Can Men and Women Just be friends? Dating and the Age-Old Question (Take Two)

Author’s note- this post from several years ago was on my mind again recently, and I want to re-share it (with a few slight editing updates) since the topic is so good and is one that many people have pondered over the years.

Can men and women just be friends?  That is a question that many writers, singers, and infinitely countless number of women and men and boys and girls have pondered through the ages.  It is the quintessential age-old question.  I, too, have pondered this question over the years, and my interest in women’s studies and my own personal experiences in the murky waters that can be male and female friendship has led me to examine this subject one again.  Also, I have noticed that of all my blog postings, the most popular one is my first post on Word Press, “Love, rejection, and poetry (a.k.a. a heart, a wall, and vulnerability)”.  I have observed that there is an wide interest in the topic of rejection judging by the many google searches where people end up on my blog when they are looking for topics such as “love rejection poems”, “heartbreaking love poems”, “rejection poetry”, and “famous poems on rejection” (I didn’t realize that I was famous).  If you are interested in reading my post on love and rejection, then feel free to link to it here: https://julieannesmith.wordpress.com/2012/01/

Today I was reading an article in the Daily Illini online written by Tanya Trivedi on 4/24/12 entitled “Just friends or hidden desires: Cross-gender friendships not clear-cut.”  I found the article to be thought-provoking and well-written, and it caused me to re-visit this topic, ponder my personal experiences, and take action to write a blog post.  Trivedi begins her article with a quote from Oscar Wilde and then she poses some interesting questions.  Here is an excerpt:

“Centuries ago, Oscar Wilde said, “Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.” Can his perception of friendships between males and females still ring true in regards to sprouting relationships in the 21st century? Perhaps love, passion, enmity or worship is lurking under the illusory layer of what we think of as friendship.”

(Quoted from http://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2012/04/just_friends_or_hidden_desires_crossgender_friendships_not_clear_cut)

Look deeper in to your friends personality

Look deeper in to your friends personality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My experiences in the vastly murky waters of male/female friendships (and relationships) has not always been a pleasant one.  Hence, some of my poetry.  I am definitely not a huge dater, and I actually have only dated a small number of guys in my life.  There is a long list of reasons for that, but I am sure no one here wants to read a book.  However, to give a “Julie’s condensed version”, I would say some of the reasons are:

1. My parent’s divorce scarred me, and I have various fears related to love.  I am greatly troubled by the vast number of marriages that end in divorce, and how it seems (for reasons that I do not understand) that people can have longer relationships with their favorite sweater than a committed, lasting, and emotionally healthy and stable marriage.  Pardon my bluntness.

2. I am quite independent, and I have never been one to “need a man” to be happy.  Sometimes it seems to me that many women let  their own emotional contentedness and happiness with their life rest on the fact of whether or not they have a boyfriend (or husband).  I would like to think that has never been me.

3.  I am not a fan of internet dating.  I prefer to know a guy in person.  However, with the current rise of internet dating, sometimes it seems that I am the only one not really desiring to run out and do e-harmony or Match.com.  Almost every wedding that I have attended in the last 5 years came about as the result of internet dating.  Am I missing out?  Personally, I do not think so. (Author’s updated note 9/9/16- I am pondering this topic again re: if I am missing out, because internet dating is a possible avenue to love, although I MUCH prefer the old-fashioned way of knowing a guy in person and then dating.  However, the jury is still out).

4. I keep busy with my friends, family, interests, church, and (previously) my educational degrees that I attained.

5. Financial limitations, perhaps??? I was unemployed after the two companies that I worked for both closed during the Recession, and no way was my focus on dating.  Also, these days, while I am a feminist, I still think that it is beautiful for a guy to treat a girl very special on a date, as well as to pay, especially if you are first dating and the guy has initiated the date.  Call me sexist if you want to, but honestly I like that tradition and think it is quite noble and honorable.  However, often times both parties wish to date but do not have any money.  Dating doesn’t really need to involve much money, and creative and free alternatives can also be done. Personally, I am quite content with pizza (which you can cook at home) and a relaxing movie, but it can be nice to go out, too.  (Good conversation is always free, might I add).  However, if I am left to fend for myself and pay my own way (as some guys seem to prefer), then honestly I would rather be able to afford to pay my rent than to go to a nice dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  Dating is not a necessity, but I will not go so far as to say dating is a luxury, either.  I believe there are economic factors in dating that have previously been overlooked and heretofore have not been the focus of Sociological studies about dating.

6. I strongly prefer being friends with women to being friends with men, with a few exceptions over the years.  Those exceptions are typically  the husbands of my close female friends (or my Dad or brother), however some other exceptions that I have made over the years have led to pain and heartache, causing me to being even MORE apt to prefer friendship with women rather than men.  My heart has been hurt enough over my lifetime.  Finally, it can be hard to safeguard your heart and still be open to romantic love, which I desire.

7.  Ok, ok, maybe I am writing a book here.  So, I will end this list with the fact that I am picky.  Also, often the guys that I would enjoy dating do not clearly initiate, most guys seem gun-shy about using the D-word (author’s side note: which I understand, because none of us like rejection…but I totally agree with a quote from the movie When in Rome: “the passion is in the risk” or “the beauty is in the risk”), and I can be shy when I like a guy.  And, as far as being picky, I think that it is important to have an emotional connection with a guy that you would date, as well as a physical attraction.  Also, I would enjoy some common spiritual beliefs, however I have had it both ways in dating, and honestly I found it challenging both ways but for different reasons.  Finally, two of the qualities that I find most endearing in a guy are seldom found together: boldness and gentleness.  I desire to be treated tenderly and gently, and guys that have a gentle and caring personality are very attractive to me.  However, I also enjoy bold guys who are leaders, highly verbal, and “Joshua” type men (meaning Joshua from the Bible).  If I ever find a guy who has both qualities, that may be the perfect guy for me.

As far as men and women just being friends, I am coming to realize that I cannot do that topic justice in one blog post.  I will say that it is a hotly debated topic, and in my personal experience some guys that I used to be friends with have acted like they no longer wanted to be my friend after they asked me out, and I verbally told them that I did not feel that same way about them.  No one wants to hear “I just think of you as a friend”, but sometimes that is the truth.  I would rather be honest, but I never want to hurt anyone.  I remember a guy friend in college who I suspected liked me, but I had a boyfriend.  Almost immediately after my boyfriend and I broke up, there was an instance where the three of us were eating lunch together.  We went to part ways and my ex left first.  My guy friend at that point took the opportunity to kiss me on the forehead while I was standing there shocked and stunned, and he said, “I can do that now since you are single.”  UH, NO!  Sometimes stuff like that makes me frustrated, and at times it seems like male and female friendships (and relationships) are like buried landmines in a vast field and you walk across the field and do your best to try to escape without major damage to life and limb.  Alright, I am being dramatic.  It is nowhere near that complicated or harmful, but male/female friendships are challenging and pose unique issues for everyone involved.

How about you?  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on male/female friendships.  Do you find them challenging?  How do you safeguard yourself from being hurt?  Do you even think men and women can be friends, or is it a lost cause and we are all fooling ourselves?

Prettiest Poet and Big Booty: Best and Worst Search Terms

google_logo

google_logo (Photo credit: keso)

For awhile now I have been itching to write a blog post on the search terms that people use to find my blog. I think everyone, their brother, and their dog use Google as a search term engine, so as you might imagine, Google is a search engine that is often used when people stumble onto my blog. The sociological side of me is completely interested and fascinated by the various search terms that people have utilized to find me and my writing. Many search terms I totally see, some have left me scratching my head, others have made me smile, one made me cry, some are thought- provoking, and overall I find all of them just plain interesting. I could not rank them into a favorite order if I tried, and some great search terms will not even make this blog post, but I want to highlight some of the best and some of the worst search terms (in my subjective opinion, of course).

Best search terms:

1. “Complicated male female friendships“- Yes, who among us has not been there? I could perhaps write a book, but in no way will I ever claim to be an expert.

2. “desiring you quotes“- Sweet.

3. “cartoon hearts of burning love“- Graphic design meets a heart meets flaming passion, perhaps? Innovative and cool.

4.”how does god relate to puppies“- That one made me smile, and relates to my post about the Poky little puppy (a little Golden Book) and a spiritual devotion that I wrote.

5. “Quotes on love hearts“- many people have bounced onto my blog through looking up various search terms using “quotes” as a keyword. I did a post on “Love Quotes” that was one of my most popular posts, which this search term may relate to.

6. “famous poems on rejection“- I think that I like this one because it makes me feel like I am famous. LOL. Seriously, though, many people have ended up on my blog due to variations of the keyword “rejection”. I believe that religion, politics, and controversial topics often divide people, but rejection seems to be a unifying force and something that we have all faced in multiple areas, especially romantic relationships.

7. “poems on how much i miss you can’t live without you“- that one is one of my favorite search terms. I like the romance of it, the beauty, and the real and genuine emotion….it’s kind of like wearing your heart on your sleeve, so to speak. Although, in reality, I think that if the person whom you loved passed away, then you should still be able to carry on. Also, break-ups should not be the end of the world. Our hearts can ache for those we care about or love, and we miss them with great intensity when break-ups occur (or also in cases of unrequited love). I have always appreciated that wise saying that is oft-repeated (sorry, I don’t know who said it in order to credit them)- essentially paraphrased it goes something like, “If you love someone, set them free. If they come back to you, it is meant to be. If not, then they were never really your’s to begin with.”

8. “Starbucks cookie crumble frappuccino semi healthy? This is a person after my own heart. I WISH that I could say it was semi healthy, you know with the cookies, and whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle….but who am I kidding? Gotta love chocolate though, and I am a fan of Starbucks. (Author’s note: actually, I realized after I posted this that chocolate drizzle is NOT actually on this frappuccino…..so maybe it really DOES qualify as “semi” healthy!)

* Note: “Starbucks promotion”, “Starbucks promotion 2012”, and similar terms were the SECOND most popular category of search terms leading people to my blog. A quick quantitative perusal shows that over 24 search terms involved some variation of the keyword Starbucks. I have wondered if other countries are doing Starbucks promotions right now, because that is one of my more popular search terms lately, and the U.S. promotion for 1/2 priced Starbucks frappuccinos ended a few months ago, so the prevalence of this search term constantly of late has me wondering why.

9. “mysterious makes me think“- one of my absolute favorites.

10. “cartoon network show family lived in space“- this one I like because it never mentions The Jetsons by name.

11. “love quotes for Jesus” and “bible quotes about strength and love“- I like the spiritual piece.

12. “Avengers starbucks“- This one made me wonder if the Avengers were signing autographs at Starbucks….who needs Comic Con? (Just kidding….and I am not sure if I got that title 100% right….but as a newer fan of X-Men/the Avengers/the Fantastic Four/other superheroes, I think that Comic Con would be pretty cool. Honestly, why did ONLY BOYS get the cool stuff when we were all younger?….I got to read about Archie trying to choose between Betty and Veronica romantically,while boys got to read about cool superheroes like Spiderman. I could easily digress at this point and delve into the topic of socialization and gender roles, but I will stay on track for the theme of this blog post.

13. “things people are thankful for“- this is always good to remember.

14. “Can man and woman be just friends?“- Society and all of us may always debate this one. Reminds me of #1 above.

15. “Staying faithful relationship quotes” and “Christian quotes about standing next to someone“- Faithfulness and relational support in good times and in bad is of utmost importance.

16. “hopeful quotes” and “beautiful quotes of sunshine“- I like flowery search terms.

17. “the jetsons shoes” and “the jetsons dog” (similar to search term #10). I loved the Jetsons cartoon when I was young, so I appreciate these search terms. I have thought recently about how Astro would be a great name for a dog that I would be happy to adopt in the future, especially if one day I am blessed with a family of my own.

18. “touch of love quotes“- I am a fan of love, but really just seem to crash and burn at it.

Extras (added 7/16/12)

19. “staying in love quotes“- A beautiful topic.

20. “tender heart“- I have always had a tender heart, so I appreciate this search term. Compassion is a quality that is of high value and is greatly needed in the world. Also, this search term makes me thing of the Tender Heart Carebear (yes, I am showing my age, and yes, if you have read this blog for long, then you likely have deduced that I am a kid at heart. And, finally, yes, I really am a nostalgia girl, and I love things from my childhood).

21. “love and devotion quotes” and “quotes of healing and strength“- Definitely cool.

A few more Extras (added 7/29/12)

22. “morning Bible quotes” 🙂

23. “blossoming love quotes“- This makes me think of when love is first beginning and it comes alive like a blossoming flower.

24. “strength quotes for women”- It is always good to have strength and encouragement, especially in challenging times.

25. “prettiest poet“- This one made me smile, even though most likely it was not meant for me.

26. “sometimes the brightest light comes from the darkest place quote“- This makes sense.

Worst search terms:

* Please note that many of these are just really sad search terms, so that is how they ended up categorized as “worst.” Technically though, very few of them are “worst”, but since I am a sensitive and emotional person, search terms that were really depressing and sad I chose to categorize as “worst.”

1. “being rejected by a girl i love quotationsThat is super sad. I feel for him. (I know how painful rejection is).

2. “living without desire quotes“- Interesting. Hmmm. I don’t think that is possible.

3. “deception quotes from the bible“- This one actually kind of bothered me that someone found my blog using this search term, and I don’t think I have written about deception quotes.

4. “big booty facebook” and “big booty“- I still remember the day that I saw this search term pop up in my Stats list. It made me go “What?!” I am sure that this person was disappointed when they linked to my post (“A Picture is Worth a A Thousand Words…or is it?”) and ended up reading about how my sister was concerned when I told her that I decided to get back on MySpace again.  My sister had commented that MySpace is now just one big booty call, so of course she knows I am not that kind of girl.  My blog post was a sociological piece about my recent experiences on MySpace.  It was also an observation about what happened when I changed my MySpace picture to a family friendly picture with my nephew.  Also, my post was not about Facebook, but I briefly mentioned how some of my friends had left MySpace for Facebook several years ago, but I still enjoyed MySpace.  I am sure that my post was not what the person was searching for when they typed in “big booty.”

*I must say that I NEVER would have thought of someone finding my blog with the search term “big booty”!!! Definitely got me to shake my head a bit.

5. “poems on male rejection“- Sad.

6. “emotional intimacy led to friendship“- While friendship is a beautiful gift to be treasured, I couldn’t help thinking that usually when people are emotionally intimate, it often leads to dating and romance. So, in the case of the person who wrote the search term, friendship may end up seeming like the booby prize.

7. “on being hurt by someone quotes“- Painful.

8. “Heartbreaking love poems“- I distinctly remember that this one was either my first or second search term ever for my blog which I started in January 2012. This one made me cry a tear (yes, if you know me, then you know I am a tender heart, and I cry sometimes). My first post has always been one of my most popular posts. It was about love, rejection, and poetry. I included a poem that I had written which was highly personal and vulnerable. To see a search term related to heartbreak was actually hard for me to see because that poem was so transparent and real, and that poem was a healing poem.

Extras (added 7/15/12):

9. “thanks for the love rejection

10. “happy hour girl

11.”quotes arrogance man

A few more extras (added 7/29/12). I will end my additions to this list with these last few search terms, because I don’t think that anyone wants to read a never-ending story type of list.

12. “racy quotes

13. “quotes about falling out of love

14. “you don’t deserve my tears love quotes

15. “emotional and touchy quotes

16. “girls that mistreat man quotes

P.S. I am not putting this last group in the best or worst category. My quantitative biggest category is “unknown search terms” or “other search terms“, which sometimes also comes up as “encrypted search terms.” Currently unknown search terms total 50, and they surpass runners-up Starbucks search terms and rejection topics search terms. I am curious what all the unknown search terms are, but since they are unknown then it is a mystery.

Can Women and Men just be Friends?: Dating and The Age-Old Question

Can men and women just be friends?  That is a question that many writers, singers, and infinitely countless number of women and men and boys and girls have pondered through the ages.  It is the quintessential age-old question.  I, too, have pondered this question over the years, and my interest in gender studies and my own personal experiences in the murky waters that can be male and female friendship has led me to examine this subject one again.  Also, I have noticed that of all my blog postings, the most popular one is my first post on Word Press, “Love, rejection, and poetry (a.k.a. a heart, a wall, and vulnerability)”.  I have observed that there is an wide interest in the topic of rejection judging by the many google searches where people end up on my blog when they are looking for topics such as “love rejection poems”, “heartbreaking love poems”, “rejection poetry”, and “famous poems on rejection” (I didn’t realize that I was famous).  If you are interested in reading my post on love and rejection, then feel free to link to it here: https://julieannesmith.wordpress.com/2012/01/

Today I was reading an article in the Daily Illini online written by Tanya Trivedi on 4/24/12 entitled “Just friends or hidden desires: Cross-gender friendships not clear-cut.”  I found the article to be thought-provoking and well-written, and it caused me to re-visit this topic, ponder my personal experiences, and take action to write a blog post.  Trivedi begins her article with a quote from Oscar Wilde and then she poses some interesting questions.  Here is an excerpt:

“Centuries ago, Oscar Wilde said, “Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.” Can his perception of friendships between males and females still ring true in regards to sprouting relationships in the 21st century? Perhaps love, passion, enmity or worship is lurking under the illusory layer of what we think of as friendship.”

(Quoted from http://www.dailyillini.com/index.php/article/2012/04/just_friends_or_hidden_desires_crossgender_friendships_not_clear_cut)

Look deeper in to your friends personality

Look deeper in to your friends personality (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My experiences in the vastly murky waters of male/female friendships (and relationships) has not always been a pleasant one.  Hence, some of my poetry.  I am definitely not a huge dater, and I actually have only dated a small number of guys in my life.  There is a long list of reasons for that, but I am sure no one here wants to read a book.  However, to give a “Julie’s condensed version”, I would say some of the reasons are:

1. My parent’s divorce scarred me, and I have various fears related to love.  I am greatly troubled by the vast number of marriages that end in divorce, and how it seems (for reasons that I do not understand) that people can have longer relationships with their favorite sweater than a committed, lasting, and emotionally healthy and stable marriage.  Pardon my bluntness.

2. I am quite independent, and I have never been one to “need a man” to be happy.  Sometimes it seems to me that many women let  their own emotional contentedness and happiness with their life rest on the fact of whether or not they have a boyfriend (or husband).  I would like to think that has never been me.

3.  I am not a fan of internet dating.  I prefer to know a guy in person.  However, with the current rise of internet dating, sometimes it seems that I am the only one not really desiring to run out and do e-harmony or Match.com.  Almost every wedding that I have attended in the last 5 years came about as the result of internet dating.  Am I missing out?  Personally, I do not think so.

4. I keep busy with my friends, family, interests, church, and (previously) my educational degrees that I attained.

5. Financial limitations, perhaps??? I was unemployed after the two companies that I worked for both closed during the Recession, and no way was my focus on dating.  Also, these days, while I am a feminist, I still think that it is beautiful for a guy to treat a girl very special on a date, as well as to pay, especially if you are first dating and the guy has initiated the date.  Call me sexist if you want to, but honestly I like that tradition and think it is quite noble and honorable.  However, often times both parties wish to date but do not have any money.  Dating doesn’t really need to involve much money, and creative and free alternatives can also be done. Personally, I am quite content with pizza (which you can cook at home) and a relaxing movie, but it can be nice to go out, too.  (Good conversation is always free, might I add).  However, if I am left to fend for myself and pay my own way (as some guys seem to prefer), then honestly I would much rather be able to afford to pay my rent and have paper towels than to go to a nice dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  Dating is not a necessity, but I will not go so far as to say dating is a luxury, either.  I also think that there are economic factors in dating that have been overlooked and heretofore have not been the focus of Sociological studies about dating.

6. I strongly prefer being friends with women to being friends with men, with a few exceptions over the years.  Those exceptions are typically  the husbands of my close female friends (or my Dad or brother), however some other exceptions that I have made over the years have led to pain and heartache, causing me to being even MORE apt to prefer friendship with women rather than men.  My heart has been hurt enough over my lifetime.  Finally, it can be hard to safeguard your heart and still be open to romantic love, which I desire.

7.  Ok, ok, maybe I am writing a book here.  So, I will end this list with the fact that I am picky.  Also, often the guys that I would enjoy dating do not clearly initiate, most guys seem gun-shy about using the D-word (author’s side note: which I understand, because none of us like rejection…but I totally agree with a quote from the movie When in Rome: “the passion is in the risk” or “the beauty is in the risk”), and I can be shy when I like a guy.  And, as far as being picky, I think that it is important to have an emotional connection with a guy that you would date, as well as a physical attraction.  Also, I would enjoy some common spiritual beliefs, however I have had it both ways in dating, and honestly I found it challenging both ways but for different reasons.  Finally, two of the qualities that I find most endearing in a guy are seldom found together: boldness and gentleness.  I desire to be treated tenderly and gently, and guys that have a gentle and caring personality are very attractive to me.  However, I also enjoy bold guys who are leaders, highly verbal, and “Joshua” type men (meaning Joshua from the Bible).  If I ever find a guy who has both qualities, that may be the perfect guy for me.

As far as men and women just being friends, I am coming to realize that I cannot do that topic justice in one blog post.  I will say that it is a hotly debated topic, and in my personal experience some guys that I used to be friends with have acted like they no longer wanted to be my friend after they asked me out, and I verbally told them that I did not feel that same way about them.  No one wants to hear “I just think of you as a friend”, but sometimes that is the truth and there is no romantic spark whatsoever.  I would rather be honest, but I never want to hurt anyone.  I remember a guy friend in college who I suspected liked me, but I had a boyfriend.  Almost immediately after my boyfriend and I broke up, there was an instance where the three of us were eating lunch together.  We went to part ways and my ex left first.  My guy friend at that point took the opportunity to kiss me on the forehead while I was standing there shocked and stunned, and he said, “I can do that now since you are single.”  UH, NO!  Sometimes stuff like that makes me frustrated, and at times it feels like male/female friendships (and relationships) are like buried landmines in a vast field where you walk across the field and do your best to escape without major damage to life and limb.  Alright, I am being dramatic.  It is nowhere near that complicated or harmful, but male/female friendships are challenging and pose unique issues for everyone involved.

How about you?  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on male/female friendships.  Do you find them challenging?  How do you safeguard yourself from being hurt?  Do you even think men and women can be friends, or is it a lost cause and we are all fooling ourselves?

Love, rejection, and poetry (a.k.a. a heart, a wall, and vulnerabilty)

Author: Bagande

Image via Wikipedia

I am an occasional poet. When I get inspired, poems in my journal typically seem to fall in the category of being about love, faith, or God. I am a firm believer that love exists in many forms: a mother to a child, a friend to a friend, selfless love leading to action in order to help humanity….as well as of course romantic love. Many of the famous songs of old are about the passion and perils of romantic love….finding love, heartbreak, the ache of unrequited love….life and literature is ripe with tales and woes of romantic love. Love may at times seem elusive….and barriers to love exist, as we all know.

Personally, I’m an introspective person, and my educational background in the counseling field and Sociology has led me to examine myself, as well as family of origin, in order to know myself more (not that there is an end to this process, however, since life is a series of growth and change, and people really should not stay static). I am a firm believer in socialization and the fact that people are shaped by their culture, society, and country of origin. Families are part of this process. For example, I believe that children of divorce, as adults, can have issues and ambivalence with romantic love…these issues can and do affect these individuals in dating and marriage. I see this truth when I examine myself and my own desire for, and yet skittishness toward, romantic love. It can be hard, at times, for me to be vulnerable in this area. It does not help that an ex-boyfriend of mine in college broke up with me on my birthday, with no birthday present and right before Valentine’s Day, to boot. To be fair, I guess technically it was the day after my birthday, because the break-up talk started on my birthday but carried over till a bit after midnight…but still, I kind of think that there should be some unwritten rule (or social norm, perhaps?) in dating where a boyfriend should not break up with a girlfriend on her birthday (and vice versa). It is just plain wrong, honestly. Also, another facet of romantic love is marital love. I find it sad to think of marital love not lasting a lifetime…all too often people say “till death do us part”, and yet when trouble comes, such as financial difficulties or other hardships, then those same people give up on their marriage, maybe lamenting “it just wasn’t meant to be.” I think this mentality is incredibly tragic.

Rejection is a part of the elusive search for romantic love. Who likes rejection? No one. It is painful and raw. However, often the process to achieving romantic love will involve rejection, either in dating rejection or in pain from past relationships and break-ups. Rejection can transcend romantic love, however….there is also the pain of childhood rejection (i.e. being picked last for the athletic team in high school physical education class….for me that happened when one of my friends was picking teams and I was last picked…that was painful and did not help my self confidence in my athletic abilities). Rejection is a fact of life, whether it be in the career field or more relational in nature. Vulnerabilty is needed in order to find romantic love, but all too often walls are put up to safeguard one’s heart, and to not be hurt any more than one has already been hurt. These walls are problematic, however, and need to be dismantled in order to find a successful outcome in a dating or marital relationship.

Alright, I want to end with a short poem that I wrote about, what else? Love.

Love

Love ? I love love love you.

Love ? I love love love you. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Love.

Ambiguously messy.

Vulnerability in the upmost.

Heart to heart. Hope to hope. Healing is the vibe.

Love.

So often in this world

strings are attached

and expectations abound

regarding love.

But the better way

will never cease to be

a pure foundation

and a fiber weaving throughout

in a brilliant tapestry

of rich hues

of reds and golds

and filled with warmth and clarity

and an unconditional love

that is healing, hopeful, and vulnerable

and that truly is forevermore.

Love Love Love

Love Love Love (Photo credit: Gregory Jordan)