One thing I’ve never understood is why people make the assumption that a woman who chooses to live her best single life hates men. Let’s get something straight: I am not a man hater. Men are great! They provide emotional stability and rational thinking when my hormones go crazy. They offer a different perspective concerning situations that I never in a million years would have considered. For these reasons (and more), I value the role of men in my life.
Just because I make the conscious decision not to enter into a relationship doesn’t mean I’m a man hater. I hate when people make this assumption because they peg me as someone I’m not. My choice to remain single doesn’t stem from a dislike of men; it’s because I don’t want to repeat past mistakes.
Speaking to both sides of the divide, I think there needs to be some understanding. We never know another person’s story when it comes to relationships and past experiences. To assume I hate men because I’m not ready to walk down the aisle is a faux pas. I could have been abused, manipulated, or mistreated in other ways by a man. Believe me, the hurt and pain that that suffering awakens takes time to get over.
“Let’s get something straight: I am not a man hater.”
To the men, I ask you to be patient and kind. A woman with her guard up probably has stories upon stories to tell of when she allowed someone in and had her trust broken. I wish I could tell men that their willingness to walk alongside a woman through her pain and mess would do far more good than simply getting frustrated and giving up the chase.
To the women, I would tell you that not all men are the same. After coming out of a bad relationship, we often question our own judgment, find ourselves in the same predicament with a man who’s just as bad because we believe that’s the best we can do, or swear off men altogether. While it’s easy to remain guarded and expect a man to fight to show he really wants us, I’d say that path leads to even more pain. We can’t put everything on a man. Our healing doesn’t come from any one human being; it comes from God.
“Believe me, the hurt and pain that that suffering awakens takes time to get over.”
Before getting involved in a new relationship, I am a firm advocate of us taking time for serious introspection to learn about ourselves. Ask yourself some vital questions that will bring much clarity and allow you to honestly get to know yourself.
- What about this man made him so attracted to you?
- When were you happiest in the relationship?
- What aspects of his character gave you cause to pause?
- How many times did he offer genuine support?
- How often did his words pierce you?
- After the first incident, why didn’t you walk away?
- Who did you go to for counsel about this man?
- Was that confidant in a position to give you healthy relationship advice?
- At any point, did you ever pray and ask God if He was pleased with the union?
- Did you witness the fruit of this man’s relationship with God before dating?
- How did you view your worth before dating this man?
- How did you view your worth after the relationship ended?
That was a lot! Introspection is not a one-size-fits-all process. We all take in and analyze information differently. I think there’s great truth when they say we date the same men with different names. All I’m offering, fellow navigator, are some great starters to get you to begin noticing your patterns.
“Our healing doesn’t come from any one human being; it comes from God.”
Because of our environments growing up, family dynamics, and other factors, I believe we continue vicious cycles when we choose to go it alone. The beauty of our faith in God is that He never leaves us. Even when those around us fail to come through, our Father in heaven is always there.
Fellow navigator, don’t allow past hurts to keep you from future promises. We’re not men haters. We’re not bound by the pain of people who used and abused us. We are strong, brilliant, caring women who have much to offer the world. We grow from our less-than-stellar situations and move one step closer to being who God created us to be.
Have you ever been accused of being a man hater because of the stance you’ve taken when it comes to dating relationships? What have you learned about yourself regarding romantic relationships? I’d love to hear your story!