New Year, new you, no nudes

RELATIONSHIPS | 9 mins

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2018 is the year you’re done getting someone else’s junk on your phone. Yes, I’m talking to you. Go with me for a minute.

I firmly believe that 2018 can be the year that your relationships with the opposite sex become a positive part of your life with people you actually respect, no longer the Amy Schumer-level of drama you can’t believe you put up with. Men, I’m certain you can be in a place to have a serious and sexy relationship with a woman who you might end up sharing a last name with, EVEN if you met her on Tinder. Girls, this can be the year you are finally done being insecure and instead find a relationship with a man who means it when he tells you how beautiful he thinks you are in your sweats and day-five dry-shampoo bun. To do it, you have to listen to God and believe how valuable you are. It’s time to quit putting up with something that everyone deals with.

First, since it’s that time of year, let’s talk about NYE, and how it’s the last one you’ll ever spend dealing with nudes. I’m willing to bet sometime in the last year you had a naked picture on your iPhone. I’m willing to bet a lot. Maybe you asked for the pic. Maybe you sent it. Maybe you got one without asking. Maybe it was someone you liked or someone you never even met. Whatever the case, I can tell you what it definitely was: freaking weird.

December 31 is full of expectations and if you’re a single guy, chances are you don’t want to ask a girl out for this holiday, but do want the perks of having a date (i.e, you want to bring in the new year with a bang.)

If you’re single, and have the misfortune of being a woman on this holiday, it’s work. You spend it in a tight dress, fake lashes, real expensive blow out and heels (because somewhere some man decided anything less might as well be Crocs). You drink too much champagne, pretend not to care that you’re single, and finally you give in and kiss some loser at midnight. Thanks to this, you’ll spend the first week of the new year feeling guilty and asking yourself how could you be so stupid, or stalking his Facebook driving yourself crazy because he hasn’t called. He’s never going to call.

If you’re a guy on this holiday, you get to trade the beauty prep for pressure. If you have a date who isn’t your girlfriend, she has tons of expectations for this night — they include you becoming her boyfriend sometime before January 5th. If you aren’t ready to DTR, then you’re going to end up with a very confused and emotional girl, no matter how many times you’ve told her you aren’t looking for anything serious. With those being the options, a lot of men opt out of bringing a date, and women shouldn’t blame them. Our overanalyzing, pixie dust dreams, and unattainable expectations are the reason guys avoid asking us out for NYE.

Fast forward to the guy coming home at the end of the night, buzzed, and, let’s say, frustrated. So he does what he believes to be the next best thing. He starts texting in search of nudes. Let’s be clear, nudes are naked pictures. They allow the guy to feel a physical intimacy with a woman, without any of the physical proximity. In that moment, he has masterfully succeeded in getting her naked with zero cost to himself. It’s a transaction, goods for services if you will. The woman has become his porn. The only difference between her and Tila Tequila is she doesn’t want this.

To be clear, this isn’t just happening with the weirdos and the internet daters, (shoutout to internet dating, it’s totally normal and you should do it). It’s all over high schools. This isn’t a new thing, it’s just that now it’s normal. I can name at least five girls in high school who had a lot more than their pretty face texted from one school to another, because they were trying to get, or keep, a boyfriend. For the class of 2009, we didn’t have Snapchat. We had digital cameras. Imagine that. Girls so desperately felt they needed to do this for a guy that they went through the entire process. From being asked, debating, considering, deciding, getting the camera, taking the photo hundreds of different times to get the skinniest angle, uploading it to the family computer, sending it to the guy, and finally telling him she’d kill him if he shares it with his hockey team. Next the inevitable breakup came, because when you’re 16 you have no idea what you want. That’s when her name became infamous, not for her brain, but her body.

Today we have Snapchat. It’s given us the ability to send a photo that “disappears.” Somehow we think that makes this more acceptable. We are fine with it, because a reputation can’t be ruined over something that goes away after seven seconds. Maybe. But what about the reputation you hold of yourself? Somewhere out there is an internet crypt containing a mountain of naked photos belonging to hearts all in search of one thing: wanting to be wanted.

I’ve been on the other side of the screen. I’ve sent the picture, and I’ve had to live with hating myself after. So why did I do it? Same reason as everyone else. I wanted someone to want me, and in that three minute exchange, I felt just that. I was told how hot I was. How badly they wanted to be with me. For those three minutes, I felt good. But that’s all it was: three minutes. Then they were gone. Someone who had said they wanted me just three minutes ago left me naked, embarrassed, and alone.

God created us to experience intimacy. He made man and woman to need each other. But He didn’t make us for this. He wants us snuggling, giving eskimo kisses, and roasting chestnuts on an open fire.

Men, you weren’t created to end your evening alone in the basement with a bottle of Vaseline staring at a Snapchat. That’s embarrassing. That’s purposeless. You were made to feel the rush of a real relationship. God designed blood to flow to your cheeks, and to…not your cheeks, when a woman captivates you. Women were created to feel butterflies in their stomach when you’re around. She’s supposed to be unable to breathe when you kiss her for the first time. She’s supposed to get in her car after a date and not remember how to drive because she is so speechless from how good you make her feel. He created that high for you. The only way you get it is if you take the chance of dating. Being the basement guy is cowardly, and guys choose it because they don’t want to be rejected. Yes, dating might be harder, more risk, and no guarantees, but if you like each other and she wants to make out with you, how can you even consider the alone in the basement option?

Since I sent that picture, it’s messed me up in dating. I got so used to settling for basement boys, I forgot I deserved a man. I figured nudes were a thing everyone comes across in casual dating. When I started dating a great guy who loves Jesus AND making out, I almost took it as a rejection that he didn’t want those kinds of photos of me. I wanted him to want me, and him not wanting me naked in his iPhoto felt like I wasn’t enough.

If you’ve sent the picture or asked for the picture, maybe you feel mad at yourself or like there’s something stirring in your gut as you read this because you feel shame and guilt, that’s OK. You aren’t alone. Writing this, I felt some of that too. Forgive yourself. God already has. Let that phase of your life be over.

Guys, the girl who says no to nudes, she’s the real deal. She is empowered, confident, successful, and going to rock your world. Buy her dinner. Buy her ALL the dinners. That’s the woman you marry. Dating her makes you a man, asking for nudes makes you a boy.

Ladies, wait for the guy who doesn’t need to vet your naked body to decide if it’s good enough to take you to dinner, it is. You are worthy and were created to be pursued. You aren’t the insecure girl who has to settle for passive guy.

For your New Year’s resolution, agree to stop sending them. Stop asking for them. Stop accepting that this is what it takes to get a boyfriend or that a girl who isn’t down for this shouldn’t be your girlfriend. Agree to be worth the wait. Agree to want more than what the world tells you to have. Agree to roll your eyes when someone asks you to participate in this. You should probably pray for them to see the light too. NYE is stressful, and we go into each new year with hope for a better one, don’t add to it; stop sending nudes. Remember, the ball is dropping; not your pants.

Written by Emily Diehl on Dec 30, 2017