I went on a few dates with “Kelly”…I’m afraid she liked me very, very much. I felt friendship and faith, but once again, no romance. (How does one quantify these so-called biological concepts such as “chemistry” in the view of God’s word? Is it the leading of the Holy Spirit? Is it true chemistry, the biological processes of our world conspiring either to oppose us or enhance us?) After just three dates, I felt there was little to continue on. I asked that we remain friends, but I know her hopes were high and our friendship is a delicate one.

“Katie” was a wonderful friend, and this prompted me to wonder if there was anything more. She, too, invoked pain and bewilderment by having not waited. She was also several years my senior. (I don’t know why dear, but I’ve always disliked the idea of you being older than me. It’s probably just pride) The strange thing is, the nature of our friendship changed very little while we dated. She felt like a friend and only a friend. She came from many dark experiences and had still emerged very polished for her troubles, but her faith still wavered at times. I asked that we return to being friends and friends only, and she absorbed the blow with flawless dignity. It’s not supposed to work to be “just friends” upon exiting a dating scenario, but it has. For that, I am grateful.

“Mary” is hardly worth a mention. She and I connected on the internet, she finding my writings and descriptions perfect for her expectations, being that her search only led her to men that expected her to lead the way with her faith. She inadvertently stepped into that minefield of purity and when I commended her, she sadly informed me that my commendation was not undeserved. I admitted this troubled me, and she then asked to discontinue discussions.

So you see Darling, I’ve never been rejected by a girl I found myself very fond of. They’ve all been sad to be turned down by someone they admired very much. Do you know how hard that is? Knowing the dismal state of manhood these days, I should like to find them a man like me, because I know I would take care of them if they were mine.

But relationships are the one area where I get to be selfish. This is the rest of my life we’re talking about — the rest of our lives. I have to be happy too, or else I can’t make you happy.

As relationships go, I come with very few strings attached. I’ll even admit it, I’m jealous of people who can fall into that warm and loving relationship so quickly. I assume the grandeur is mingled with grief when such relationships break off, but I’m also the jealous kind. I don’t want to have to share you with anyone else, even your memories. I hope you’re picky. I hope you’re as wonderful as I think you’ll be.

And I hope you’ll get here soon.

Until then, I’m waiting, hoping and searching.

Love always,
-Beren

April 1, 2012 - Posted by | Loneliness, Purity

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