The topic of this post has been burning in my heart for the past few months, but I just never could get my thoughts all together until today. Coincidentally, today is the start of National Singles and Unmarried week, so what better time than now to share a few things about the topic of singlehood/dating. DISCLAIMER: I’m pretty opinionated about this topic, so you’ve been warned that what you’re about to read is just one of many takes on this subject.
I have quite a few beautiful, kind, funny, and smart friends who also happen to be single. They would like to be married someday, but for whatever reason, God is making them wait. I’ve also had many conversations with these friends and/or been part of conversations with groups of other women who like to give advice to them on the subject of dating and have become extremely frustrated by some of what I feel is misinformation in regards to dating/finding a husband.
First off, let me say that I believe God does call some women and men to be single. I truly believe that if God has called someone to be single, He also takes away their desire to be married and replaces it with a zest for single life. But Psalm 68:6 (a verse I clung to during my single life) says that God puts the lonely in families, so I believe that if your desire is to be married, it will happen. Maybe not on your timeline, but it will happen.
Now that my thoughts on that are out, let’s talk about a few lies floating around out there (especially in Christian circles) about men/dating/husband-finding :). I’m a pretty old-fashioned girl, so I’d really only dated one guy seriously before I met Ryan, and I hate to say this, because he was a nice guy, but I knew from the start that we weren’t right for each other. I’m pretty sure he knew that too. But because I was tired of being single, I made excuses for why it didn’t matter that we had little in common in some big areas like faith, politics, family, etc. Unfortunately, I also put myself through a quite unnecessary emotional roller coaster when I could’ve spent that time enjoying all the fun things that being single allows you to do. (read: disposable income, ice cream for dinner, etc.)
Dating Ryan was quite an eye-opener for me because he was unlike any guy I’d ever been interested in. He brought me flowers on our first date, he didn’t play games about how he felt about me, and he made great efforts to get to know me on a very deep level. He also taught me that because of my past experiences, I had come to believe quite a few things about guys that were really just excuses women make for men who aren’t right for them, but who want them to be right for them. It also opened my eyes to a few other lies I’d bought into.
Here’s a quick crash course of what I wish I’d have known when I was single:
1. Guys aren’t shy if they like you. Okay, well they may feel shy, but sooner or later they’ll work up the courage to let you know they’re interested. Don’t buy into, “Well, he’s shy, so I need to help him out.” Let the man be a man!
2. All guys are not commitment-phobics. Some guys actually want to get married and have a family. If he doesn’t want those things now, he’s not going to magically change and want them once he falls in love with you. That only happens in Nicholas Sparks novels (fiction).
3. You don’t have to do anything to “get” a guy. He can tell from observation whether he wants to pursue getting to know you. So, let him pursue and you just respond if you’re interested. This takes a tremendous amount of pressure off of you feeling like you’ve got to get noticed.
4. You don’t have to change your lifestyle to find a spouse. You don’t have to join a singles group. You don’t have to join an online dating service (I know people who have met their spouse online, but I think that’s the exception to the rule, not the norm, even though that’s what society wants you to think.) Just live your life. It really takes all the pressure off when you view it like this and there’s nothing you can do to make things happen anyway. If there was, a lot more single gals I know would be married now.
5. If something is a red flag when you’re first dating someone, that’s God’s way of telling you to discuss it with the person and if it can’t be reconciled into something you’re comfortable with, part ways before you get emotionally attached. It’s much easier to overlook something in the beginning that can drastically impact you in marriage later.
6. Guys can smell desperation a mile away. Stop trying to “get” someone and just live normally. The person you’re supposed to be with doesn’t need you flashing a neon sign that says “I’m the One!” above your head to recognize you’re special.
This is just a drop in the bucket as far as my thoughts on dating…hopefully, I’ll be able to articulate them well over the next few posts.
So, single gals, have you been buying into any of these lies? Or guys, the two who read my blog :), would you say the statements above are accurate? I’d love to hear from all sides of this issue, so feel free to share your take on what I mentioned today in the comments.
PS: Don’t forget about the fun author interview and book giveaway I posted last week. You can check it out here and enter to win your very own copy of Love in Three-Quarter Time by Dina Sleiman.