He’s Not Looking for a Girl Like Me

As 2014 comes to a close, I’d like to point out that I’m still single (you know, before anyone else does it for me on New Year’s Eve). I’m mostly quite happy and content with my (single) life, but as the new year rolls around and we’re all contemplating the past year and setting goals for 2015, I’ve been wondering if there is anything I can do to be more intentional about possibly not being single this time next year…

I’m not sure if the following story will help or hurt me in that endeavor, but here goes:

There once was a woman named TJ. Way back in early 2013 when she was in a funk about being single, she watched the first video in a sermon series called, “The New Rules of Love, Sex, and Dating” by Andy Stanley. His main question was as follows: Are you who the person you are looking for is looking for? In other words, are you living in a way that would attract the kind of person you would like to marry?

The New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating

TJ contemplated this question and realized she had a list of traits she was looking for in a future spouse, but she’d never really stopped to consider whether the men that encompassed all those traits would be attracted to her as she was currently living. She cringed when she realized that her answer to Andy’s question was a resounding, NO. There was nothing bad about how she was living, she just wasn’t acting or living consistently the way she knew she should be in order to be attractive (that’s all encompassing, not just physically) to that kind of man. She also realized this wasn’t about being perfect or changing who she was either, it was simply recognizing that she wasn’t living out her own stated values.

In spite of that epiphany, she was several months deep into testing out the online dating waters, and in July of 2013 she threw caution to the wind and sent a message to a swoon-worthy guy — the only time she had ever initiated contact. Out of frustration for her lack of local potential matches (5, in case you’re wondering) she had changed her ‘match distance’ to ‘Anywhere!’ and may or may not have also stipulated that it only show her men in the military (although she can’t remember right now if that actually happened or not…), and there he was! Swoon! We shall call him ‘TM’. He lived in a nearby state but ‘on paper’ he was everything she was looking for and they had a very high match percentage so she gave it a shot. He read her message. He looked at her profile. He did not write her back.

As the days passed without a response and the rejection set in, she fought the inner voice that said, “you’re not living like the kind of girl he’s looking for…“, but she finally had to admit that if she were him, she wouldn’t have chosen to consider dating her either. She was not the kind of girl he was looking for, and she couldn’t blame him for thinking any different. Andy’s question echoed in her head as she stuck it out on the site for a few more months but eventually decided to take a mental break (if you’ve ever tried out online dating, then you’ll know she did the right thing!).

Fast forward to June of 2014. A few of TJ’s (also single) bible study ladies decided to watch the entire 4-part sermon series together as an informal study group, and she was once again hit with the reality that she had not done much in the past year to set herself up for a successful dating experience, if the opportunity ever presented itself. She’d taken a few baby steps in the right direction, but she was not where she wanted to be.

In August of 2014, against her better judgement, she decided that it was a good time to reactivate her dating profile “just to see if anyone new was in her area.” As she scrolled, a familiar face came into view and she had to do a double take. There in front of her was a photo of ‘TM’, now living in Portland.

At first, she got all kinds of giddy. Then her heart sank.

She knew there could have been a plethora of other reasons he chose not to write back to her the first time (maybe he’s only attracted to blondes) and there’s always the  possibility he’s not really the person he paints himself to be online (it’s scary out there), but here he was again a year later and she was completely unprepared for a potential second chance to find out for sure — and that’s when she started to feel overwhelming regret. But she moved past it, did absolutely nothing at all with his new profile, and instead fielded questions from men who clearly did not read her profile or match requirements. Slim pickings, indeed.

After several more months of being proposed to by men from the Middle East and Africa fruitless interactions, TJ decided (for better or worse) that the only way to un-crush on ‘TM’ was to prove he wasn’t as perfect as his profile made him sound…so she put her unfortunately-spectacular-Googling skills to the test and well…she’s too embarrassed to put it all in writing, but let’s just say that she somehow accidentally ended up sending him a Facebook friend request that was IMMEDIATELY undone once she discovered what she’d done…but you can’t undo the notifications!

TJ is currently dying of shame, embarrassment, and gut-wrenching laughter. She has also taken an extended hiatus from online dating with no current plans to reenter that madhouse anytime soon.

What have I learned from TJ’s story? (haha)

  • If you feel convicted about something that needs to change, don’t wait to do something about it. You may miss out on future opportunities.
  • Don’t keep pushing on closed doors. They’re closed for a reason.
  • God has perfect timing, and a sense of humor.

 

2015 will be a year of living intentionally with the purpose of becoming the woman God has created me to be. I do very much want to be married in the future, but I would much rather spend my single years fulfilling goals and dreams than sitting around waiting for a guy to be delivered to my front door (or as a match in my inbox). I choose to make life happen in 2015, not just let it happen to me.

Instead of goals or resolutions, I’m working on a Growth Plan I’ll be sharing later this week!

Did you have any big epiphanies in 2014 that have shaped your goals/resolutions for 2015? Whatever they may be, I hope you have a fantastic New Year!

The Almighty Pen

Last week I raced home from work (and by ‘raced’ I really mean *sat in traffic for 45 minutes when I only live 4 miles away*) because I forgot my Bible Study workbook at home and needed to get back across town to my church — in the complete opposite direction, in 30 minutes. Needless to say, I was in a hurry.

I pulled into my *TENANTS ONLY – ASSIGNED PARKING* parking lot to find an unfamiliar red Jetta in my spot. MY ASSIGNED SPOT. There are signs! It’s happened before, and I usually just grumble about it to myself, park on the street and then keep checking to see if the evil-rule-breaker has vacated the premises so I can take back my glorious parking space.

This time though, THIS TIME I WOULD LEAVE A NOTE!

I scrambled to find a scrap of paper to scribble my words of derision; finally tearing off a blank corner of an invoice from a recent trip to the mechanic. I grabbed a pen from my purse and began to write in all caps: TENAN..T PA..R.. my pen kept running out of ink. I scribbled in circles on another sheet until it worked again: KIN… no ink again. More scribbled circles, no ink. NO INK! I searched for another pen…nothing. One last attempt at scribbling out some ink, and then I threw the pen on the passenger seat in contempt for it’s inability to do it’s job.

not working pen

For a moment I considered just blocking the jerk in, but took a deep breath and remembered that I was in a hurry and I wouldn’t be back until 9pm, and I’m sure he’d be long gone by then — so I parked in someone else’s empty spot and ran into my apartment to change and grab my book.

On my short walk to my apartment I debated with myself about the merits of writing another note:

It’s probably a good thing the pen stopped working.

But I really want to write a note!

Take a deep breath and just forget about it. You’ll be leaving again in five minutes.

But he must be scolded!

Don’t be that person.

I’m going to write another note. I have plenty of pens in my apartment.

I changed quickly then grabbed a pen and a flowery notepad (because I’m a lady) and rewrote my parking violation notice in green pen because I secretly hoped it would run down his window in the rain. Yep.

parking gram

I told myself this was dumb, and the car was probably already gone by now, and maybe it was just someone quickly picking up a friend or visiting their grandmother…but if the car was still there I was going to leave my note of shame because REASONS.

Note in hand, I marched back out to the parking lot, full of anticipation, plotting the most strategic place to put it: tuck it into the rubber lining around the drivers window? Held in place by the windshield wiper, facing in? Held in place by the windshield wiper, facing out? What if the car has an alarm on it? WHAT IF SOMEONE SEES ME?

I rounded the corner to find the car running, lights on, with a man sitting inside talking on his cell phone.

Thwarted.

I crumpled the note in my hand, but attempted to give him the glariest of glares as I made my way to my car. If only telepathy were real; boy would he be getting an earful right now!

I laughed at myself as I closed my car door and shoved the note in my purse. I side-eyed him again one last time for good measure, but since I don’t think he had eyes in the back of his head, I don’t think he saw me. I didn’t really want to leave the note anyway…but I kind of did…but I’m glad I didn’t.

Then for some reason I thought I’d give the first pen another shot because “wouldn’t it be funny if it worked now?“.

I picked it up and scribbled out a few words…and out came fluid lines of ink like it was brand new. The pen knew how to do it’s job after all.

I laughed, then smiled at Jetta-Guy as I pulled out of my neighbor’s spot.

Well played, God. Well played.

Moral of the story? I don’t really know, but here’s a few things I’ve come up with:

If something doesn’t work when you think it should, maybe it’s just not supposed to happen right then.

If a pen doesn’t work while you’re trying to write a mean note, maybe don’t write the mean note.

Listen to the still, small voice inside you that tells you when something is out of whack.

Forgive and let go.

*Don’t write mean notes to people parked in your spot, while you’re parked in your neighbor’s spot.*

Have you ever been stopped from doing something you really wanted to do, and it turned out to be all for the best?

Good Job, Chubby

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