Awkward First Dates

First dates are awkward. But they can be even more awkward if you’re not sure if you’re even on a date.

Guys, I implore you to make it clear to a woman you are interested in that you are taking her on a date.

You are not “hanging out”.

That is the most frustrating thing in the world. I feel like guys won’t risk even asking women out in a clear manner anymore.

I get it: rejection sucks. No one wants to ask anyone out because no one wants to be rejected. And yet, if you never go on dates, it will be hard to find a person who wants to be in a relationship (if that’s even what you want). (Also, if that’s not what you want, that’s totally okay too. Just ignore this post).

I recently went on a date (apparently it was a date, I found out later, I wasn’t clear on that when it occurred) that I thought went really well. I expected him to ask me out again. And then I never heard from him. Which was super awkward, since I’ve known him for like a year and we hang out in the same friend-group. So then I’m wondering, “well gosh, maybe I’m the only one that had a good time, he obviously wasn’t into it like I was!” and that’s when the rejection sinks in.

And it makes you feel like you’re not good enough.

The older I get, the more I realize how little the physical stuff matters and how much more important it is to find someone who is rooted in Christ. When you really get to know someone, the physical stuff tends to fall away anyway. Or at least in my experience, people become more attractive to you when you fall in love with them.

I want to find someone to love for the rest of my life (and I hope that I will live a long one). This means that I want to really know the person before I go and get married. My parents have been married over 35 years, and they seem to just be more in love as time goes on. That is what I want.

I don’t want to be anyone’s “starter wife”. I don’t want divorce to ever be an option. I want to find a partner to go through this crazy life with that will love me furiously, as I will him. We will both be broken, and flawed, because we are only human. But that’s where the importance of a relationship with God comes in.

I had a great first date last night. However, we have not had a serious religion talk yet, so I’m nervous/anxious about that. I don’t want to like someone too much and find out he is not on the same page as me when it comes to that stuff. I don’t want the heartache (again) of falling in love with someone who doesn’t believe the same things I do– and I’m not saying I need to find someone who agrees with everything I do on every subject.

 

The entire situation with my ex-boyfriend is made fraught with the fact that I still him regularly (he works at the same company). Don’t worry, I’ll never make that mistake again…. I tried to say no the first couple of times he asked me out, but I finally gave in. Then we ended up dating for over two years. If we had gotten married like I thought we were going to, it would have made for a lovely story. But that’s not what happened.

After that experience, I know that I won’t ever leave the awkward Jesus conversations until after I’ve fallen for a guy. Some questions I’ve decided that I would like to talk about when talking to a single guy:

  • Does he go to church? Or if he doesn’t have a current church, is he willing to check out yours? Are you on the same page in regards to attendance and serving? (For instance, I’m also involved in a weekly community group and volunteer in the nursery). Is he on the same page as you?
  • Does he believe that Jesus is the son of God and that he died on the cross for our sins?
  • Is he willing to lead in your relationship? Will he pray with you, and for you?

All things I now consider very important when trying to find a Godly man. The ending of my last serious relationship really damaged my confidence and eroded my self-esteem.

I felt like I couldn’t trust my judgement anymore regarding men (I was so sure I was going to marry him, I just KNEW it. He was “the one” and that was all there was to it.)

Of course, that’s not what happened at all. Because real life is not a hallmark movie. Real life is not black and white, it’s all gray. Real life involves humans who end up disappointing and hurting us (even when they’re trying not to).

And it took me getting hurt multiple times to realize that just because people love each other, that does NOT mean that those people should automatically get married and have kids. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, even when you care for someone. Sometimes, it takes buckets of tears and months for you to feel semi-normal again.

I’m just extremely grateful to God that I was able to have a very enjoyable first date experience. It was refreshing and it gave me a little hope for the future (that I will not be alone forever).

Here’s to hoping.

Musings on Change, the Holy Spirit, and Inspiration on the Web

THIS:

“Going back to the old isn’t the answer” -Kacie

Source: I Don’t Want To Be Whatever I Want To Be

I love it when I read something, and it makes me say, “finally, someone who understands what I’m feeling right now.”

It means I am not alone.

A lot of the time lately, I feel completely alone.

There are a lot of things changing for me, and I’m mourning the end of a season in my life.

They say you have to grieve.

Grieving sucks.

I remember a time, when I believe the Holy Spirit was with me. WITH ME. As in, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, and it gave me this feeling…. of the uttermost peace. Peace like I have never felt before.

You may think that I am crazy, or that I was just on drugs (I wasn’t). Or that maybe I’m just mentally unstable, to feel something vague like a “presence” of the “Holy Spirit”.

You may think one, or all, of these things. But the truth is, I don’t really care what you think.

I would, however, in my current time of turmoil, very much like to feel that presence in my life again.

It seems that the more I try to get back to that place, that feeling, the more elusive it becomes. Sometimes I wonder if I imagined the entire thing. (Now, you say, obviously she is crazy).

At that time in my life, I was going through some difficult things. I had just broken up with my college boyfriend, who I had dated for three years. It came down to the question, are we going to get married? I had come back to God, and was going back to church, and he was not interested in that. I realized that I couldn’t marry him, and that was the beginning of the end of that. Even though I was terrified, and he was my best friend, I knew I was doing the right thing.

Now, I have one of my best friends moving to the Midwest, and I am grieving that. I have this feeling of abandonment, even though I know that’s not really what’s happening. I also feel selfish for feeling that way, when I know it has been hard for her to give up her life here for something totally different.

I am giving up the idea that I may ever have a job that I enjoy, and will be able to support myself (because, you know, why don’t I just get married already?) (a suggestion from people at work).

I question whether or not God has a plan for me that involves anything other than pain. Because that is what I’m dealing with now. I have been looking for another job for almost 8 months now, and it just doesn’t seem to be happening for me.

I am grieving the person that I thought I was, because I’m not where I thought I would be by now.

I went to get my Christmas decorations from my ex’s house (they were in his attic). It made me sad to think that we had made all of these plans together, and that none of it worked out that way. I grieve the loss of that friendship, and the companionship I had with him.

Just lots of sadness. And lots of crying. I’m a crier. I have always been a crier. Whenever I have any strong emotion (even anger) I cry. The friend that’s moving likes to remind me, “tears are healing for the soul.” It’s a good thing to remember in a society that hates tears and showing emotion, especially women who show emotion.

Plans seldom work out the way we think that they will. God probably is up there just giggling at how we think we are in control, when in reality none of us have much control over anything.

I keep wanting to get back to that place, where I felt comfort, and peace.

I can’t seem to get there.

It’s the most frustrating thing.

It seems like God is just out of reach, always another arm’s length away from me.

 

 

The Winter Blues

I’ve been exhausted lately.

Exhausted as in, “go to bed at 8:45pm on a Friday night” exhausted (and sleep straight through the night and wake up at 7:00am the next morning).

It comes with the weather…. the darkness…. the gray sky.

I want to sleep earlier, and sleep in later. I want to come home after work, and not go out again (into the dark). I want to snuggle on the couch under piles of quilts, and curl up with a good book (currently reading “Interrupted” by Jen Hatmaker and some eschatology books that are over my head for the most part, but fascinating just the same).

I don’t want to go to work. (Does anyone ever want to go to work? If so, who are these people? What do they do? How can I be like them?)

I have moved into my new cubicle. It’s very small. I wish I still had an office, so I could play my music without people judging me for my choices. I brought my artwork home as I have nowhere to hang it anymore.

I recently met a girl at church, who I seem to have a lot in common with. She had talked openly about her struggles with depression, which made me feel at ease immediately. We talked about how I’m looking to make some changes in my career path and am wanting to go in a different direction and she said she would keep an ear out for anything.

I ran into her the other day in the parking lot of the grocery store, and she hadn’t gotten back to me about some job connections she had…. and moral of the story is I have a coffee meeting with one of her connections this week. So…… fingers crossed! I know people don’t like to hire around the holidays, so I’m a little concerned about that.  All I can do is keep trying.

My Mom asked me the other day, “Are you trying to fix the problem, or are you letting God fix it?”

Valid question. However, it’s pretty obvious that it’s not going to be me that’s going to make this happen. I’ve been trying to do all I can for months and nothing has happened. God will need to open some doors in order to make this happen. Maybe He just doesn’t want to right now. And that just… really sucks.

Sometimes I just get angry about that part.

Seriously, what are you waiting for??? (Yes, I tend to have casual, daily conversations with God. I believe he knows me so well that he can handle my informal style). I mean, He did design me.

So I continue to try and have patience (not something I excel at) and take it one day at a time. And I’m reading a lot. Distractions are helpful too.

Here’s to distractions and Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving if you’re like me) and hopefully some extra rest (it seems like I need it).

 

Spiraling

I almost quit my job this week.

Have you ever had a day, or even a moment, where you have thought to yourself, “I just can’t do this anymore.” Or how about, “I deserve to be treated better than this.”

Or my favorite, “I didn’t go to college so I could do THIS.”

Lately, I feel completely hopeless in my job hunt. Last time I was looking for a job, I was in Michigan (which had crazy high unemployment going on) and it took me an entire year. In the meantime, I’m lucky I had a job (a job that crushed my soul, but paid the bills)…..

I feel it coming back. The soul crushing.

When someone in upper management grabs your braid, pulls on it as he walks by, and says, “Hey baby”, it’s not okay.

I don’t care what industry you’re in, or how old he is, or even if he doesn’t mean to be creepy when he says it.

It’s still not okay.

The fact that this is a daily occurrence in my life, makes me want to cringe, and hit something, and cry….. and drop some expletives all at the same time.

I work in a culture where women are treated differently all of the time. They moved me from an office, to another office, to a smaller office, to a cubicle. I have boxes of files piled up around me, and the fact that I do stuff with payroll and employee files does not seem to matter because a man needs that office and I am a woman. I didn’t think the move would feel….. so insulting. But it did, and it still does. It’s just one of the many straws that have been piling up.

I’m a woman, in a place where women are dispensable. I know that they do this: they hire someone who works there for years, and then when she makes a certain salary, they “eliminate the position” and then hire someone with no experience so they can hire them at $12.00/hr. There is no loyalty, no consideration, and no care if you are a woman.

These are the times that I miss the Midwest.

I also know that if I said anything, it would not make a difference. Because he is untouchable, and a person of great power within the company. I know because it is this culture of sexism that is pervasive, and encouraged by the people at the top. They do not believe there is anything wrong with this thinking, and it will never change.

I could not even tell you the numerous inappropriate things I hear regularly. There are so many I can’t even count them all.

One time, I wore red lipstick to work, and that was a horrible mistake (cue bad jokes about oral sex and candy canes). I have not worn it since.

I am trying to remember to be grateful: I live in America, where I have the right to drive, and vote, and have a job.

Sometimes it’s hard to be grateful.

If I were a man, I would be making at least $5k more a year for doing the same job.

I’ve had people at work tell me I should, “just get married.”

As if it were that easy. As if I do not wish that I could find a Godly-driven man to love me in my brokenness, and me in his…. as if I do not pray to find a partner in life…. these are things I want.

God knows the desires of my heart. I dated a man here for over 2 years. I thought we were going to be married, start a family, etc….. It didn’t work out. I grieved this loss deeply. I grieved the fact that I no longer had a future with this man, whom I loved.

Some days I feel I am still grieving.

Life is complicated. The older I get, the easier it is to see that nothing is easy. Counting on God and trusting Him gets harder and harder when you don’t see what His plan is.

When you don’t understand the plan it is hard to see past the pain.

With all of the terrorism and horrible things that are happening in our world currently, I feel it is even more important to cling to God.

Consequently, I feel it is becoming more difficult to cling to Him when I’m so frustrated and angry about His plan for my life.

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you”

                                                                                        –Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)

In the meantime, all I can do is keep applying for other jobs, and keep taking it one day at a time. I don’t know why God is not allowing any other doors to open for me right now. I’m angry, and annoyed, and sure that He could get me another job tomorrow if He wanted to. And there’s the crux: if He wanted to. How do I know….. how can I understand, what His plan is? I can’t at all and it’s infuriating. It’s making me question that He loves me. It’s making me question everything.

Prayers are appreciated as I try to hold onto the good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dating Sucks

I’m just going to say it: dating really sucks.

Dating when you’re a Christian seems to be even more difficult. People don’t get it; they don’t get why you have certain ideas about what should or should not happen on a date, or what the big deal is about sex, or a man pursuing a woman…..

“Your idea of dating is antiquated”, they say.

“Get real…. No man is going to be okay with not sleeping with you”.

To be honest, I’m getting sick of answering questions about my dating life (or lack thereof) because I’m sick of seeing people’s reactions. I can tell when they think I’m being ridiculous (even if they don’t say it). I want it to not bother me. But it still does sometimes.

People are in disbelief. “No one has standards these days”, they say.

But that does not mean that as a believer, I should just say, “oh well everyone else is doing it so…..” like it doesn’t matter. People may not understand it, but actually, they don’t need to. They just need to respect it. If your friends can’t respect your boundaries, get some new friends.

We are all broken people. I am broken, and so are you. We all have pasts…. pasts that have hurt us, and hurt others. But there is grace from God. As believers, we can repent and ask for forgiveness and have the slate wiped clean. Jesus is not holding your past against you. So it doesn’t matter what happened in the past, if you are holding yourself to a higher standard now….. that is what is important.

This is something that can be hard for me to believe at times. I can’t always believe that God isn’t judging me for my past mistakes and reminding me of all of the times I’ve messed up. It seems too good to be true for Him to forgive me and just let it go.

I feel like most dating articles/books are about manipulating: manipulating other people and manipulating situations in order to get what you want (whatever that may be). Is this really the way to an honest, healthy relationship?

We are told that as believers we are not “of this world”. There should be something different about believers. That’s something that I have struggled with myself. I am a believer, but sometimes I wonder if people who meet me, or know me from work, can see a difference between me and a nonbeliever. Or are we both just “nice”? We can all be nice, even moral, people when we want to be.

How do I, as a believer, show Jesus’ love to others? How am I showing others that He has made a difference in my life? Or am I too wrapped up in my own struggles to focus on anyone else? I think a big part of it is telling our own stories to others. This is something that I have gotten better at, but still makes me anxious. Dating makes all of this stuff even more difficult… it seems to have gotten more and more complicated over time:

  • Who is supposed to pay? (I would say that the guy should normally pay for the first date, but I tend to be old fashioned about that)
  • Is it better to be friends first or not – (there seems to be a huge difference of opinion on this)

This is what I’m thinking on tonight. I don’t feel well, and I’m drinking tea and laying on the couch. It’s one of those times that I think: it would be so nice to have someone here with me, taking care of me. Someone who will run to the store and get ginger ale or soup, or more Nyquil. The little things that help you get through the night (when you can’t talk or breathe out of your nose). Hopefully someday I’ll find someone who wants to take care of me when I’m sick, because I know I’m pretty awesome at taking care of others when they need it.

I’m sure that God has this whole thing planned out, but sometimes (especially now, when I’m single, and lonely) that I just want to say to Him “WHAT IS THE HOLD UP?!” because I don’t get it. I’m getting older and I’m afraid that I’m running out of time. I’m pretty sure that is a lie from Satan and I’m not THAT OLD AT ALL and need to just relax. Of course that is easier said than done.

I’ll keep working on it.