Having The Antennae Up

Something peculiar happens to a woman who is past 25 and single: She can sometimes catch herself wondering if each new guy she meets is "the one." My friend calls it "having your antennae up." It’s terrible because you really have to check yourself upon meeting someone new. For the most part, I am incredibly happy. Every once in a blue moon, I think that I soon want to be married until reality taps me on the shoulder and says, “Every day, you have to wake up to the same person, who you are supposed to love unconditionally to the point where they can fart in bed or play air guitar and you can’t leave them.” Boggles the mind.

The Bible says that one who finds a wife finds a good thing. This implies that it is the man’s job to find a wife and a woman’s job to go about her business and to not worry about anything (Philippians 4). But one can’t help but wonder. It’s not a longing feeling, just a wondering feeling. Kind of like the feeling you get the day before Christmas or your birthday. But why do we wonder? Is it because we can’t wait to know who we will love always, even when his breath is stinking in the morning? Who is the one that we will have to send on that inevitable trip to the store for maxi pads?

In addition to all of these things we sometimes wonder about, even more so, we wonder who will love us unconditionally and call us beautiful. Every woman, I don’t care how much of an independent “these shoes on my feet—I bought ’em” kind of woman you are, wants to be told that she is beautiful. Every woman wants to know that they have been chosen over all others. Every woman wants to be in love and be loved. So when I meet someone new and my mind starts to wondering what our kids are going to look like, I remember this quote by Pope John Paul II (taken from his speech at a World Youth Day Prayer Service in Rome on August 19, 2000):

"It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; He is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is He who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise … It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal."

Realistically, any woman that finds herself pining away for Mr. Right (or Mr. Right Now) is ultimately seeking for a father, more specifically the Father. No one else can fill our deepest longings to be loved as He does. It is not humanly possible. So many relationships fail because of the expectations we put on others, expecting them to affirm us in ways only God can. This often results in acts of desperation and jumping to conclusions. In such a rush to get hooked up, as single women, we can take the merest act of kindness or the slightest bit of attention from a potential someone as a sign from God that this is “the one.” For example, my friend Todd is a great catch. He recently commented that he has had to have the “where is our relationship going” conversation with at least three obviously desperate women in his church, just because he opened the door for them and had casual conversations. None of us should act this desperate.

It’s time to put love in its proper perspective. It’s not what we see on reality shows or soap operas or what we hear in mushy love songs. It is, according to 1 Corinthians, not self seeking. As single people, let’s not be self-seeking with our antennas up, but realize and embrace the love of the One who has already proven that He has the unconditional love that we are all wanting.

[Toya Haynes, 28, is an aspiring writer who currently lives in Nashville, Tenn.]

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