I recently watched an old movie called “Rumour Has It”. It’s a rather twisted movie about a young woman named Sarah who is returning home with her fiancé for her little sister’s wedding, and finds out a family secret: a week before her wedding day, Sarah’s mother slept with a man who had previously slept with Sarah’s grandmother. This obviously rocked Sarah’s world because there was a possibility that this other man was her father, especially because she had never felt like she fit into her family. She goes seeking out this other man (Beau Burroughs), finds out he is not her father and ends up sleeping with him herself. Her fiancé finds out and obviously leaves Sarah.
That is just a background to the story. It is certainly a warped plot but it is more the character Sarah that intrigued me. You see, Sarah was about 30 years old now but felt confused and like she did not understand herself well. She felt almost stagnant and like she needed to enter into an adventure in her life. It didn’t help much that her fiancé was a normal, devoted and “boring” guy. He loved her dearly and desired to cherish her. Yet, Sarah felt terrified at the thought of marrying him and felt like she needed someone who excited her. She couldn’t imagine a long life of just normal I suppose. I’m sure she was wondering what was wrong with her. I mean this was a great guy – any woman would dream of being with him! Yet she just wasn’t sure. In a way, I realized as I watched this movie that I resonated with some of Sarah’s internal struggles and I’m sure so do other women.
You see, during my younger years at varsity I was drawn to your “bad boys”. I don’t think I need to explain what a bad boy is. We have all come across them or heard about them or read about them. If not, just Google the phrase and I’m sure you’ll get the idea. Lol. I’m someone who likes to be enthralled with life. Like Sarah, I desire adventure out of life. I seek it out. It has been the same with the guys I have dated or liked. I have been drawn to the men who are mysterious – they have clear life issues and it feels good to me when such a man lets me into his space. Or at least makes me feel like he has. It’s the man who has this “I don’t really care about life or about you” attitude who gets my attention. I know – twisted right?!! The one who lives for the thrill of life – travelling to different places; trying out new things; living a spontaneous life. Someone who just cannot be pinned down by anything or anyone. It has always made me feel alive!
Like Sarah, I realize now that it’s not what I need. And like Sarah, I understand that just because a good man does not initially excite me, it does not mean he is not good FOR ME. By the end of the movie, Sarah realizes that in as much as her ex-fiance is lacklustre in her eyes, she loves him and he loves her. He is constant and reliable. He is a truly strong man because he does what is most difficult in the world – he eventually forgives her like she’d never cheated on him and takes her back after she asks him to. Even though she may not feel excited about him, it does not mean that her feelings don’t run deep for him and vice versa.
I’ve come to understand this is true with me. I may be excitable, spontaneous and driven by passion half the time but it is not a dangerous or exciting man that is good for me. It is not necessarily the man who evokes tingles or thrills within me who will be there for me when life gets real. It is not the man who puts up a front about his feelings for me who actually has those feelings for me. Instead, like Christ, it is the man who respects me and loves me for who I am with all my not-so-great-qualities who is right for me. It is the man who is willing to forgive me when I mess up rather than create drama (thrilling as it may be) who I need. It is the man who is willing to gently but firmly call me out on my bad stuff who will build me up. It is the “boring” man who desires to do the right thing and to obey God who will encourage me to do the same.
You see, I have a nature that is free and loves to explore. There is nothing wrong with that I finally realize. It is a part of who God created me to be. I’m not confused or crazy or untameable. I am not abnormal or unable to settle down. However, I need the right partner to walk with me on this journey of life so that this adventurous nature is harnessed in the right direction. In the same breath, I need the right partner for me to introduce some spunk and spontaneity into his life too! You see, I’m learning that we need the person God knows we need and not the person we think we want. As the saying goes, what we want is not always what is best for us.
It is also so true that love is not a feeling but a principle. One of my favourite quotes on love comes from a book called “Letters To Young Lovers” by a lady named Ellen White. It reads:
“True love is a high and holy principle, altogether different in character from that love which
is awakened by impulse and which suddenly dies when severely tested.
True love is not a strong, fiery, impetuous passion. On the contrary, it is calm and deep in
its nature. It looks beyond mere externals and is attracted by qualities alone. It is wise and
discriminating, and its devotion is real and abiding.
Love is a precious gift, which we receive from Jesus. Pure and holy affection is not a feeling,
but a principle. Those who are actuated by true love are neither unreasonable nor blind.”
This is beautiful. It encourages me that it’s alright to seek out a love that is calm and assured. My feelings cannot lead in this decision. So yes, I may naturally be drawn to bad boys but that’s because of my unhealthy and sinful ways of thinking that I’ve developed probably from past experiences. It does not mean though that I need to follow through with them. I just need to trust God to guide me in the direction of the right man for me. I may be attracted to bad boys but it’s not the end of the world J
What’s been your experience with “bad boys”? Do you have a completely different story? I’d love to hear it!
Sonia Dube is a daughter, sister (my big sister), friend, founder of black African woman, young professional, counselor and people-person. She has a heart of gold and offers great counsel to many on the daily. She taught me what it means to truly love God and I am constantly learning from her. I hope you can take something from her article too.