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?
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!