Since I’ve probably watched every thing on Netflix already (and by watch, I mean that I listen to it while I work and catch a few scenes visually if the windows on my desktop fit together properly), I’ve started to listen to Podcasts again. Yesterday I caught this series on Strangers about the director’s love life. I tend to zone out here and there depending on the level of concentration needed for work at the moment, but the main thing I took away, was this metaphor in regards to dating:
Many people go into dating like they go into a grocery store when they are hungry. They are so hungry that they start picking up Pringles and gummy bears and chocolate and cheese and then they get home and they realize that they forgot to get anything for the meal that they were going to make. They pick up the junk or the thing that is pleasurable, delicious, momentary because they were just looking for whatever would fill them up right then.
I do it all the time. It is often because I totally forget that in a few hours I’m going to be hungry and I should think ahead and before desperation sets in, make a hearty, healthy meal.
And surprise, surprise, I 100% do this in my dating life. It is no secret that I am a little bit handicapped in the realm of dating. I have a very full life that I am so grateful for. I keep so busy between work and exercise and church and friends and fellowship that I forget that there is going to be a time that I desire romantic companionship. And then it hits me like a giant wave in the ocean. In that moment, I can’t wipe the feeling of desperation to have that part of my life filled.
So what happens then? I take whatever comes first. Someone asks me on a date. I go. I know it’s not right, but I go with it because it’s pleasurable, (maybe not delicious), momentary. I say, well, I can’t see this lasting that long, but I’ll take what I can get. Just like my experience in the grocery store. And then a month later I realize I didn’t plan ahead, seek something healthy and hearty and right and took the first thing that came my way and then have to end this little month long investment.
A lot of times when I feel this desire so harshly, I sign up on some online dating site. Do it for a month. Go on so many dates (as in, I pick up the pringles, chocolate, cheese, cheetos all at the same time). The dates crash and burn. I become discouraged and I retreat back into the comfort of my steady life and complain about dating. I should add that it’s not that these men are “bad” or “junk,” we just aren’t compatible in the ways that I am looking for.
I honestly don’t know totally what it means to buy the right ingredients in preparation for something healthy quite yet. I don’t really believe in “focusing on myself” in order to find a fulfilling relationship. I have a lot to offer a relationship and happen to love the life I have, but am also aware that in my humanness and in my femininity, I am made for this companionship and that this companionship is not about being “perfect.”
Maybe it means being open when I wanted to be closed. To not let it be so black and white. And to also have patience. I’ve been hearing a lot lately that it really is just about meeting the right person, which you cannot force or will into existence.
For now, I’m going to remember to nicely say no to the potato chips.
Please please please tell me your dating stories.
And lastly, as a very funny adendum, Alex asked me on Sunday to please get a boyfriend so that people would stop thinking that we were together. It’s starting to get tiresome and he stated that he doesn’t want to get a girlfriend so it’s up to me. But then we had a chuckle about the likeliness of that happening with the statistics from my past dating life.
Here is the podcast I heard, if you’re interested.
Oh love, do I GET that desperation. Coincidentally, we were having a discussion about this in our young adult faith group the other night (comprised of 20-30 year olds). We were talking about dating, and what it looked like in our generation amongst Christians. And I voiced my opinions that it’s kind of on this weird pendulum path. That there’s the 27+ year olds who aren’t dating, mainly because they’ve experienced the potato chips and have committed to the patience, and are putting in the work for a healthy meal. But not many are looking to put in that effort (we are an instant gratification generation after all), and so the fields of potential dates are sparse. And then the younger 20 somethings (like myself) join the group, freak out when we see 32 year olds not even close to a serious relationship and fear that’ll be our outcome, and suddenly in that harsh sense of emptiness, we grab for, you guessed it; the potato chips. It’s a weird back and forth pattern. Sorry, little tangent over. Any advice for a 23 year old who hasn’t had a man even flirt with her, let alone been on a date/kissed someone? :)
Your Sister in Christ,