I checked my makeup in the rear-view mirror, feeling a bit shaky with nervous energy. Running some gloss over my lips, I grabbed my purse and headed into the church.
I’d heard so many things about this young adults group and decided it was finally time for a visit. Apparently it was the largest group around, and I couldn’t wait to see who I’d meet. I was like a kid walking into a candy shop, as visions of ice cream cones—er, tall, handsome men—danced through my mind.
When I found my way to the huge gymnasium packed with people, I felt my heart racing. Finally! Maybe this was where all the good guys were holed up together! It was about time; I’d been looking for them for ages!
My eyes started scanning the room…and kept scanning…and kept scanning. There were a few cuties, but they each seemed to be with a girl. Slowly I became more and more disappointed. I was sitting there, surrounded by 200-plus young people, when I suddenly thought to myself: There are no guys here. This wasn’t even worth the trip. Where have all the good guys gone?
Looking back, I know there were at least 75 guys there, if not more, and many of them were single and really good people. I know that because later I started going to that church and I got to meet a lot of them. But at the time, I didn’t even notice their existence; it was as if they were invisible to me.
I left that night feeling like my last hope of finding a good guy had just been dashed to pieces. (Yes, it was a very dramatic moment for me.)
I did kind of feel like patting myself on the back, though.
You see, even visiting that young adults group at a random church was a HUGE step for me. I had spent most of my life expecting to wake up one morning to a pink, sparkly package on my front step with a note reading, “To Tiffany. From God. Contains ‘The One.’” (Well, something like that, anyway.)
Surely at the right time, God would simply send my husband to me; he’d pop up in my world, no matter where I was, even if I was just hanging out on my couch watching TV every night.
While that certainly could happen, I used my incomplete theology about God’s sovereignty as something to hide behind—so I didn’t have to step out of my comfort zone and go meet new people.
Slowly I realized it would actually be okay if I went to where the good guys were, if I put myself in places where I’d be more likely to meet them. And since there weren’t a lot of guys at my home church, I figured, why not step outside my comfort zone and see if I could meet guys somewhere else? As long as I kept going to my own church, kept meeting with my mentors and close friends, why not also add on some adventures to other places where I might meet someone?
The months passed, and I felt more and more discouraged, like I had no idea where else to look for a good guy, and wondering where they had all disappeared to. And then, one day, a disconcerting thought hit me:
When I was surrounded by almost 100 real, live men in that young adults group, why did I still leave asking the question, “Where have all the single guys gone?” And the answer followed right on its heels:
Because they didn’t look like I thought they would.
You see, I thought I was asking, “Where are all the good guys?” but really I was asking, “Where are all the good guys who are 6’3” tall, dark, handsome and leading worship?”
(There was only one of those. And he was married.)
While I was looking for someone who fit the bill, it was as if my brain literally did not process any of the other guys I walked past. It was as if they didn’t even exist in my world. My mind started whirling as I thought back over the years. How many great guys had I walked past simply because they didn’t measure up to my 6’3” height requirement?
Several years later, I met my husband. He’s only 5’9”.
If I’d met him at that young adults group, I wouldn’t even have noticed he existed.
I’d known him when we were kids, but had never thought twice about him. And then one day we randomly reconnected, and met up to talk about ministry stuff—only we ended up talking about life, and he was so funny and so kind, and everything I’d ever wanted in a guy, and I began to fall head over heels in love with him.
With someone who didn’t look anything like I expected.
With someone I would have passed by at one point.
With someone who makes me ridiculously happy, who wants to love every person he meets and who is the most wonderful husband I could have asked for.
And this experience made me think about things a little differently.
It’s true that sometimes there are no good guys in our circles.
And in those moments, it’s perfectly okay to expand our circles.
It’s also true that sometimes we’re surrounded by good guys, yet we don’t quite click with any of them.
And those seasons can be really discouraging—but they can also draw us closer to God, if we let them.
Then there are times when our standards are so high in the nonessential areas that we don’t see the gift right in front of us.
That’s when we walk right past great guys without even realizing it…or lower our standards in the essential areas because we think there are no good guys left.
Which is why I want to share this thought that shook me to the core:
Maybe the good guys aren’t missing.
Maybe we’re just passing them by.