My Dysfunctional Relationship

I have to admit something to all of you. You might have assumed from this blog that I have not been in a relationship for a long time. That is not really true. I have been in a relationship for a while now.

My relationship is with a little blog called the sexy celibate.  And it has become a very dysfunctional relationship.

It started out with risk and mystery, like many relationships. I wrote my first post, thinking “Not that many people will read this, but at least it will be a great way to get my thoughts and angst down on paper.”

But on the inside I really wanted people to read it.

There was risk involved from the very first word I wrote down. It was kind of scary. I was putting myself out there. People might read my intimate thoughts and be changed.  Or they might reject me. I might get three hits a day, two of which were my mother. If that happened, I would wonder if I was not a good writer and if the book I was writing would ever be read.

I put up my first post and was surprised that soon after, people were reading my words and even having discussions about what I was writing. It was strangely like when you have a crush on someone. After the initial risk of putting yourself out there, you start realizing that maybe that person likes you back, and that is a very exciting thought.

Around January, some crazy internet explosion happened and I had almost 6000 hits in one day with my article called What Married People Wish Single People Knew (about 20 times more than my average.) The romance and exhilaration of the throes of first love were upon me now. I was in a real relationship. “Lots of people are reading my blog! People like me! They are asking me for dating advice even though I’ve only dated a handful of people in my entire life and secretly know almost nothing about dating! I have purpose! I am valuable! I am loved!”

As in many relationships, after the initial infatuation was wearing off,  dysfunction started to happen. I began to wait for comments like a high school girl waits by the phone for her crush to call her. That’s not good.

My roommate had a friend from out of town over. She said “I don’t meant to seem to seem star struck but I really love your blog. I have practically fallen out of my chair laughing at work reading it.”

Instead of feeling flattered, do you know what my first thought was? “Oh man, I am in my pajamas and  have no make up on, and she’s going to go home and tell people ‘I met that sexy celibate chick and I don’t know why she calls herself sexy. She looks pretty plain to me.'”

The rest of the day, I felt insecure because everything I said felt awkward and not very clever. I thought “dang it, she’s going to go home and say ‘that sexy celibate girl is super bland in real life.'”

Slowly and surely, things started to change. The six thousand hits day was a rarity, and my numbers began to go down and down. “Wait!” I thought “Don’t you still love me? Don’t you still want to read my brilliant thoughts? Maybe I’m not that brilliant. Maybe I’m not even very wise.”

I had a harder and harder time writing posts, feeling like if I wasn’t clever, I wouldn’t be liked. Feeling like I might be a disappointment. I started to realize that “The Removal of the Projections.”  was happening.

My long time counselor has a theory that when you are in love, you not only project your best self for the person to see, you also project an your ideal  person onto your partner. What you see in them is not completely realistic.

Then a season called the removal of the projections happens. Your projection of yourself comes down, and your projection towards the other person is removed as well. There is a lot of control during that period, as both partners want to keep the projections up and continue believing in the figments in their head. They don’t want to see the weakness in their partner or in themselves.

It is much safer to go through the removal of the projections stage when you are dating than after you get married. If you have gone through that stage before you get married, you are more confident that your spouse will stay committed to you because you know that they love you for who you are, not for your projection. (This is another reason to not put marriage pressure on dating too fast, as I will talk about in one of my next posts.)

One of the biggest lies I have believed in my life is that people like me at first- are drawn to my music or my teaching or my personality-but once they get to know me, once the projections come down, they are disappointed. It has especially seemed to be true with almost every romantic relationship I’ve been in.

I have had to replace that lie with truth. When I hear in my head that people won’t like me once I get to know me, I say “People love me more the more they get to know me. I bring good things to people’s lives. If I get married, I will greatly enrich that person’s life.”

I have also had to tell myself that those relationships didn’t fail simply because I wasn’t valuable. They failed because it wasn’t a good match.

Sometimes you have to intentionally replace lies with the truth in order to stay sane.

So dear readers, now you know the truth. I am not always clever. I am not always wise. I am just as clueless as most of you when it comes to love. The projections come down, and really I am just a normal person.

But then I remember one of the reasons I love God so much. He loves me whether or not I am clever or wise. He thinks I’m beautiful even when I am in my PJs with no makeup on. I would be infinitely valuable even if I was in a car accident and was a vegetable my whole life.

Even if people are disappointed with me at times, God always sees me beautiful.

I hope you stay committed to me and my blog even if I am not always clever and wise. I hope you don’t break up with me.

But if you do, I will be okay. Even when projections come down, I am valuable. I am loved. I am precious to my Creator’s heart.

Believing that battles all of my insecurities. I no longer rely on my partner or my friends or my readers to give me value. That takes pressure off my relationships and brings freedom and life.

I am valuable. That is the truth. And it is a truth that no one can take away from me.

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29 thoughts on “My Dysfunctional Relationship

  1. One reason your hits may have gone down is that readers like me added you to our RSS feeds! I rarely hit your site directly, except obviously today, when I’m leaving a comment.

    I can totally relate to the insecurity thing. It happened to me when my photos started getting more popular on Flickr. I questioned everything I posted, to the point where it paralysed me. Just keep writing out of the genuineness of your heart–people obviously relate and want to hear what you say. And no, you don’t have to be clever or witty or whatever all of the time 🙂

      • RSS–it’s just a way of aggregating the feeds (posts) from all the sites you visit in one place, so you don’t have to go around visiting each site individually. The reader collects them automatically and displays any new posts from any site you’re subscribed to. The one I use is Google Reader, but there are plenty of others out there. If you want more help with it, you’re welcome to private message me–you can email me through the contact form on my blog (linked from my name)

  2. Ditto on what Susanna said…..I had to make an effort to affirm that yes, you are still funny, still interesting, still worth the effort. Even if I read your blog in an e-mail…..Keep up the good work. God loves you and you remind me that he loves me as well!

  3. Thank you so much for this blog!!! Don’t forget that numbers are not everything! I am touched by every single post you blog because it always puts light on something I really need to know! Thank you for focusing on God and bringing his truth forward for all of us to see! I look forward to your next post!

    • “(Relationship) failed because it was not a good match”. That is just what I needed to hear Kate. Thanks so much for your blog. I get it via email, which is so much easier than remembering to check online. So you can add another virtual hit 🙂

  4. Kate, I am one of your newer followers/supporters. Big thanks to Joy Eggerichs (Love and Respect Now) for suggesting your blog. Thank you for writing this specific entry. Your statement, “One of the biggest lies I have believed in my life is that people like me at first- are drawn to my music or my teaching or my personality-but once they get to know me, once the projections come down, they are disappointed. It has especially seemed to be true with almost every romantic relationship I’ve been in.”… this hit home with me, hard. While reading this section my jaw dropped. You put into words, with eloquence and piercing honest EXACTLY the lie I buy into. I know that I struggle with this…I have articulated it to myself, to God in prayer, to close friends. But there is nothing like reading someone else’s words and realizing, holy cow!!, I am not the only one. Thank you Kate!!!

  5. Kate, I enjoy your blog and I know you. I enjoyed getting to know all the different sides of you throughout several years. You have a great heart and you are a great person in all different arenas. I think that the amount of long standing friends that you have can attest to the fact that you are valuable and a neat person.

  6. Read your blog via e-mail.
    Thoroughly want to affirm what you said here about living out of identity and not projections, lies, false dreams etc, etc, etc. I go through this regularly myself and work regularly to remind myself of the Truth. Working in a homeless shelter I find myself amazed by the beauty I see in people who others think are so ugly. Unfortunately most of the people who use the shelter have been trained to believe they are ugly,dirty,worthless pieces of junk. Keep writing! Who knows, I might just read this blog in a Chapel service.

    • I’ve worked with homeless people a lot and know exactly what you mean. People are precious and beautiful if you will just take the time to look at them beyond the surface.

  7. l am super excited to read your book! i think these blogs and you are wonderful! i am blessed by your transparency and realness…so very refreshing! if you make it to the east coast, please let me know. we would love to have you come to VA to share and play. xo

    • I actually am thinking about taking a road trip the Rainbow Gathering which is a big hippie gathering I always minister at and it might be that way. Not sure yet though. Can you go to my website (katehurley.com) and contact me that way if it is really something you’d like to do?

  8. I first came across your blog via your What Single People Wish Married People Knew and I quickly added you to my Reader. All bloggers have that dysfunctional relationship period with their blogs at one point or another. It’s so important to hold on to the truths about who we are in order to maintain proper perspective. Keep up the good work, Kate! I don’t plan on breaking up with your blog any time soon.

  9. This reminds me of what my friend talked about tonight at my church.

    One of the points he was hitting on was asking us: Whose approval are we seeking? God’s, or man’s? We need only God’s – if we have His, we don’t need anyone else’s. 🙂

    (Which, by the way, is much easier said than done. Maybe just for me. Haha!)

    I LOVE your honesty. It’s a breath of fresh air every time I read. Keep being you, girl. On good days & bad, God will use you in totally unexpected (but really stellar) ways.

    Keep rocking 😀

  10. I’m not sure how I stumbled upon your blog, but as soon as I read a few responses, I knew I had to subscribe. You write with such wit and genuineness that one cannot help but read! You write what a lot of us singles and in their 30s are thinking. I love it when I see an email from the Sexy Celibate come into my inbox. (Can I just tell you how much I LOVE that title? A-mazing and clever!) Keep writing, my friend. We are reading and knodding our heads in agreement. I can’t wait for your next post!

  11. Oh, my dear one, how much I appreciate how you feel! We do indeed value your humor, your willingness to be open, your cheer. (And as to hits, don’t worry–if nothing else, I have you on my Blog Roll as a Site One Should Visit.) I am so glad you’ve realized that “even as a vegetable” you are valued by God, and that is so much more than the Internet can ever give you. Never lose that, Kate, and we will try to keep telling you how rather wonderful you are, even if we never meet each other at all.

  12. Amen and amen and amen! To all you said above and to the comments that have followed. Isn’t it funny how people can be naturally drawn to us and like us but we still feel as if no one actually sees us for us? I like your mantra, mine takes on a form like that often.

  13. I just today realized I hadn’t heard from you in a long time. And I thought I had you on my google reader. But I do now… and I’ll be sure to click through to your blog (and leave a ton of comments) so you can even have a little dot from the Finnish Gulf.

  14. Oh, and I’ve always loved YOU. (Not just your music or your writing, though I sometimes do fall off my chair laughing at your blog, or cry listening to your songs.

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