I’VE been weird places with my brokenness this year. Like, I have been interested, infatuated, one-sided emotionally interested in four guys this year. It’s crazy. I thought intensely desiring a guy would disappear as I got older and dealt with my issues, but it’s intensified. Yeah, yeah…if your memory stretches back four months you’ll know my last two posts were also about this topic. That’s because nothing frustrates me more about my battle and it is the hardest part of it to deal with.
So who was lucky number four; you ask? Well a couple of months ago I had to move house and I was looking to board somewhere as I hoped (and still do) to move to the city soon, which ruled out renting on my own. The people that responded to my advertisement in the newspaper were a married couple in their mid-40s with a big house and only a daughter at home. They also had a young guy boarding with them. Maybe I set myself up for it; I did start to wonder what the guy would be like and whether we would get on and what he would look like. I didn’t envisage how it would end up though. It was worse then I could have imagined and better.
First impressions were he was an average looking, nice late teenager. Three weeks later I was fighting to stop thinking about him. I don’t know what exactly clicked or reacted that set me off. We had a few conversations in those three weeks. They were nothing special. But he was busy; I was busy, so there wasn’t much more than that. Even though we used the same bathroom I hadn’t seen him shirtless or anything, so there was nothing that way either.
My guess is that I kind of set myself up for it with wondering too much what he would be like and hoping that we would get on and it would be a healthy male bonding experience for me. There’s nothing wrong with hoping, but I’m sure my brain could twist that into a ‘well if you’re not going to be mates, you might as well get some excitement by being infatuated with him’. Another thing is I don’t talk and spend time with a lot males whom adhere to cultural ideas about masculinity. This is a guy who plays football, seems confident, gets drunk on the weekend and has a large group of ‘mates’ he hangs with frequently. He seemed like he was having a pretty good life in ways I guess I felt I missed out on when I was 18. (Part of this is irrational. It’s the excitement of the foreign as opposed to the guys I’ve known for a while and are friends with).
Other reasons? I guess he comes across as kind of self absorbed. I don’t know why that should be appealing. But it’s one of his notable characteristics. He seems confident and also makes himself vulnerable. He talks deeply about himself quite easily…..what’s the point of writing all this down? I guess I’m curious as to why it happened, how it won’t happen next time, what’s happening inside me that I need to deal with.
To begin with I fought this infatuation well. ‘Dear God, this is my idolatry. I want to want you more than him, but I don’t right now please forgive me.’ Must have prayed that heaps for a few days. I also told a few people about the infatuation. My parents (that was a pretty good conversation in a way; they are people who absolutely care for me and though they don’t know the right responses to make they listen and engage) and a couple of friends. It was downhill from there.
I hated having an infatuation on a housemate, because you can’t get away from him. (It could have been worse thankfully he was away on the weekends and often went to his room and watched a movie). I hated it how my brain was trying to plan my morning around seeing him. ‘Okay, if we have breakfast at 7.15am and shower at 8.05am we might just catch him at 8.20am when he brushes his teeth’ or later ‘if you do shorthand practice at 7.50am you will see him walk to his room’. It was crazy stuff. Then I’m wondering whether I’m doing this cause it’s the best way to do it or because it increases my chances of seeing him.
I ‘loved’ having an infatuation on a housemate. Like, I actually got to talk to him and see him. Usually my infatuations are with guys in the distance. For example the infatuation went super strong the night we had a spa. There’s an outdoor spa at the house and I hadn’t had one, so I was going to have one and he said he would join. It was an amazing hour and a half of good flowing conversation, mainly him sharing things about his life, with a couple of beers. It, and the other couple of times we had spas, would literally be like a shock to me. I would think about them and what was said for a couple of days later. It would literally take those couple of days to recover. Here was a guy I liked sharing stuff with me, being friendly and having a pretty deep convo. It was kind of intoxicating. The convos were also unhelpful. Let’s just say the last one we spent half the time talking about girls. He said stuff that wasn’t healthy to hear and I asked probing questions I shouldn’t have. We also chatted about God, sin etc a bit as well.
Thankfully he’s leaving in a few days. The part of me that was sad about this has mourned. The other part is counting down the days and can’t wait to not have this interest taking up a lot of brain power. It’s the bigger part now. It’s possible I will never see him again; I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I’m going to take some good things away from this: the acceptance from a ‘guy, guy’ who I didn’t know three months ago, insights into the lives of younger guys and a first-hand knowledge the guys I envied five years ago don’t actually have it all.
It’s weird. I was totally wrong about him. He wasn’t just the confident and happy person I imagined him to be. He was also insecure, broken, frustrated and hurting kid. The funny thing is that I wanted him to bestow on me masculine acceptance, but he actually needed me to initiate a healthy form of masculine encouragement for him. Apart from the sin in my head and in my questions, this is the biggest thing I’d do differently if I could do-over the whole episode. Instead of hoping he’d come to me and be what I needed; I’d go to him and be what he needed. A more mature guy to come alongside him and cheer and fight. Instead of seeing myself as weak and him as strong; I’d see us as both weak and strong in different ways.
I welcome any thoughts or insights you have…