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I consider myself pretty good at keeping in touch with my friends. I’ve had the same handful of childhood friends for 15+ years. I place high importance on keeping in touch. It doesn’t always mean talking every week, but it means touching base when we can… and caring all the while.

When it comes to keeping in touch with readers on this blog, though, I haven’t done as well. To be frank, I’ve sucked at it. And for that, I apologize. To all of you that have written, thank you. Sincerely. I want you to know that I do read your emails, nearly immediately. When I see one come through on my phone or email, I feel a rush, a thrill. Going forward, I’m committed to being better at keeping in touch.

So tonight I begin by sharing a note I got from Mindy*. The first couple sentences immediately piqued my interest, made me laugh, and made me sad all at the same time.

Hi Ruth,

Have you ever had a celebrity crush? Not a crazy one — a good one, an admirable one. It’s so embarrassing. I have a crush on Tim Tebow.

Is anyone rolling their eyes yet? Are you laughing? Maybe you’re even empathising?

Tim TebowMindy went on to explain that what started as a celebrity “crush” grew more grounded when she learned of all the things they had in common. They’re both Christian. They have a similar sense of humor (and she wrote me before his hilarious Super Bowl commercials!). They both like to work with sick kids. I mean, if they could only meet, sparks would surely fly.

But the admiration quickly became sadness for Mindy when she realized the chances of ever meeting Tim. Liking his Facebook page can only go so far. The odds are against her.

In revisiting Mindy’s email today, I felt for her. Believe it or not, I’ve been there.

Bebo albumOne time I had a crush on Bebo Norman, a Christian singer-songwriter. It was when he first came out (with those old, awkward shoes) and girls on Christian college campuses everywhere were convinced he was the one for them. But he couldn’t have been, because he was for me. I saw him in concert a couple times and felt the connection. We made eye contact. Every song was clearly written for me. We were perfect for each other.

That didn’t pan out too well for me. He’s married now and probably has 12 adorable, guitar-pickin’ kiddos. Good riddance! It was super weird that he wore acrylic nails to play his guitar anyway. (Oh the things you’ll overlook when you’ve got a crush!)

Paul AlanI had a crush on Paul Alan, too. Who’s Paul Alan? Wouldn’t you like to know? He’s another Christian singer (do I have a type?) who writes really sweet songs about his future wife. I mean, give me a break, right? That’s just not fair. It’s hard to resist a guy who sings:

I said a prayer for you today.Β May troubles be far away.Β And I’ll be here on bended knee until the day you say you’ll marry me…

Anyway, he’s another one that ended up settling for someone less amazing than me. His loss.

DonovanThen there was the time I spent weeks — nay, months — daydreaming about Landon Donovan for an entire World Cup. Well, this is getting embarrassing quite quickly.

So, to Mindy’s credit, we’ve all been there. But as we get older, wiser and more in tune with reality, we understand the fantasy involved in celebrity crushes. The chances of any of us dating a celebrity are slim to none. It’s dangerous to focus so hard on something that’s unattainable. We don’t allow our heart to open up to the possibilities right in front of us because we’re too set on someone on the cover of a magazine.

Most importantly, it’s important to realize that there are incredible single men and women that are within our reach. Yeah, Tim Tebow may in fact be kind, generous, Christian, handsome, talented. But have you ever stopped to consider that so is John in accounting? Or Bill in your small group? Or Mark at the mechanic shop? Or Brendan in your college class? Or Sam, your brother’s friend who you always thought might have a crush on you?

For Mindy, for Ruth, for all the girls and guys who may get carried away once in a while with celebrity crushes — we’ve got to remember to stay grounded. Just because the celebrity isn’t a Kardashian doesn’t make it any more admirable or sensible to pine over them.

Remember, by letting our hearts get unrealistically hinged on the possibility of dating a celebrity, we’re doing a disservice to ourselves. The truth is that you can find a guy or girl with the same admirable qualities in your own neighborhood, at your own job, in your own church, in your own circle of friends. Don’t miss out on what’s right in front of you by getting wrapped up in a stranger on the TV screen.


*Name changed to protect this reader’s privacy.