God. I hate dating.
Recently, I went through a break up with a man I had met through one of several apps. It was Bumble. During the dating process, he had talked about how nervous he was to make the first move, and I thought nothing of it. Reader, when men say they are to insecure to make the first move.
The thing about the man I dated is that he is genuinely a wonderful human. He is smart (to the point of having a phD), thoughtful, athletic, and empathetic. And, he was good-looking. So, I genuinely believed him when he said that he really, truly preferred that the woman make the first move. He’s not dishonest, and on paper there is nothing wrong with him.
Reader, I’m pretty sure, that is guy code for, “I want to be in a relationship that doesn’t actually require me to work.”
Now, that my life was in a sense turned upside-down by this man who stated that, and thinking about how we broke up, I wonder if he was simply lazy. And, maybe, just maybe, he’ll want to do the things that I’m now considering nonnegotiable for his next partner. But I digress.
This last experience has brought me to the shocking conclusion that perhaps we as women have been sold a bogus bag. I mean I love planning events. I love creating content. I love producing creative outings that spark a genuine sense of joy and happiness for others. Which is why I typically don’t mind taking the lead when I’m dating someone. But, I think it’s time to implement a new, perhaps controversial theory- The Treasure Theory.
What is the Treasure Theory?
It’s the newest dating trend that operates off of this principal: I put effort into being my most authentic self, and creating joy for others, and the right person will see that, and want to keep it around. Here are the five affirmations I find myself using regarding the Treasure Theory and how they work.
Affirmation 1: My presence is a privilege, not a right.
The first piece of the treasure theory is that as a human being you are a frikking treasure. A gem. Everything in the universe has been conspiring for the past millennium to ensure that the exact genetic make-up, personality, and situation has produced you. Whether we want to think that this is true or not, there is something both marvelous and magical about our existence. We have the privilege of living on Earth for a finite amount of time, and then we experience another ‘immersive experience,’ (as Tanya in White Lotus says in the first season) death.
From an evolutionary perspective: you are the fittest. You’re genes survived centuries of pruning, epigenetic changes, famines, sicknesses, diseases and childbirth before Caesarean sections became a thing. Childbirth before the epidural. War. You have ancestors that fought to stay alive, and all of their fighting over the course of centuries of humanity on Earth comes together to produce you, in this exact fragment of time and space.
As a result, our time is valuable. Our presence is a privilege not a right. People who don’t create time or space for us, don’t deserve our presence. There are about a thousand things we could do at any given time. We can work. We can travel. It takes so much time to look good as a woman. Hell, we can do our own nails, get a blow-out and eyelash extensions and it’s going to take an entire day.
If partners are half-in and out of the relationship, cut them loose. Your presence is a privilege. The partners in your life can lose your presence if they aren’t one-hundred percent onboard to support the beautiful chaos that is your life. You don’t need to create space, give your time, or donate your energy to people who are not reciprocating it back. And if they give an excuse.
There are men who won’t and even if you end up deliriously single, it’s ten times better than chasing, or ending up with, the wrong man. And, if every eligible bachelor on Earth has some kind of half-baked excuse, I’d honestly rather be single.
Affirmation 2: I’m a rare, one-of-a-kind treasure that deserves to be cherished as such.
Jack Sparrow spent an eternity hunting treasure. In real life, the longer a treasure goes undiscovered, the more it’s valued once it’s found. The treasure of San Jose was undiscovered for three-hundred and four years. When it was finally found, it was worth billions of dollars.
There’s billions of people in this world, but only one you. No one can be, ‘you,’ like you can. Even if you meet someone who’s similar, your unique experiences and personality are made manifest in a special way. That’s why it’s so important to be authentic.
So here’s one example of this ‘treasure,’ my life. I went to a small liberal arts school (New England College). I then went to Boston University. At New England College, I was pretty oblivious to the social scene (I was married, after all) and although I was involved, I didn’t really participate in the gossip, and was intensely interested in getting to know people’s stories from their perspective- not the Rugby player who wanted to bash them because he had been spurned in love, not the jealous girl who projected her own insecurity into the world around her, and certainly not the opinions of the student body at large. I wanted to show people the love God has for them through Christ, and Jesus hung out with people: drunkards, prostitutes, tax collectors, kings, princes, moms, grandmothers, the sick lady with the breathing issue, a paralyzed daughter, fishermen. Jesus didn’t care what others said about His People. He cared about the people He was with, and that attitude was what I wished to emulate. What’s the point of having a vertical relationship with God if you can’t project the love He has for others horizontally?
Recently, I reconnected with someone from school and she said, “thank you for not judging me, it was a really tough time for me back then.” It had been almost a decade of not connecting- and the kicker- I didn’t even think she liked me very much while we were in school. Now that we’ve reconnected she’s already been a major blessing, and simply by being myself- a nonjudgemental listener, and kind of a Jesus Freak- I was able to impact another person’s life. And, I didn’t even realize that simply by being myself authentically, I could help another person through a trying time.
Affirmation 3: I’m the main character in my own life, never a supporting role.
I have been in so many relationships where I have been relegated to the ‘supporting role,’ and given up my dreams to live out someone else’s. And, it’s so easy to do this, that it’s scary. And, oddly enough, I love being the main character. It’s not selfish to be who you were created to be.
Drew Barrymore was in a film- Fifty First Dates. First of all, I love Drew Barrymore. Big fan, especially of how authentic and candid she is when discussing the trauma of being human. In the story, Adam Sandler’s character falls in love with a woman who loses her memory every day. Every day, Adam has to prove too Drew that he loves her. He puts major effort into this relationship.
Spoiler alert: it works out. But, the effort that Adam Sandler’s character puts into this relationship is the type of effort we need to expect. None of this, ‘let’s Netflix and chill on the first date,’ nonsense. Adam Sandler’s character saw the ‘treasure,’ that Drew Barrymore’s character. Even when Drew’s character breaks it off, Adam Sandler’s character comes back around, and he puts the dynamic effort in by using VHS tapes– before we all had camera phones.
Adam’s character lets Drew’s character become the main character and offers to support her where she’s at. That is exactly the kind of relationship The Treasure Theory brings.
Affirmation 4: If I’m a treasure they will find me, while I am being my most authentic self.
We’re all different. We all have different needs, different purposes, different likes. But, here’s what I think. Treasure hunters know when they see a treasure. They know when a treasure is valuable. They know with certainty it’s something they want.
If we act in anyway other than ourselves, we are setting ourselves up to attract the wrong people. If years of evolutionary progress have indeed occurred to create you, and if the divine hand of God had any hand in this creation process, then we may as well act like ourselves. I think about some of the past relationships I’ve been in and how my misrepresentation of myself lead me down that path.
We are not perfect. Only Jesus is. We were never meant to be perfect. We are meant to be in this fallen, imperfect world, and have a relationship with the divine through reconciliation with God (I believe that is the point of the gospel) and this may manifest chaotically, and differently, and entirely unlike the presentation of other people. And, that’s ok. When we act in our calling and walk in what’s important to us, we will attract the people who will fan our flame, and the ‘wet blankets,’ who want to douse our flame will eventually be set aflame by our love and our authenticity, or leave our lives.
Thus, instead of rushing, or going on a zillion Bumble dates (unless you like those types of dates) the most important thing you can do is be the person you were created to be. And, you’ll know when you’re on that path, because you’ll feel a difference in your soul. If you’re reading this, and have just ended a relationship, or if you feel weird because nothing appears to be working out, go back to the drawing board, and start doing what you love.
Affirmation 5: Everything is happening exactly the way it’s supposed to happen.
Disappointments occur. Sometimes, we think that we are doing the right thing only to be thwarted. Sometimes our hopes and dreams don’t work out.
And, that’s ok. Not everything will pan out the way we expect, but the main idea is to keep pushing through the disappointments, and believing the God has great things in store for you. Pain happens, and sometimes we experience extreme amounts of pain. In my experience, this is often due to other humans, who are also living in pain. Someone once told me, “hurting people hurt people,” This is the truth of the matter and even though we’ve all been hurt, we all have also hurt others.
When we let go and process our own pain, we can be the catalyst of healing for others.
2 thoughts on “The Treasure Theory”
I had a very similar dating experience before meeting my husband and reached many of the same conclusions. I reached a point where I was determined to find a man who would support my values or I would die alone. I can confirm that the right man will love you as you are, flaws and all. My only caveat is that, while we are all certainly the main characters of our lives, Christ should always be the Sun around which those lives revolve. We can’t give glory to Him through marriage or any other pursuit until we relinquish all of our fears to Him and become our most honest and authentic selves. Thank you for sharing.
True. That’s certainly a process! ❤ thank you for commenting.
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