I just want to be loved!

I watch the Bachelor/Bachelorette. There, I said it. It’s true. I do.

It’s a circus of surreal and unreal displays of fully grown adults literally competing for the attention and affection of another. Like, literally. Inevitably, every contestant has their ‘aha’ moment of realising that they are, in fact, literally competing with others for the attention and affection of another. This generally causes them to doubt themselves, their decision to go on the show, their worth as a human (particularly compared to the others) and, well, pretty much everything.

Ultimately, quite probably through tears, they will reveal what is really at stake for them.

“I just want to be loved!”

“Am I lovable? Will someone ever love me? What do I need to do to be loved?” These and other questions come spilling out that speak to the very depth of their cry, in fact, the cry of every human heart.

We are all looking for love. We all want to be loved. We all want to believe we are lovable.

It’s part of our creation design that we desire such deep and fulfilling, belonging and love. In the image of God we were created to find this need met in intimate relationship with Him. Instead, the brokenness of our sin leaves us with that void unfilled or partially filled and so we go searching. We look in right places and wrong places. We look to people, to substances, to success, to service, to wealth …everywhere and anywhere to know that we are loved and valued. To have that need met. To feel that rest in belonging and peace in affirmation and acceptance.

The need is strong and ultimately, it can lead us to do stupid things. It can lead us to obsess over perceived sources of this love. It can lead us to set aside wisdom and convention to pursue behaviours or spaces that see this need met. This need is the driving force of addictions like pornography, gambling, drugs & alcohol and workaholism. It can be an underlying cause of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders and self harm.

We just want to be loved.

For personal reflection … what does the need for love look like in your own life? Where do you go to meet those deep needs of your heart? What actions, behaviours or thoughts do you recognise stem from this need? 

another wedding closer to single

“Every time another friend gets married it hurts more.” – a Single person.

Well, actually, many Single people. It seems a commonly experienced emotion among those desiring to be married – the pain of watching others experience what they are waiting and longing for can be intense.

My personal journey with jealousy is well documented (see a blog sample here!!) and an engagement, a wedding or a birth announcement are certainly able to flick my jealousy switch. But one thing I try and remember in the midst of that emotional response is that marriage is not a numbers game.

Marriage is not a numbers game.

Each wedding that happens is not actually making it less likely that I will get married. There is not a finite number of weddings that can happen in my lifetime and every time one happens my odds decrease. I know we know that, but sometimes it’s easy to forget we know that and add another layer of despair to our grieving.

We say, think or hear things like “well, there aren’t many good Christian men left in your age bracket!” Or, “you do live in an area where there aren’t many Single people!” Here’s the deal, we don’t need many we only plan/hope to marry one. Whether that one is one of a thousand or one of one is not the point. You just need your one.

The Bachelor is a TV show not a real life phenomenon. You don’t need to start with twenty-four to find the one. The process of discovering your life mate is not a game of comparisons. You don’t need to like Bachelorette number 11 more than Bachelorette number 3 in order for Bachelorette 11 to be your future life partner. The qualities of an individual person stand alone and should be interpreted in relation to how you are or are not suited – not because they beat out another person in an apple bobbing competition or some other randomly determined measurement of their true feelings for you!

But stop! Before this becomes a rant about the inherent stupidity (and oh so appealing watchability) of the Bachelor franchise, hear my point. It is not a numbers game.

Another wedding does not make you more Single. You are not more or less valuable, likable, dateable, husband-or-wife-able the day after a friend’s wedding than you were the day before. Undoubtedly the moment of celebration for another person can be a poignant time of heightened emotion, longing or grieving but let’s not add an unnecessary element to that emotional cocktail.

Now … the fact that your friends just got a whole lot of free household items when you had to buy all of your own!? Well, that’s another matter. You’re completely right to be indignant about that! 😉