Announcer: Don't be fooled by foolish illusions. Being in love can make you stupid.
Kristen Victory: Chapter 11. Pie in the Sky.
Chapter 11 Prelude. Foolish Illusions.
Moral to the story. Maintaining a chaste conversation, both spoken and written will reward you with gladness. A caution. Every deed, every word, everything will be revealed in detail some day. "Be sure your sins will find you out," Numbers 32:23.
When you're in love your priorities change. Previous plans and goals don't seem quite as important anymore. That special someone is suddenly ‑‑ the ‑‑ most important thing in your life. A dangerous fact is that when you think you're in love, the same thing happens. It just doesn't last.
Pie in the Sky. Story four.
My name is Tara. I am 19 and have never been your average girl when it comes to guys. Yes, they make good buddies, but I could never understand the girls who spend all their time giggling about their latest precious.
I made up my mind from a young age not to waste my time or emotion on a guy I couldn't picture myself marrying. Looking back, I can see I had too much spare time. If I had been busy, I would not have had the time to text, text, text.
Here is how it happened. Matt was the most sensitive guy I had ever met. He wasn't the kind of man I had pictured myself with, but we seemed to fit together so well.
Because I grew up with an insensitive and very emotionally unflappable father, I never thought of sensitivity as a positive character trait for a man to have. But when you become the object of all of that emotion and thoughtfulness, it is very appealing.
The study man says, "Girls just love attention of this sort. It becomes intoxicating like alcohol and bends their perception of reality like a drug."
Matt always knew how I was feeling and seemed to relate. He was romantic and read poetry. He made me feel like I was the most special and wonderful girl on earth. In a way, it made me feel guilty because I didn't know how to do the same for him.
Like my father, I am rather insensitive and very realistic. But I tried. Even though I knew I wasn't being myself, I tried to be emotional and as dependent on him as he was on me. It just felt so good.
We had briefly met through mutual friends. We seemed to hit it off. A few months later, we started writing. Over the span of about four months, he became one of my best friends.
Debbie says, "That's the first red flag. Internet love is just a pie in the sky. It looks great, but it is not a real pie."
Because I'm a very self‑reliant and guarded individual, I found it amazing how much I opened up to him and trusted him on the Internet. The transition from close friends to something more may have been slowly building throughout those four months. But neither of us realized it until he helped me get through some very difficult issues.
He was extremely honest with me and very sympathetic. I gave him my cell number and we began talking and texting all the time. Looking back, I see that we didn't have a chance of remaining just friends.
When a guy and girl spend all their time communicating and confiding in each other, they are going to run into trouble eventually. I set myself up without even knowing it. I didn't see it coming.
While I was still trying to figure out my own feelings, he had already moved on to considering himself in love with me. Knowing that the man I cared for was in love with me was a wonderful feeling. I felt pressure to return the sentiment.
I convinced myself that I loved him, despite the fact that deep inside I knew I was forcing it. I thought love would be amazingly clear, but it seems so elusive. I pushed the doubtful thoughts from my mind.
We were both so shocked and surprised by this development that instead of taking things slow, to evaluate whether it was real or not, we plunged ahead, discussing whether or not my family would like him and what kind of wedding we'd always dreamed of.
We also discussed his past and some of the issues he had struggled with for years. Once again, I persuaded myself not to let it bother me for I was his healer. Our relationship was good for him.
Red flag number two. You don't have brains when you're in love and you can't fix your guy.
I convinced myself it wasn't that big of a deal. That we could work through it. I was foolish and blind.
My parents were absolutely shocked when I told them about Matt. It was the last thing they would have expected from me. But because I had never shown much interest in a guy before, they took me seriously and said he could come meet the family. They made sure to emphasize that he was coming to be approved, not to visit me.
They had no clear as to how serious we had become through texting and talking on the phone. After talking to my dad on the phone a few times, Matt bought his ticket and finally arrived.
It had been eight months since we met, the only time I had ever seen him. Things were awkward at first. I started wondering what I'd gotten myself into. I pushed all my doubts and fears aside and pretended to be just as much in love as he was.
The Visionary says, "The more you desire something, the less qualified you are to make a good decision about it. The very decision that drives the decision clouds you from being able to judge the decision well. As attraction can be all‑consuming, it is doubly important to be mindful of the counsel of wise family and elders."
Slowly, over two or three days, little pieces of his character that I didn't recognize online began to show and it scared me. When someone writes, they project the person they think or maybe wish they are, not the person they really are.
It became obvious that he wasn't the man I foolishly convinced myself I loved. But still, I told myself it was too late. I can't back out now.
After all we had been through and all our plans, I couldn't just end everything. He was so sensitive. I could not hurt him. I made up my mind to go through with it, to stop thinking about things so much, and make it work.
The same day I made that decision, a close friend approached me and said she had to talk with me. She hesitantly told me the things she herself had noticed in Matt. Things I convinced myself were OK or normal.
While she talked, I set my feelings aside and tried to see truth because I truly wanted God's will in my life. Hearing these concerns from someone I loved and trusted was a reality check for me. It hit me that I didn't really love Matt. I didn't actually want to spend the rest of my life with him.
I could see that all we had was a result of modern technology and runaway emotions. It wasn't real tried‑and‑true love. Through her gentle counsel, I came to realize that I didn't want to have to deal with his past problems for the rest of my life. Nor did I want my children to start life with a daddy that came with baggage.
It wasn't easy to admit how wrong I had been, but I was relieved to know I was walking in truth. I went straight to my parents and told them everything. They told me I was doing the right thing.
That night, I ended the relationship. Matt took it very hard and tried his best to change my mind but I knew I was doing the right thing. The freedom I felt was remarkable.
Life was hard the following weeks, but I deserved it. I had fooled myself into thinking that you can know someone from chatting on the Internet. I learned that it is just not true. I am thankful I escaped my folly.
All of the pain I went through could have been so easily avoided if I hadn't continued to play my little mind games and convinced myself of lies. I learned the hard way. I will always remember one thing. Lying to yourself doesn't change the truth.
I feel wiser now. Maybe something good came out of my disaster after all.
Kristen Victory: Although I know a part of me will never be the same. Tara.
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