Friday, March 8, 2013

Is guarding your heart a bunch of bs?

I have a crush on a boy.

I don't want to say anything related to said boy, i.e. how long I've known him, whether or not we've spoken, etc. All I will disclose is that he is a boy, he is of legal dating age, and he is not married (I don't think.) I also realize that saying "crush on a boy" may be juvenile, but saying "I have strong feelings for a man" just sounds ridiculous. I choose juvenile.

I have two friends who have differing feelings about this whole crush thing. One is fully on board. The other is still on the shore, arms crossed against their chest, dubious about getting on a ship called "The Titanic 2". The cheerleader is telling me to put myself out there. The aquaphobic one is telling me to guard my heart. They literally had this conversation over my head the other day, as if I wasn't even in the room.

So, which is it? Team risk or team guard?

I recently read this article on Prodigal Magazine where a columnist explores the idea of guarding your heart. What she's actually responding to is the way that phrase has been misused to imply that we as women have a responsibility to hold our emotions close to our chest until the moment we discover that the guy is going to put a ring on our finger, and then we can open up the can of crazy. I know I've heard this at times when I tell friends I'm interested in someone. Just interested. No dates have been had, no phone numbers exchanged. Against what, precisely, do I need to guard my heart against when all I know about a boy is he's cute? Am I basically being told to stop having crushes?

If so, then I am in big trouble...

I'm starting to think that guarding my heart, as it's been pitched to me, is a bunch of bs. I'm 27 years old, and I've never had my heart smashed, which is a huge blessing. But there's something peculiar about hearing 32 crossed in love songs from Taylor Swift who is only 23 years old and not being able to relate. Hey, at least she's trying.

Which is why I might take a hiatus from guarding my heart. Because I may get mashed up, but I'll also write some kickin' pop songs.


Chrissie said...

In my personal opinion, and from the mouth of a very wise man, guarding your heart means never fantasizing about a relationship beyond what has happened in real life. If you let your mind wander and drift into dating and marriage and all that jazz when you have just said hi, then your heart becomes invested beyond reality...Just something to chew on. I say go for it, whatever "it" is!

Suzanne Townsend said...

I completely agree with you, dear friend. And this explanation makes a lot more sense. What I wanted to say to my two friends was: "you, stop being upset I'm dating a guy you don't approve of, because we're not dating. And you, stop being excited I'm dating a friend you approve of, because we're not dating." I'm so thankful for friends like you who have known me for such a long time (almost six years!) who can help me keep things in perspective.