In the mid-1980s I was part of the now-long-disbanded post-college fellowship at my then-church, founded and led by the church’s parish assistant who had put together a “relationships seminar” (my, and likely others’, gateway into the church in the first place).
Through it I began to understand something I had not considered before: A relationship with a woman was and is a gift, neither earned nor something to which I was entitled. Indeed, one of the women in the group composed a song, “You’re a Gift,” that was sung at many weddings within that group.
I bring this up because of the recent incident in Toronto in which one man plowed car his into a group of women; it turned out that he was an “incel” — short for “involuntary celibate” — who was angry that he wasn’t getting the sex that he felt he deserved. We in Pittsburgh have seen such an incident, as nine years ago a man named George Sodini shot up a suburban LA Fitness before turning his gun on himself for similar reasons.
But before we denigrate such people for their murderous rampages, how often do we do the same thing — feel entitled to what we have or get angry when we can’t get it? Some reality must come into play because it gets into comparing yourself with everyone else. I often wonder about the social skills, or likely the lack thereof, that causes such men to feel left out. (I left the aforementioned group in part because of so many weddings.)
I got back into social dance in 2009 after some time away and, while I understood this instinctively, after a dance you’re supposed to thank your partner — because she could have said no. (I will often bow to her.) Indeed, I recently read an article on a West Coast Swing site where part of the atmosphere is to allow your partner “an amazing dance.”
In other words, it’s not always about you and what you want — you need to think about the other person as well.
But back to the relationship aspect. Recently one woman I met at a singles dance asked me why I wasn’t married; I told her, without rancor, “It just never worked out for me.” I’m hoping it will someday, but it isn’t something that I “deserve.”
It’s a gift, folks, not an entitlement.
This post was previously published on uncommonsensecommentary.blogspot.com and is republished here with permission from the author .
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