Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Does being single suck?

Honestly? Sometimes.

But not as much as it sucks to be in one-way relationship. And not as much as it sucks to neglect important areas of life due to the distraction that is called dating.

I've been single now for four years and have done my fair share of dating. I never knew there to be so many "right" ways for a woman to date but one finds out quickly the opinions of those around her when she (stupidly) brings up the dating struggle. And I say "struggle" because it has been a struggle for me. Some women, God love 'em, don't struggle with relationships with the opposite sex. Oh how I wish that was true of me! But the truth of the matter is that I DON'T DATE WELL.

There you have it. The truth. I suck at dating. So no-for me, being single doesn't suck. It's the desire to be married and the so-called dating that would lead to marriage that sucks. (Don't worry, even I am getting sick of the word suck already.)

If you know me well at all or have read much of my blog, you know that I am a huge fan (it's almost idolatry) of Cloud and Townsend. I drink up their books, videos, and radio programs like water on Y2K. I adore them. And so when I was looking for a new book on relationships, I ordered Henry Coud's book How to Get a Date Worth Keeping. He says explicitly that one should not date for marriage, but date for dating. Certainly, he's not arguing for hook-ups and playing the field...he's saying that dating should be for getting to know lots of different people casually. Good, it makes sense. I tried it and got myself a boyfriend. Awesome honeymoon stage and then BOOM! it was over. Sadness, depression, and self-doubt ensued.


I've been on lots of dates since moving to Austin 6 months ago (where does the time go? no really, where?) and I have recently decided to put dating on the shelf. First of all, I just don't have time for it. 9 times out of 10, the guy is not going to wow me and I'm sorry, but I'd rather spend those 9 planned outings with my son. Second, the anxiety that I felt while trying to talk myself into going out with someone that I didn't actually find attractive was killing me. I was literally losing sleep over it. See? I told you. I suck at dating. When I finally let myself off the dating hook, I felt sooo relieved! And do you know what I felt for the first time, like, ever? The peace from trusting that when God wants me to meet the one He has planned for me, He'll set us up. I'm not living under a rock, hoping that God will deliver Mr Wonderful via FedEx (now that's just crazy). I have a life, I have interests, I get out of the house and meet people. But good golly, I'll no longer be on the look out, hoping I'm coming across as "approachable". What a flippin' relief!!

So...I've been reading a fabulous book by the super savvy Vicki Courtney. In 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son, Vicki shares some sage wisdom. In the chapter titled Real Man or Peter Pan? she writes "...this puts a real burden of responsibility on parents' shoulders to prepare our sons in advance for the possibility of marriage in their young to mid-twenties. It is also our responsibility to raise them to "date with marriage in mind," rather than prescribe to the culture's mind-set that dating and sex are recreational hobbies." You know what? YEAH!!! That's right! Men in their 30s are different. They're fine with being single. And why wouldn't they be? They get everything they want without commitment. Blech.

If I'm totally honest here, what I truly desire is to be pursued by a man who has a godly marriage in mind. Simple. It is that darn simple. I have been sooo confused and hurt and baffled and deflated because I kept convincing myself that I didn't really desire this. That I desired something less, something casual, something...else.

Ladies, do you hear me? Does this resonate with you? Does it freak you out to think of dating with marriage in mind? Are you hopeless about the kind of men that are out there and available?

Please join me in keeping my promise to myself and to God that I will not settle. I will trust Him as Matchmaker. To put a little twist on that passage in Matthew: if He provides mates for the birds, how much more will He provide for us?


CareGiving Daughter said...

I have happened upon your blog and decided to delurk (is that a word?) I so wish I had found your blog 10 years ago when I was single and scared to death of dating. I took a 5 year break to focus on my sons and me, and then stepped out into the dating world.

I enjoy reading your blog. I love Austin--my in-laws retired there, and my SIL teaches at UT, and we travel there frequently to visit and every March for SXSW where my son's band performs. I love Austin.

Erin said...

Hi Caregiving Daughter. Thanks for lurking on my blog. :) Agreed, Austin is an awesome place and I love it too.
My grandfather has dementia and it is so painful to watch. I can only imagine how much harder it is to care for your "confused" momma.