Knowing that I had to walk away from him was terrible. And now that I finally made the decision to do it, sitting here waiting for the phone to ring so I can tell him is even worse. It’s so hard because I want so badly to love him in that way.
I do love him in that way.
Before my conversion, which took place the summer after my sophomore year of high school, I made a few mistakes in relationships because I did not trust God with my heart. In being too vulnerable with the wrong guys, I let myself be pulled away from my faith. After my conversion, I promised God I would not date for the rest of high school so I would have time to heal and let Him prepare my heart to love and know Him more. Two years later, after I graduated and had fulfilled my promise, I met a man – Catholic, attractive, friendly, funny…Catholic (can I repeat Catholic enough times?).
When we met I wasn’t attracted to him. I think that since I had become so used to guarding myself against guys because of mistakes I made in the past, I feared making similar mistakes. Eventually though, because he wanted to be friends, I let my walls down a little and a friendship started. And that’s all it was – a friendship. But as the age old story goes, I found myself falling in love with my best friend. What makes it hurt more now is that I chose to love him because since we had become so close, part of me thought if I gave him my heart he would cherish it. This is where I made the mistake. In giving my heart to him without letting him pursue me, without a commitment from him, I risked too much heartbreak.
The more we prayed together and grew in friendship the more it seemed that our relationship was moving forward. At this point I was confused and knew that if our friendship was really just a friendship, we would have to set some boundaries because the friendship lines were blurred. Since I didn’t know how he felt, I told him.
And then he explained that even though he had feelings for me, he didn’t want to date because he wanted to discern the priesthood.
A month later he told me he was no longer discerning so he could focus on what God was calling him to in the present, which could be a dating relationship.
But he didn’t know if he wanted to date me, even though he told me he realized how “real” it was – whatever it was we had. He felt that what we had in a friendship was too good to risk losing if we were to date and then break up.
However, it would not be fair to my heart to continue such a close friendship with him. Confused, broken-hearted, and feeling used I told him that I was letting go and it was up to him to make a decision. Either he committed to me or not. But after a few days of prayer and reflection I realized how ridiculous that was. Love cannot be forced and if he really wanted to date me then he would be fighting for it. He should be pursuing me, and I am not going to wait around for him to realize what he has. I deserve a man who sees me as the beautiful gift God created me to be, who is honored at the thought of pursuing and dating me. As much as I want to love him, I know I cannot because I know I deserve better.
Walking away isn’t easy. I still want to be his friend. I want to talk to him about life and God and how much this hurts (because as my best friend I could talk to him about those things before), but I can’t do that anymore. I can’t be the girl he is emotionally close to while dating someone else. Emotional closeness outside of a committed relationship implies something that does not actually exist. It implies a commitment which is not there. I can’t – I won’t be used for emotional satisfaction. I deserve commitment. I deserve love.
I am a daughter of God. My Father wants my heart to be safe, protected, and cherished. It hurts so much to leave him because I love him, but as annoying as this is to say (because we hear it so often) God has a plan. If it is part of His plan that we date, then it will happen. But not now, because now he doesn’t love me as my Father desires me to be loved.
So the lesson goes that when we trust God with our hearts He will hold them in His gentle hands. He will keep them safe as lovely, beautiful gifts to be given and used for His lovely, beautiful plan. He loves us more than any man will ever be capable of loving. Even though it hurts to walk away from what we want, especially because we want love and love is good, when we trust God with our hearts and lives everything will fall into place.
Kate Quinn loves running, praying the Rosary, and seeking out some alone time with Jesus in Adoration. She firmly believes life is better when you're laughing, and therefore tends to laugh often (and loudly at that). Currently she is a Fine Arts major at Mount St. Mary's University where she also enjoys studying the fine, dead language of Latin, although she does not claim to speak it well.