Dear Adeline and River,
I had a conversation last night that broke my heart and made me angry.
Around 9:45 last night I picked up a couple – I’m a Lyft driver on occasion. Let’s call them Sam and Amy. They were talkative, outgoing, and perhaps a touch overbearing. As we drove, a few things crystallized. Amy was not approving of what was about to take place. We were driving Sam to meet up with his friend. Amy made it very clear that she thought this friend was a complete jerk. She made it too clear. Not to be outdone, Sam chimed in and agreed wholeheartedly.
He was trying too hard.
I began to understand the energy between these two. She was desperately trying to express to her boyfriend how much she didn’t want him to hang out with this friend. But, naturally, she didn’t want to be a nag. She didn’t want to come across needy and insecure. It was real.
I dropped him off in Old Town Scottsdale, and then it was just me and Amy. Here is how the conversation went:
Me: “So what is it about Sam’s friend that makes you so uncomfortable?”
Amy: “Well, here’s the thing, he is 25 years old and lives in Scottsdale. His girlfriend lives in Tucson, she is 19, and he cheats on her all the time. He is always on Tinder looking to hook up with girls.”
Me: “Ahh, that makes sense, so it probably doesn’t make you feel very safe when your boyfriend goes and parties with him.”
Amy: “Ya…I want to be cool though, like, I don’t want to be overbearing. I want him to be a dude, ya know? I don’t want him to be, like a girl…”
Me: “What does that mean to you…for a guy to be a ‘dude’?
Amy: “Well, like go out with his buddies, flirt with other girls, you know…just be a dude…”
This girl’s soul is famished. She is in the desert, starving and dehydrated. She is desperately looking for an oasis and this twenty-five year old boy is feeding her twinkies. She believes that’s all there is. She is trapped. She doesn’t understand that she needs to look beyond a silly boy to find her nourishment.
Sam has convinced Amy that a real man just can’t help himself, that he has an itch to scratch. To his benefit, he has implanted the notion that a real dude needs to get out there to test the waters.
Because you know, boys will be boys. And that’s the lie. It is despicable and manipulative. It’s an insidious means to shed responsibility and place it squarely on your shoulders. If you complain or object, you aren’t letting him be a man! How dare you? How could you be such a nag? A cool girlfriend lets her boyfriend hang out in Scottsdale with a chronic cheater. Because, you know, you should trust him.
Girls, please run from these types of boys. You are worth so much more. You deserve somebody who is true, faithful, and listens to your needs. You want a man who will walk up to his cheating buddy and tell him, “Either I tell her or you tell her…either way, though, she is going to find out.”
Adeline and River, your value is far beyond what any man can bestow. Sure, it feels good to be liked, but the moment you place your self-worth in the hands of a boyfriend, you begin to lose yourself. Your boundaries are trampled and you end up starving in the desert, surrounded by Twinkies.
I won’t always be around to chase away the boys. So, I hope to raise you with a strong sense of self, a good relationship with God, and strong internal boundaries.
No little boy (no matter his age) will ever have this much power over you.
Not on my watch.