All those who know me, friends, not so much my family as there isn’t so much of us left, and even acquaintances, know that I have issues with women. They are not so serious anymore, and I pray regularly about it. It is mixed up with a lot regrets, sadness and what might-have-beens.
It has been said many times, that decent men, genuine men, even shy men and men who wear their hearts on their sleeves, come last. All the ladies say they want a decent man to care about them and treat them right, get married and have children with and be loved and cherished and cared for. But that’s all baloney, right??! Women, and it seems there are multitudes of them, go for bad boys, what I like to call, possibly slightly nastily, the ‘beaters, cheaters and down the streeters’, men who beat women, cheat on them and disappear down the street and turn up again when they feel like it.
I used to feel jealous of such guys, they way they didn’t care one way or the other about the women who would seem to throw themselves at them and cling on to those men, when I couldn’t even get a woman to look at me no matter what I did. Now, I tend to think that such relationships as they are, are really two self destructive people coming into each other’s orbit, with mutually assured destruction as the result. This is not self righteous judgement, and it is not just blaming the woman for being stupid or the bloke for being a predatory a**ehole, either. But, being that decent men are usually a little more sensitive, a little more shy, a little more genuine, not in every case obviously, but generally, the decent men are either pushed aside by women, ignored one too many times or simply switch off from the whole overplayed dating game/cattle market scene and stop looking. So, the decent men disappear leaving the field wide open for the bad boys. The women, who say in one breath they ‘really really would like to find a decent caring man’ but perversely choose a nasty one get what they want, the bad boys who treat women dreadfully get what they want, and the decent men and decent women for that matter leave the field like dejected heroes and heroines, the knight without a fair maiden, and the fair maiden without a knight.
Dramatic? Well, love is dramatic, and being hurt in this sphere of life can leave deep emotional pain and cast long shadows over our lives. It certainly has over mine. God has allowed me to suffer. ‘11 O afflicted one, storm-tossed, and not comforted, I am about to set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. 12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of jewels, and all your wall of precious stones. 13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the prosperity of your children. 14 In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.’ (Isaiah 54:11-15) Even when God allows you and me to suffer, even suffer grievously and for a very long time, there is a purpose and there will be a good outcome to it all. It may not feel like it at the time, but as long as we have faith in God, and keep the channels of communication open, He will deliver us. His promises are not empty promises, believe me. Better still, believe Him.
I want to talk about something that has made me think for a while. It involves unrequited love, a well known English bank, me and a little lady. This is not meant to be funny, and nor is it upsetting really. But this is often the kind of ‘romantic dalliance’ I have had throughout my life. In the past, this did upset me greatly. Now, I tend to reflect on the whole matter a bit more. I have had a few nice girlfriends, I dillied and dallied a little on the singles scene, which in the UK is often not much more than going out with your mates (this is pretty much the same for groups of men or women), getting drunk, sometimes gloriously so, and hoping to meet someone of the opposite sex for laughs, tickles and maybe more, after the bacchanalian orgy that has just commenced. It’s understandable that by the time many of us hit our late 20s or early 30s, we get somewhat fed up with the whole British dating scene as it is. I certainly did, and many years ago.
Suffice to say, it isn’t really a great way to meet someone. It’s a great way to get drunk, sleep around (sometimes) and get drawn into an ever decreasing circle of diminishing returns. And, although on the surface it can all seem like one long party time, in the end it is emptiness. It is also often the pursuit of people who don’t really have values or a genuine purpose in life, and may end up in a person pursuing an addictive lifestyle, which I would say ultimately ends in self destruction of some kind and starts with a person pursuing an illusion, of which the more they seek the less real it becomes.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, I was in a branch of my local NatWest bank about a year ago or so, and needed help with a password for something involving the bank and a bonus scheme to collect points for elephant safaris or spending a romantic evening with Bill Clinton, or something, and I needed to ask one of the bank tellers, which I did. Now, both these bank workers (we don’t say bank tellers in the UK!) I know by face quite well, and they are both female and I have to say I found them, and still do, very attractive women, demure, obviously hard working, intelligent, the type of women most men really want to meet, be with, spend time with and fall in love with. Now, so far so good. I have to be perfectly honest, I liked both of them and wished somehow I could talk to either one of them and go on a date, but that seemed highly unlikely. I don’t know why, really. It’s not even so much shyness as how, when and why. I think most people know what I mean there. Anyway, there was also something else, too, which I found a little strange, and with this we get to the nub of the story. One of the women there that I liked is quite petite and has a very pretty face, the type of woman I have thought wouldn’t give me a second look most of the time. In this case, it seemed to be the same. Each time I came into the bank, not only wouldn’t this bank worker look at me, she actually seemed to make a point of never meeting my eyes at all and looked away from me every time I entered the bank. I figured quite naturally and understandably that she had no interest whatsoever in me and gave it little thought, other than I found her attractive and wanted to know her. This went on for a few months, until the aforementioned password incident, where I asked the other woman for help, and then Adele came out, told me her name and said she would help me if I came in again. It was only later that I suspected she might have been breaking the ice, but at the same time I was so used to being literally ignored by her that I didn’t give it a second thought.
What I am really curious about is, why if in the end she liked me, which I never once suspected, didn’t she at least look at me, even a little smile? I am truly confused about the way many women work when it comes to romance. It seems they can stand next to a guy, glance occasionally, even pretend to ignore someone, but it seems beyond so many women just to say hello. I will also say this too. I think many men these days when they see an attractive woman they like, are unsure whether to approach, not just through fear of being rejected or making a fool of themselves, but also the bigger fear of being accused of being a pest or stalker. I am being serious here. The accepted norm of romance is the man has to approach the woman and put himself in the firing line, so to speak. Many women can be hostile in this situation, for no apparent reason, or humiliate the man, or just be unpleasant. Obviously this can be exacerbated by alcohol which is why I don’t drink socially anymore and I don’t go to pubs or clubs anymore either. But women seem to think that it is easy for men to make the first move. Sometimes it isn’t.
So I believe truly decent men come last in love and often many other things, but I’m fine with that now. Not that I’m the most decent or perfect man, nor do I think it is any different for decent women, but as a Christian I accept the world the way it is, fallen and corrupt and we as human beings, whatever we do or believe and however we act, morally or immorally, are going to be or certainly have been victims of a fallen world. So, there has to be forgiveness for people and we all have to make allowances as others make allowances for us. We also have to forgive, as God forgives us.
So, very often decent men do come last. But sometimes, good things come to those who wait patiently. God will reward all those who put faith and hope in Him, and of course remain faithful to Him too.
‘30 ...many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.’ (Matthew 19:30)