I didn’t intend to send him the book. The note and the mix cd were thought, rethought and just plain over thought but the book was an afterthought. As I slipped the note and the cd into the envelope, it only seemed right that he should get a copy of the book that helped me conceptualize what was wrong in our relationship.
First some background. Being unmarried at the age of 32 is my fault. I imagine if I had made getting married a priority, I would be a wife by now. I haven’t and so I’m not. I don’t have this ticking clock telling me I’m running out of time. I don’t have this pressing desire to bear my own children. I don’t need a Jerry Maguire to complete me. More often than not, I prefer being single. Lonely does seep in sometimes.
In a fit of lonely, I reached out to someone I’d met years ago at a conference. We’d maintained a casual facebook friendship. On my computer screen he seemed like a good match, so I pursued him 5 hours away. (We can delve into the psychology of distance relationships later if you want. I’m game.) There was enough overlap in our media consumption and our proclaimed beliefs about life and church that a connection was inevitable. The months we spent talking felt magical but sadly unicorns aren’t real. After spending a couple days with him on our second visit, I knew I was in trouble.
While he and I were getting more intense, I read a chapter of Quitter each night. Other books I raced through, but Quitter was a book that I had to absorb. I was intrigued by Jon’s unfolding story. Some of it applied to me. The lasting thought for me was this idea of using your now to get to your dream. Find the time to do what you love and use the job you have to prepare you for the job you’ll love. Beautiful sentiment.
It was more than sentiment. It sunk in. And then I listened to some Dave Ramsey on the way to visit this boyfriend. Dave’s words on lesson 2 of Financial Peace University reminded me again of the toll that money fights can take on a relationship. This boyfriend and I had talked a little about money. He talked about saving money, but it was in the context of needing to buy a blue ray player so he could watch the Star Wars blue rays he was going to buy when they were re-released. We were doomed.
At this point, I’d begun to apply principles of money management to time management. I needed to use time to pursue a dream and if the guy I’d picked didn’t fit or feed into that dream, why try so hard to make it work? Though I thought about using the guy I had to prepare for the guy I’d love, I knew that Quitter wasn’t about dating. I needed to be supported in my hustle and this guy couldn’t do that because he didn’t understand how I was changing.
I knew what I wanted to tell him and I knew it would break his heart to hear it from me: Stop whining. You’re a slacker–that’s the problem. Work harder. I figured it would be easier for me if Jon Acuff could just explain things.
So I sent him Quitter, a note and a mix cd. That was a month ago. Other than vague facebook statuses, he’s never acknowledged it. No text, no call, no reply, no visit. I would love to read his review of the book but I’m not sure he’ll read it.
I don’t need a hero. I don’t need a guy to sweep me off my feet and into his story or dream. I do need a guy with some motivation and vision. I think the next guy will have to take a “Dating Slambfriend 101” class and Quitter will probably be on the syllabus. I’ll give a few power point presentations and ask to see the guy’s budget. We’ll watch and discuss Reality Bites, High Fidelity and The Last Kiss. If things don’t work out, I’ll have to find another break up book.