How Not to Avoid Hurt

Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
Psalm 30:5b, NRSV

People keep asking me why I am single, and for a long time, I kept saying it is because that’s the way God wants it. However, on Sunday, a church colleague made a reference to it and it got to me for some odd reason. Normally, I am able to brush it off, but in that moment, I felt helpless. Why? Because I am don’t like not knowing something about myself. So, for the last 48 hours, I have been trying to figure it single Patrice. I don’t think I am any closer to answering than when I started, but I did find a piece to the puzzle. I share this with the hope that another sister can benefit from my findings.

I have spent the good majority of my life trying to avoid hurt, but that life-long endeavor has cost me dearly. I have missed so many opportunities because of my fear of being hurt and I’ve suffered the most in dating. You know what happens when you try to avoid something, it comes right at you. In reflecting, I realized that I’ve been hurt more in romance than in any other area of my life but I’ve dated so little. So, how did I get hurt? I didn’t choose.

Back in 2009, I walked away from a man that I actually wanted to date. Why? I didn’t want to choose? I was engaged back in 2011 and the result was hurt. What happened? I didn’t choose. Last year, I almost lost a dear friend for life. What was the reason? I didn’t choose.

What am I trying to get at with all these references to choosing? When I say choosing, I mean choosing to be honest. In 2009, I didn’t choose to let the person know I was interested. In 2011, I didn’t choose to let the person know I didn’t want to get married to him. Last year, I didn’t choose to tell the person I was in love with him. All of these situations occurred because I was trying to avoid hurt.

Many of you know this story, but when I lived in NYC, I got caught up in a situation with a guy because a friend of his was not honest with how she felt about him. As a result, she saw his attention towards me as a threat and she did everything in her power to get rid of me. While I did end up leaving for other reasons, she still ended up losing him, all because she chose to play games instead of being honest.

Ladies, I hope this is the longest blog post I have to write on this matter. Otherwise, I will have to write a book. But, my point is, be honest when dealing with men, especially black men. If you can’t be honest with the person, at least be honest with yourself about what you are feeling. Don’t lie by labeling a man your friend or play brother, especially your brother in Christ when you want more. All this does is create confusion, especially in the body of Christ. If you can’t say it to him, then write a letter. If you can’t write it, send it via text or leave a phone message. Whatever you do, just be honest, and more importantly, be prayerful about how and when to be honest. Sometimes, God will tell you to just be honest with you and other times he will tell you to be honest with the brother. Whatever, the case, avoiding hurt and being dishonest is not going to work. True joy comes when you walk in honest, even in the face of weeping at night. Take it from a recovering hurt avoidance addict.