My, how things have changed
I haven’t written a solid relationship post in a while, it’s just not where my brain’s been over the past few months. But as I’ve been making some updates to my blog recently, I stumbled across a few treasures from the archives and figured, it’s about time for an update.
One of the blessings/curses of doing a lot of writing is that I have a documented trail of my thoughts on this subject spanning the past 8 years or so. It’s simultaneously challenging, humorous and humbling. On more than one occasion I’ve read a post that I myself have written and thought, “Man, I wish I was her”, because it’s totally possible to be convicted by your own quotes. When I write I try to be as honest and real as I can, but a blog post is a word count restricted snap shot of a point I’m trying to make. It’s one dimensional. The reality is that most of what I write is what I’m learning, not what I’ve mastered. Learning takes time, and tests, to challenge beliefs and confirm convictions.
One of the biggest questions I’m faced with now is, are the convictions I held then still applicable now? Because, my, how things have changed!
If you’re one of the billions of people who married in their 20’s, you have no idea how the rules change once you cross the 30’s threshold. How you meet and interact with people takes a huge shift between when this whole thing got started and now, and that necessitates a shift in how dating is approached altogether. I can’t just “hang out in a group and get to know them”, because we didn’t meet through mutual friends who chill in a pack like we did in college. Things have changed.
Another thing that’s changed is the expectations of the people around me. I have people, close to me, championing candidates who would have never passed inspection 2 years ago. Expectations that used to be etched in stone are now drawn in the sand… or are conspicuously absent altogether. Even personally, I’ve had to ask myself if I’m holding out for some impossible unicorn that simply doesn’t exist?
I don’t have extensive lists, but I do have a few items that I hope to check off. It is right to periodically go back and reassess what’s reasonable, what’s realistic and what isn’t. I’ve done this recently, and as objectively as I can be I think most items on my list are basic and non-negotiable. But that doesn’t make the process any easier.
It’s not that there is a lack of great guys out there. Contrary to the lament of many single women, I happen to know a lot of really awesome single guys. The issue isn’t options, it’s understanding my destination.
I’m not 18 anymore, I’m not trying to find myself – I know who I am and where I’m going (thank God!) This isn’t my first rodeo, I don’t have to test-drive a guy to see if he’ll be a good match. I know that a sports car isn’t going to get me where I’m going… a mini-van won’t be compatible either. There’s nothing wrong with either of these cars (or guys) they’re just not the best fit for the road that I’m on. (Please know that I’m writing in analogy here, not speaking of actual cars that guys drive. Don’t get too literal on me.)
If you’re wondering, here’s the “car” that I’ll invest in:
The simple fact is this, I don’t just want to get married. If that’s all I wanted I would have done it a long time ago. I want someone who can partner with me in what God is doing. Not specifically music or what God is having me work on right this minute, but a life that has purpose and intention, a marriage with a point. There’s too much at risk to “missionary date” and I’ve gained too much momentum to slow down and try to pull someone along. Either you’re pursuing God or we’re not dating.
God made me to be a strong person. There are a lot of amazing guys out there, but few know how to interact with a powerful female. The two most common reactions are to either roll over and play dead or see a powerful woman as a challenge and someone to conquer. In both scenarios someone gets crushed, and that’s not how I want my marriage to be. I need my husband to know that my strength isn’t a threat to his, but a compliment.
Finally, I want a husband who can be my friend. I see a lot of marriages that work, but aren’t friendly. The couple has nothing in common and they need time apart to enjoy their interests. Don’t get me wrong, being a solid introvert, I’m fully in support of alone time. But I don’t want to feel like I need to get away from my husband to have fun, or vice versa.
Being single as an established adult has it’s moments. It can be amazingly awesome as well as really hard… just like marriage. God and I are doing great things, and they have nothing to do with my relationship status. If/when my unicorn comes along, we’ll explore the great things we can do together, until then, I’ll be exploring the great things I can do right now.
It’s a win/win if you ask me.