Tag Archives: dating

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?

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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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Do You Ever Miss Having A Man Around?

29 Jan

Image via Google Images

Still Single is stressed!  I took a good long break from work over the Christmas holidays and went back to work at the beginning of January feeling fully renewed.  Upon my return a mountain of work awaited me, including the trial of a case that had been transferred to me in my absence.  A David and Goliath of a trial where I am the featured David.  On a conference call to discuss the trial strategy, I got (unfairly) reamed by one of the top dogs in a different part of the company.  [Aside: my co-worker Jackie and I discussed the conference call afterwards and she was incensed on my behalf.  She went home and told her husband about my experience.  Her husband, who is from a different culture, wondered, “How could Mr. Manager talk to her like that?  She’s a LADY.” When Jackie told me this, ridiculously, I felt tears forming.]  So now all eyes are on me with this trial.  All month the start date was pushed back, until finally jury selection for the trial began this week.  Stress, I say!

This situation put me in mind of the last time that I felt so small in the face of such a big career challenge.  At the time I was working in the public sector.  I was with my friend Eric (now in his second marriage), in his car after work one day.  Talking about my day caused me to have a meltdown.  Tears, fears, and anxieties came spilling out in a semi-hysterical rush.  He calmed me.  Encouraged me.  Bolstered my professional esteem.  And then I was OK.

“I want that now,” I told the Lord.  “I really miss having a man in my life.”

For the first time that I can recall, I not only have no love interest on the scene, but also no male who is “just a friend” to me.  I pulled away from all of my “just friends” guy pals.  I want a husband, and my friendships with these men, I was convinced, was keeping me comfortably satisfied with not having a husband.  What pressure was there to date when I could go out with one of them on a Friday night?  And since we were “just friends”, I felt safe.  There was no risk of rejection, no risk of the relationship not working out; no risk of pain.  It was win-win.  Only I’d gotten to the point where I no longer wanted the prize of protracted singleness.  So somehow, one-by-one, I dissolved my ties with these men.

This week, though, dealing with a mountain of work-related stress reminded me of the kind of nurture that I was missing out on that only a man can give.  I find no compartment in my life where I am allowed to be tearful and weak and helpless on occasion–not with my girlfriends, not with my family, not in ministry, certainly not at work.  Also, being a professional woman in modern days, I forget, and never get any memos to remind me, that sometimes I need to be tearful and weak and helpless, if that is the experience that I am having.  But this week I remembered my frailty, and that it was God designed.  I missed having a man to hold me and speak gently to me, to just be strong for me.  And when I remembered I told the Lord about it.

Coincidentally, a couple of days ago, I heard from Eric.  Eric, who saw me through my meltdown in his car all those years ago, who has been my friend since age 11, who knows all my secret shames and is still my friend, Eric sent me an email with his new phone number and said, “This not talking has gone on for long enough.  I miss you. I love you.  Call me.”

I think, maybe, I will.

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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?

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?

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.

WHEW!!!

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

Purity? Are We Going There?

1 Sep

I seem to be delaying talking about Purity, the second principle of  marrying well according to Boundless’ Girl’s Guide.  But discuss it we must!

Tomorrow.

What Do Kids Know?

31 Aug

Smart GirlI finally decided not to call or text, but to email the object of my infatuation.  I composed my note carefully and was then stuck.  To admit missing him or not to admit missing him?  Tell him, I thought to myself.  I needed a second opinion, though, so I showed my  nearby 11-year-old-niece the email.

“Cut the part about missing him,“ she advised, “you’re gonna look like a fiend.” 

“But what if I am a fiend?”

“You’re not supposed to let him know that.”

I cut the part about missing him.

Do You Have A List?

23 Aug
Shopping list
Image by Ex-Smithvia Flickr

I have never been a big proponent of The List.  For those who don’t know, some women compile a list of characteristics that they hope to find in a mate, e.g., must have a college degree, must have a good relationship with his mother, must love dogs, etc. , and regard their list as sacrosanct.   I eschewed any kind of list and preferred to believe that I would “just know” the right man when I met him. 

Lately, though, I’ve been challenged to re-think my position.  What if my compass is off and a man that I really like is actually very wrong for me?  What if a man who I am just-not-that-into is actually very right for me?  Maybe, I’ve been thinking lately, I need to make a list of qualities in a man that are important to me.  Maybe an objective standard would help me to evaluate whether or not a particular man and I have potential as a couple. 

Here’s what the list I decided to make looks like so far:

  • He has a relationship with God and is actively involved in a church.
  • He wants to be married and is seeking a wife, not just a relationship.
  • He is willing and able to be the sole provider for our family, if necessary.
  • He is emotionally connected to other people in his life;  he shares his thoughts and feelings with someone, inconveniences himself for someone, he totally accepts someone, just as they are, flaws and all.
  • He is intelligent; but still eager to learn, and is aware of the limits of his knowledge.
  • He is funny; able to laugh at himself.  His humor doesn’t run towards sarcasm.
  • He is available to me.  He doesn’t go away for days and weeks when he’s affected by something.  He doesn’t have work, or projects, or obligations that prevent him from being with me or talking with me.
  • He tells me how he feels about me.  I don’t have to wonder or surmise.
  • He talks to me about his feelings, hopes, dreams.
  • He genuinely likes and appreciates the wonder that is woman. 
  • He respects and appreciates his parents.
  • He has steady employment and makes reasonable financial decisions. 
  • He has a sincere curiosity about me, my life, my interests, hopes and disappointments.
  • He has some experience dealing with emotional women, and is not condescending towards us.
  • He is attractive.
  • He is a good kisser.

As for traits like honesty, caring, thoughtfulness, etc., I thought of what caring, for example, means to me and added that to the list.  There was no need to add that he’s not an addict, abuser, or liar.

My list is not a marriage application, it is not a final arbiter, it is not an offensive weapon (“stay away, Mister, if you don’t possess all these qualities”).  My list is not really about my husband at all.   It is about me clarifying my needs and expectations. 

Like:  we all want to date and marry Christian men, but what about (extremely attractive) prospectives who identify themselves as Christian by way of family tradition?  What about men who have had a born-again experience but who have not been church members for many years?  What about men who have had a born again experience, and who go to church routinely, but who have zero connections or relationships with other church members?   My response under each of these circumstances would depend on the individual man’s story.   But my list is here to remind me that active involvement in a church is a sign of spiritual health and of a certain level of spiritual maturity; to remind me to assess these factors in a man’s life when I am getting to know him.

All lists are not created equal, but a good list is a good thing. 

What’s on your list?

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