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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Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Confidence over comparing- my boyfriend’s ex

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Few things I hate more than comparing. Nothing steals joy quicker. Nothing deceives us more. We are tempted to compare in so many aspects of our lives- is she prettier, is she more successful, does she make more money, why does everyone seem to like her? The list is endless; the devil knows our insecurities and hits us where it hurts most.

One area he gets ahold of us is when we start comparing ourselves to our boyfriend’s exes. It’s hard to enjoy the love, the excitement, the closeness if you are constantly comparing or dwelling on an ex. We compare the gifts, the time, the places, the experiences, the laughter, and most importantly the place she may still have in his heart. All leading up to the question we desire to know most:

Does he love me more than he loved her?

And we begin to seek validation through his actions and his words. So instead of enjoying them, instead of appreciating them, we often compare them. Slowly chipping away any confidence we have. Is that what he called her? Did he take her here before? I wonder if this is as nice as what he got her? Comparing is a strong temptation and society doesn’t make it any easier for us.

But the one thing we seem to forget is that love is love and there is no cap. Love doesn’t expire. It doesn’t run out. And it certainly isn’t all dried up by the time he meets you. If anything, the capacity for love is greater. His past love for her has no bearing on the depth of his love for you now.

The other thing we seem to forget is he is with you and not her. He chose to be with you. The two of you are together for a reason. Whatever that reason may be, God knows. There will always be good memories with exes; at one point in time we liked them, maybe even loved them. But there are also bad memories. Memories bad enough to end things. Memories he may have even forgotten but ones that make him appreciate you even more, that make him value you more than you’ll ever know.

So while we are left comparing in our minds, he isn’t. He’s with you. He’s with you because he loves you so enjoy it. Choose confidence over comparing. He’s with you because you are whom his soul loves.

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photo credit: Giuseppe Milo (www.pixael.com) A romantic sunset via photopin (license)

The greatest love I’ve ever known, the greatest love I’ve found

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It’s only fitting to finish the love month of blog posts by sharing with you about the best love I’ve found. I was listening to the radio the other day and they shared a little bit of the history of Valentine’s Day. One version, at least. But it struck me and reminded me of just one of the reasons I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day; it’s another excuse to show those around you how much you love them. Some argue you can do that any day and I agree but why not include this day, as well?

So apparently Saint Valentine was a priest in Rome who was imprisoned for helping Christians. A Roman Emperor tried to convert him to Roman paganism; if he converted, his life would be spared. Not only did Saint Valentine refuse to convert but he was actually executed for trying to convert the Emperor to Christianity. But before his execution, he would send messages about Christ’s love out, signing them Your Valentine. Love letters about God’s love.

I love my boyfriend. I love him more than I loved any other guy. But let me tell you why. The best thing about him is the love he has for Christ. It’s that love, that respect for God that manifests itself in ways that make me feel so unbelievably loved. And I’ve learned the only way someone can love this deeply is if they have Christ’s love. Because I know his love for me doesn’t depend on my behavior, whether good or bad in that moment, but in who he is in Christ.

1 John 4:19 says “We love because He first loved us.” It’s that love that pours out in an abundance showing signs of love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, patience, not envious, not boastful, not proud, not dishonoring, not self-seeking, not easily angered, not keeping a record of wrong, not delighting in evil, rejoicing in truth, protecting, trusting, hopeful, and persevering (Galatians and 1 Corinthians ). Wow. You see, I’m not talking about attraction here. Infatuation. Similar personalities or success. I’m talking about something that reaches so much deeper. Something we don’t often talk about it.

Jesus was our prime example of this love. Humbling himself- not prideful, not focusing on what he felt he deserved. So full of grace, mercy, forgiveness. This is the greatest love I’ve found. When I was at my worst, He loved me evermore. This is the love that never fails because Jesus never fails. This is the love that endures because Jesus is always with us. This is the love that is eternal because Jesus is with us to the end of time. When you find that love, you desire nothing more than to share it with others. I pray you feel His love more than ever.

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*Special shout out to Wikipedia and my wonderful boyfriend with their help with this post:)

photo credit: patrickmai875 Valentines Day via photopin (license)

Love when I was young, wild, and free

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I sometimes wish I were my younger self. Wishing I could love with that same pure and innocent love, from a heart that has never felt pain, never been hurt. Wishing I had made different decisions. Wondering if I made the right choices. The truth is, sometimes I didn’t. I have regrets, made decisions I’m not proud of. And while I wish I could go back and make those decisions over again, I’m learning and seeing how God takes our mistakes, covers them in grace, and makes a way for a beautiful story.

I look back at my life and see how my love has evolved through the years. I look at how I used to be. I remember how innocent, how pure my heart was. I didn’t know pain, I didn’t know hurt. I was so free to love. So giving. Assuming guys would love with the same love I felt. Holding expectations that they had the same morals and values that I did. It never crossed my mind that they could lie, that they could cheat. No thoughts that I was never good enough for them. But the way my love was received told a different story. My love was often not reciprocated. I was met with cruelness, selfishness, and hate. Each experience tweaking my own behavior, my own concept of love.

I watched how these experiences changed me. I wasn’t so quick to love anymore. I began building an unbreakable wall around my heart, afraid to let someone hurt it even more. I became guarded. This allowed me to avoid hurt, but it also allowed me to not give away my love so easily. I’ve protected that love, kept it buried deep inside my heart. And now, now that I’ve met someone worthy, someone deserving of that free and beautiful love, all I have to offer is a scarred, broken, and guarded heart. And I just wish I could love with that same love I had when I was younger. But his patience slowly chisels at the protective wall I’ve built. His love ignites the love I once possessed.

I watch as our love story continues to unravel. Realizing I’ve never loved like this before. Not even close. A deeper love now. A love I didn’t think was possible, a love I didn’t know existed. And I think one of the most beautiful things I’m seeing is how our love relates to God’s love. How God loved us in spite of our brokenness. How God loved us even when we couldn’t love Him back. And how God’s love ignites passions inside of us to love Him and love others with that same love. I’m learning that perfect love isn’t love that’s never been hurt or never been broken. Perfect love is one that sees all of our brokenness and loves us even more.

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photo credit: VanessaC (EY) 7th April 2009 via photopin (license)

February Fakes: Why I’d date an atheist over a “Christian” pt. 4 Charlie

I expected this behavior from non-believers, I didn’t expect it from those that put the Christian label on their lives.

You flat out lied. Your life was a lie. How could I trust you? I gave you so many chances to come clean. I believed you. I chose to believe you. I wanted to believe you. The lies finally caught up with you and you couldn’t get out. That was when I had to walk away. I wish I could have sooner.

We had so many good discussions. Your personality drew me in. No one could make me laugh like you could. You grew up in a Christian home. Those are the ones that scare me most, I think. How do you know if someone is really saved or has just learned to act the part so well? Is it just part of his culture now and the only thing he knows? I don’t know. But I know it’s what kept me holding on for so long. I appreciated being able to talk to you in ways I couldn’t anyone else. You knew the church lingo, but did you know God? I wish I could describe it but some of the words that came out of your mouth, some of the stories you’d tell me didn’t sit well with me. Okay, actually they flat out hurt me. They took away my innocence. Did Christians really talk like this? Was it okay to joke like this? I was so naïve. But I really should have known better.

I think what bothered me most with you is that I felt you tried to hurt others too. Not physically but spiritually. Slowly defiling others to things of the world. Slowly desensitizing them to evil. You masked it so well though. You were sneaky. And you were good. I found a reason to justify every uncomfortable thing you did. But I finally couldn’t take it anymore.

I’ve experienced a lot that has bothered me and it’s easy to start questioning whether I’m just too picky. But it’s okay if there have been things that have bothered you too. I knew this series would be controversial and I knew some people wouldn’t like it. I want to be very clear here- I didn’t write these things to hurt anyone but I think it’s extremely scary (not to mention sad) when we stop addressing things that need to be said in fear of hurting someone’s feelings. I think deep down we all know the best friends we have are the ones that are honest with us the most. And that’s my goal with this blog- to be honest with you guys. To let you know it’s okay to question others. Because for so long I questioned myself instead. And I think we need to acknowledge that if we have the Holy Spirit, part of the benefits of having Him is recognizing Him in others. It’s not judging; it’s being aware. And when you don’t see Him in the one you’re dating, you already have your sign. So many times I held on with hope, when I should have just walked away.

Lastly, I want to clarify something. I would never date an atheist. I know in my Spirit I could never do it and it would never work. And that’s why the title of this past series was so powerful to me and struck some nerves in others. As much as I’d never see myself with an atheist, I could never be with any of the guys mentioned this past month. Because they’re not just living in sin- they are living in sin while claiming to be holy. How do you convince someone they are missing something they already think they have?

Read the entire series here: Intro Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

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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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photo credit: Christmas Confections via photopin (license)

Mom’s Advice & Dating

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Happy Mother’s Day to all the beautiful mommies out there and a big special HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to mine. I decided to a post on mother’s advice because my mom has been so instrumental in helping me to become the woman I am today. And I can’t thank her enough. Although I am very fortunate enough to have her as a mother, I hope there is someone you can identify in your life that has been a strong role model for you that will help you to relate and realize how blessed you are. There are many reasons I love my mom and when it comes to dating, these are some of the reasons I trust her as much as I do.

She’s never been wrong. Yes, I hate to admit this one but it’s true. One thing I don’t think we realize or want to realize is that we are emotionally attached when we like someone and we will excuse that person’s behavior to no end. However, moms aren’t and they can see right through the smoke screen we fall under the spell of.

She understands. My mom has never acted like I was dumb for liking someone I shouldn’t. She always acknowledges that my feelings are real and they matter. She encourages me to get closure as long as she believes I am healthy enough to handle it. She knows me better than I know myself. And though I may make dumb decisions, she understands and helps me to work though it.

Her mistakes were mistakes I didn’t have to go through. I’ve never understood the mentality my peers had while growing up. I would hear the excuse “Well you drank, well you had sex, well you did ” when they would argue with their parents. This was done in hopes to justify their choices. I would hope that each generation improves as we are able to learn from our elders. My mom has always told me she wants a better life for me than she had for herself. It was never about keeping good things away from me but protecting me from the bad so I could have the best life possible. She has always been so open and honest about her life and because of that there are many mistakes I was fortunate enough to avoid. It is such a blessing not having to learn the hard way.

She loves me unconditionally. I think the one thing that trumps everything else and why I am able to trust my mom as I much as I do, is the fact I know she loves me unconditionally. When you feel that unconditional love, you feel so safe and secure that you can do anything. Without it, you are always on guard and are left to question motives. Because of my mom, I now know what unconditional love looks like and can only hope to love people the way she does.

I wouldn’t say my mom is a tough mom when it comes to potential boyfriends. She isn’t too concerned with money. She wants me to be attracted to him but looks aren’t that important. And while a fun personality is a plus, that won’t win her over either. No, my mom has and always will look for one thing- will this guy love my daughter the way Christ loved the church? And she knows. She’s unbelievably smart. And this is why I don’t bring many guys home to meet her. She’ll point out what I already know deep down. Thank you mom for teaching me self-respect- letting me know my value and worth. I love you so much! Oh, and good luck future suitors:p

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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

Why I hate the word “date”

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Anyone who knows me well or has watched my Facebook through the years knows how I’ve never been a fan of the word “date” or the term “dating.” The guys who have asked me out only for me to respond with, “sure, we should hang out” know this all too well. I think it’s because the word date implies a certain level of commitment and expectation in my mind and honestly I don’t like that pressure, not with a guy I’m not really convinced about yet. If I have ever used the word “date” with you, consider yourself one of the few.

So I prefer to “hang out” with guys. Why? Because in my mind, I am just getting to know them and I don’t feel like I owe them anything. Maybe this is silly and maybe I over analyze a little too much but it has seriously stressed me out before. I think a big part of it revolves around the fact that I don’t want to lead anyone on, especially if I really don’t see a future with someone. I run from the word. It scares me. There have been times when I was okay with the word and that was when I thought I might actually see a future with that particular guy. So for me it’s a matter of using the word with people I like, not using it with those I don’t like or guys I am unsure about. I think we all know this deep down but are just afraid to admit it. This is why girls HATE it when a guy is taking them out but refuses to call it a date. It shows that the guy is unsure about what he wants. And there is no girl who wants to start falling for a guy only for him to say “but we’ve never even dated.” Girls desire a guy they respect and it’s hard to respect a guy when they don’t even know what they want.

There is a certain level of casualness when only hanging out, as opposed to dating. And I like that. But I will admit, if I started to like a guy, I would not appreciate just being his “hang out” buddy. I can however, to a certain extent, respect not being referred to as someone’s date, even though it can be viewed as a big slap in the face. I can’t use the word with someone I’m unsure about so I don’t think I’d really appreciate a guy using the word with me unless he was serious about me. I just can’t. I feel guilty. I feel like I’m leading someone on. I feel like I’m being deceptive. I feel like I’m wasting someone’s time. The truth is, I just don’t know about you and that’s okay. Maybe we should just get to know each other more, in a non-pressuring environment. The beauty with that is, chances are that if it doesn’t work out and we aren’t compatible we can still be friends and it not be awkward. There are ways to find love without breaking so many hearts.  

There is a caveat to this and that is- I don’t think people view the word as seriously as I do and that has created this confusion and unintentional dating scene we see in today’s society, in my opinion. I think that is why one of my favorite authors, Eric Ludy, in his book when God writes your love story  (co-authored with his wife, Leslie) stated the following:

“Personally, I don’t care for the word date. I think it diminishes the grandeur of a God-written love story into a common, everyday sort of thing. If you are stuck on using the word, I won’t fight you. But I prefer to think that God’s version of love and romance is miles above the culturally saturated ideas contained within that weak and ugly word. When two people enter into a relationship that is scripted from start to finish by the Author of love and relationships, they may prefer to view their relationship as something bigger, better, and more beautiful than dating. In short, if you can maintain the honor, the faithfulness of heart, the purity, and the selfless love of Christ at the center of your relationship, go ahead and date. However, if you are holding the pen in your proud hand and messing with a human heart for your selfish pleasure, my advice is, don’t date; instead, go to Jesus and ask Him to change you and change your method for building an intimate love relationship.”

Wow. It sometimes makes me sad to see what the dating culture has become. But I want to encourage you to strive for more. Below are three quick tips that have helped me stay focused on what I ultimately want and need.

  1. Communicate! Don’t allow a silly word to control you. If you are just looking for a friend, communicate that. If you are intentional about getting married, communicate that. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to ask for clarity. This is your life and it flies by- don’t waste it sitting around guessing what your relationship, or lack thereof, really is.
  2. Be realistic. While communicating is important, please don’t start discussing how bad you want to get married on the first “date.” Be intentional, but don’t put someone in a situation where they have to commit off the bat if they don’t even really know you yet.
  3. Trust your gut. As much as I hate to say it, it’s usually right. I know we always hope for the best and we pray for signs, but oftentimes we dismiss them because we just want to feel loved so much. If you are not feeling secure in whatever it is you are in, read tip one:p

So who wants to go on a date now?

-the virgin heartbreaker

photo credit: KaylaKandzorra via photopin cc