Monday, January 25, 2016

That Season: My Life as a Dater

Hello there Monday. What better way to kick off a new week than with a new series. I hope you enjoy. I hope you laugh. I hope you are encouraged. I hope you understand. I hope we will agree to disagree. I hope to be true to the Word, though little is said about dating. 

You should know the title of this series came from a previous series I wrote appropriately titled "This Season." First entry - here! I was right in the middle of singleness at that point. I would've dated, but there were no suitors. I had entered the online dating world for a period of 3 days only to realize I needed the money more for rent than a date. #priorities. Yet, I had made the decision and stepped forward.

Now on the other side of that, I see the Lord's steady hand. I see my errors. I see victories. I see prayer's answered and unanswered. And for that reason, I can't think of a better way to share my own shortcomings and missteps and encouragements than by writing this series about "That Season". You should also know "That" is not used in a negative connotation but to nearly mean that I am no longer there. This season is now newlywed.

In this series, I hope to cover the topics of long distance dating, godly dating, boundaries, good books, praying for a future mate- all with humor, Scripture and a whole lot of grace. 

I was a terrible dater.
You would not have wanted to date me. I was terrible honestly. Though I can probably count on two hands the number of dates I went on in the last 10 years of my life, there's a reason for that. I entered the dating world with a stiff criteria. If the criteria was met, I'd find a way to be around that person. If it wasn't, I didn't want to have anything to do with you. Hence the reason I didn't go on a lot of dates. I didn't get many fellas a fair chance if they even tried.

I looked for a spark- that feeling- that chemistry we are told is what makes a couple. 
I was wrong.
Don't get me wrong. I have to catch my breath often when I'm in a store and realize it's Jeremy walking up to me aka I'm like who is that good-looking thing walking up to me. Yet before Jeremy even entered the picture, I had an idea of what a relationship should be like. If it wasn't there, I was done. See the trend? I wanted x.y and z. Stat. I was talking with a friend recently who just started seeing a fella (which I'm so excited about); however she wasn't sure if the "spark" was there. I politely replied back with "You don't need to look for the spark. You need to be with the one who makes you feel comfortable." He makes you feel comfortable because you can trust him. For too long I looked for this hot spark with fella - that spark that none other than Nicholas Sparks writes about. Yet his spark has died because he is now getting a divorce. I know that I wanted such a magical moment at all times with certain guys. I wanted the fireworks when we kissed. I wanted the butterflies every time I opened the door. I wanted it all. Nine times out of ten, those butterflies were a way of the Spirit leading me away. Instead of the one who makes us giddy at all times, we need to look for the one we can trust - the one who shepherds us- the one who can protect and provide. That "spark" and that "feeling" don't make a marriage. Promise. If you're looking for that to keep your marriage going, you will surely be disappointed. My favorite quote I heard for the first time in a class at seminary was this: "It is not love that sustains the marriage; it is marriage that sustains the love." Replace that with a "spark" and it works just as good.

I did put myself out there. 
I believe in a good God. I believe in a BIG God. But I am also hard-pressed to believe my husband would just show up at my door and say "Hey, I think I'm supposed to marry you." Embarrassingly, I believed something of that form for a while. Yet, I quickly realized that wasn't working! I made my way to the gym at school three-four times a week. I was heavily involved at church. If someone was like, "Hey you want to go to dinner with these people I met at so and so?" I'd say "Sure what time?" Does it set you up for a little disappoint when no one looks at you twice or winks at you on the dating site? Sure it does! But by golly - he isn't going to be knocking on your door randomly either unless he's the pizza man, mail man, or Fed ex guy. 

I didn't mind the distance. 
For me distance was not a hard thing. I will write more about that later in the series. I had come to terms that if I was going to seminary, I'd probably marry a pastor who was on the move. Boy! Was I wrong? Yet, I think God used that to prepare me for a man who wasn't close by. There are the comforts of home and familiarity I miss, but I just knew distance wasn't a big deal for me and in fact, learned the greater benefits of it all. 

I made the most of that season. 
I remember a point in time where I realized hey, I can sit here and moan and groan about being single or I can enjoy it. God used that time to give me some of the greatest desires of my heart. I traveled more than I ever imagined. I served. I cooked. I hosted. I went out and about. I ran my heart out. The couch potato was not going to rear it's head on that girl any longer.

You see, that season of my life had the good and the bad. There are many things I would change now. But there are many things that I would have done time and again. Dating is scary and unfamiliar and just plain work - but is it worth it? Absolutely! The season of singleness and dating changed me more than anything. God used it to really refine me for marriage to be open to the one He had for me. And for His purposes, I am thankful for that season. 


  1. I am so thankful for my season of dating as well. God really does have perfect timing because if I had met my fiance any earlier I know I wouldn't have been ready for it-- and I probably would have shooed him away because he didn't meet all the criteria on the list.