Sunday, September 14, 2008

Now it's me who's got the ulterior motives...

I know the month of September isn't over yet, but I think I know what this month's greatest lesson is for me. Since this month began (and even before it did), a lot of things have happened that have really helped me to come to what is probably a very healthy conclusion.

I've come to the time of my life where I've realized that I do not desire any close friendships with men. I want to wait and grow close only to my husband. And while I do understand that all romantic relationships should be first built on a solid friendship, I guess what I'm saying is that I don't want to build a solid friendship with a male unless I am also romantically interested in him.
Over the course of my lifetime, I have probably had more male friends than female friends. And while many of my male friendships have been great, a good majority of them end up being heavily influenced by the ever-present existence of our gender difference. Before long, I would come to discover that my male friend indeed had an ulterior motive, and then usually the whole relationship would be strained and burst into oblivion...leaving me with yet another loss of a friend.

Normally it was never me who burst it into oblivion; it was the guy. I would always think that a lengthy conversation of honesty would recalibrate ourselves....that we'd believe each other's words and adjust our actions accordingly. But inevitably that wouldn't happen; and, even if my male friend had long-staying power (as Scott did for 14 years), it would just go ahead and end anyhow, leaving me again with nothing to show for after such an investment of time and energy.

So, for a good long time, I thought that I could not trust whether or not a guy was sincerely interested in my friendship or if he had an ulterior motive. I would ask myself, "Is he being nice to me just because I am his friend or is he being nice to me because he wants something more?" And even when a guy would say he was truly my friend, I questioned his sincerity.

But now I've realized that I do not need to bother questioning it. Regardless of what the guy thinks, *I* have now changed: I do not desire to grow close to a male unless I am also equipped with that ulterior motive of wanting more than friendship.

So tonight I parted ways with one male friend and a few weeks ago I distanced myself from another. Neither guy was a bad person. They are wonderful men simply in search of female companionship. And who doesn't desire companionship from a member of the opposite sex? It is a God-given desire and a very good one at that. But they will have a better chance of finding their wives (and I will have a better chance finding my husband) if we keep our welcome mats clean and store up our energy and save it for our betrothed!

In the meantime, I will continue to find my friendship fulfillment in my wonderful female friends. But I will save the rest of it for my husband. And while it might take me a few more instances of investing in a guy only to find out he's not The One, at least now I can I simplify my life by admitting that having an ulterior motive is a lot easier than trying to only maintain a friendship.