Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Let's Have a Dating Chat.

I never rarely talk about dating on this blog. I've explained previously that this is in large part because I think every person deserves to keep one area of their lives to themselves.  This is also in large part because I had a few regrets about how open I was about my last relationship.  So today I will not be talking about any recent dates, who I'm dating, or giving away any big secrets...sorry!  But I do want to talk about dating.

A guy friend called me earlier this week, we'll call him A.  A was (semi-)joking about how he wants to meet a girl like me where he lives.  To which I responded (semi-)joking back: you won't be meeting a girl like me at the places you're hanging out.  This is one of those times there's a little truth in every joke.  After that we put the joking aside and had a serious conversation about meeting the right kind of people.

He told me how a mentor who's recently entered his life had challenged him that 'good christian girls' are rarely met at bars.  That you may have to put down that 12th beer and get your butt to church or volunteering to meet the right girl. I listened and pondered briefly before sharing with A some advice my Dad gave me during my lost-and-wandering college years...

I will never forget the Christmas break my Dad sat me down.  He said, 'Bekes, what kind of guy do you think you want to marry someday?'.  If I wasn't terrified of being spanked to this day, I probably would have rolled my eyes.  Instead I responded, 'Well Dad, someday not TOday, I would like to marry a solid, Christian guy who works hard... etc'.  Then my Dad said the phrase that hit me like a ton of bricks... ' Bekes (this is my Dad's pet name for me btw), are you the kind of girl that a solid Christian guy would be looking for?'.


Mind you, this question wouldn't have stung if I could have answered yes.  But at this point in my life I was a Christian but I was anything but solid, myself.  That converstation changed my life by challenging my ideas about myself and forcing me to look at my life in perspective.

I posed this same question to A on the phone as I was taking a drive over the Howard Franklin bridge (something I love to do).  I think it rocked his world about like it rocked mine 6 years ago when I had that profound conversation with my Dad.  See, the key isn't to show up at church and find a girl who's wife material...though I've seen people attempt this.  The key is that when you find that girl (and there are a good plenty of them, I think it's safe to say) you're the kind of guy that girl would be interested in.  Taking is easy on the drinking on Saturday night to show up on Sunday morning on the hunt for her, isn't going to get that desired result.  If somehow it does, it won't stick because it isn't based on reality.

See, we spend so much of our dating energy on seeking out the right person and frequently we forget to BE the right person. 

My life has changed pretty drastically since that conversation with the Clydester 6 years ago.  And in many ways I've started to work on becoming the kind of person I would be interested in (that comes out weird, but you know what I mean).  My relationship with the Lord is constantly growing. I've worked REALLY hard to get debt free, stay debt free, and be financially responsible (something I absolutely want in a future spouse).  I've used my money wisely (like buying a house), worked hard to further my career (and get a promotion), and I've made some vast improvements to my priority lists from then to now.  I've started working out and taking care of myself, physically.  I've worked at doing that travel I kept saying I wanted to do.  And most importantly, perhaps, I've invested the right amount of energy into the right relationships.

This post is in no way a dig on my friend.  He's got a lot going for him and I think in the next few years he might just find that right girl (though I admit, that girl will more than likely not be me).  I share the conversation we had because I think that A and I aren't the only people who have been in this place of holding the people we date to higher standards than we hold ourselves.  Over and above the unfairness of that, it also doesn't seem to yield the right results (leave it to me to be practical, yes?).

So if you're unhappy with the person/people you're dating or you keep finding yourself meeting all the wrong guy/girls then maybe it's time to take a long, hard look in the mirror.  When you think about what you're looking for in your 'other half' are you sure you're the kind of person they'd be looking for?

Food for thought.



Katie said...

Oh this is so true. My friends always wonder why they can't find nice Christian guys. Um, maybe because you're meeting men at bars? That's probably not the best place in the world to find a host of Jesus-loving men...

And you're so right-- I've said before that I was single for so long (many years...) because God had a lot of work to do on me before I met the man I'd marry.

Lydia - Running Wild(er) said...

Such good advice! Even though I am already married it's still such a wonderful reminder for me to constantly "be the woman he deserves" and to keep myself worthy of him. Same in my Christian walk - am I the type of Christian the Lord would want to send to be a representative of my faith? I often find I would probably be "picked last" if that were the case.

Molly @ Blonde Out Loud said...

Couldn't have said it better myself! I wish that I had come to this realization earlier in life. It took until the last few years to really look at myself and see what I want to be and the things I value in others. I know that you will find someone that is absolutely perfect for you because you are so beautiful inside and out!

Nichole said...

Now if I could persuade my single girlfriends to read this post...some of my gf's always complain about meeting the same "wrong" guys and you're so right. I tell them the same but they continue to do it, lol. Your dad sounds like a good dad to have that talk with you to begin with :)

Asha said...

Great post! I didn't meet my good, Christian guy until I decided to be a girl who was the equivalent of that. Once you stop searching for someone and begin searching yourself for ways YOU can improve, that right person will likely remain unfound. I'm so proud of you for accomplishing so much (especially at such a young age!)

Neely said...

I am a big believer in things happen at their right time. Now that C and I are broken up Im spending the next year focusing on myself, my career and making my dream of professional blogging happen.