It was the inevitable conclusion after multiple rounds of battle. Even though I unfortunately tend to be cynical I have metaphorically turned my nose up at the statements of my fellow single people many times. What were they staying you ask? Oh you didn’t ask? Well I’ll answer anyway.
“Dating sucks, am I right?” Now I nod my head instead of turning up my nose. I’m not saying relationships suck (although they can certainly have their moments) just the process of trying to get there.
I have dated and/or “talked” to more women in the last two years than the rest of my life combined. I’m a guy so of course I always had the interest, but for whatever reason I just didn’t pursue dating as much as my counterparts. Maybe it was seeing them fight, get the okay to go places with me, pay double everywhere they went, deal with jealousy, get cheated on, get their feelings hurt, etc. Then again maybe it just wasn’t my time; I have no idea.
At any rate, these two years have been an adventure… one that has left me barely hanging on some days, not all days mind you. Even though I have railed against all those who say, “all girls/guys are the same” I still find that sentiment trying to creep in when I look back. I write this because I’m sure you’ve had these moments too. You feel like saying forget it and getting a pet. You feel like it’s pointless because all the reasonable/good/considerate ones are married already.
Don’t let it keep you down; God has a plan. And even if that plan is for me (or you) to be single this whole lifetime, so what? The prize is at the end. Marriage is a leg of the race not the race, though I totally understand and empathize with the desire.
I don’t have dating figured out, nor do I claim I’m doing it right. I try, and I fail. Like many, I get caught up too often in physical attraction, my deal breaker list, and hunting perfection, instead of perfect complementing.
I can’t help but wonder along the lines I’ve been writing lately, what if we got this one thing right?
What if we:
-had the decency to at least respond when someone shows interest?
-were honest when we aren’t interested instead of ghosting or ignoring?
-treated sex like a soul-joining act that involves giving part of ourself to someone we may not spend this life with?
-approached with the respect due a child of God?
-prayed before asking or saying yes?
-looked in the mirror and considered that we are the common denominator in all our failed relational ventures?
-used our down time to work on becoming someone God would entrust his child to?
-thought of looks as the fading thing they are?
-appreciated who they are instead of trying to mold them into another us?
-communicated how we really feel?
-stopped for a moment to consider the other point of view?
Okay… The list could go on, but you get the picture. I truly believe if we could just get this one thing right, even if we made a mess of everything else, the world could be changed for the better.
I can imagine a future where parents think we Christians believe some strange things but hope their son or daughter ends up with one. I can see people who don’t believe wanting to know why we date that way. I can see media coverage about how marriages between Jesus followers seem to be stronger, more loving, longer lasting. I can see statistics being shared outside the Church that point to following Jesus being a wise thing to do in spite of the “strange” things we believe. I see all of these giving us a larger voice, a bigger platform to point the world toward Jesus. I’m not advocating for unequal yoking; I’m saying if we simply obeyed Jesus, if we simply dated others the way we want to be dated I doubt we can even imagine what could happen.
Isn’t it worth at least considering, what if we got this one thing right?