Single but not alone

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I’ve been wanting to write this post for awhile now but life has a way of creeping in and stealing ALL my motivation. However, I think this weekend is the perfect time to get these feelings out. Around this same time last year, I wrote a post entitled “4 months, 4 holidays, 4 ever alone” It’s funny how things can change over the course of a year. I remember thinking last year how crappy it is to be alone during four of my favorite holidays, two of which are very romantic, in my opinion. I was also sick last year during Thanksgiving so it’s possible that contributed to my sulking, as well:p.

I feel like God has been ridding me of anyone and anything lately. I’m not the type of girl who always has to be in a relationship but I am the type who always has to have a potential. A prospect. Someone that could be “the one.” This year is different though. I wish I could put into words how I feel. For the first time, in a long time, there is no one. And it’s a strange feeling. I keep getting these reminders, these quotes, these scriptures. Reminders there is something bigger than my future husband. It seems so silly when you write it or say it out loud. But isn’t that how we live? Pinterest boards. “Dear future husband” letters. Going out. Staying in. Dating sites. If we were honest with ourselves, if we took a good long look at our lives, I think we’d be surprised how much of our time, how much of our lives are centered around a person we have yet to meet.

It’s funny how we hold onto to the hope of at least one. Because then our hope is justified. At least there is a possibility. I’ve lived a majority of my life like that. “Well, if it really comes down to it, I could always marry <insert name-of-guy-who-has-been-friend-zoned here>.” Why do we do that? Because the unknown is terrifying. We like to plan, we want to feel we are in control of our lives. So we make up stories in our heads to comfort ourselves. Sounds crazy when you write it down but it’s scary how true it is.

But this year, I have no one. No one as a back-up. No guy I could make it work with. No guy worth settling for. I’ve let go of them all. I don’t think my circumstances have changed too much. I think I’m just better at accepting reality. Actually not just accepting but embracing reality. Coming to terms with what I really want and desire most. I’ve seen a lot of relationships and marriages that have made me appreciate my singleness more. I think all too often we take our singleness for granted, as if its sole goal is to search for someone. But this time has allowed me to grow closer in my relationship with God. I’m reminded of when Paul is talking to the Corinthians about having an undivided heart. And I now understand. There is such a peace and freedom just in having Christ. I never feel “alone.” God’s love has filled me in ways I can’t begin to describe.

Sometimes I miss the good morning and good night texts. I miss knowing there is a guy thinking about me. I miss not having a date to certain functions. Instead I get awkward conversations. I’ve gotten everything from the “don’t worry, he’s out there” to “enjoy it” with the look of ‘I’m miserable in my marriage so please enjoy your singleness for the both of us.’ So many people say singleness is a gift but it doesn’t feel that way when you desire to be loved and have kids. I know it’s hard at times. And sometimes you start to lose faith, start to lose hope because you can’t see. You can’t see your future with anyone you know. So it freaks you out. You start to doubt and start to wonder if you’ll be forever alone. But do you know what hope and faith mean? They reach beyond what we can see and they trust. They trust God. And it is in those moments I’m reminded of the things I love. Things that make me not miss it all. Do I still hope to someday get married? Absolutely. But hope is not hope if you have a plan of how to make it happen. Hope is waiting for the unseen, the unknown, with excitement because you know that whatever God has planned for you is far greater than you could ever plan for yourself. Hope is letting go and trusting in something greater than you. There is no need to justify being single because while you may be single, you are certainly not alone.

photo credit: ‘Letting Go’, United States, New York, Montauk via photopin (license)

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Sam’s (from Tinder) side of the story

I did several posts on Sam (Sam & the FamSam is back!Sam & more fam) and I thought it would be interesting to hear his version of events. So I asked him to write his side of things back in March for our “anniversary.” He was late. As usual. So here it is:

Where to begin? Chatting on an app with someone can be freeing or terrifying depending on your personality. LUCKILY I can (and have) talked to a wall. Finding a nice young lady with morals was a surprise amidst the forward crowd of progressive youth. It didn’t take long for Sarah to click with my viewpoints and sense of humor. So we are chatting for what seems to be “a long time”, 2 days maybe. We talked about nothing, or everything, or really just nothing. Politics came up, religion and ideology, corny jokes, food, sports and while on these subjects to no surprise there were many arguments. Sarah likes arguments. Sarah likes to be difficult. End of story.

I may like to be childish with other like-minded people. What better way to do that than at DISNEY!!!! Ice cream, family, rides, children. Disney has what it takes for children of all ages to let loose. I know my family well enough that I would get more than half the afternoon and evening alone enjoying the parks as the rest of them tend to the young children or rest. I would like to say I am a good judge of character.   It could have been 1 hour and I still would have invited Sarah to come with us to the park. It was an easy decision. My family is very open and inviting to individuals who are respectful and modest. I might not have gone through with the idea if Sarah was not outgoing and spontaneous so she deserves as much credit for the friendship as I do. I don’t think it took 5 minutes for her to get crowded by all 4 of my nephews & nieces who were mobile at that point. My siblings were also brutally forward about “how did you meet” and those interesting questions that pop up with … prying family members. Did I mention I haven’t really dated since a certain bad relationship experience a little over a year prior to this event? So people were interested to say the least.

Sarah excelled in the important aspects of social awkwardness. She didn’t mind the harassment. She played along with the kids. She didn’t share ice cream. 2/3 is not bad. We had fun. That was the point. Evening rolls around and we have been in the park all day. The family inevitably goes back to the rooms for a good nights rest. We have at least 3 hours of after hours park time to roam free on the adult rides we want. I think we ended up on Space Mountain 4 times. Meeting people in line or anywhere and everywhere we go. I am still snapchat friends with one guy from Brazil we played games with in line*. Great evening. I found out Sarah is the best dancer EVER. Ask to see her skills or send me a message to get this WOBBLE video starring our special friend.

The trip with the first Columbia experience is not how she portrays it. She was a terrible brat. Again, she needs to learn to share. #sangria? But, when you have a full chocolate cake you should share. Sharing is caring. We played this awesome game for most of the evening where we don’t speak to each other. Not out of anger or anything, more of a competition. I’m not sure who was the winner ;D. So after she broke both mentally and physically, we went on to enjoy our evening. Did I mention she is both a competitive person and a cheater? She cheats at minigolf. So do I. I let her win although impressively I didn’t have to tank too hard. #sangria?

Night of lights. Thanks for the worst idea of food ever. Hot chocolate is great. I think it was very romantic and intimate. She was wanting me to kiss her somewhere in there.** I didn’t. You’re welcome. 10/10 I would do it again. Just with better food choices. Did I mention Sarah is headstrong? I mean really woman, do you need to argue all the time?

Sarah blew me off a few times for boys and “not boyfriends.” I wonder if she will ever listen to me. I can hear it in her voice when she knows the boys aren’t for her. I try not to rub it in.

STAN!!!! Birthday day. She is late. We ended up having a blast celebrating Mr. Stan and his life. This man is amazing. He is family to me. What a giving person with stories and experiences that will put you in AWE. Sarah liked the chocolate cake the most. So we went to the boardwalk. SHE IS DIFFICULT. I tried telling her to be cutthroat when parking here. I was pretty much done with it after 5 minutes and a few parking opportunities missed. Did we get towed? NO. Thanks. I am cheap when it comes to wasting my time in lines. I hate poor service and lines/crowds. I would rather get a 10$ beer at a sit down than a 5$ water in an unnecessary line. First place we went didn’t take AMEX. I don’t carry cash. The bar took my card though. Might have watched some football there as well. No ulterior motives, BACK OFF. The evening finally went the way I wanted it to when we enjoyed the beach sunset. Pictures were had. People were jealous of us. Nothing new. I should have been a little more decisive to protect her from herself. I am driving from now on.

Overall, we have had a great connection. It is very rare and I know that it was not just chance. I enjoy our friendship thoroughly. I love this girl. I know she will do great things. I hope I can give her sound advice and support for as long as I can.

Dictated not read.

SAM THE MAN

*Me toooo! This dude’s snaps are the best!

**Not true at alllll

So I’ve been talking to a lot of guys lately…

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It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. You can say I’ve been “researching” for new topics haha okay that is partly true. I thought my life would settle down somewhat but apparently it’s picked up even more. Knowing me, this is not surprising. I think I’m playing catch up from giving up guys for lent. Seriously. I thought I’ve met every guy and then all of these guys come out of no where. It’s been good. Or interesting. And definitely time-consuming which I am not really a fan of but somewhat needed.

I’ve learned a few things recently that I want to share with you. And I honestly wish there were stronger words I could use to stress these points but I don’t think they’ve been discovered yet. Maybe I’ll add that to my list;)

There is someone great out there for you and they can come at any time. You all have heard my rants about online dating, which I will write about my personal experiences at some point. Still not sold on the whole idea. Mainly because love is not something to be controlled. It just is. And I think part of the beauty of it is just watching and letting it happen, outside of your control. It amazes me and leaves me in awe sometimes. Am I saying sit at home all day and do nothing? Absolutely not! But get out there and enjoy life and allow, yes allow, God to do His thing as you do what He has called you to do. Sometimes we really need to let go and let God.

Keep dating and don’t feel bad about it. If you are anything like me, you tend to focus on the guy (or girl) you like the most and give it your all. That’s the loyalty in you. But you are dating, not married. And that is a very scary thing to do because you close yourself off without fully knowing someone simply because you are excited and infatuated. Keep getting to know people- it’s how you discover what you like, what you don’t, what you respect and what love about others. It allows you to remain somewhat objective rather than making excuses for the wrong one.

Don’t rush. Enjoy each day and the fun and excitement it brings. “I just went on an awesome second date with Jason and he is amazing. I wonder what our babies would look like?!” Sounds ridiculous, right?! Yet, these are the kinds of things that run through our heads. Which is fine but don’t act upon them! Don’t give your heart away too soon. If they are the right one, they will still be there as you continue down this journey. Love is something to be embraced, not rushed. Sidenote, if it doesn’t end up working out, you typically leave on better terms this way.

The heart is what matters most. It’s easy to say people care about money, looks, job, insert whatever you want but really it’s the heart. Sometimes those outward things reveal the heart, sometimes they don’t. But get to know people, like really get to know them. If I’ve learned anything, there is nothing more attractive than a good and loving heart. You can’t fake that and it’s irreplaceable.

Back to “researching” and hope to keep you all posted sooner than later:p

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Dating, Marriage, and Sex: Part One- What to look for when you are looking for marriage

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I have always been a firm believer in never dating just to date. I really don’t see any benefits in that and someone always ends up getting hurt. That will be someone’s spouse one day- we shouldn’t play with people’s hearts or emotions if we aren’t willing or looking to commit. One of the pastor’s I listen to is Ben Stuart from Breakaway Ministries at Texas A&M. He has a wonderful ministry there and I always appreciate his perspective on things. He did a series awhile back and I wish I could find them but the messages were entitled Sex and Dating and had four parts, I believe. I decided to utilize my notes from his messages to write this series for you all because it has helped me so much in reminding me what’s important when it comes to dating. I would like to preface this with the fact that I don’t believe in checklists but this should serve as a helpful guide to help us all think a little more objectively when our emotions may get the best of us. Ultimately, you have to listen to God and make the best decision for your life.

Anyone can get a date. Let’s just get that out there. Sometimes we get discouraged or feel inadequate, that no one likes us or we’ll always be single but the truth is, we could all get married tomorrow if we really wanted to. And we can’t forget that. Lower your standards enough and you can. But we don’t want to and we shouldn’t have to. Sometimes we get caught up on this whole dating and marriage thing as if it’s the most important thing in the world. And while I think we could all agree that I do think it is one of the most important decisions we will ever make, there are far greater things out there we should be thinking about. We must not forget that one of the coolest and most exciting things about marriage is how it represents and shows how much Christ loves us, loves the church.

I think that we tend to be in such a rush to find someone that we miss the gift of singleness. Yes, you heard right- singleness is such an amazing gift. It allows you to be fully devoted to Christ and Him alone. You don’t have anyone else to worry about and aren’t looking for ways to please another. Don’t get me wrong, marriage is a beautiful thing and with the right one, you both will be so completely powerful together as you both pursue Christ. But with the wrong one, it could prove to be detrimental. Marriage is never about two incomplete people finding wholeness with the other; rather, it is about two complete people complementing each other to create power. THAT is what makes it so amazing and exciting.

Before you even begin to look at dating, you have to have your relationship with God right first. I cannot stress this enough. If you are not complete yourself, you have no business in the dating world because honestly, everyone will fall short. Only when your security and identity is found in Christ, will you be able to engage in healthy relationships. Otherwise, what we see are just mutually exclusive using relationships or partnerships. I hate to be so blunt but that’s what it is and it makes me so sad. Yes, some of them work but they could be so much better! Don’t you want and desire God’s best for your life? Let God fill your heart so you will be complete, lacking nothing and then allow Him to bring the perfect person FOR YOU into life to help complement it. You have to be full of God’s love first if you want to succeed in a loving and healthy marriage. Since God is love and you are full in Him, the rest will just come naturally and you won’t need all these self-help books on how to love or save your marriage, it’s just who you are.

The next six items are things to consider when looking for a spouse. Once again, these are helpful reminders and tips to help us stay focused and not get distracted from what we really want and are looking for. I would also argue that the first two are the most important. The rest don’t necessarily have to be there but I would imagine a lot of hiccups and arguments in the future if they aren’t. Love is the most important thing, but sometimes we need reminders as to what love really is.

1) A believer. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” You can’t really get more clear than this. One, God says it so I would follow it since God only has our best interest at heart. Two, think about it. If God is the most important thing in your life, two things could either happen- you start to resent the person you are with because you can’t share the most important thing in your life with them or two, your relationship with Christ begins to suffer as you start compromising. There have been some very rare instances where the unbeliever gets saved from what we call “evanga-dating” where you witness to your unbelieving partner. However, this is only because of God’s grace and should never be a model for what we pursue.

2) Someone who is morally submitted to God. This one is so important. If you aren’t really following Christ, I would question how much you really believe. I will sum this one up with a quote from Matt Chandler:

“Can I say something to young ladies here? I’m trying to pick my words carefully here. Your husband, whoever he is, single ladies, will have an unbelievable amount of influence over your sons and daughters in regards to spiritual things. If you want your children to love Jesus deeply, hold out for a man that is Godly. And let me tell you this: I am well aware that Godly men are rare. Lots of neat Christian boys, not a lot of Godly men. And we’re working our tails off for you to try to develop some into that. But don’t settle, because it’s better to be lonely now than you be married and lonely later. Are you tracking with me? It is better that you be lonely now than for you to get married to a man that will teach your kids everything but the way of Jesus.”

3) Someone who is moving at the same pace. This is so important. Okay, I find myself saying that a lot but it is so true because I’ve been there and it doesn’t work. You do not want to date or marry a guy you are having to drag to be the spiritual leader. It gets exhausting. I can’t tell how many times I’ve had to encourage the person I’m with to go to church or do devotions with me. It’s fine for a friendship but I am looking for a man to lead me and my family one day. I have such a strong personality outside my personal life, that all I desire is to be lead when I am home- safe and secure. And I don’t think that is wrong. God calls women to submit to their husbands and I have such a strong desire to do that but it has to be to someone I believe in, that hears God and I can look up to and admire. We are always to be chasing after God and how easy and comforting is it if we have someone there who is moving at the same pace as us? We are only here for a short time; you don’t need to settle for someone who will only slow you down.

4) Someone who is theologically compatible. While I don’t think this one is a deal breaker, I do think it is important. I had someone break up with me because we weren’t on the same page in regards to infant baptism, spiritual gifts, and predestination. I was willing to compromise on them because I didn’t think they were deal breakers; he was not. What it came down to was he didn’t want me teaching our kids what I believed as he thought he was correct and 100% right in what he believed. As you can see, this would have created numerous arguments down the road. My personal opinion is that there is not necessarily one denomination that is better than the other but that the person truly has a relationship with The Lord. I believe that there are things in the Bible that are clearly stated, while others are a little more grey. It is up to the two of you to share and discuss your individual relationships with Christ (always look for someone who has a personal relationship with Christ and not just someone who can quote off scripture or popular theologians- personal experience;-) and the Bible to ensure you are on the same page in your beliefs.

5) Someone who is socially compatible. I think this one can change over time but this is where it’s imperative you already have your identity in Christ. Once you know who you are, you can begin figuring out what your purpose is. Oftentimes, we confuse the two or get them backwards, or worse- find our purpose and/or identity in another person. What’s scary is if you don’t know your purpose yet and you end up marrying someone else who does have a clear direction and purpose, only to find out it’s not the direction God had planned for you. I do think sometimes another person can help aid us in finding our purpose so I don’t want to discredit that. But at the same time, God created a deep desire within us to accomplish something for His kingdom utilizing our personal gifts. What a tragedy it would be if we miss out on that by marrying the wrong person. Only you can know this one. If your heart is for missions overseas, you may not be most compatible with a person who feels called to stay in the states and do something else. I don’t know though. I still feel with real love, both people can accomplish big goals for God that may eventually change. Just something to think about.

6) Someone you are physically attracted to. Alright, I am going to be honest- when I first heard this series, I thought this last one was totally superficial. I’ve been around long enough to think that looks won’t matter if I can really find someone who loves God. However, I recently dated a guy that I was not attracted to at all but I thought he really loved God so I was willing to look past that. I did start to think he was cuter when I got to know him more. However, I was never really attracted to him. Our relationship never went anywhere for other reasons but I did spend some time thinking about the attraction thing. I finally concluded that God does not desire for us to be with someone we aren’t attracted to. There is nothing wrong with wanting someone you are attracted to. Thankfully, we are all attracted to different types of people so I don’t believe we will have to settle in this area. It’s not asking too much to have a godly, cute person:)

Wow, okay that was a lot longer than I anticipated. Check back later this week because I’ll continue this with my next post on how you should date because we all know that’s just as confusing;-)

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Tinder Update: Sam is back!

For those of you that have been keeping up with my blog, you probably remember the three part series I did on my Tinder experiences last month. One of those was the  Tender Tinder Pt 2: Sam and the Fam! where I met one of my now good friends. As you could tell from the previous post, Sam is a great guy. Anyway, he was back in town with his granny (that’s what everyone calls her so I do too since I’m pretty much family now;) doing some work for the family business. So I went up yesterday to spend the day with him in St. Augustine. Even though I told him to do all of his work the prior days, he still had a good amount of projects left when I got there. This was not surprising and he wasn’t his best either since he had a broken rib from playing ice hockey last week. He likes to think he is hardcore. I won’t tell him otherwise.

When I got there around noon, no one was home. Perfect. I get no reception at their condo complex but luckily the wifi password had been saved so I was able to use it while I waited. The first thing granny asked when they got back was if I wanted something to eat. They know me so well. After eating, we went to Walmart. Worst place ever. Sam is also childish out in public. Not only did he spray me with some cheap perfume, he watched as I searched for an item when he already knew they didn’t have it. Not funny. He also got mad at me because I didn’t look nice. I told him I missed that memo. I didn’t apologize for my looks.

One of the projects I helped Sam with was transferring files from computers. Sometimes there are some miscommunication problems with Sam and granny. It’s a little awkward because I’m unsure what to do when this happens. I want Sam to know that I support him but I also don’t want granny to feel bad. Sam ended up saying that he needed to walk away for a minute and got up and left. Then granny started talking to me. Sam came back within a few minutes and explained what he was trying to relay calmly and they were able to work through it. What’s funny is I would have normally assumed that Sam had anger issues for the way he acted. But after dating some guys that don’t express any emotions, I actually kind of appreciated the way he handled the situation. He knew he was getting upset and to avoid saying something hurtful out of anger, he gathered himself for a moment and came back. I really admired the way he handled the situation. I think oftentimes we like to pretend we don’t have any problems so we suppress our feelings rather than dealing with them maturely.

The computer issues sent Sam and I to Staples to pick up an external hard drive. As we were leaving the complex it started to rain which made me yell at Sam to hurry up and unlock the doors as I was getting wet. He remained calm and would not unlock the doors until he was on my side to open the door for me. He is a real gentleman even when I’m a brat. Staples was fun and I left a ‘call me’ note at the cash register with Sam’s number. Hopefully the cashier dude will call him. Sam brings out my mature side.

Sam and I left around 5 to go downtown and we had a blast. It was the first night of their Night of Lights and it was gorgeous. Sam avoided going downtown earlier in the week just so we could see it together- awww. Traffic was crazy but we had fun because he had heated seats and we jammed out to Taylor Swift. My favorite was when he put on Ellie Goulding’s song, Lights haha. Our road rage tactics are pretty similar- not sure if that’s a good or bad thing lol. Here are some pictures of the lights:

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So we had a list of things to check out that my friend’s told me about but as fate would have it, we defaulted to the restaurant we always go to- The Columbia. There were soooo many people downtown so we put our name on the list and since the wait was an hour- we walked around. One of the places on the list was French Fry Heaven and since I had gone to the fair the day before, I wanted to try the Festival fries- they were supposed to taste like funnel cake but yuck.- they were gross. Probably because they were made with sweet potato fries. Sam didn’t want anything from there, probably because of what the place looked like.

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While the fries weren’t that good, we did have some good conversation at the place. A guy asked to share our table so we started talking with him. He was pretty cool and was from Jacksonville. He said he had walked on the UCF football team back in 1999. He asked questions about Sam and I too. After telling him about how I lived in Florida and Sam lived in Tennessee he kind of looked at us a little puzzled and started with, “Sooo, how do you guys-“ that’s when I cut him off and told him that Sam and I were just friends. Then he was like “Ohhh, so like friends with benefits?” and then Sam and I told him that there were no benefits- nope, no benefits- mostly cons. Sam said I should have told him that hanging out with me is the benefit. I agree. I really enjoy these awkward situations for some reason.

We walked around for a little bit after that. We saw some of the places my friends told me about- the Taco Shack, Hyppo Café, Waffle & Milkshake Bar, Kilwins. My eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach. Some of those places are on the list for next time. Some place on the street was selling apple cider and Sam wanted some but didn’t have any cash. I told him I’d get it. A nice older man was selling it and Sam said he wanted one and then I started reaching for my money- the guy asked Sam if it was for me. I told him that it wasn’t. That’s when the guy commented on the fact that I was paying. I could tell that Sam was embarrassed and I loved every minute of it. The guy told him what a great woman I was for taking such good care of him. Sam told him that I did take good care of him haha. Sam ended up paying for my dinner so I’d say that was an even trade, right? Our non-relationship makes me laugh at times.

Dinner was delicious. We got our usual pitcher of Sangria and chocolate cake. I sometimes need alcohol to deal with Sam and I think he needs it to deal with me. Our conversations are never normal. We talked so much about life, relationships, friends, and family. I like how we seem to balance serious talks with playfulness. He started with flinging the sugar packets at me and ended with him putting cake frosting on my wine glass. I’d like to say I was better but I wasn’t. Here are some pictures.

IMG_5609 IMG_5610 IMG_5611IMG_5613He said if I got cold I could borrow his sweater. Do you like how we are protecting his identity with the Sam label? That was his idea. Sam said I looked homely. After 12 hours I suppose I did, but I did look good earlier:

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We talked. We walked around some more. Saw the Castillo De San Marcos & Old School House again. Went to see Meehan’s but I was driving back that night so I didn’t want to drink anymore. We watched Legally Blonde back at the condo. I ended up falling asleep as usual. Sam had covered me up and let me sleep while he did more work. I woke up about an hour later before driving home. He said I could stay but I didn’t think it would be appropriate even though we both knew nothing would happen. If I didn’t take that short nap I might have because I was super tired.

I really do like Sam. We talked about how weird it would be if we actually did date. We both agreed we couldn’t though. While we have a lot of fun together, we have different morals and values. In the long run, I think we’d get frustrated with each other and it would end badly. So for now, I don’t want to lose our friendship. I think sometimes we forget that people do enter our lives for different reasons. And it’s okay to like someone and not date them. One of the things I like most about Sam is how open and honest we are with each other. I’m free to be myself and not feel judged. I can be silly and it won’t matter. I don’t think either of us thought we’d meet someone decent on Tinder. He remained my friend even when I was dating someone else and that meant a lot to me. I didn’t know it until yesterday but the last time he was down, he had already budgeted out a ticket for me to go to Disney with him and his family again. I didn’t end up going to see him because I had a feeling he would pay for me and I didn’t feel right about it because I was seeing someone else. He is just really thoughtful and sweet. I’m excited to see what the future brings for both of our lives. 🙂

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Tender Tinder Pt 2: Sam and the Fam!

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Okay, so my last blog post on my first tinder experience was rather long and slightly sad. Hopefully this one will be a little more upbeat. I know what you are probably already thinking- after going through that whole ordeal with Matt, why in the world would I stay on tinder?! It’s funny. Lisa wanted to be strong like me but I wasn’t feeling very strong at this point. Maybe another guy would come along to boost my ego and make me feel like I mattered. They all couldn’t be as bad as Matt. Shortly after the Matt incident, I received a message from Sam. That’s how tinder works. Instant gratification.

Sam started off our conversation with some quirky joke that both made me laugh and found him intriguing. He was very confident in himself and approached the whole situation very differently than Matt did. Within a few messages, he assured me that he felt I was not a psycho crazy person and wanted to exchange numbers. He also gave me his Facebook information so we could become friends and I could check him out to see if he was normal. At least slightly. Like I said, very different than Matt.

Sam and I had a lot in common and were raised pretty much the same way. Our personalities clicked and we had the same unique, odd sense of humor where we could laugh at ourselves. Sam didn’t live here though. He was only visiting family which is how we were able to get matched. He was also very forward. Within a few days, he wanted to see if I wanted to go to a local theme park with him and his entire family. Is this real life? Who does that?! Sam does.

While that forwardness and intentionality normally scares me, I found myself liking it. I met Sam and his family at the hotel they were staying at near the theme park a few days later. Early. I thought we were going to eat breakfast at the hotel before heading over to the park but I was wrong. This was not a good sign seeing how important food is to me. Things kind of happened before I could ascertain what was going on. All I know is that most of his family was heading over in one vehicle, while Sam and his dad both jumped into my truck to head over. Okay. We argued on the way to the park on the best way to get there. The thing I liked best about Sam was how I felt we had been friends forever. The way we acted you would have never guessed we had just met. I like to attribute this to my superb people skills. Or we were just both pretty easy going lol.

We had an awesome day at the park. It was Sam, his parents, his grandma, his sister, and the sister’s two kids. Everyone treated me like family and was so loving and nice. I will say it was a little awkward when Sam’s sister asked how we met. How do you explain that? Awkward situation with my awkward self does not mix well. Sam and I had a great time and he always wanted to make sure we were doing what I wanted and going on the rides I wanted. Even though we were surrounded by his entire family, he made a point to make sure I was having a good time. While I don’t know his motives, it’s always nice to feel loved. I appreciated his efforts.

His family left sometime in the afternoon and we ended up staying until they closed at midnight. If you can make it through a theme park, going 16 hours strong, you might be able to make it through anything. We were able to talk, laugh, and discuss important things. Sam is somewhat shy, which helped in preventing him from making any sort of move on me. This is good because I would have had to shut.him.down. As mentioned before, I like to take things really slow. I still remember one of the rides we went on later that night. It was a sit down, movie type ride and we were the only ones on it, waiting for it to start. We were sitting toward the middle, three or so rows from the front with the entire place to ourselves. Right before it started, an older couple came in and sat right next to me- out of at least 300 seats! I couldn’t help but laugh. Any move Sam was planning to make was squashed. We still joke about this.

Notice how I said still. Sam and I are actually pretty good friends today. While we have a lot in common and have fun with each other, we are in different places in life. I also think we are on different levels and looking for different things. And that’s okay. We respect each other and agree that we aren’t right for each other. I think establishing that upfront has helped with our friendship. I think Sam and I will always be friends. He is a great guy. We both acknowledge how rare it was for us to find each other on a site like tinder and I think that helps us value each other more. Chalk one up for tinder. Check back later this week for part 3 of ‘Tender Tinder’ when I talk about the last guy I met on there.

-the virgin heartbreaker

photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc

Tender Tinder Pt. 1: Matt… And Lisa

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I still remember laying in bed trying to fall asleep and my friend texting me, telling me I needed to download an app stat. Like right then. “It’s called Tinder and it is soooo funny.” Being a lover of most things funny, I downloaded it with little hesitation. In the process of learning about the app, I became completely adamant about not doing a dating site. She assured me that it wasn’t and was just an app where you swipe through different people. Okay, in her defense, it was hilarious. It is somewhat empowering, perhaps a tad controlling, to pick and choose what people you potentially wanted to talk to. Mind you, for those of you that do not know, you choose who you want to talk to based on four pictures and a short bio. Not. shallow. at. all.

Anyone that appeared not crazy I would swipe right to. I think it’s right. Right meant you’d be interested in them; it’s a match and you both are notified when both swiped right. I honestly swiped right on people I didn’t care for just because I was curious if they’d swipe right too. Real mature, I know. Looking back, I definitely shouldn’t have done that. I was left with matches of people I didn’t care to talk to; and it was worse when they would initiate conversation and I just wouldn’t respond. I question my judgement sometimes. I did have one rule- I would not initiate any conversation first. I know this may seem silly but it was a way to weed out some people and I have always appreciated it when guys pursue. I believe in girls letting guys know they are interested but I think we should encourage men to take on leadership roles more.

Okay, enough of the build up, let’s get to the good part. Matt. Or should I say Matt and Lisa. The conversations I had prior to talking to Matt on Tinder aren’t even worth talking about. They were “hey” and “what’s up?” nothing much more. Shallow is the word I would use to describe them. Matt was different. Matt’s very first message to me stood out from the rest. It was honest, real, and made me feel valued and appreciated; he talked about specific things he liked in my bio and was extremely respectful. Matt was the only person I talked to consistently and we would talk almost everyday; every night around 8, except for the weekends because we were both very busy. We would talk about everything from work and our past weekends to goals, values, and dreams. I felt like I was in a relationship, though only emotionally. It was safe because he was at a distance; he couldn’t hurt me… Or so I thought.

We both said we liked taking things slow and I appreciated that. There were a few bumps in the road through the course of us talking that seemed weird, now that I look back on them, that I easily excused. Maybe because I am too trusting, maybe because I didn’t want to see the truth. We became unmatched on Tinder and his entire profile was gone from me. I remember going through a whole emotional roller coaster in one day over someone I hadn’t even met in person. How dumb. It’s hard when you let someone in and become vulnerable. You give them authority and power to hurt you. Matt ended up finding me on Facebook the next day, which in itself seemed to be a miracle, since he had little knowledge on who I was and didn’t even know my last name. He sent me a message through Facebook and told me he did an update on his phone and that the Tinder app happened to get deleted. He explained how upset he was and hoped I didn’t find him contacting me on Facebook as creepy. I actually liked it. It is fun to feel pursued. We became Facebook friends and ended up moving on. We also exchanged numbers and would text throughout the week. One day I noticed that we weren’t Facebook friends anymore and the same emotional feelings of when I lost Matt on Tinder arose again. Matt ended up asking me why I deleted him on Facebook. Are you serious? He was the one that deleted me! After working through that- as in agreeing that we didn’t know what happened and getting no real answer, we both continued forward. Our whole “relationship” lasted about a month. It was when I noticed Lisa that things were turned upside down.

Matt doesn’t post much on Facebook. Like seriously, there seemed to be no difference in what I could see with being his friend on there as opposed to not. Some people are private and I respect that. However, it was when I noticed that a girl named Lisa referenced him as “babe” in a comment that I really questioned things. I clicked on her page to see who she was (seriously, I should have really pursued becoming a detective or joining the FBI with these skills, right?) and that is when I saw everything I needed; pictures of Matt and Lisa all over her profile. The weddings he told me about, the theme parks he mentioned- they were all with her. And I never even thought to ask. Never crossed my mind. I hate being involved with situations like this. Guys- in case you are wondering why girls get suspicious or feel the need to snoop through guys’ phones this is why! People like Matt. Instead of allowing Matt to hurt me or have a negative effect on me in future dealings with guys, I did the best I could to learn from it and be more cautious of who I talk to.

Matt and I were in the middle of a deep conversation via text (that is what I liked most about him) when I just came out and wrote- “How long has it been since your last relationship?” That is when he started to tell me everything. About how he had been trying to get out of a relationship for the past 4 months. And how I needed to hear him out. About how it looked a lot worse than it is. It was all too much to handle at that time. I was leaving to see my dad for the weekend the next day and because I do give people the benefit of the doubt, I agreed to talk to him on my way back, a few days later via phone. This would be the one and only time I would talk to him over the phone.

In the middle of my trip, I noticed that Lisa started following me on Instagram. That is when I realized I was in the middle of something I never thought I would be in. Matt and I talked for a couple hours on my way home. I told him about how I was feeling and how I didn’t really trust him anymore. Matt had an answer for everything. It was hard not to believe him. He explained how he met her over the past weekend and ended things again. My mind at this point was how in the world do you try to break up with someone for 4 months- and how is it different this time?! He went on to say how he had blocked her from everything and even sent me screenshots of previous texts that showed how he had tried to end it but she always wanted another chance. He gave me so much evidence and proof- it was hard not to believe that she was genuinely crazy. I told him that we would see how things go and I just observed and watched for the following days. I prayed a lot.

There was a lot of truth in what Matt told me as I would soon be contacted by his now ex-girlfriend within a couple of days. I received one of the meanest letters I have ever gotten via Facebook explaining what a horrible person I was from Lisa. It was clear she was hurt. And my heart broke. So many people told me not to write her back but I couldn’t help but to think about what I would have wanted if I had been in her shoes. She felt so lost. So hurt. So betrayed. So broken. Throughout everything, I learned she had been the one that deleted his Tinder app. She deleted me off of his Facebook. She had known about me from the beginning and here she was losing the love of her life because of me in her eyes. I honestly didn’t know who to believe or who was crazy between Matt and Lisa, maybe they both were.

I ended up telling Matt that this was too much for me. And I didn’t trust him anymore anyway. I sent some messages back and forth with Lisa, and as I started to piece things together with her she started to hate me less and less. She didn’t want to believe me and I understand that. She was shocked by the things he said about her and what he did. I started to question why God had allowed this situation to happen, one where there would be so much hurt and betrayal. I began to look at it as though maybe I could help Lisa in some way. I wanted to empower her, I wanted to give her strength. Instead of labeling her as crazy because of her actions, I began to see her actions as results of someone who had been abused, verbally and emotionally. Matt led her to believe he cared about, even while he was breaking up with her. That is why when I told him I could’t continue to talk to him anymore, he went right back to her. Her last words to me were “I wish I was as strong as you.” I still pray for them, for both of them. It’s easy to look and wonder how someone could go back to someone like that, after she has seen all he has done. But she loved him. And she was so scared. It’s frightening to leave what you have in hopes for something more. But sometimes you have to leave in order to obtain something better. I pray she has the strength to do that someday.

-the virgin heartbreaker

*names have been changed.

photo credit: Andreanna Moya Photography via photopin cc