I’ve blogged before about 5 dating tips. I’ve given you a blog about how a man should pursue a woman. I’ve talked about how I sorta believe there is a “one” out there. And here I find myself single at 27, not like that’s a problem.
You see, I am a scientist, through and through. It’s my degree, my full-time job. I try to analyze and understand the data I have, the experiences, people, behaviors, and compatibilities. I’ve tried my best in the past to set myself up into relationships I thought would be successful, and even safe for my heart. I’ve told my girls to wait for someone who is worth a shot, not to date just anybody. I compared it to fast food versus gourmet. I’ve compared it to a limo versus a crazy taxi. “Don’t just jump into something out of impatience.” Part of those words, however true, were jaded with my past regrets.
There are pros and cons to being a girl who gets asked out. On the PRO side, “NO” is a word I’ve learned well. On the CON, some girls kinda hate me/envy the attention from the opposite sex. On the PRO, I have had the opportunity to root my worth in Christ versus affirmation from men because I’ve had a choice. On the CON, I’ve dated 4 people in the last 2 years, and they sometimes find themselves in the same room because God has a hilarious sense of humor and I dated 4 World Racers, that’s my bad. Hindsight is 20/20, babies.
I vowed (oops) that I never wanted to start dating someone from scratch, that I wanted to “miraculously fall for a friend I already knew well” and that, my friends, is a vow that ended up hurting me quite a bit. I dated my best friend, my teacher, myself in a man’s body, and someone who dreams like me. All were just lessons for me. You see, the formula I was trying to apply just didn’t work. Why and how? No idea. No idea at all. But it made me think even more.
I realized that I still had shame, guilt, and fear buried underneath for all these years, because I still blamed myself for my divorce, that we didn’t know each other well enough. I blamed myself for choosing someone who didn’t choose me back. That’s ridiculous. So I wanted to completely avoid dating a stranger by investing my trust in ‘christian brothers’ and then hoping that out of those scattered seeds, perhaps God would work a miracle. Every girl has done this. Every. Single. Girl.
After my divorce, I didn’t really get into any relationships. I sorta tried, but the most that happened was being a wedding date, being someone’s designated driver, going on just one date, etc. Not glamorous. I had crushes, but I think it was my heart’s way of realigning and recalculating what I really admired. That process took 2 years. That’s a long time, for all you “single vow” makers, you try 2 years and let me know how that goes for you. Been there, done that. Check!
I have been single, I have dated, I’ve been engaged, I’ve been married, I’ve been in the in-between of it all. I’ve been the secret girlfriend, the one who waits, the counselor, the listening ear, the one who finally has enough, the one who is just a friend, the one who didn’t see the end coming, and the one who saw it months prior. I’ve been the one who keeps the secrets, the one who bottles up feelings, the one who pays, the one who prays, and the one who plans. I’ve heard the words “I love you” and known when they were true or false. I’ve been the one who was ready, and the one who wasn’t. I’ve been the one who fell apart when a relationship ended, and the one who miraculously didn’t. All this to say: I am choosing to be brave.
The easy thing for me would be to hide out for six months, to not talk about any of this, and to isolate myself from the community I’ve built through my vulnerability in this blog. That would be easy, but costly. I’d rather keep you all. I’d rather keep moving forward.
I am making the choice to be lighthearted, slow-paced, unassuming, and honest. I am choosing to wear my #PRAISEPONCHO and run out in the rain to dance. I renounced my vow to never start over from scratch.
There was one seat left at my new job’s orientation, and I ended up sitting next to a stranger, whose full name I didn’t know at the time, but on whom I made an impression. I waved goodbye and skipped out the door. He searched for me like Cinderella, and I think that’s worth some dates, yeah? I won’t be blogging about him any further than this, sorry to disappoint! But I will tell you that he’s pushing me into territory I haven’t had to be in, and that I’m finding new walls in my heart to bring down. Here’s to going on dates with a stunner who is a local believer, who has a higher degree than me, and who hasn’t been on the World Race. I’m tossing my formulas out of the window, and admiring how pretty they look in my rearview mirror.
Here’s to 2015, to all its plot twists, and to the courage to start over.