If you’re afraid of long-distance relationships

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I was talking to one of my friends not too long ago. He had recently joined a dating website. When I asked him about his luck, he said a few girls had reached out, but they all lived far away. We then proceeded into a discussion about why that discouraged him. After experiencing some failed long-distance relationships, I think he placed the blame for the failure on the distance rather than the people involved.

That is where the mistake often happens.

I’ve been in a couple long-distance relationships (LDRs) and I can confidently say the distance was not our demise. If anything, it held us together longer than it should have. And I think that is the real con to long-distance relationships because it can take a little longer to really get to see who someone is if they haven’t been truthful upfront.

But I understand there are many things people don’t like about long-distance relationships- can’t go out on a whim, limited physical touch, can’t really observe one another in group settings often, and just the little things that happen by being able to be around each other. It’s just different. Perhaps harder. But I’ve learned what’s really hard is not being with the right person. And I think if we get honest with ourselves, we will realize it was never the process; it was always the person.

Even though there are cons to LDRs, there are also benefits. I think sometimes the distance has a way of bringing out underlying issues that were already there, that perhaps you weren’t able to pick up on because you were around each other all the time. Especially when it comes to insecurity. Insecurity will quickly surface in long-distance relationships. But so can transparency and communication. You can feel more connected to someone miles away than you can with the person lying next to you.

Boundaries- you already have a built-in distance boundary that allows you to foster growth in other areas; it gives you space to grow as an individual before growing as one together.
Physical- the temptation to compromise in your physical boundaries can lessen.
Deep conversations- as a different dynamic is formed, you have to potential to go deeper quicker.
Creativity- since distance is there, you get to find more ways to be creative in your efforts to show that you care.
Special moments- they say absence makes the heart grow fonder so the times you get to spend together create some of the best memories of your life.

The bottom line is you never want to discount someone for things that can change. Our willingness of whether or not we choose to engage in a long-distance relationship shows where our values lie. I ended up telling my friend he should give those girls a chance if he values quality over convenience. But maybe that has to do more with my values than his. I know the type of guy I am looking for. I know what I am willing to compromise on. And I’d much rather be in a long-distance relationship with that guy than a relationship closer to home that doesn’t impact me the same way. Because at the end of the day, it’s never about where you are but rather who you are with that matters most.

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5 questions to ask yourself before committing to a relationship

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I have a hard time committing, I’ll admit it. But part of the reason is it’s hard for me to commit to someone if I don’t see a potential future with them. The break-up process is a painful one no matter how it happens, so if there are ways to avoid that, you better believe I’m all about it! In an effort to minimize heartbreak and stay focused on what matters most, there are five questions you should ask yourself before committing.

  1. Would I want my kids to be like them? This question allows you look beyond the outer layers of attraction and excitement and really see a person’s character. Are they kind? Loving? Giving? Value humility and purity? Do they show respect and honor? Or are they rebellious? Rude? Selfish? Or easily angered? It is so easy to be blinded and want to nurture infatuation feelings, but the truth is, the person you marry will have a significant amount of influence over your kids- and you! You want to trust that they will be a good role model and train up your children in the right direction.
  2. Would I want to be with them if we couldn’t have kids? This is a hard question to ask but a much needed one. As I started to get older, I started to question whether or not I should attempt to compromise on my standards for the sake of not letting my best child-bearing years pass me by. And then I realized how horrible this thought process is. And I also realized how many people I know who did get married because they wanted kids so badly and are now divorced. While kids are a blessing, having kids with the wrong spouse can be detrimental. Furthermore, there is no guarantee on even getting pregnant so it is vitally important to be with someone you would want by your side to help you through that process should it happen. The person you commit to should be a commitment for life, someone you want with you through all the good and bad.
  3. Am I growing closer to God or further away? There are people that will come into our lives that you will help and mentor, others that are acquaintances, and others that’ll challenge you to be the best version of yourself. The person you commit to should fall into the third category. This is why it is imperative for believers to be equally yoked with other believers, those who will help them with the temptations in this world. You want someone who will pray with you, call you out, and support you. If the person you are with is pushing you in a direction of compromising your faith, morals, and/or values, it is not a good sign.
  4. Do I feel more myself around them? This is oftentimes why people say the best relationships start out as friendships. You want to be able to be your true, authentic self without fear of rejection or judgement. Some people have a way of calming our insecurities, while others heighten them. If your relationship with someone starts out with a date, do your best to alleviate the pressure of a looming relationship no matter how old you are for the sake of building a stronger foundation should things progress. A relationship built on attempts to impress will not be able to withstand the challenges of everyday life. Furthermore, when you are with the right person, the pressure to perform should diminish as their passions and words ignite your passions and words, resulting in a fire lit deep within your soul. This is not something you can force, and no checklist can accomplish this.
  5. Do they love Jesus more than me? This is crucial. So many people seek someone who will love them most, not realizing the need for loving Jesus most in order to adequately love you. A love for Jesus will naturally result in love for you because it will become part of who they are. Jesus is love so a love for others is a natural result. When someone seeks to love outside of these parameters, love then hinges on who you are, your actions, and their feelings toward you, thus resulting in an unspoken pressure to perform. This environment is the breeding ground for insecurity, with no true stability. Someone who is able to love, honor, and respect God will be able to love you the only way you truly desire to be loved.

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The unrealistic realism of Christmas movies

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I think there is a reason we are attracted to these sappy Christmas movies. They are full of goodness, happiness, and love. It wasn’t until I was talking with my friend who shares the same unhealthy movie obsession as I do that I realized how unrealistic they appear to be. I mean who meets, falls in love, and gets married all in the same month?! But you get caught up in it and don’t realize it’s crazy because so much of the story makes sense. So here’s six lessons I’ve learned from these time stealers.

1. Be with someone who brings out the best in you

Oftentimes in these movies, the girl or guy is already in a relationship. They are good relationships. Comfortable relationships. Good partnerships. Relationships that make sense on paper. But then they meet someone who makes them feel alive. Something more. Being around this new guy or girl has a way of bringing out the best in them. Loving life. Being a better person. Doing what they love. Wait for this.

2. Be with someone who falls in love with who you are, not what you are

I always love when you start to see the guy fall for the girl but then it is solidified when the girl shows up to some event dressed up. The guy is just in awe as she lights up the room. Nothing else matters. She’s stunning not necessarily because of her looks but because it finally hits him that all of these feelings he’s been having for her are something more than a friendship. It wasn’t the looks that attracted him to her, but her looks are now a bonus. Wait for this.

3. There has to be something more important than the relationship

What I love about these movies is that love has a way of finding them rather than the person out on the hunt looking for it. Or they are looking for it, but it ends up being someone completely different. The point being, they are able to be their true selves around this person because they aren’t all caught up with thinking this might be “the one.” They are focusing on making a difference, helping their family, or pursuing their dreams. They are willing to sacrifice their own happiness for something greater. God can only fill that hole and these people are already whole. The new relationship complements their life rather than completing it. Wait for this.

4. Notice the little things

Everything starts to remind him of this girl. The way she is making him feel alive again- bringing out the best in him. The guy could be in a bad mood and all upset but she always makes him feel better. She makes him laugh. He makes her feel like she can do anything. They remember little things about each other. They care. And it shows in their actions. Wait for this.

5. You might have to fight for love

 There always seems to be something (or someone) that almost ruins this new love. An old flame. Miscommunication. Jealousy. It’s so easy for us to just want to give up sometimes. To think it may have just been too good to be true. We tend to want easy. As if easy equates to perfect. But it doesn’t have to be easy for it to be right. Talk. Clarify. Engage. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve let my head wander because someone didn’t text back. Because someone was going away for the weekend. It’s almost like we are scared to send a double text. We are scared to be the one who cares more. But the right one is worth fighting for. Wait for this.

6. When you know, you’ll know

“How did you know Claire was the right one?” “I just knew. And you already know.” I remember this quote from one of the ones that had me crying the whole time. It was a young man torn between his childhood sweetheart who was the only girl he’d known and this new girl he met that made him feel alive. One was safe. The other was unknown. But she was worth the risk. He knew he loved her and loved who he was around her. He loved the type of person she was. Just like something in us already knows someone isn’t right for us but we try to make it work anyway, I think something in us will know when we’ve met the right one. Wait for this.

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Dating means letting go, marriage means holding on

I think we have it backwards. Too many people stay in relationships they should have left long ago while others exit when they should have stayed. Maybe it’s just me but I often see these people in dating relationships that just seem miserable. And the excuse is always the same, “Yea, but I love him/her.” Really? What is it you love so much? Okay okay, I don’t want to come across negative but what I really want to tell these people is that they aren’t married and it won’t get better. I think we often think it will. We hope it will at least. And it does in some ways. But I think we forgot the whole concept of dating.

Dating means letting go

Many people who are just dating say they are basically married. What?! If they don’t say it, it’s often implied. It’s fun to think about. We date because we want to be married, well really because we want to be loved. And marriage signifies that. But the whole point of dating is to get to know someone to see if you want to be married to them. You can’t possibly know if you want to marry them until you get to know them. So it’s okay if you end up breaking up- you aren’t married! That is what happens. Yes, we often feel we can’t. We don’t want to quit. We don’t want to fail. We want to work through it. We want to be loyal. All great qualities but it’s simply tragic when it’s wasted on the wrong one because you didn’t think you could break up for whatever reason. It is hard to do but it’s life and it happens. Contrary to what your heart wants to do, you need to balance being “happy go lucky” with objectiveness to see if this is actually the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. No one can be mad at you for breaking up when you are only dating. Well, unless you were a jerk about it;)

Marriage means holding on

So what leads me to believe these people are running into marriages instead of breaking things off? The numerous divorces I see happening in couples just a few years in. That’s what. What happened? What went wrong? We exit marriages quicker than we exit work when the clock hits 5 o’clock. I think a big problem is the fact that people want to get married but they aren’t ready for marriage. At least not with the person they picked. Numerous reasons I am sure. But just like dating is the opportunity to decide whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, marriage signifies that commitment to actually spend the rest of your life with said person. Commitment. Fighting. Loving. Choosing the other person first. Constantly. So if you’re not ready, don’t get married. If you don’t know the person well enough to know, don’t do it. Marriage is losing its value in our society, but don’t let it lose its meaning in your life.

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Please date other people

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These are some of the toughest words I’ve ever said but also the most needed. We all want to feel like we are the only one, that we are special, we are worth it. It makes us feel loved, valued, and appreciated. I love feeling this way. But there is something I need more. I need you to date other people.

I need to not feel pressured while I’m getting to know you. I don’t want to know that you are putting all your eggs in one basket with me and that if I decide we aren’t meant to be, your life won’t be destroyed. I don’t want to cause another heartbreak. I don’t want to be the cause of pain. But it’s that or stay with someone I don’t’ really love. Both options aren’t right. There should be more options. That’s what’s kept me away from dating for so long. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I have many guy friends who have been hurt by that one woman. I don’t want to be that woman. Ever.

I need to know you aren’t wasting your time with me.
I need to know you can be patient with me.
If I’m the only one, please don’t make me feel guilty; I tend to shut you out and run.

I need you to date other people for you too. It’s so easy to like someone when they are the only one you have. You make it work. You even change yourself if it’s not working. But I want to see the real you. And you deserve to see the real me too. When you date multiple people, you can compare and learn more about what you like and don’t like. I’ve heard people say you shouldn’t compare but I’m not sure why. You deserve the best. And I believe the best is worth waiting for. We could all settle today if we really wanted to. Lower our standards enough and there’s somebody there waiting. But that’s not what we want and we know that. Don’t settle for Mr. or Ms. Right Now.

Do you know how much more valuable I’ll feel knowing you have dated other girls and still chose me?! I really can’t commend you if I was your only option. Take your time. Get to know me- before being sold on my great looks and dashing personality:p Okay, I’m halfway kidding but this does happen to me a lot more than I care to admit. And I don’t like it. It feels good for my ego but deep down I don’t like it. My heart, the most important and valuable thing about me, is minimized.

Why is it that the best relationships started as friendships and some of the worse ones involved people who jumped the gun? Think about it. I’m looking for something that’ll last; not just feel good right now. And for me, dating multiple people allows me to be myself more and truly get a feel for what I’m looking for. So many people stay stuck in bad relationships because they don’t believe there is anything better. Oh, but there is. You just have to be willing to wait for it. As one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard states- “You’ll never leave where you are until you decide where you’d rather be.”

I’m not acting like this phrase is easy to say or hear. It requires you to be vulnerable and take risks. Sometimes people use this phrase because they really don’t like you and feel guilty about it. But it requires a lot of strength to say. You risk losing a person you might truly love in hopes of obtaining someone that truly loves you. When you hear it, you don’t know how to take it. Are they caring about you or do they really not care about you? I hate it. God tells us to guard our hearts. So be yourself. Love. But take your time. Trust that God will show you the right one when the time is right. You both will know. After all, you’re only looking for one ‘right one’ anyway;)

*date as in having many friendships with guys/girls that you may be interested in. I DO NOT mean being physically involved with those people. That’s another sure-fire way to distract you from reality. signature

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Rebounding is not always such a bad idea

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I’d like to preface this with what I would hope to be common knowledge given the title of my blog but just in case- I do not mean rebounding in any physical manner. However, I do believe rebounding in other ways may prove to be very beneficial and healthy.

Going through break-ups are rough. Unless you decide to not have a heart and cut off all emotions (which I have seen before) you will experience pain and heartbreak when you go through a break-up. While I have not done any studies on it, I do think that you experience more pain with the ones you cared about the most, the ones you allowed inside your heart. It’s so crappy when it happens because part of you never wants to experience that hurt again but at the same time it’s rewarding because even after all the pain, at least you can feel and have the capacity to love. To me that’s everything.

Nothing is a substitute for time after a break-up. However, it is what you do during the time after a break-up that affects your healing process most. I think we all deal with it in unique and different ways. I’m a huge fan of closure and for me, I sometimes put myself through more pain because it helps me to truly get over someone and have no regrets. While my healing process may be different than yours, I don’t think it’s really all that unique. I question the relationship- if I could have or should have done anything different. Was it my fault things ended- were my expectations too high? I remember the good times. I stalk social media pages and wonder if they are missing what we had. Because truthfully, while we may miss each other I think what we miss the most is feeling loved. I tend to close myself off to anyone else because I know I am vulnerable and just want to feel loved again. So I don’t look for anyone else for awhile, I won’t open myself up until I feel completely healed.

It sounds good in theory but what happens during that time of healing? We don’t go out and we don’t allow anyone in. That forces us to only think about that one person we had. So in hopes of feeling loved, we try to convince ourselves our ex wasn’t that bad because we don’t want to be alone. This is why you see so many people go back to their exes, back into bad relationships. This is why people settle. And it’s so scary because I’ve been there so many times.

I went through a break up not too long ago and I am now currently talking to a guy that recently got out of a relationship, as well. My old self would have said this is a recipe for disaster. “Don’t talk to me, I need to be alone for a long time” would be my response. But this guy is fun and honest and real. We are able to talk and communicate about what is going on inside of us. I have a feeling we will always be friends no matter where our paths may take us. We think a lot alike and have very similar interests. It’s a different feeling than I am used to and I like it. I am so glad I met him and that we came into each other’s lives. I’ve already learned so much more about myself because of him. When you don’t see anyone else, you naturally think it won’t get any better than what you had. He reminds me what it is I really want when I had forgotten in my previous relationships. He gives me hope. Likewise, he was hanging onto the thought of hopefully getting back with his ex because that’s all he knew, all he saw. Meeting me has reminded him of what he is really looking for, things he didn’t think were out there. It’s crazy how in some ways we came into each other’s lives to renew our hope. Some may call it rebounding and that’s okay with me. But this kind of rebounding shouldn’t have a negative connotation. We aren’t using each other. We’ve set boundaries. We like each other and we appreciate each other. It gave us fresh eyes to move forward and to move on.

I sometimes wonder if we hadn’t come into each other’s lives if we would still be hurting or wishing for something in the past because we saw no future. Society tells us it’s wrong to rebound and not fair to the other person. And I would agree, especially if you are using someone just to feel better about yourself. But I don’t think there is anything wrong with putting yourself out there in order to heal and do what you need to do. I still am a firm believer in self-reflection and alone time. Don’t rush into something just because you are lonely, but don’t close yourself off just because you’re scared. There is so much hope out there, so much love. Give yourself another chance. You left that person for a reason and God has that perfect one for you out there. Go explore and never settle.

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There is no such thing as right person, wrong time

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Seriously. I’ve heard this numerous times and I just read an article entitled something along the lines of “The joys and pains of meeting the right person at the wrong time.” Umm what?! I’m sorry, but do you realize how rare it is to find the/a right person? And let’s be honest for a second, maybe it’s just me, but if I found what I thought was the right person, I don’t see how or why the “wrong time” would have to stop us from being together. So what do these “wrong times” really mean?

  • The “I just got out of a relationship and need to be single for awhile” excuse. I’ll let you in on a little secret- 99% of the time this line is used as a nice way to reject someone. The other 1% actually recognizes what is going on inside them and hopefully expresses it well enough to let the other person know they can still enjoy a friendship with one another. Besides, starting out as friends is always a plus. The right one will be patient. So tell me how this was really the right person at the wrong time again?
  • The “I just think we are headed in different directions” excuse. Basically, something else is more important to me right now and this relationship is not worth it. You are a great person but more than likely not the one I’m supposed to be with so I’m okay with letting you go. Love always finds a way and if I really thought you were the right person, I’d find a way to be together, while still pursuing my dreams. It’s not rocket science, but it does require two people who both feel the other is the right person for them.
  • The “I’m just too young and don’t know who I am yet” excuse. Legit excuse. However, who says you can’t figure out life with the right person? If anything, I think the right person would be a complement to you and would only help to strengthen and encourage you. But then again, we often get this confused with the wrong person who we like but something deep down in our gut tells us something is wrong. Therefore, this wonderful excuse was born.
  • The “We live in two different places” excuse. While I understand this is a hard one, I firmly believe it’s doable. After realizing how rare it is to find someone you actually like and could see yourself being with for the rest of your life, I honestly believe that with the right person, you can make anything work. This might include giving up on something that is not that important to, compromising, or managing a long distance relationship for a certain period of time. I think we forget that one of the greatest things about being in a healthy relationship is having someone that loves you no matter what and encourages you to achieve all the dreams God placed in your heart. The wrong one will not understand this and have a cookie-cutter life planned out and run the minute things don’t go according to plan.
  • The “This could never work long term” excuse. This one is open-ended. Our families don’t get along. We have different beliefs. You annoy me. Really, this could be anything. We like the person for whatever reason but we don’t want to be with them for the rest of our lives and that’s okay. There will be many people we like for different reasons but that does not mean they are the right person for us. It’ll work with the right person no matter what obstacles may come your way.

What all of these have in common is the fact that they weren’t the wrong time; they were the wrong person for you if you were willing to let them go. Let’s call it what it is. Besides, would the right person really leave you? That doesn’t sound like the kind of right person I would want to be with anyway. And if I’m not willing to work through it or make it work, I deep down don’t think they are the right person either.

Maybe we just need to redefine the term “right person.” Sometimes a right person will come into our life only for a season. We grow, we learn but it doesn’t necessarily mean we are to spend the rest of our lives with this person. This term “wrong time” has such a negative connotation. Embrace the time you have with those at given times in your life. Some come for a lifetime, others for a season and that’s okay. These people can be the right person at the right time. They are a great person, cool person but not the right person (marriage), for us at least. So can we please stop lying to ourselves? Can we please stop using this as a cop out to avoid rejection or rejecting someone else. It’s not the wrong time- it’s just that we are don’t see this going anywhere further and that is nothing to feel bad about.

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50 notes-to-self regarding relationships

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While I have mixed feelings about checklists, these notes-to-self serve as reminders and guidelines to help me remember truths I have learned from past relationships.

  1. Avoid any physical aspect for as long as possible in a relationship; this will ensure you really like them and not just those feelings.
  2. Ask yourself if it’s him you like or just the idea of him.
  3. Try your hardest to not default to guys you know like you to feed your ego during a break-up. Use this precious time to run to God.
  4. Trust those gut feelings (Holy Spirit) and be brave enough to walk away when you know something doesn’t feel right.
  5. Be strong enough to not make excuses; brave enough to acknowledge red flags.
  6. If talking about God pulls you apart rather than bring you together, run!
  7. Be with someone that truly values and appreciates your best qualities.
  8. You shouldn’t have to talk yourself into it…
  9. Respect and trust for him will either increase or decrease- watch for this and adjust appropriately.
  10. Wait for someone who can love, support, respect, and challenge you and knows how to balance the four correctly.
  11. Love is and always will be the most important thing. You’ll be able to recognize it; he’ll either have it or he won’t.
  12. If he views it as a sacrifice, it isn’t love; love trumps all.
  13. Be with someone who doesn’t give you the option to say no to something he knows you really want/desire.
  14. It will be easy for him to give you attention in one-on-one settings; watch how he treats you when you in groups.
  15. Be with someone who loves you as Crist love the church; after God, and because of God, you will be his #1.
  16. Never be with someone who demeans, belittles, or judges you.
  17. He must have a personal relationship with Christ.
  18. He will never attempt to question your relationship with Christ or come between it.
  19. Wait for someone who is humble. Genuinely humble, not just says he is. Always desiring to learn, grow, and be better than he was yesterday- together.
  20. There is a difference between doing things out of love and out of obedience.
  21. If I don’t feel loved, I’m probably not. Excuses do get old.
  22. Be with someone who cares about my feelings, even if they aren’t always right.
  23. Wait for someone who is proud of me and who I am proud of.
  24. Be with someone who could live without me but will fight and do whatever he can to make sure he doesn’t have to.
  25. Be with someone who enjoys being with me.
  26. He will know what Ephesians 5 means.
  27. He will understand that one of the greatest things he can do for his kids will be to love their mother/his wife.
  28. Wait for someone who gets excited about God with me.
  29. He will be someone I want to submit to.
  30. Don’t rush the relationship. Wait. Watch. And enjoy. Time will tell.
  31. Can I see him being my best friend?
  32. Wait for someone that will encourage me to lead and teach and do what God is calling me to do.
  33. Don’t be with someone who is legalistic but does have strong morals, values, and convictions.
  34. The thing he will love most about me is my heart for Christ.
  35. He will love me as much as I love him because we will both have Christ’s love.
  36. He will fell like the luckiest guy in the world to have me and I will feel the same.
  37. Wait for someone that will challenge me to be better but love me no matter what; love is unconditional.
  38. Watch for someone who is proactive and offers to help and solve problems before you even realize you needed help.
  39. Never judgmental but pushes you to grow in love.
  40. Wait for the one that truly believes that you were worth the wait.
  41. Don’t let anyone abuse you- physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
  42. You will have fun with him no matter what you are doing.
  43. He won’t have any unhealthy bromances.
  44. Always step back and wait to see if you really like him or you are just emotionally attached; there should be definitive things you like about him.
  45. In the beginning you will see actions; in time, you will see motives.
  46. Time heals. God heals. Sometimes you’ll have to wait for God to mend your heart. Sometimes you’ll have to wait for your feelings to catch up with what you already know deep down.
  47. Wait for someone who initiates and sacrifices.
  48. A real man will use his power to love.
  49. He will value godly things above worldly accomplishments; he will understand God’s heart.
  50. I won’t have any doubts and I’ll just know.

-the virgin heartbreaker

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Online dating: is it for you?

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The amount of relationships and marriages that begin from online dating seems to be rising. With technology constantly increasing and smart phones that never leave our side, dating has encountered various meanings as social networks and online dating sites continue to engage and connect people everyone. Okay seriously, if I continue to blog I need to be able to turn off my doctoral side of my brain and keep it real with you all. Dating in today’s society is whack and I can’t keep up. I feel like life would have been so much more simple if I had to rely solely on my (in person) relationships and didn’t have the option to hide behind my cyber identity.

Honestly, I don’t think it is my place to tell you whether or not online dating is for you; this isn’t one of those things that is explicitly stated in the Bible. All I can share with you are my thoughts and feelings. Really it is between you and God to decipher what is best for you, your relationship with God, and your relationship with your future spouse.

As for me, I have always had a bad feeling about online dating for whatever reason. So many people have tried to get me to try it but for some reason I couldn’t do it. It was something about taking control over my dating life and not fully trusting God that always led me away. I tend to also be naive and feel I could fall for anyone if I was convinced they were the one so I don’t really trust myself on sites like those. I am sad to admit that it also made me feel a little desperate if I ended up making a profile. Like what is wrong with me that I can’t find a guy normally? What is even the normal way? I don’t know. I don’t frequent bars or clubs so that can’t be normal either. I always thought the best type of relationship came from when you weren’t looking for one, which is why I personally struggle with the idea of online dating. I just want to be doing what I love and have someone else do the same thing and poof, the rest is history. My friend convinced me to try tinder as more of a joke awhile back and I must admit that it was rather entertaining. I wouldn’t call it a dating app. It could be used to meet friends, it could be used to hook up with others. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. It was definitely a good ego boost. It felt so good to get a match; I had so many matches- either I was all that or I just didn’t have any standards lol. It was interesting to see the type of people on there. It was funny to see my friends on there too and make jokes about it. My friend recently went back on and is getting his self worth from his “162 matches” and “three dates a week.” I know he is secretly hurting over this. Why? Because it’s not real. I will be doing a ‘Tender Tinder’ 3 part series to talk about the three guys I ended up talking to over the instant gratification app. I learned a lot. And learned that it wasn’t for me. It’s hard waiting sometimes but it’s even harder ending up with the wrong person. Here are some things I’ve learned that will hopefully help you make the best decision for yourself!:)

Pros of online dating:

  1. Perfect for people with a busy schedule. This would be one of the reasons I would join. I don’t have much free time and if I did, the last thing I want to do is go looking for a potential spouse. When there are no possibilities in your current environments, online dating may be prove to be a useful tool.
  2. More options. You open yourself up to a lot more options when you enter the world of online dating. Could even prove to be a great networking tool;-) But keep in mind this also somewhat trains us to be noncommittal. I don’t think the dating sites should be to blame necessarily but rather society’s lack of commit and desire for instant gratification. We are trained through these site that if things start to get tough, you have plenty of other options. Perseverance, fighting for, and working through things seem to be a lost art.
  3. More control. You are able to have more control over your dating life and what you want. It’s up to you to pick the person of your dreams from an array of good looking, successful people. Just be careful you save room for God to show you his best:)
  4. Weeding powers. Unlike traditional dates where it make take awhile to get to know whether or not you like someone, you can knock out potential suitors left and right through a series of straight-to-the-point, deep questions. Who really wants to waste time anyway? If done appropriately, online dating could foster conversation that allows you to get to know the other person more because there’s just something about sitting behind a computer screen that gives us a little more confidence.
  5. Great ego booster. This is probably my favorite because vanity seems to be one of my weaknesses. If you are feeling rejected and alone, having a bunch of people that want to talk to you can make anyone feel good. Just remember it isn’t real; it’s the people that stick around through all the messy and ugly stuff that really love and care about you.

Cons of online dating:

  1. Dangerous. In a recent Tinder experiment, it was noted that one of the main fear women have with online dating is that the men they meet might end up being psycho killers. I know this may seem silly but spend a day reading news articles or watching “I dated a psycho” on Lifetime. Don’t be naive. Don’t be dumb. Some people are legit crazy.
  2. Creeps. While women fear psycho killers, the same study revealed that men fear that the women they meet might end up being fat. Okay really? I understand wanting to be attracted to your girlfriend but come on- can we be a little less shallow? Some people, probably most, aren’t looking for Christ-following, let’s get married partners. Be wise enough to spot those who aren’t and move on.
  3. Liars. You can be anyone you want via the internet. So many of my friends have gotten burned this way. There is something to say about body language and eye contact. It is so easy to stretch the truth, especially when our insecurities get the best of us. If you tend to be too trusting, much like myself, online dating may not be for you.
  4. More control. Yes, this was listed in the pros, as well. Just want to reiterate that when we tend to take control of this in our life, it leaves less room for God to move. Don’t be like Sarah and Abraham from the Bible and put too much into your own hands. Be patient. God is faithful and He is always on time.
  5. Focus on the wrong things. There is a lot of temptation toward an emotion led relationship when on the dating sites. As mentioned previously, it feels good to be chased and to feel valued. Sometimes it is hard to know the difference between what is real and what isn’t and this can be very scary. Subtle deception can occur before you know it and may lead you in too deep to get out on your own.

Tips:

  1. Know what you are looking for and what you are willing to compromise on
  2. Don’t compromise or make excuses for the things that are important to you
  3. Always meet in a public setting
  4. Listen to your gut and don’t continue something just because they are cute or you don’t want to hurt their feelings
  5. Be intentional, upfront, and honest
  6. Look for signs and don’t be dumb; it’s okay to take your time. If they are real, they will wait

Remember online dating is just another tool. Watch out for those looking for quick, emotional affairs rather than intentional, committed relationships.

-the virgin heartbreaker

photo credit: Helga Weber via photopin cc

Weekend Wrap Up- Singular group, Double Date, & Couple’s Game Night

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This past week/weekend brought about a lot of interesting and new experiences for me- some better than others. You can take that as you will. I always look forward to the weekend, especially since mine always consists of three days instead of two;-). Anyway, in case you find my life as exciting as I do continue reading- if nothing else, you can have a few laughs at my expense☺.

Singular Group
Take one guess on what you think this group means? I’ve been going to my church for some time now but I haven’t gotten too involved for various reasons, mainly due to time constraints. My brother was told about this group to try out on Thursday nights and I figured I would try it out too. The only thing I knew about the group was that it was for people who were not married and the worst part was the “all ages welcomed” that was included in the description. My immediate concern was that there will be older than me people there looking for a spouse instead of people my age looking for fellowship. That always freaks me out for some reason. I think church is a great place to meet your spouse or by being involved with church activities but I guess I don’t like it when groups are designed for that. It is just weird to me, something unnatural. I mean I think we should all do are part and not sit at home and expect God to just send our spouse knocking on our front door but I think those groups can lead themselves to put a lot of pressure or awkwardness on people. Along the lines of my previous post about hating the word “date.” Maybe I’m just weird- that is a strong possibility too.

So my brother and I show up at this group about 30 minutes early and I told him that we would watch from the car so we could see who was going in first and scope it out. Is that wrong? There were literally no cars for about 15 minutes but at least we had good conversation about our worst nightmares coming true once we went to the group. I had originally planned to go in 10-15 minutes early but with the way things were looking, I was about to propose we go to dinner instead. It was at about 5 minutes to when it was supposed to start and a car pulls up. I guess a woman in her 40’s would soon emerge from the vehicle, my brother guesses a man in his early 30’s. As soon as their car door opens, we both start laughing. I was right. We wait a few minutes and no one shows up. My brother convinces me to walk over and at least look to see if others are there. We do. We peak in the window and it’s just the woman sitting at a table by herself. I know you might think I’m childish but I call my mom to vent about my hesitation and how this is a waste of time. She calms me down and explains how I should give it a chance. We end up going in and making conversation. More people eventually show up. And there was dinner. Food always makes me happy. The “woman in her 40’s” was actually younger; everyone who ended up showing up was around my age. It really wasn’t that bad and I appreciated the opportunity to meet others. I might even go back:).

Double Date
Friday night I went on a double date with my boyfriend, one of his friends, and his friend’s wife. I haven’t really gone on many of these types of dates in the past, usually because I never really had a date. I was normally the third wheel with my best friend and her husband, even before they were married. As I’ve matured (not sure if this is really true), I would normally find a guy to bring along so it would be more balanced out but it ended up just being more awkward honestly. But this double date was actually fun.

We met them for dinner and I devoured my meal. Just something about chicken and mac n’ cheese that does that to me lol. Afterwards we went to play putt putt and I can be a little competitive when it comes to games, actually probably anything in life. My boyfriend and I made a bet to see who would win.; bets always add a little excitement to it. He is a little competitive too and can be pretty ruthless. I had to win though, mainly because I couldn’t lose. If I won, I get to pick anything from the mall but if he won, I’d have to watch a sci-fi movie. Now you see why I couldn’t let him win. Worst movies ever. I guess that’s what happens when you date a dork, or as he likes to be called- a geek. One the first hole, he got a hole in one. I was ready to go home after that. But I persevered and guess who ended up winning?! I really do thrive under pressure. How else would I have made it this fall in grad school?!;-) My boyfriend ended up coming in last. Hopefully he doesn’t get mad about me posting that. Regardless, double dates can be lots of fun!

Couple’s Night
Saturday night my boyfriend’s parents hosted a couple’s game night. It was guys versus girls and I already had been talking smack. There were about 8-9 couples there who were married; we were the only couple who wasn’t lol. Most of them were older and I actually loved that! I think sometimes younger people tend to hang out with only those of their similar age, but I have learned so much from those that are older than me. They have so much wisdom and life lessons and I always appreciate the opportunity to interact with them, as well as seeing their beautiful marriages.

Anyway, we ended up playing two games- pictionary and taboo. The girls ended up winning by a landslide in pictionary! I wish I had taken pictures of some of the drawings though. We were laughing a lot. Taboo used to be one of my favorite games but is also super tough when you can’t say certain words. One of my favorite parts is buzzing your partner when they mess up and say a word they aren’t supposed to. Unfortunately, my boyfriend is pretty good at following directions so I wasn’t able to buzz him. The guys ended up winning that game but I think the score got messed up;-).

I had a lot of fun this weekend but after writing all of that, it seems a little boring and dull. Maybe that is why most tv shows and movies are filled with affairs and other bad decisions. It some ways they appear exciting and/or make up feel better about our lives. But we don’t have to live with the consequences of those choices in the movies. My life is pretty exciting, fulfilling, and normal. Okay maybe not normal but close. This journey is about growing and learning to love deeper. Hope you all had a fabulous weekend and a terrific Monday!

-thevirginheartbreaker

P.S. Here is the putt putt scorecard for any doubters. My boyfriend took score and he is the first one listed, I am the second:)

scorecard

featured photo credit: LyndaSanchez via photopin cc