Hey world…my dating history at a glance!
I’ve started this post to share my experiences about dating in this fast paced secular culture, and the many dips and trappings that a single Christian guy can stumble through in this journey. If you are at all like me, and desire to have a close friendship with the love of your life, you will likely have some similar experiences. The problem is not meeting single women in this western digital culture, but developing a skill set or selling features that will appeal enough to the potential female suitor to keep her around long enough to get to know you, without losing your authenticity in the process.
I live in a city with N. America, but it will remain nameless, as I don’t want to bring unwanted attention to anyone who doesn’t want it. I attend a church at least once per month, and I have some really good friends through this community. I also work fulltime at a professional job that requires me to appear quite neutral about my spiritual beliefs, and very empathetic and supportive of other’s outlooks. I consider myself a decent athlete, although not good enough to make a financial living from it. I workout 4-5 x per week, and eat a healthy diet, inspired by my mom, and by an operation at about 21, relating to the health of my colin. I am so healthy looking, that most people do not expect that I ever had an operation of this nature. I have travelled to some parts of the world and spent enough time in other cultures, that I see myself having a healthier than average balanced outlook on life. I live in my own house and rent out other property. I have a beautiful dog, which requires lots of attention.
Despite knowing that I am an above average good looking guy, I have found dating in and out of Christian circles frustrating, and discouraging. I have never been married, but have been in a couple of relationships that seemed to be moving in that direction. I was about to propose to one girl on New Years eve one year, and had all the details planned out. Despite my excitement at this coming moment, she was in a much different head space. She showed up at my door that day in the morning, and stated that she needed time to think about our relationship. She had my stuff (left at her place) in a bag that she handed to me. Talk about walking off a cliff that I didn’t see coming. Got a note about a week later from her stating that I shouldn’t communicate with her in any way, even if I don’t understand. Wow, that stung. I think I cried myself to sleep for the next week. I did get a few clues as to what was going on in her life from her friends, and with my counseling training I realized that part of this was a trigger based on transference of her negative memories of her dead father to me. I also had some work to do on myself, and actually saw a counsellor as part of my course for about 30 sessions. I started writing poetry as one result of this, and even had a couple published.
Another time I was engaged to a girl who my friends thought was amazing (friend of a friend’s sister). She was a nice girl, but after too many red flags started showing up, and one being her investigation of some rumours about me being a major drug user and dealer, I new in my heart that I could not marry this girl. I resented her for not confronting me with this gossip. Some of her ideology with respect to Christianity was becoming hard to digest for me, and her family wouldn’t entertain any of my questions about it. God even spoke to me through a dream. It was a very tough decision, but I called it off.
I have dated lots of other girls for what I refer to as mini-relationships. As I got discouraged with the results, and the choices, I have entertained the idea of ‘flirting and converting’. This idea is simply looking for a physically attractive girl with solid-looking values, and then checking to see what kind of faith history they have. I would try to appeal to core values in that history in a gentle, and subtle manner. This also had its inherent challenges, which would lead to some moral challenges for me.
I know what the bible says about these things. Don’t be unequally yoked. It also says don’t be “luke warm”. In other words, don’t be a chameleon, or fence sitter. It also talks about the narrow road. I do a fair amount of reading, and remember this one woman talking about “Relevant Christianity”. She described it as a road that is more like a tight wire that guys used to use to walk across Niagara Falls. On one side is total carnality, and on the other is hyper-spirituality. To be relevant according to her, you have to be able to relate to secular culture as Jesus did to the carnal crowds in his day. However, we must also have a solid connection to a few of our community planted on the other side of the wire. This may mean attending church and absorbing a challenging but relevant sermon regularly, or meditating with a devo, and bible several times per week. Walking this wire can be troublesome, and takes a lot of intentionality, and focus. Otherwise I am likely to slide into one camp or the other, which is not where I think Jesus was in his journey on earth. What am I saying then? I’m not saying that “flirting and converting” is the best approach. But I am saying to be more discerning about what we condone with our actions and attitudes. By using hyper spiritual language and hanging out 90% of the time with that crowd, I found myself growing more distant, and holding some negative judgements with respect to the crowd in the carnality communities. I know the attitude I sometimes felt inside was not one Jesus would be proud of for me. Don’t get me wrong, I did have some good attitudes. I reached out and helped people in poverty, as well as my own community needs. I tried real hard to have a servant attitude. But I was moving closer and closer to living life in a bubble of hyper – spirituality.
At the same time, I don’t see it as a wise thing to be too nonchalant about mixing in a carnal crowd either. Sure, I attend parties with alcoholic beverages being served. Actually I enjoy a cold beer on a hot day, but usually only one or two cold ones at a time. I also love to drink wine of many varieties. This part I’m good with… the part I have slipped with is when dating in these areas on both sides of the wire, especially as I get older, I find it easier to rationalize, or let passion get too far ahead in the sexual arena. The Bible says to guard our bodies, as they are a temple of the Holy Spirit… seems this has a lot of psychological connections to go with it. God is a wise dude. If He created everything, he outta know how things work, including us, who he made in his image. Somehow, the pre-mature sex that seems like such a good idea at the time, can mess up our psychological health, and lead to a nuclear cascade of problems in the near future. As one girl I dated recently, liked to state, it is a slippery slope. I think this applies to either direction. Get grounded and stay on that wire!
I hope you enjoy this introduction to my blog. About once a week or so, I will make a new entry about a recent relationship or dating experience. I’m not really promising answers, but I may instigate some questions in your own minds, as I do in my mind. I was originally thinking of Christian men over 35 as my target audience. However, this not written in stone. God has a lot of good ideas of His own, and he may want to use this blog differently then my intention. Partly, I am going to be venting, and talking about very personal emotions. But because it is also like a journal entry for me, I will sometimes direct my thoughts directly at God. I’m not trying to tell anyone what theology they should be believing. I am mostly thinking out loud, and hopefully provoking a few decent thoughts of anyone who chooses to read this blog. Us single Christian guys need a lot of encouragement. Men in general do. I have long had a passion to bring men together to talk about how they feel, and have done this over food mostly. But we are living in a digital age.
A Single Christian Guy