I now know more about dating than I EVER hoped. As of today, I have been single (post-divorce) for 7 years. I was with my ex-husband for 10 years (all of my 20s), so I've had to learn about dating after marriage.
Dating can be really confusing. Lots of people have ideas on the correct way to date. Some people even think there is such a thing as Christian dating and they have made up a bunch of rules about it. There are thousands of books written on the subject. And most of them have conflicting ideas and approaches.
So, what's a girl to do?
In her book, True Love Dates, author Debra Fileta suggests really getting to know yourself before you venture out and start dating. I am 37 years old and I think I know myself pretty darn well, but I realized I stopped trusting myself somewhere along the way. I stopped trusting that I know what I want and what I don't want. I started thinking that maybe I need to be more open minded and push myself to date people I normally wouldn't.
Well. That hasn't really gone too well. Which you know if you've followed my story for any amount of time.
When Debra was focusing on getting to know herself and growing as a person, her mentor suggested that she make three lists. Red, Yellow, and Green. The Red list are stop signs: traits you notice in a man that tell you to STOP and proceed no further. These would be things such as addictive behavior, lying, financial irresponsibility, etc. And then some things that might be more personal for you -- like uses tobacco or isn't physically very healthy. The Yellow lists are slow down signs: traits you notice in a man that give you reason for pause. Such as he doesn't have any close friends or he's not serving others in any capacity. And the Green list is...okay you know what the green list is! This is the fun one, where you list the qualities that give you license to proceed...like, he loves Jesus, he is involved in a small group, he serves others, he seeks wise counsel, he puts others before himself, he takes responsibility for his actions, he does not have a victim mentality, he pursues open communication, etc. Wooo, I got excited just writing those down!!
Here's what I've found since writing my lists: Knowing who to say yes to and who to say no to just became a whole heck of a lot easier.
You can find Debra's blog and book at www.TrueLoveDates.com. I have not enjoyed a dating book this much, ever.