Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! (part 1)

I was actually realizing that it's been nearly a month since I posted! oops! Well, rather than just a short, apologetic post, I actually have a "real" post today! There are a few different things I want to incorporate, so bear with me. Feel free to check back tomorrow for part 2, when hopefully, barring any technical issues, I'll have an official Valentine's post, including songs,  excerpts from the paper I'm writing on the kind of man I want to marry, and pictures! (Yes, I am planning a photo shoot extraordinaire with some of my adorable siblings ;)

Anyway, for today, I want to share a few thoughts that generally pop up throughout the year, but culminate near Valentine's day.

Basically this: matchmaking.

I know -- for anyone that's ever watched Fiddler on the Roof, you probably now have this stuck in your head. You're welcome.

But in all seriousness, what is the purpose of matchmaking? Is it good, or bad? Why?

Well, like most girls, throughout my life there has been sporadic teasing about who I'll marry, giggling girlfriends who insist so-an-so has a crush on me, etc. This year, though, has been really the first time that friends have actually tried "matchmaking". Not dating -- they know I'd never go for that. But strategic planning to give me the opportunity to spend more time with certain guys, and none-too-subtle hints. And they're all very well-meaning friends who truly have my best interest at heart. Some of them don't feel that it's something serious, that it's all in fun.

I think it's time to tell the truth about matchmaking.
1. Marriage is serious. Eternal, binding, covenant serious. It is not something to be played around with and joked about.

2. Hearts are fragile things. Often, playful matchmaking leads to hearts being opened to the wrong person because of pressure from respected friends. By the time all involved parties figure out that it was a mistake, deep wounds have already been inflicted, and friendships may be lost.

3. This is probably the most significant one for me. Think for just a second about how matchmaking makes the matchmakees feel. Ok, If you're a girl, and people are constantly trying to point out guys that would be just right for you, or always telling the guys about how great you are, how do you feel? Basically, you feel like you're completely unattractive. You feel like your friends think it's impossible for a guy to ever "like you" without them suggesting it to him. And what about a guy? If I were a guy who's friends were trying to push him to meet a certain girl, I'd probably feel that my friends didn't respect me as a man, and didn't think I could be manly enough to take the first step on my own. And besides, honestly, if my friends try to set me up with a guy, I instantly put up even more of a "guard" than I normally would with a guy, just because I am always wary of what hi intentions are, whether he asked his friends to set us up, or what exactly his feelings are. Basically, people pushing us together makes me want to run in the other direction. Big time.

4. When people are trying to match you up, they see what they want to see. If you're tired, and happen to "zone out" during a conversation, they might immediately assume it's a highschool musical-esque crush because you're staring dreamily off into the distance when their pick for you happens to be talking. (Really, really unflattering when you're sincerely not interested, and giving any impression of a crush was the furthest thing from your mind) Honestly, don't just assume the odd behavior you see in a friend is signs of "being interested" in someone. It's probably something completely unrelated. And if they are interested, it's their right to disclose that to you if and when they feel comfortable with it, not before.

So, what is the point of this post? just rambling against matchmaking? Yes and no. The point is, if you're the kind of person who is always trying to get your friends together, please stop. You're making the job of protecting our hearts a whole lot harder. When God leads us to the right one, we'll be more than happy to be in a relationship -- not before then. And, if you're someone who is constantly getting teased about guys or girls that your friends want you to like, don't be unkind, but just tell them that it makes you uncomfortable, or that you'd prefer them not to joke about those things. Maybe they'll stop and maybe they won't, but if you stand your ground, eventually they'll get the point. :) Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's day, and keep your eyes on Christ!


  1. Amen, amen, AMEN! :D I wholeheartedly agree. (yes, I get teased about these things a lot :P ) I will say that when I get teased and my heart threatens to wander, it takes effort, but by God's grace, sometimes the situation gives an opportunity to strengthen my relationship with God. :)
    Great thoughts, Erica! [[hug}]

  2. Thank you for posting this, Erica! Much needed :D