Fight the New Drug

Fight the New Drug Video: My porn recovery story

***To see my featured talk "How Love Defeats Porn" given at the Catholic Information Center in Washington, D.C. click here. ***

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Love life

I'm ridin' solo in Costa Rica
[Note to reader: This ish is about to get deep.]

In the past several years, I have been really lucky to date some pretty beautiful people, inside and out.  It's gracias a Dios that I shared amazing times, fallen in love, and had positive, fruitful relationships with them.  With all of that said, the last relationship ended this past March, and while it may not have been what I initially wanted, coming here to Costa Rica "ridin' solo" (thank you Jason DeRulo, that literally became my song of the year) was one of the best things I could have done.

Let me explain.

With culture, country, and language aside, I'm living a life I haven't lived before: I'm happily single and not pursuing anyone.  I told my housemates the other night that I feel like my entire life I've been chasing girls.  And don't get me wrong, chasing girls is fun---you're attracted to the person, you flirt, you're awkward, you're wondering if they like you back, you agonize about that for awhile, you see what you want and you test the waters, you fail (happen to me plenty haha), you wait, you wait, oh, and you wait, you persevere, you dream, you get your chance, they fall for something in you that you didn't even think was all that great and that you weren't exactly advertising, you seize the opportunity, and well, it happens.

But now in Costa Rica, that chase for me is over.  Don't get me wrong, there's people here I'm attracted to in my day to day, especially people I don't even know (like that girl with glasses who sings at Mass at a church we've been to twice...going up for Communion is double bonus because I'm receiving Jesus...and catching a closer glimpse of her.)  I'm not done being social---whenever we go out it's a different crowd, and different people to dance with. (Oh, the stories we can tell here. Me: "Tom, necesito un wing man.  Vamos." Tom: "OK, I'm in." Me: "Which one do you want?" Tom: "Well, you obviously can't have the taller one.") And my eyes still work just like any other guy---they may or may not sometimes divert to distracting scenery that walk by in front of me.

But the chase, the chase is over.  What does that mean exactly?  For example, about that anonymous girl at that one church who I may or may not have nicknamed "Glasses", my natural instinct and first inclination is to find out who she is, repeat steps of the chase written above, and make it happen.  It's the Matt-protocol I've been using since 5th grade.  I see what I want, and I go after it.  But nah.  The chase is over. I've shut it down.  I've turned all pursuing-engines off.  And I gotta tell you, it's the most liberating thing ever.

It's something I haven't experienced before for this amount of time, and I love it.  It's given me a chance to do me and just me.  Do Mateo (the name most everyone calls me here).  I can put my 100 into figuring out me and what I want in my life.  I put my 100 in my work and my students.  And I can put my 100 in my housemates here who has kept me solid.  That's enough 100's going around, how could I have time  for anyone else?

Big part of my love life: my housemates (and Bro. Jim!)
And you know what I found out.  I still have a love life.  My love life is in my students who yell "Hola Mateo!" to me from across the hallway while I'm walking the opposite direction, who smile and give me fist pounds, who give me the thumbs up whenever I walk in a classroom.  My love life is in the children I tutor at La Isla, like Maria who's pencil is too small to use, but laughs about it anyway.  My love life is in the adultos mayores I see on Thursdays (Flori: "Mateo! I have been thinking about you." Me: "Me too!" Flori: "Well, then we were thinking about each other at the same time.")  My love life are in my housemates who allow me to be the best version of my self, my housemates who take my clothes off the line and makes me want to wash the dishes in return, my housemates who know how to laugh and party and go out, but want to know how to pray, and speak Spanish, and learn more about me.  My love life is in my family and everyone else back at home who have kept me in their prayers and who support me. And finally, my love life is in God, who reveals His the answers to my prayers week after week, in ways I wouldn't have had imagined or foreseen, and only come when I truly listen.

One last thing to say, is that even though my chase is over for now, I know it's only temporary.  I know that I want to raise a family with a wife I can share my adventure with one day.  So in a sense, my love life is her as well, whoever that is.  Each day I get to fight for her and my future fam, by practicing home chores now, by learning how to cook well so I can cook for them, by becoming a prayerful man now so I can bring prayer to them, by becoming strong now so I can be strong for them, by learning how to deal with the house money so I can better be prepared for our house money later, and shoot, by taking these salsa lessons with the house, that's for her too isn't it, as I plan to sweep her off her feet one day.

At the end of the day, I want to be comfortable in my own skin, so I can give the best of me in the future.  I thank God for opportunity He's given me this year for this.  I thank Him too, for my love life.



  1. This is a great post. I really admire your decision to fast from "the chase" and hope this inspires more people to fast from dating and even flirting to focus on being who they are called to be. Thank you for sharing this!Sounds like you are having the time of your life and I am so happy for you Matt! :)

  2. Precioso Mateo! Estamos muy contentos de tenerte con nosotros :)