Tag Archives: dating

Cat in a Box

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It’s closing in on the end of the year. There has been a lot on my mind.

For one thing, my best friend gave me a time limit on The Challenge (https://sarahbux.wordpress.com/2012/07/31/the-challenge/). I know I haven’t really given any updates on The Challenge…

My thoughts have been… well… Define “date”.

That definition makes all the difference, really. According to some, I’ve been on a few dates since then. According to me, none of those outings were dates. But for the sake of completing the challenge I would be happy to call them dates.

The Challenge isn’t the only thing that has been on my mind, however. As a new year approaches, I cannot help but recall my New Year’s resolution for 2012. I stood in a group and requested prayer regarding my fear of relationship. Well, that is partially true. I asked for prayer regarding a specific fear – but never mentioned which one. Nonetheless, throughout the year I tried to move forward in conquering that fear.

And I thought I was doing well after I returned from Jamaica. At one point I thought to myself, I feel as if I am more ready now to be in a relationship than I ever have been before… Unfortunately, a few days later a friend of mine told me I was due for a boyfriend and I completely panicked. What do you mean I’m due? Why would I need a boyfriend? I’d rather just be single… I like being single…. Don’t tell me I’m due!

The fact is, I probably am due for a relationship. But stepping into a relationship would require stepping out of my comfortable box. My cat made himself at home tonight in a cardboard box that I have out. I feel like that picture may accurately portray my situation. Although my box is getting kind of small, and it is even starting to bust, I do not want to leave it. There is a certain level of peace inside those walls.

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Commitment-Phobe? Moi?

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Scenario 1

“If we hire you for this position, are you willing to commit for at least one year?”

Wave of terror passes over my face.

“Why is it so important that I stay for a year? Even if I only work here for a short time, I will still be a good worker,” I questioned the man interviewing me. I’m not good at sucking up during interviews. The blunt, confrontational side of me never backs down.

“Sarah, it is a waste of our time to hire and train an employee who will leave the company in less than a year. I need to know if you will commit to at least one year,” he responded. He looked slightly annoyed – but overall he was very patient with me.

I self-talked myself through the decision. Surely I could last a year. I agreed. I may have sounded hesitant; but my word is my word.

Next year will mark my five year anniversary with the same corporation. That interview question, although it threw me into a temporary panic, didn’t turn out to be such a big deal.

 

Scenario 2

Should I do it? Should I not? Should I keep looking? Should I wait? I don’t know. Will I find a better deal? Is this the right place?

On and on the questions soared through my brain. I had a lease to sign. Once again, someone was asking for a year-long commitment. Once again, I was not feeling so hot about the idea.

It’s the right price. Right distance from work. Good parking for my motorcycle. They will let me bring my cat. Why must they insist that I sign a year-long lease? What’s so terrible about month-to-month?

I signed the lease. It’s been a year and a half now.

I don’t really have any intentions to move. Nonetheless, I opted out of renewing my lease. Once I fulfilled the first year they allowed me to rent month-to-month going forward. Why place restrictions upon myself that are not absolutely necessary?

 

Scenario 3

“Hi, I’m Mr. BraveEnoughToAskYouOut. What’s your name?”

This is the kind of guy that automatically goes in for eye contact. I don’t dare call him Mr. CommitmentLover, because he may also be a total commitment-phobe in the typical sense of the term. He may dodge long-term relationships or marriage. He may only be interested in a night of pleasure. But he’s got me beat. Committing to that first date is even too hard for me.

Like I said, he’s brave and he goes in for eye contact. He’s searching: Is she interested? What will she say if I ask her out? Is she checking me out?

I dodge the eye contact.

Yes, I am interested. Yes, I am checking you out. But, don’t even ask that question in between. I dodge the eye contact in an effort to squelch your bravery because your bravery will lead to our dating and our dating will lead to me feeling attached and I don’t want to feel attached. You want me to flirt? Quit acting so interested. (I know I’ve adamantly proclaimed that guys should be brave and pursue. I’m admitting now that I’m a total hypocrite and don’t encourage men to pursue with my actions. Sue me.)

Should Mr. BraveEnoughToAskYouOut happen to continue despite my lack of eye contact… I continue to run. Hang out this weekend? I might be busy this weekend… Not really sure about all my plans yet. Dinner? How about coffee? Coffee doesn’t feel like nearly as big of a commitment as dinner…

 

Okay. In the first two scenarios I was practically forced to commit, despite my reservations. Neither situation turned out too badly. That goes to show that if I actually step out of my comfort zone and go on a real date with a guy I actually like, it may not turn out too badly either. If someone manages to get me past that first step – then maybe it will work out. Like the job and the apartment.

We may end up in a steady dating relationship and I may end up appreciating said relationship.

Or he may cheat on me. Or dump me and leave me desperately heart-broken. Or betray my confidence. Or use me. Or die. Or all of the above.

I think I’d rather dodge eye contact and whine about how men are cowards.

 

The Runner’s High

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 My mom called me up one day to tell me she bought a book for me from the thrift store. She knows that I read tons of book about singleness and relationships and psychology. Sometimes I read them simply because I think I may write about them on here. Other times I read them because they truly fascinate me. She thought this one might pique my interest.

I glanced over the front cover: The Commitment Cure: What to Do When You Fall for an Ambivalent Man. What does ambivalent mean? I flipped the book over and was relieved to discover that I must not be the only person unfamiliar with that term. On the back, in dictionary format, I read the definition of “ambivalence” followed by the definition of “ambivalent man”.

How does the author, Rhonda Findling, define ambivalence? Ambivalence is “the existence of mixed feelings toward someone or something. Difficulty in reaching a decision.” As for the “ambivalent man”, he is the “one who exhibits or feels ambivalence toward women; one who plays games. He wants a relationship; he wants to break up. He’s confused, mixed up, inconsistent, and unpredictable. Yet he’s irresistable and easy to fall in love with . . . and almost sure to cause a broken heart.”

Good to know. I opened the book. To give some background, I already mentioned that I did not pick this book up by myself. It was given to me. With that in mind, I quickly realized that I am not the typical reader that this book would be directed toward. Findling’s target audience would be women who are unhappy in relationships that seem to lack commitment or a stable future. She calls to women who want the men they love to quit messing with them and marry them! As a cat lady, I don’t exactly fall into that target audience. I don’t want anyone I’m dating to take our relationship more seriously. That would be difficult, since I’m not dating anyone… I don’t yearn for a man to commit to me in marriage. I’m pretty happy while single. I’m really just reading this book for the sake of curiosity. Nothing more, nothing less.

Findling describes a handful of categories that ambivalent men fall into. Just like a criminal is more specifically labeled by his crime, she labels these ambivalent men more particularly by their behaviors. In Chapter 1, she describes the first kind of ambivalent man; The Runner.

As I sail through the first few pages, I’m dumbfounded by Findling’s description of “The Runner”. I feel slightly uncomfortable. Is it just my imagination, or does this Runner sound a lot like myself?

Although it is packed with information, and loaded with psychological observations (Findling is a psychotherapist), I found this book to be a quick read. As she describes and labels these men who avoid commitment, run from relationship, use women, manipulate others’ feelings, and criticize marriage, I picture several men I know and place them in the most appropriate categories. I’m amazed by how many I know who may be described as ambivalent. In fact, most of the men that I’ve found myself infatuated with could be described as ambivalent. Why is that?

Towards the end of the book, the author begins to address the reasons women are drawn toward ambivalent men. As she rattles off ideas, I find myself wondering why she doesn’t mention the ambivalent woman. After so closely identifying with the runner, I quickly realized that I find a noncommittal attitude attractive in men because I am also noncommittal. I am comfortable with his lack of stability because long-term relationships still terrify me. And yet, chapter after chapter, Findling neglects to mention the ambivalent woman. There are 18 chapters altogether. Finally, in Chapter 16, she directs her attention to girls like me.

There is a 10 question test in this chapter to help a woman determine whether or not she may be ambivalent. The author says that any woman who answers “yes” to at least three questions is very likely ambivalent. My score? Yes to 8. Kind of to 1. I could only give a straight-forward “no” to one question out of the ten. At least I’m self-aware and pegged myself in the first chapter…

I am quite comfortable running. It’s easy. It’s natural. Habitual, even. I run before I even get the chance to worry. Selfish, perhaps. And hurtful to others. The book made that clear. But comfortable. Unfortunately, I came to the decision earlier this year that I no longer want to run from relationship due to fear. Remember? Singleness is okay, as long as I remain single for healthy reasons… Fear, however, is not a healthy reason…

The problem is that running is ingrained. I’m not sure if I know how to stop. I sabotage the relationship before I even begin the relationship. I’ve tried to get past my tendency to sabotage a few times now, in the past few months. Ultimately, it never worked and I walked away feeling tremendously relieved. How do I quit running when running feels SO good? I find myself approaching another potential relationship right now – and I already want to run. I am trying to be positive. I am trying not to be cynical. And yet, I can’t say that I have high hopes. I don’t really feel like putting forth the effort necessary to date this guy. I’ve already contemplated the kindest way to let him down easy. I’m not sure if I know how to not run. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m capable. Perhaps I am addicted to the Runner’s High?

The Practice Date

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Kissing is for real dates.

What is a “practice date”? A few weeks back, I read an article on a webzine. A reader sent in a question about “practice dating” and I scoffed. What the heck is a practice date? If two people like each other, they can go on a real date. If they do not like each other, they do not go out on dates. Isn’t that how it is supposed to work? There is no such thing as a practice date. Silly question, reader.

Little did I know that I would be invited to go out on one a few short weeks later. The conversation was nearly over. I had already said “Good night” when the question arrived. Quick response (I think I’d like to date this guy): I agreed with his proposition. Conversation ends. Life goes on.

A few days later, we talk again. All of the sudden I think back to that previous conversation.

What the heck did he mean by “practice” date?

Maybe I am old-fashioned. Or simplistic. But I never realized that dating and rocket science are comparatively complex. As I said before, I thought people who are interested in developing a romantic relationship go on dates and people who are not interested in developing a romantic relationship do not go on dates. Notice, I did not mention people who are ready to commit for life. I said people who are interested. I cannot figure out what kinds of people would fit into this brand new subcategory called “practice dating”. I also cannot figure out what the difference is between a date and a practice date. What is the purpose of this thing called a practice date?

Side hugs are more appropriate for practice dates.

What if two people went on this practice date together and a friend came up to one of them?

“Hey! I haven’t seen you in forever. How have you been? Oh and who’s this cute guy you’re dating? We haven’t met before!”

*Coughcough* “Oh, we aren’t dating. He’s actually just my practice date. Don’t worry, though. You aren’t the first to be confused!”

 

Should money be exchanged? “I haven’t had a date in so long… I just didn’t want to forget how to go about it. So I don’t actually like you or anything, but I was wondering if you might like to practice date me. Just to ‘keep me fresh’. I could pay you! … Unless you think that’s too similar to prostitution…”

 

Then, of course, there is the whole issue of boundaries. In real dating, there are enough questions regarding boundaries. Who should ask who out? When is the first kiss appropriate? How soon should we go formal? When should we meet the family? After how many dates do we become exclusive? The questions go on and on. The answers fluctuate with each and every couple.

What questions need to be answered in “practice dating”? Does it matter who makes the request since it isn’t a real date? Should the family ever even find out about a practice date? Is kissing okay as long as it’s deemed “practice kissing”?

 

Is practice dating intended to perfect that art-form known as actual dating? There is that age-old saying, “Practice makes perfect.” Although, I’ve always preferred a quote I used to hear from one of my basketball coaches. She said, “Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent.”

If I translate that concept over to dating, I could say that I’ve been practicing singleness for quite some time now. If I continue this way, I will likely wind up single permanently. I can deal with that. If I start dating, I will likely wind up in a relationship. But if I start “practice dating”, where will I end up? In an “almost-relationship”? I won’t really be single. I won’t really be in a relationship. I’ll just be frustrated.

 

Is practice dating like a safety net under the tightrope for real dating?

“I want to date this person but I’m not sure if this person wants to date me… I don’t want to face possible rejection.”

“I doubt things would work out between us… I’d rather not work at a real relationship with odds like this.”

“I find this person interesting and I would like to spend more time with her alone… But a date is a big leap.”

 

All of these thoughts bring me back to a guy I used to know. He pursued me almost immediately. I felt attached to him extremely quickly. He asked me out. I said that I would prefer to be his friend. He said that guys and girls cannot be friends. I told him that they could and that I would be his friend whether he liked it or not. After a few months I realized I could not be “just” his friend. As much as I hated to admit it, he was right. Once romantic interest has been established for either person, it is nearly impossible for a healthy friendship to exist. One person will always hope for something more, and ultimately feel disappointed.

 

So when I told Mr. Practice Date that I either want a real date or we need to back away from this close friendship, he said to me, “You realize that you’re doing the very same thing with our friendship as you do with your relationship prospects? You’re doing that same thing where you protect yourself from pain unless you’re unbelievably sure that it will amount to exactly what you want it to.”

In essence, I responded by asking why protecting myself is such a bad thing. At least I haven’t asked anyone out on any practice dates… 😉

Baggage Claim

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There are two common analogies referenced in the dating scene. The first one involves “test-driving the car” and the second involves “baggage”. Both analogies piss me off beyond belief.

I’m not even going to start on the car analogy. Another day perhaps.

Singles, raise your hand if you have ever been asked, “Do you really want to date someone with all that baggage?”, or worse if you have ever been asked, “Do you really think that person would want to date you – with all your baggage?”

Why do these questions make me mad? Let me tell you.

1)      Everyone has baggage. Everyone. I don’t care if you’ve been married and divorced five times. I don’t care if you are like me – and have managed to dodge committed relationships for some time. Everyone has baggage. Different types, different sizes, shapes, colors, and so on. But baggage, nonetheless.

2)      Baggage is very vague. If I am going on a trip, a person cannot tell how equipped I am for the journey simply by eyeing my baggage. (We’ll say it’s a hiking trip. Something where a lot of heavy baggage does not seem preferable – as most people indicate a relationship is better without a lot of heavy baggage.) Without knowing what’s inside all of those suitcases – a person cannot say whether or not I’m prepared. They also cannot guess how heavy my baggage is. For instance, I may set a large piece of luggage directly next to a small piece of luggage. To the bare eye, it would appear that the larger bag is going to be heavier, and thus more burdensome. In all reality, however, that black bag may be full of cotton balls while the red bag is full of bricks. (I plan to build a house or something out of bricks and cotton balls on my hiking trip… obviously.) The person lugging around that black bag may appear to have “more emotional baggage”, but the person carrying that red bag may actually bring the larger burden to the relationship.

Just because the black one’s bigger, doesn’t mean it’s a heavier burden!

3)      Children are often called baggage. This is the big one – the one that really makes me seethe. How dare you compare a child [an emotional, valuable, vulnerable, and significant human being] to a carry-on at the airport! The reference is completely inappropriate. And yet, I hear it all the time. “You’re interested in a man with kids? Do you really want to date a guy with all that baggage?” It’s all I can do not to flip out at people who ask me these kinds of questions.

Ben and Benny: This is an old picture, but it is one of my favorites!

Instead I have to maintain my self-control and explain to them, “Parental skills are an important thing to consider in a serious relationship, and if the man does not already have kids, it’s really just a guessing game as to what kind of father he may turn out to be. To be honest, it’s kind of a turn-on to see that a man who already has a child seems to be a good daddy. Plus, just because I don’t have any children, that doesn’t mean I don’t have baggage. He would have to put up with mine as well.”

Just to add weight to my argument, I often reference my brother. Ben, I’m sorry if you don’t want to be referenced, but I often describe your relationship with Benny to others when we begin to discuss “baggage”. You are a great father! If anyone ever refers to Benny as “baggage”, they will have to suffer the wrath of his Aunt Sarah!!

Those are the primary reasons this subject angers me. There are a few other minor reasons. But I think those are the most important. Do me a favor, people:

  • Quit referring to children as baggage. It is never an okay analogy.
  • Stop calling divorce baggage. Ask the real question, “Are you okay with dating someone who has been divorced?”
  • Don’t forget that those are not the only two forms of baggage. Non-marriage relationships, family problems, and abuse, to name a few, could all be classified as “baggage” also. But don’t call them baggage.
  • Don’t ever use the “test-drive the car” analogy with me either. I may slap you.

Just Do It.

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Just Do It.

My life is like a sneakers commercial. I kid you not. I am dumbfounded by the number of people repeating this phrase to me – “Just do it”. I understand that I have a tendency to overthink things… Particularly relationships. But in my defense, this blog is about singleness. If I were to stop this overthinking completely, my blog would fade into nothingness.

Before I accepted Matt’s challenge to start dating, I had mentioned that others gave me similar advice. Quit analyzing and gain experience. Those same people are still reminding me of this concept. And now a few others have jumped on the bandwagon as well. Everywhere I go, regarding every male I bring up, I hear these words: “Just do it.”

Now, aside from the fact that most of my prospects are dreary (see previous posts), I’m still having trouble adjusting to this “just do it” mentality. This past weekend I unexpectedly ran into a guy that I was slightly interested in. (On the bright side, the men in Nike commercials are always athletic and terribly good-looking. My life commercial is no different.) We had only met once before, but I actually know his parents quite well. In our time apart, my friends made my interest in him abundantly clear to his parents. Abundantly clear.

After spending some time together Saturday, he made an effort to keep in touch with me and my best friend. I did not think he would be too interested in us. But I could not really figure out why he would try to keep in touch (we live several hours away from him) if he were not at all interested in either one of us. With that dilemma in mind, I pondered the possibility of a relationship.

Although he has several great qualities, I am a cat lady. In other words, I excel in the field of “why relationships will not work out well”. Ordinarily, I would gush a little bit and enjoy my newfound crush, but remain secure in the idea that nothing would actually become of my crush. Likely, he would not pursue. But if he did, I already saw at least five possible reasons things would not work out between us. I had plenty of logical rejection material.

Unfortunately, my rejection material directly quarreled with my promise to stop thinking and start dating. He doesn’t have any of the major flaws my other options had (drug addiction, bad hygiene, etc.). He fit the major criteria. Crap. To be true to my word, if he pursued me, I would have to follow through and date this guy. “Just do it.” I was already dreading it. [Those five possible reasons I had accumulated were very convincing… Only a legitimate cat lady dreads pursuit from a guy she actually likes.]

Perhaps this is because I am a pessimist. Perhaps this is due to my cowardice. Perhaps this is pure wisdom that I have acquired from watching others’ failed relationships. No matter the reason, I was beginning to panic over the potential dating situation. I had already determined that he and I could become good friends, but probably should not become anything more.

Then my best friend told me that this man was not interested. During one of their conversations, he clarified his lack of romantic intentions for either one of us. I’m betting my sigh of relief was audible. In fact, I feel so relieved, I could hug him. Ironic, right? Maybe next time I see him, I will just do it.

Dating and Relationships: The Church Rules

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The Rules

  1. A boy and a girl must never ride together alone in a vehicle. Not for any distance, any purpose, or any length of time. The ONLY exception to this rule applies to a boy and girl who are brother and sister. Obviously, any other combination of male and female riding in a car alone will lead to the car being pulled over so they can have wild sex in the backseat before they arrive at their destination. Obviously.
  2. Boys and girls must sit at least a Bible’s width apart at all times. Those tiny New Testaments the Gideons leave around don’t count. We’re talking regulation biggest-Good-Book-we-can-find size.
  3. A female must wear clothing which covers every portion of her body from her chin to her knees. If she has pretty legs, those should probably be covered also. Beauty tempts young men. Men should never have to face temptation. If clothing is truly “appropriate”, men may even forget women have boobs – which is exactly as it should be since men are incapable of controlling themselves around women they find attractive.

These are the top three rules pounded into the teen-aged girl’s head about dating or relating to the opposite sex by Sunday School teachers and youth leaders nationwide. Boys cannot be trusted around you. You cannot be trusted around boys. If ever you two are left alone together, babies emerge nine months later. No exceptions. None.

For a girl who actually wants to be pure, these rules are very intimidating. You see, when I was young and naïve, I believed I could accept a ride from one of my male friends. But by the time I was 17, I understood how inappropriate that looked and that he would likely rape me at some point during the five minute drive. At one point in time I believed that it was a good thing for a man to look at me and recognize my beauty. Before I exited adolescence I realized that my beauty is wicked and dangerous when noticed by men. When I was a little girl, I loved to cuddle close to the men in my life. But soon after puberty hit, I learned that all physical contact with the opposite sex is completely unhealthy and will somehow give me AIDS.

What’s really sad – is that I wouldn’t even call the churches I attended legalistic. It scares me to consider what truly legalistic congregations are teaching young people if I learned such skewed lessons where I went. Unfortunately, teenagers hear from their Christian leaders that they cannot be trusted – they cannot even trust themselves – to make good, healthy decisions regarding the opposite sex. Fear tactics are fired at them in the name of purity. Instead of being trained to enter healthy relationships, teenagers are taught to avoid relationships at all costs because relationships lead to sexual immorality.

According to the typical Christian youth leader, I am a success story. I escaped high school with my virginity intact. But if you ask me, purity is so much broader than virginity. And if successful means terrified of intimacy and unwilling to be vulnerable to a man, then I agree. I am very successful.

But sometimes success is overrated.

And the Fears Emerge

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I can think of at least four men who would help me complete this challenge this very week. And although I’ve been told not to think, just to act – I can’t turn off my mind.

#4. I have no doubts that he is out to use me. He is completely gorgeous. But he’s also a total loser. He’s hit on me several times – but he seems to think that I won’t go out with him because I am a lesbian. I’m not. But I really haven’t argued with him about it because it’s so much easier not to like him when he believes that. And I don’t want to like him. Because he’s a loser. If I hit on him, I’m fairly certain he’d jump at the chance to date me. But I really think he’d be dating me in an effort to take everything from me that he possibly could. Drugs have eliminated his soul and I’d rather not mess around with a guy who has no soul.

#3. He’s rather unreliable, so it might take more than a week to get a date. But I am positive he would make it happen by the end of the month. Probably by the end of the week – because I’ve refused him the last three times and I think he’s getting eager to see me. So if I made a move, I think he’d take the bait right now. He seems like a pretty decent guy, but I can’t count on him for much of anything. I don’t think he knows how to put a relationship first. And he’s made clear that he does not want to get married. I’m not going to stay in any kind of long-term relationship that isn’t geared toward marriage. So I feel like any effort put into dating this guy would just lead to exhaustion, pain, and heartache in the long run. Why bother?

#2. This one also does drugs. But I’m confident that he still has a soul and that he actually cares about me. However, his addiction hinders his life from going forward. He can’t make much more than minimum wage where he works. But he’s told me he won’t really look for another job because other workplaces drug-test. I get along with him quite well. He’s a fabulous person to talk with. But it’s obvious that as long as his life is going nowhere, our relationship would go nowhere. I’d probably enjoy a few dates. But I would dump him quickly. He is the sensitive type. I would feel terrible afterward.

#1. He would follow me to the ends of the earth and do everything humanly possible to please me. I have never met a man quite so determined to be with me. One or two have come close. But he takes the cake. Nonetheless, we do not relate on an intellectual level. He is another one that I know I would dump.

I ran into a guy recently who asked me out months ago. When he asked me out, I tried to explain to him in the kindest way possible why we would not fit well together, and I rejected his offer. He is the type of guy who wears his heart on his sleeve. I knew for some time that he liked me. His face lit up when I entered the room. He went out of his way to do things for me. I knew that eventually he would ask me out and I would have to explain my feelings of disinterest. Unfortunately, after that whole scenario played out, he did not miraculously change into a man who is difficult to read. He still wears his heart on his sleeve. Although it has been months, I hate running into him. When I see him, he looks so miserable. I feel like all he thinks when he sees me is, “There she is. There’s the girl who broke my heart.”

To sum this all up – I am pointing out the two primary reasons I do not date.

A)     I am afraid of being hurt or being used. (This is the issue with #4 and #3.)

B)      I am afraid of hurting or using someone else. (This is the issue with #2 and #1.)

I have a feeling that blog posts to follow over the next few weeks will get more serious than they have been for awhile… I am going to delve into fear.

The Challenge

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Yesterday I posted Selfish Single. Then I ran some errands and went for a long ride with Arthur. I didn’t really know where I was going – in fact, at one point I ended up on a road with loose gravel (not fun to handle a motorcycle like mine on gravel) and I almost got lost. I just rode.

I don’t think I will ever outgrow that feeling of intense freedom I find while driving a motorcycle.

As I rode, I pondered. I often think best on my bike. My thoughts turned from freedom to bondage to pointless rules to things I fear to the differences between rebels and freedom-seekers to Free-Spirited Singleness. When I arrived home, I wrote that post and scheduled it to publish today.

When I checked WordPress to see if it posted successfully today, I saw a new comment on Selfish Single. To spare anyone the effort of going all the way back to that post to see the comment I am referring to, allow me to share:

Less thinking, more doing! :-p The more you sit and ponder over whether or not to do something, the more you are missing out on the pure joy of exploring the unknown. Sure, things can go wrong and you can be hurt, but you work through that stuff and it develops you as a person.

What is there to lose? Do you want to look back and say that you took chances when there were chances available or look back and say, wow, I kind of didn’t do much.

So my challenge for you is to go out and explore, go on dates with men, you don’t have to get serious, just go for a date. If it works, then it works, if it doesn’t, then on to the next one. :-)

Matt

I’m still somewhat speechless to be honest. I think I’ve said the word “WOW” outloud at least 90 times now… I hear very similar advice from my best friend, my brother, and a few others I know well. But to hear this from someone across the world who knows me only through this blog…. WOW.

So, Matt, I can’t deny the truth in your words. I know at least four of my friends have specific guys in mind to set me up with right now. I’m being rather hypocritical to say that I love freedom and that I seek it out when I simultaneously put bars up all around myself to keep men away. I guess what I’m saying is… I accept your challenge. We’ll see how I do.

BTW – as long as I’m bringing his comment into my post, I may as well advertise for him. His blog is pretty fabulous. Check it out:

http://throughtheeyesofarider.wordpress.com/

 

Mr. Good Enough?

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Still pondering this book by Lori Gottlieb called Marry Him [The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough]… I cannot help but wonder, have I misjudged any Mr. Good Enoughs in my own pursuit for Mr. Perfect?

Mr. Dominant was a stable, Christian man. Thoughtful. Kind. Chivalrous. Full of integrity, I have no doubt. But I call him Mr. Dominant for a reason – he’s your ultimate man’s man. Hard head. Strong backbone. He liked me because so far we agreed on many things. But I knew that the moment I disagreed with him, we would fight. We are both fighters – we would have to fight. And the fights would probably get vicious. He always struck me as the kind of guy who would throw out a statement like, “Woman, submit!” in a fierce argument. I turned him down.

Mr. Marijuana Enthusiast. He’s not Christian. Super laid-back. Friendly. Seems to be a good listener. Deep thinker. He’s the kind of guy who can be friends with anyone. And he also thinks pot should be legalized. I’ve only ever expressed one opinion against marijuana to him. I told him I didn’t think he should smoke before he rode his motorcycle because it would slow down his reflexes which is terribly dangerous on a bike. Ever since then he has taken every opportunity to tell me why marijuana is good and helpful to people or society as a whole. He is obviously an addict, as opposed to a social smoker. And I know where he works – I don’t know how he affords his habit. I avoid the relationship avenue in conversation. 

Mr. Too Shy to Say Hi. Christian. Seemed sweet. My pastor spoke extremely highly of him. Servant-hearted. That’s about all I know. Because he almost never talked. One day after I had known him and had been trying to pull him out of his shell for weeks, he walked up beside me and stopped. He just stood there next to me. I prayed to God and said, “If he says even one word I will talk to him. But he has to say something. Anything. Even just ‘hi’. I will not speak to him until he initiates.” After a good two minutes of silence, he walked away. I sighed in frustration, and pretty much completely ignored him from then on.

Mr. Excitable. Newly saved. Friends with my brother. Very expressive. Very talkative. Gushed over me. He was completely obsessed with alcohol and his new ability to buy it [I wasn’t 21 yet]. Asked me out seconds after he told me that he didn’t date girls my age. I laughed in his face. He never wanted to see me again.

Mr. Old Man. Not Christian. Great job – not only did he love his work, but he was successful. Polite. Friendly. Obviously interested in me – without seeming pervy – which was very flattering. Terrible with time management. Left me hanging several times. But always tried to make it up. Very generous. Workaholic. Refused to date him due to the difference in faith. If he became Christian… I would probably still refuse him because he is 16 years older than me. We’re still friendly acquaintances.

Mr. Hippie. Christian. Artistic. We seem to have similar life desires and interests. I’m amazed at how much we agree on nearly everything we discuss. And the discussions are fabulous. But the job thing is constantly fluctuating. Reliability in general kind of sucks. Haven’t made any real decisions about him yet.

Mr. Catholic. Christian – from the world’s perspective. But I want a man that I can view as my spiritual leader. And there is a lot about Catholicism that I disagree with wholeheartedly. Other than that, I think he’s great. Funny. Upbeat. Stable job. Shared hobby. Respectful. Nice to be around. I smile at the end of nearly every phone call. Even if he’s calling with a problem. Haven’t made any firm decisions about this one either.

Mr. Prince Charming. Christian. Tall, dark, and handsome. Values women. Treats his mother like an angel. Good job. Makes me laugh. Laid-back. He’s really a winner all-around. I would TOTALLY date him. But he’s never asked me out… Am I aiming too high?

Well -these are a few… What do you think, guys? Was I too harsh? Am I as bad as the girls in Gottlieb’s book that I scoffed at? I want to know: In a man’s opinion, have I passed up (or am I passing up)  a Mr. Good Enough in a way that I shouldn’t have?

Are my current reservations legitimate? Or am I being too picky – even unreasonable? 

Girls, I want to know what you think as well. Have you passed up a Mr. Good Enough, only to cry about it later? What would you consider a dealbreaker?