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February Week 2 Dating Update

16 Feb

Image via Google Images

I did it!  The eharmony match that I liked the most, Ron, was wrong for me, I realized last week.  So, with great regret but with certainty, I told him au revoir.  I was nice, and so was he, and then he closed the match.  I feel like I passed an important test!  So long Mr. Wrongs of the world!  The other two matches from last week do not seem to be progressing into anything.  Warren, who seemed possible, has stopped emailing altogether.  Newt, the 7th Day Adventist, is playing phone tag with me.  Despite seven days of calling everyday and leaving charming messages and texts, we have not been able to catch each other on the phone.  Seriously.  Could be a sign.  In any case, Round Three of eharmony matches has begun.

On another note, my 13 y.o. niece and I had an interesting exchange. 
Her:  “Auntie, somebody at church told me that in the Bible it says that women are not supposed to look for a husband, but the man is supposed to look for a wife, or something like that.”
Me:  “You’re talking about the scripture that says, “He that finds a wife findeth a good thing…”
Her:  “Yeah, that’s it!  So I don’t think you should be going online looking for a husband.  You should just trust God and wait.” 
Me:   “I know.  I know.”

Which leads me, once again, to wonder if trusting God and online dating are incompatible.  I don’t think so. 

Do I?

Finally, last night I prayed an unusual prayer.  I often complain to God about being single, or mention in passing to God how much I want to be married, or wonder of the Lord if marriage is ever going to happen.  Also, I pray with a girlfriend every week and a part of our prayer time always involves each of us asking God to lead  the other of us into marriage.  What I do not generally do is use my regular prayer time to pray about marriage.  In my regular prayer time I pray about work, or ministry, or my weight, or I pray for others.   Last night, though, I had the thought that I never actually pray about getting married and that maybe I should.  I found myself praying along the lines of “Lord, I want to be married.  But I don’t just want to be married, I want to be a wife.  Lord,  give me the heart of a servant.  Help me to be supportive and loyal.  Change me so that my attitude is yielding and unselfish.”  And so on.  I don’t even know what I prayed.  All I know is that it was definitely different.  Not, “Lord, let me have…,” but “Lord, let me be…”

Wow.  Shifts and changes are happening on the inside it seems.

What about you?  Is this journey through singleness taking you anywhere new?


This Week’s Dating Update

10 Feb

Image via Google

As I may have mentioned, I am on the verge of moving to the telephone phase of conversation with my next cohort of eharmony matches.  I have been on the verge of the progression for about a week (which is a whole other blogworthy subject).  There are three potential suitors. 

 Newt I have actually spoken to very briefly on the phone.  He called while he was in transit and couldn’t talk.  His stock was devalued in my eyes when I found out that he was a 7th Day Adventist.  My mind doesn’t want to accommodate this difference.  Not when there are (at least) two other perfectly good matches in the queue. Newt is my third favorite of the three. Warren is my second favorite.  He seems to be mature in the things of God, churchgoing, intelligent, happily employed, divorced, a father, and the list goes on. I like him. I’m slightly suspicious, though, of him regularly saying he will pray about this or that for me, and his use of church-speak.  Me thinkest he doth confess his faith too much.  Though it might just be my skeptical nature that is the problem.  Ron is my number one draft pick.  His profile, comments, and conversation are unnervingly compatible with my own profile, comments, and conversation.  I really, really like him.  And this is a big problem.

When I read Ron’s last email, the scales were removed from my eyes and it became clear to me that Ron is a xerox copy of Mr. X from eharmony two years ago, and of WB from forever ago.   And I was faced with the fact that something inside me is drawn to the same kind of Mr. Wrong over and over again!  Ron is intelligent, attractive, witty, well-traveled, multi-lingual–and he is a Christian who doesn’t go to church, has never been close to committing to anyone, including a child, though he is well past age 35, and who lives alone and spends most of his time alone.  He might as well post a flashing banner that says, “I do not give of myself to others.”   And that is not even the real problem.

The real problem is that a part of me is resisting reality.  A part of me wants to hope and believe that maybe Ron will find a church and maybe everything will work out in that regard and maybe he and I could live happily ever after. “He speaks French, StillSingle!”, that part of me says.  This part of me wants to continue to get to know him better, to get closer to him, despite the odds against my having any kind of future with him.  Yet, wonder of wonders, the very same part of me is skeptical about nice Mr. available, church-going, “I’ll join you in praying about that”, Warren.  This part of me has very little interest in hoping and believing that maybe Warren and I could live happily ever after.

Oh, boy.  StillSingle still has a ways to go it seems.  But, oh, boy!  I caught on to this stinky old pattern!  StillSingle is making progress!

How’s Your Love Life?

3 Feb
Image representing eHarmony as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The raw data:
o dates in December 2010
0 dates in January 2011

Since joining eharmony I reached the telephone stage with two highly possible matches. Things seemed to drag after we reached the telephone phase though. One of the men was quite reluctant to meet me. He wasn’t ready to commit to actually meeting in person on a specific date at a specific time, he said. (My brow is wrinkled again even as I think of this). Curiously, despite not wanting to meet, he continued to call me to talk. The other man whom I conversed with on the phone seemed distracted. That man lived in Philadelphia. He went home to Georgia for the holidays, where, he told me, his entire family and all his social connections live. On New Year’s Eve we talked. The conversation was pleasant. We were to speak again the next day. I never heard from him. And still haven’t. I have moved on from both of these matches, and am approaching the phone phase with a new set.

It seems to me that some men, particularly those who are over 35, use eharmony because they truly believe that they are open, seeking, and attempting to find a committed relationship, though really they aren’t. These men want to believe this of themselves, maybe, because it is easier to make ill-fated attempts to find a relationship than to actually be in a relationship. It’s easier to hang out online, than to tackle whatever issues that may be keeping them from participating in a committed relationship.

Case in point: a guy a know, who is a long-time eharmony member, told me recently that one woman that he met on the site last year was extremely appealing, and he regrets not moving forward in a relationship with her. He could have married her, he told me, but did not. Alas, one of her other matches proposed after knowing her for 3 months. It is many months later and the guy that I know still has not found anyone that he is willing to move forward with in a relationship. Another case in point: one of my girlfriends met her fiancé on eharmony and within a few months of meeting, her fiancé was ready to commit to her.

In my mind the men I am meeting are either ready, willing, and able to love, or they’re not.

Despite what I’m realizing about the men on this site, I am encouraged by my own responses and reactions, which are different from what they were when I first tried eharmony in 2009. This time around I do not feel so emotionally vulnerable to the process. I find that I am getting much less invested in the 100-word-profiles that I like. I feel much less troubled by acknowledged incompatibility between a match and me. Most importantly, though, I have noticed that this time around, I have shifted my focus with respect to men I want to date. Before, I was open to and willing to “work with” a man as long as he was a “Christian”. Happily, this time around my heart genuinely desires a man who loves the Lord and the church and who shows this love by how he lives. Before, I so wanted a relationship that I tended to downplay my relationship with Christ, allegedly out of sensitivity to my match’s spiritual position. Now, because I am not so afraid of rejection, or of being deemed too weird, I have no problem divulging the fact that my life revolves around the Lord and the church.

This new confidence to be myself, and to love God openly, means I’m growing, right? And if I am becoming healthier and more real, and if I am less willing to get stuck pursuing less healthy or compatible men, then, maybe, hopefully, God-willing, I’m on my way!

But enough about me. How is your dating life going?

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Of What Should I Be Afriad?

24 Nov
MultipleChoice single
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been one week and I am progressing through eharmony’s stages of communication with three different men.  Two of these men requested that we skip the preliminary, get-to-know-you stages, and move directly into speaking with each other without the structure of the staged communication.  I declined.  I like the progression of the stages.  You can learn some things by the way a person answers questions, and the kinds of questions that a person asks.

Case in point: Corrado.  Corrado is my favorite match so far.  Not because he’s cute and 6’5” tall, not because he’s fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Hebrew, not because he’s planning to go to med school and is also an artist—Ok, who am I kidding? These things have a lot to do with why he’s my favorite!  In any case, Corrado asked me his set of multiple choice questions and in almost every case my answers were original.  I did not select a, b, c, or d.  I selected “other,” and supplied my own response to the questions.  I noticed this pattern and thought, “Hmmm, what does that say about me?”  Now, Corrado, in replying to my questions, did not choose “other” even once.  He stuck with the multiple choice responses offered.  What does that say about him?  Probably not much, but definitely something.

Now let me tell you what I absolutely love about how this communication with Corrado began. 

I saw his photo and read his profile, and re-read his profile, and was seriously intrigued.  He seemed…just right.  Except that he is 8 years younger than me.  Which seemed too much.  After due consideration of this age gap, I gave his photo one final glance and decided to put him in the neutral pile, which is my pile for profiles that I am neither rejecting nor initiating contact with.  Lo and behold, the following day I received a communication from himself.  At first I was confused by the communication because he did not answer my questions, but supplied his own set of questions for me to answer.  Then I remembered.  Corrado didn’t respond to my questions because I never sent Corrado any questions.  Corrado initiated contact with me on his own.  I could not believe it.  He is the first match of mine where there has been reciprocal liking.

So, 8-year age gap notwithstanding, we are now communicating.  And I am too tickled by the whole thing.

The moral of this story is that last week, when I first began this eharmony journey, I was more afraid than I could put into words of beginning again the boy-meets-girl process.  This week, having begun to actually engage the process, I see that the fear of the thing was 100xs worse than the actual thing itself.  Isn’t that always the way?


19 Nov

I did not join eharmony as I had planned weeks ago. The special offer expired. I just wasn’t ready. But I promised myself, and God I think, that if I got another chance–if they made another special offer–that I would join immediately and not delay.

Of course, in the days following this commitment, eharmony extended another offer to me on the same terms: $30 for 3 months of service. The offer was emailed to me in the morning and knew that I had to join that day. I was committed. I felt reluctant to leave work that evening. Then on the way home, I felt the urge to stop to get a fancy dessert from the Grand Lux Cafe, which is kind of like the Cheesecake Factory. I hardly ever go to the Grand Lux. I talked myself out of the fancy dessert and in so doing realized that I was anxious. That I was fretting about the idea of joining eharmony. I very much did not want to do it. I drove around and around talking myself out of fancy desserts and oversized slices of pie. Finally (the price of gas being $3.09 a gallon), I decided that I had to go home. I decided that I would allow myself a small sweet something , an empanada from Taco Bell, and that I would then go home, and sign up. So I had the empanada (plus two 160-calorie tacos), and, being thus fortified, I signed up.

That was two and a half days ago.  I have been seeking fortification in food all day, every day, since. I cannot put into words how scared I am of being rejected and of being hurt. Again.

I am conscious of this fear, though. As I am conscious of the food that I have been eating to ease my discomfort–diet food, like Special K Bars and pita chips (thankfully not cheeseburgers and bread pudding). I long for the day when I won’t reach for a snack or an edible anything to quell my emotions. But for today I am satisfied enough that I am feeling the fear. That I am moving forward despite my fear.  That I am meeting men online. Like Keith…

Happy Saturday!

30 Oct

Three quick things:

1)  I found a terrific new blog today called Gooseberry Bush.  The blogger is single and in her late 30s.   Her post, “10 Rules About Men That All Women Should Know By the Time We’re 30,” scored a direct hit.  And yesterday’s post, Anecdotal & Statistical Proof That Women Over Forty Are Not Destined To Be Old Maids, was very good too.  Check it out.

2)  I think I’m going back to eharmony.  I tell myself that I don’t really want to meet anybody and am otherwise occupied, that I’m too busy to meet anybody, that I cannot afford the ancillary expenses related to meeting someone, but the bottom line is that I’m scared.  I don’t want to put myself through the emotional paces of dating.  That being the case, I’m going to just do it.  Plus, eharmony is running a $30/3-month special until 10/31/10.  I’ll keep you posted.

3)  The mid-term elections are coming up and I’ve been getting hit by ads from the candidates from every direction–mail, telephone, even Facebook.  Fortunately or unfortunaltely I have adopted the official status of fence-sitter.  I really like and want the government to take a role in helping people (especially since our government has no problem taking a role in deeds that hurt people, see, e.g., Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown which I am currently reading), however…I am a single professional woman with no children.  Meaning that if I ever sat down and factored in all of my various tax liabilities–(Federal, State, FICA, sales, use, etc.)–I am sure I would find that I give about 50 or 60 cents of every dollar that I earn to various government entities. Not good.  And anyway some of the rich and poor take advantage big time when help is offered.  Also Not Good.  So I’m a fence sitter and do not know how to vote in the upcoming elections.

Which brings me to Condolezza Rice.  Did I ever mention that I love Condolezza Rice?  I love her humble beginnings, her accomplishments, her loyalty to her political ideology.  I love that she is still single.  And most espeicially, I love that she is reputed to have had a crush on her boss, which makes her just like the rest of us girls!  I was reminded of her because this past week I heard President Obama on the radio stumping hard to get out the vote.  I do not listen to political-type news generally.  But each time I heard his voice on the radio I turned up the volume.  And it’s not because of the upcoming elections, it’s because I like his voice.  In fact, let me just say it, I like him.  Tall, dark, handsome, brilliant, funny, him.  ***Sigh*** President McDreamy.  It’s probably not acceptable to vote according to who I think is the cutest, though, huh?

What Was All That Heartbreak About?

20 Oct

For a while now I have been dejected about several (relationship) endings in my life. Endings that followed each other in rapid succession. I have been sidelined by sorrow. Recently, though, instead of sorrow, I have found myself thanking God for one of these endings.

RN, you will recall, was a best-friend-type. Earlier this year I wondered if I had been overlooking him as a potential husband all the time that I’d known him. So we talked. And our friendship was doomed forever after. It’s taken me until now to realize that the ending with RN was God’s doing–not mine or RN’s–and that it was good.

Last fall, after a trip to Lake Placid where I met with the Lord, and particularly after reading the Girl’s Guide to Getting Married, I remember having the distinct impression that my relationship with RN was not good. He was too important a man in my life to not be The Man in my life. “But,” I hedged with the Lord, “I can’t let him go. He’s my friend. I like our friendship. I need his friendship. And he needs mine. I’ll just be careful.” How surprising was it to me, then, that by Spring of this year RN and I were done.

I was thanking God about the end of our relationship because somewhere along the way, between Fall and Spring, I changed. I got the courage to let go of my boyfriend-like friendship with RN. Somehow I was able to risk saying to him, “I need this to be a real relationship that’s moving forward, or I need for you to let me go.”

This change of mind and willingness to risk could only have come from God. Maybe all the endings that preceded the RN ending were about learning to be comforted by God; learning that He is reliable and that He is there for me even in the midst of hurt and rejection. Maybe the more that I felt safe with God, and secure in God’s love, the less I feared even the loss of RN’s love.

Thank you, Lord. Your perfect love is casting out all my fears.

I’m Not Mad At Men. Am I?

14 Oct

A few weeks ago I bumped into an old guy friend–forties, never married, tall, handsome, and with career issues. After we talked I told him that he was still the same. What I thought, and didn’t say, was that it was about time for this guy to grow up and get his act together as far as work and relationships are concerned.

Then I felt bad for my lack of compassion.

Days later I talked to a friend who is in a relationship with a man who is in his forties–tall, handsome, has career issues and is a master at the game of stringing my friend along. When she told me yet another story about how he had explained his most recent offenses away and thus they were still, happily, together, I said, I’m going to pray that your relationship would begin to be pleasing again. What I thought, but did not say, was that this guy needs to figure out what he’s doing with his life already; he’s too old to be this aimless!

Then I felt bad again for judging this man harshly.

What’s more, after feeling bad for the second time in such a short span of time, I detected a troubling pattern in my thinking regarding men (e.g., men are superficial and only care about a woman’s looks, they’re broke from paying child support, they’re deadbeats for not paying child support, they’re immature with their kindles, ipads, and xboxes, they’re hypocrites morally, etc., etc., etc.).

This pattern pointed clearly to a heart that was feeling bitter towards older single men.

Bitter? Who? Me?

Soon enough I accepted the truth. I am angry at men in general, and a few in particular, for wrongs perpetrated against me, both actual and imagined. And (deep breath) I am indeed bitter.

So I have repented.

God help me.

Remind Me Again, Why Is He Mr. Wrong?

18 Feb
Prayer-is-with-gratitude-,- gratitude-is-with-...
Image by lyimuse via Flickr

It turns out that my heart has a will of its own that refuses to be subdued.

Last week after talking to one of my girlfriends, I ran out of patience with her refusal to let go of a dead-end relationship. Then I turned around and looked in a mirror and what did I see but her. Reflected back at me was a woman who refused to let go of a relationship that was destined to go nowhere. So I declared and decreed that my heart would unshackle itself from this man and move on! But my heart, sneakily, has continued to hope in him. And it says, “Remind me again why he’s Mr. Wrong?” So I do.

I say: “He’s not suitable because he has no money.”
My heart says: “Ahh, true, true. But what a coincidence that as you prayed that God would give him an income he tells you that he’s going on salary at his church; that they’re matching the salary he had at his last job. Nevertheless, you could be right in thinking that since he has no money now he’ll never have any money. Could be. Maybe.”

I say: “Also, he’s commitmentphobic. He’s not able to commit.”
My heart says: “Yes, that’s right. I remember that about him. Yet I notice that when you have crossed little emotional bridges towards him these days, and think to yourself that THIS bridge-crossing will surely trigger his instinct to run, he hasn’t run. He’s still here. And hasn’t he served his pastor for the past 15 years, even through dire circumstances. He seems committed.”

I say: “Don’t forget that he only has a H.S. diploma, and doesn’t seem to want anything more.”
My heart says: “Isn’t that the sad truth. No degrees. But…I wonder what he would say if you asked him about his plans to go back to Bible school. And I wonder, too, how many men that you’ve come across, with or without degrees, who pray God’s heart for you? (I don’t remember WB, for instance, ever really praying for you. Of course I’m probably mistaken. You would know better.) And I wonder how many men, with or without degrees, would take long moments to speak uplifting words to your discouraged soul, words based not on their love or like, but always grounded in faith in what God has said to and about you. I wonder how many men have the degree of heart that he has.”

I say: “But he’s Pentecostal! And his clothes are too fashionable. I’ve never seen him in a basic charcoal suit for goodness’ sake.”

My heart says: “He’s a friend, a confidante, and a mentor to both men and women, to those both senior and junior to him. He’s faithful. He’s attractive—even in his knee length sport coat.”

My heart makes compelling arguments.

So I’m praying.

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Waking From My Dating Snooze

12 Feb

I got the best wake-up call I could have asked for.

I talked to a friend recently who has a not-going-anywhere relationship that she will not end. Listened to her talk about how she loves and needs this man, particularly in light of the emotionally difficult time she is going through right now.  She needs him as nothing more than “a friend”, she claims loudly. Naturally, right now she does not want to let him go. This after her assurances that her last break-up with him a month ago was the real deal for real.

To me, my friend’s situation is clear, she will never be married if she wants to marry this man. But my friend does not see it.

After talking to her the light went on in my own brain. I myself, StillSingle who ought to know better, am falling into this same blinding inertia in my relationship with RN. I am holding on to his friendship, contorting it into potential romance,  for the safety and emotional support it provides. Even knowing that any romantic relationship with him would be a dead end. Even knowing that I will never be married if I wait to marry RN.


Ready or not, back into the dating fray I go.