Tag Archives: singleness

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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Am I A Bad Friend?

2 Dec

This past weekend I offended a friend. 

Job and His False Comforters, Jean Fouquet c. 1460

We made a plan to pray together, and before we did, I discussed with her how difficult Thanksgiving had been for me.  Dinner was just right, just what I needed, but the lead up to the family gathering had me in a state of severe woe.  I’m ready for a different kind of family gathering already, you know? I want to have my own place, with my own china, with my own food selections, and my own choice of guests.

So my friend listened and commiserated.  Then told me that, like mine, her own Thanksgiving was quite difficult.  It capped a particularly difficult week for her.  Her car broke down on the highway at 10 o’clock at night and she’d felt scared and alone.  Though she was immensely grateful to God for the impressive rescue that He maneuvered out of the situation, she was tired.  She wanted to have a husband to call who would come to her rescue.  So later that week, during a 2 hour sojourn by bus and train, alone, to her Thanksgiving dinner, she was depressed and lonely.  My friend begged God that this be her last Thanksgiving as an unmarried woman.

Unlike her commiseration with me, I offered her insensitivity.  I responded with something along the lines of, “How could you not be completely satisfied with the Lord seeing the amazing way that He took care of you that night on the highway?”  When she defended herself, and her feelings, I realized what an idiot I was.  She is entitled to feel how she feels. “You are right and I am wrong,” I apologized.  But when we prayed, I did not pray that God would hasten the arrival of her husband. I prayed that He would bring her peace and a friend, or something like that.  Afterwards, I got the impression that my prayer was not appreciated very much.  There wasn’t exactly hearty agreement.  Which made me feel bad. Had my prayer been laced with judgment?  The next day I texted another apology.  And my friend did not respond.

The thing is, I feel bad because I couldn’t pray a more supportive prayer. But I couldn’t pray a more supportive prayer because I honestly do not support my friend’s point of view. I emphatically do not believe that marriage is the answer to what ails my friend. 

She thinks, as do a lot of singles, that marriage will make everything better.  If she were married she would not have to deal with a broken down car on the highway alone at night.  But who says so? Having a husband, even a godly husband, does not guarantee that you will get the exact kind of support that you need exactly when you need it. This kind of expectation is a paving stone on the road to divorce, even in Christendom.   Maybe your only-too-human husband would come to the scene and make things worse instead of better.  Maybe he would be so nervous and worried, about the car, about you, about the money, that you would regret even telling him that you had a problem.  Maybe he would be so tired or busy or saddled with childcare that he decides not to come out to meet you, but maybe to stay on the line with you if you want.

My friend thinks that if she were married she would not have to feel angst on Thanksgiving about being alone.  But what about the angst that she might feel because she has a family and is not alone?  Marriage is not a magic elixir that instantly takes the emotional edge off. Marriage might even add an additional emotional edge. In-laws anyone? What about having to host Thanksgiving for your family and his, doing the shopping, cleaning, cooking, and baking, while still going to work and being Mommy to the kids? What about Thanksgiving road trips with a car full of tired, cranky, or bored kids? What about the added financial strain associated with said Thanksgiving travel?

The point is that marriage is not the answer to every problem that the single woman faces.  The unpleasant emotions that surface in all of our lives, married or single, are a cue to listen to what is happening in our souls.  And then to bring our real issues or concerns to the Lord.  Sadness about breaking down on the highway at night, could be an indication that your soul is longing for intimate relationship with someone, not necessarily a husband. Maybe your soul is wondering if anyone really, truly, cares and needs to be connected to a friend or a relative who will remind you of their care and concern when you are in a bind.  Or perhaps feeling sadness signals worry about the cost of car repairs and a fear of inadequate resources.  Maybe the feeling of sadness is an indication of sheer fatigue and worry about being able to get done everything that had to be gotten done that night, and then also in the morning despite being doubly tired.  Each of these unspoken thoughts, though, because they remained unspoken, could not be addressed or refuted by the Lord.  Instead my friend’s true needs, to know that she is loved, that God will provide, and that God will give her strength and grace besides, were transformed into a fantasy wish for a husband who would make all things better. 

God help me not to be like one of Job’s comforters.  And God help my friend to know You like Job came to know you.

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Have I mentioned that I have been obsessed with homeownership all year long?

29 Nov

All year I have looked, searched and hunted for the right property, and have been unable to find it.  I have found frustration at every turn– prices too high, taxes too high, too many repairs needed, or all-cash buyers outbidding me.  Not to mention my own ambivalence about what amount I can really afford, in light of my continuing student loan debt.

During the last couple of months I have gotten the distinct spiritual impression that I have to cease being obsessed about, distressed over, and consumed with buying a home.  That I have to trust God.  Just like with my desire to be married.  Releasing this desire to the Lord has been as hard as releasing the desire to be married.  It feels even harder, if you can believe that, because buying a house feels like something that should be within my control.  But God is helping me to release the thing.  To not just think, but to truly mean that He is my security, my shelter, my refuge, my everything.

In the meantime I find myself taking first-time homebuyer preparation courses, which is humbling.  I used to work as a bank real estate closing attorney, and privately as an attorney I have performed a number of closings for clients.  But I’m honest enough with myself to admit that I need help developing a realistic budget, and assessing the current marketplace (e.g., is a short sale better than a normal sale for a buyer like me or not?), and understanding different financing options.  So I’m seeking guidance while I await the Lord’s provision.

Tonight I attended a class where there were presentations from a mortgage expert who works for TD Bank, and also from a home inspector who detailed the intricacies involved in assessing the condition of a property.

I was the only single person there.  The only person sitting alone.

I remember dreaming that one day my husband and I would go house-hunting together.  Just like on HGTV.

Alas.

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Commitmentphobic? Who, ME?

11 Jun
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Image by chillhiro via Flickr

Just like there are all kinds of alcoholics—some perform surgery every day, some can’t hold down a job—evidently, there are all kinds of people who are conflicted about commitment.  Some will tell you up front, “I am not looking for a long term relationship.” Others will tell you that what they want more than anything in the world is marriage.  Just as all the different types of alcoholics have one thing in common before seeking help(they think they do not have a problem), all the different types of commitmentphobes have one thing in common before seeking help (they think they do not have a problem).

 

This past week I have had to raise my hand, introduce myself to me, and confess that I am a non-committer.  I have pursued men who did not want me, and have allowed myself to be pursued by men who were bona fide unavailables.  Even in my interactions with friends, family, and employers, I have created distance in the relationships and have enforced boundaries to guard my freedom and independence.  I have not wanted to be that close and I have not wanted to be trapped into forever.   I am StillSingle, and I am commitmentphobic.

 

The revelation of my internal conflictedness about commitment is truly, miraculously, eye opening. I feel like the healed man in the book of John.  I once was blind, but now I see. 

 

Now I see.

 

Having been emancipated by the truth, I know that victory over this condition of mine is not far off.  Knowing that God is bringing me out of this, this week I emailed these words to friends about my singleness, about this perplexing chapter of my life: IT IS FINISHED.  And I cried from sheer joy.  It IS finished.  Amen.

 

The night after I emailed I went to the prayer meeting at my church.  The pastor exhorted us to rejoice in God’s strength, and to rejoice in the victories that God will give us. (Psalm 22:1).  Towards the end he exhorted that if any of us are facing challenging situations, we can rest assured that God has already given us the victory.  “It is finished!”, he proclaimed.

 

And so

I sing

because I’m happy 

I sing 

because I’m free 

His eye is on the sparrow 

And I know He’s watching me.

A New Year or Just Another Year?

7 Jan

Anonymous asked, “What happened with KS?” (from several posts back).   Answer:  nothing.

 

Let me also tell you what is happening with Bronxman (who appeared in the same post at KS several blogs back, and again in the post before this one):  nothing.

 

Finally, as for WB (my perpetual crush), what happened in December was:  for the first time in many years (10+) he did not send me a Christmas gift, he did not make a Christmas (or New Year’s) call to me, and he has yet to return my call asking him (in an absolutely kosher way)  if there’s some kind of problem.   What will become of him and me:  nothing.  I get it already, Lord. 

 

Moving on…

 

It’s 2009!  The year that Hope makes a jaw-dropping comeback!  This is going to be a fantastic year for Singles everywhere, I’m convinced.  We are approaching a tipping point in the way that Christian culture approaches the issue of singleness, and it’s only to our benefit.

 

Thus, my plan for 2009 is to focus a little more on the Christian Culture’s dealings with all things Single,  and to focus a little less on my personal travails.  Just a little less.  

 

I plan to begin with a few Captivating posts.  Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul

A must read if you haven’t.   The woman who gave me this book is going to post a guest column here very soon.

 

I’ll also mix in a few observations about issues raised in Plumbline Ministries’ Free Audio Downloads for Christian Singles.   I don’t know this ministry at all, but they seem to be the only ones dealing with the spiritual implications of protracted singleness, and that alone is sufficient to warrant my consideration.

 

God said so many wonderful things to begin the year that I’m still intoxicated by His voice.   Hurray for a New year, and not just Another year!

Why Are We Still Single?

23 Oct

 

There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:

The way of women who want to go back to school:  they get catalogs, register, re-schedule their lives, and finish their educations;

The way of women who want to run marathons:  they buy running shoes, join running clubs,  practice, and run marathons;

The way of women who want to lose weight:  they choose a method, plan their daily menus, exercise, and lose weight;

and

The way of women who want to get married:  they are open and friendly to men, they move on from dead-end relationships, they pray, commit to one man, and get married.

 

Ultimately, people do and have what they want.

 

Could it be that there is a voiceless and powerful part of us that wants to be single?