Chin Up, Buttercup!

When Smiley and I were in public or talking about grown-up topics things were great. I enjoyed our time. I connected. We had the basics, the foundation of beliefs and values that is needed. He actually pursued and was a gentleman in a way that made me feel valued and respected. Where it broke down was in just hanging out and having fun.

Honestly, the more time we spent together and the more comfortable he got with me….well… the less I was attracted to him.

He’s goofy. I’m goofy. But it wasn’t the same kind of goofy. I didn’t really laugh much. I didn’t think he was funny and he tried so hard to be funny and it just made me feel awkward and bad.

I can’t fake stuff very well. I’m just me. Occasionally I’ll humor people if I absolutely feel that I have to in the situation, but for the most part I suck at it. I’m just an honest broad who ain’t got no qualms about being genuine. And I’m not super great at schmoozing people. Needless to say, I can’t fake having fun and laughing for the rest of my life so this was problematic.

I know that no matter who I marry I will have to deal with him doing annoying things and he will drive me up the wall in some way. I acknowledged this as my mom, my sister, Dreamer, and Charmer filled me in on the various ways that their husbands got on their nerves (the way he chews, the awful clicky noise he always makes, etc.)….but the problem with Smiley was that his annoying quirks made him seem SUPER unmanly and were an enormous turn-off. It makes me cringe just thinking about it. Their husbands were just doing things that, yes, were annoying, but didn’t make them seem less manly in their eyes.

Now, please understand me. I think that Smiley is going to be a WONDERFUL husband to someone and make a really great girl very happy. I genuinely do. That girl just isn’t me.

As I’ve mentioned, I am an INFP (only a slight F though). I don’t express my emotions a ton, or at least not with words to people. Occasionally I’ll write a blog post to process. Occasionally I’ll try to put my feelings into words and it usually is a process because I don’t know how I feel the majority of the time, nor does it really concern me. I have emotions. I feel them. I don’t feel the constant need to express them.

Smiley is an ISFJ. The world of an SF-type generally exists in the now. Meaning, what they see before them is their reality and they will have an emotional response to it. They have lots of feelings and those feelings are powerful and dominant. Bushbaby is an ISFP. She needs reminding in a tangible sense (words or a hug or a smile) that she is loved and everything is good. She also expresses her emotions more often. Even if she knows that she is loved by someone, it’s hard for her to accept that and feel peaceful if she’s not sensing it and she will feel turmoil about the situation until she’s reassured in a tangible way.

Smiley was the same. Only, he felt the need to talk about his emotions ALL THE TIME. At first he was constantly bombarding me with texts about his excitement and his feelings and his feelings and emotions and feelings…until I told him in a very nice way that I needed some space because I don’t work like he does and I’m trying to figure out my feelings and that’s hard to do when I don’t have space to even process them. How can I know if I’m excited to see you when you are constantly telling me about your excitement. It’s hard to react to someone’s excitement and emotions when you don’t know how you feel, and yet there’s a pressure to react when someone is constantly emotioning on you.

This is what I learned that I need. It’s perfectly ok and good for a man to have emotions. I don’t want to marry someone who can’t communicate and is completely stoic. I don’t want a robot or someone heartless. Future Husband, HAVE emotions. FEEL things. But please don’t feel the need to express them 98% of the time. I can’t take it. I’m the girl. I want to be the more emotional one, or at least not have you be WAY more emotional than me. I can’t deal. I will be nurturing and take care of your heart, but I can’t baby you. And I’m not a gusher. I’m never going to go on and on about how I feel. Nor am I going to text constantly throughout the day. Need mah space! Nor am I going to constantly reassure you 20 million times that I do, in fact, like you and am glad to see you. I need someone who is also intuitive to know that I love them because I’m spending time with them. Who will know that I love them not only because I say it, but because they know me and they just know. They can have the fact of my love in their head and just trust it. Again, expressing love is important, but trusting it and not needing to say it constantly is important, too. To me anyways, because that’s how I’m wired.

He needs someone like him. I’ve met girls who, similarly, need to be reassured. Who need love expressed over and over all the time. Who love to share how they feel and who KNOW how they feel most of the time. I’m very hopeful he will find that.

I also learned that it is more important that I find him manly than that we are both nerdy. Smiley and I had many things in common, but when it was all said and done having those common interests wasn’t enough to make up for the lack of masculinity.

I’m sure you want to know what he did that was so unmanly? Well, he REALLY liked cutesy things. And, you know, it’s okay for a man to think things are cute! I’m cool with that. But how a man expresses it can really alter a woman’s perspective of him. For example, if you’re watching a movie and there’s a cute animal, it’s cool if the guy says, “Aw,” or, “That’s cute.” The woman goes, He’s secure enough in his masculinity to admit he thinks something is cute! But if he starts squealing like a little six-year-old girl over the cute animal and bouncing up and down on the couch…well…

WHAT IS HAPPENING!?

He also would send me “Cutes” as he called them which would be various pictures or videos of cute animals. I can appreciate cute things but that is not how you woo me. Just…what? And he actually used the word “Squeee” in his text messages.

“I’m so excited to see you Saturday! Only two more days! Squee!”

Me:

and why? WHY!? Why are you a middle-school girl!?

Seriously, it makes me shudder a little just remembering some of these occurrences. And there were plenty of other things that added up but those effeminate reaction moments were by far the most painful.

When I ended it he got very upset and it was not a fun conversation. I honestly had done my best to do right by him and when I ended it I tried to be as kind as possible. But he was mad anyway. I know he was disappointed but he kind of accused me of leading him on (to which I replied that I told him as soon as I knew it wasn’t going anywhere) and then accused me of being very closed off and walled (which I didn’t respond to, but know is bull because I was as open and honest with him as I could be). I felt like he reacted as though I was ending a long-term and serious relationship when the truth was it was 6 dates. I knew he was speaking out of his emotion, but I wished he’d shown more grace or at least had the sense to not emotionally vomit all over everything. But he wasn’t done. An hour later I received a text from him. And if I needed any more reassurance that I’d done the right thing I certainly got it.

He told me he loved me. He said he needed me to know though I didn’t feel the same. He said he loved me “in the purest form of I Corinthians 13.” Then he said something about “thanks for the best of times.”

And then he added a weepy emoji.

A WEEPY EMOJI, GUYS!!!

This one!

Me:

I didn’t respond. There is no correct response to that Hail Mary or last farewell or whatever the hell it was. Thank you, Smiley, for embarrassing us both by rashly deciding to text before you’d managed to climb out of your emotions box.

I’m sad that I hurt him but overall I don’t regret dating him. I’m a little bummed it ended so unnecessarily icky but that’s part of dating.

It did help me see that, even though he wasn’t the whole package, there are still men of character out there who are single and who will pursue. And I got to know myself a little better and what is important to me and what isn’t when looking for a spouse.

So I’m going to chin up! Overall this dating experience was a win!

The Rapunzel Analogy

So two posts ago I referenced the movie Tangled to describe some of my feelings about dating. Since then I’ve discovered the best analogy!

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my pleasure to introduce:

The Rapunzel Analogy!!!! *brilliant fanfare ensues*

You know how I was talking about being sparing with my affection unless I’m certain of my feelings?

So it goes like this: I’m Rapunzel at the top of my tower. A man comes along and takes interest. Well, I can see him. I’m even interested enough to let down my hair, but he’s still got to climb the tower in order for us to be together. I’m incapable of pulling him up on my own, and I do not have the patience for that kind of laziness. I’ve got the hair, you’ve got the muscles. If you want to be with me you’ve got to climb. It takes effort and time and careful planning of the next foothold.

When Puzzles put his arm around me he had not gotten remotely close to the window yet. He basically put his arm around the base of a stony and cold tower. I felt awkward and I know he felt it, too.

Different women have towers of different heights. Mine is particularly high, but I’m willing to let my hair down. I’m working on doing that. Other women need to stop jumping out of their towers in desperation. Their tower could be a little higher. Some women have super tall towers but refuse to let their hair down for anyone.

Also, women need to be pursued even after the tower has been scaled. There’s always a tower, always new heights to climb. And in different aspects of a woman’s being as well. It isn’t just emotionally. This is reflected in sex. You can’t just jump on her and expect her to like it. Got to climb that tower, buddy. Emotionally and physically. I know it seems unfair to always have to be climbing but that’s part of why men and women work. A woman can always present a new adventure, a new challenge, just by her very nature.

And if she is a good woman who sees your worth she will do her best to pull you up as well. To help you out a little. And to give you the enormous reward of her love during those special moments when you are both in the tower together.

A couple weeks ago a new man presented himself at the base of my tower (he contacted me on EHarmony). Almost offhandedly I thought, “Eh, why not?” and replied. And let me just tell you. He’s climbing.

That’s right. I’ve actually got a love interest!

Just dating but I’m actually excited about this one. When dating Puzzles Mom would ask “Well? How are you feeling? Do you like him?” And I’d always reply, “I don’t know.” Like this:

But after I met this new guy I answered “I dunno…” like this:

Okay, maybe I wasn’t THAT girly about it but it was a much more optimistic “I dunno!” and that’s saying something.

He’s a good man. He’s a man of character. He’s a communicator. He comes from a very similar background and I have yet to have any red-flags about values and beliefs. And he’s kind and full of joy. He sees people and loves people. And conversation is definitely way more natural than with Puzzles. And he’s fun-loving and goofy.

I don’t know what to nickname him…oh wait! Yes I do! My 5-year-old niece met him (that’s another story for another time) and told my sister out of the blue, “I like Aunt Ace’s friend. He’s really smiley. They should be friends for a long time and then they should get married.” How cute is that!? So I’ll call him Smiley. Thank you, Neice #1.

On the second date I definitely had moments of “Oh, crap! This could actually go somewhere!” Which of course terrified me. We’ve been on four dates by now and the last one was really good. I’ll explain why with another story.

This story is a confession because it’s really embarrassing.

In college I dated this guy for about a month. Didn’t get as far as calling him my boyfriend or anything, just going on dates. Well, the whole time I dated him I was trying hard to figure out if I liked him romantically. Same sort of situation as Puzzles.

Again, I must reiterate how inexperienced I am when it comes to actual real-life romance and dating. And back then even more so!

We were watching a movie at his house and while sitting on his couch poor innocent inexperienced me gave him the “Hold My Hand” signal without realizing it. He reaches over and tries to take my hand. Right as he gets to my hand, I clench my hand tight in a fist.

What have I done!

I gave him the signal! I totally just gave him the signal! But I closed my fist so now I’m sending the opposite signal…why isn’t he getting it!?

The guy took the unintended hint #1 but refused to accept hint #2…well a tightly closed fist isn’t even a hint! He wouldn’t take handholding rejection! He kept trying to pry my hand open!

We struggled this way for a moment and then I finally pulled my arm away from him and mumbled SUPER awkwardly, “Don’t hold my hand.”

How. Mortifying. So painful even after all these years.

It was really tense until after the movie and then I had to try and explain that I didn’t mean to give him the signal and then reject him, I just wasn’t ready. Which is in itself embarrassing.

Also, when I was “going out” with a boy in 8th grade I broke up with him when I found out he wanted to hold my hand. Apparently holding hands is a big deal to me based on my reactions. Some of my favorite movie romance moments happen when handholding is emphasized such as Ivy and Lucius in The Village and Wall-E and EVE. Not to mention countless Doctor Who hand holding moments.

Sigh.

Well, on our last date I was sharing something kind of vulnerable and struggling to find the words. He reached over and placed his hand on mine. It was perfect. He knew that it was exactly what I needed in that moment.

What’s more, I make him really nervous most of the time (which, I have to admit, is pretty darn cute), and he’s usually kinda shaky and tense with nervous energy. But when we held hands he was so calm and sure and it was so sweet!

Later he tentatively reached for my hand again and grabbed two of my fingers. I looked at him with a smile and said shyly, “You can have my whole hand, Smiley.” He smiled back and we talked for a while while palm to palm.

(By the way, I’m a total girly mess right now)

He’s climbing the tower and I’m doing my best to let my hair down and help him along. He may not be Future Hubby, but he’s definitely worth giving a shot and getting to know and taking the risk for.

It’s terrifying but also really nice at the same time.

“Why are they still single? What’s wrong with them?”

Even I am guilty of saying this.

Let’s be honest, the assumption that there is an undesirable reason someone is still single is an easy assumption to make.

Because we’ve all known those perpetually strange folks who are socially awkward. Or those guys who never want to grow up and act like teenagers into their thirties. Or those girls who are super insecure and will date anyone and end up just being used. Or that guy who is stalkery toward women and creeps them out. Or that girl who is painfully shy and can’t even have a conversation with the opposite sex.

It’s hard not to judge someone when they are nearing middle-age and still single. You naturally just wonder what’s wrong with them. I get it. I do it. And then sometimes I wonder the same thing about myself.

What’s wrong with me? Am I unattractive? Am I awkward? Do I have a glaring flaw that I’m blind to?

But then I think of Reader and how she was socially awkward and not exactly the most attractive girl and yet she married WAY before I did. I think of other people who have numerous or significant flaws who have found love, people that you can’t help but raise your eyebrows when you hear they are getting married. I know this makes me sound pretty terrible but you know. YOU KNOW and don’t act like you don’t.

Your mom: Did you hear that So’n’So is getting married?

You:

And just when you are about to process that So’n’So…SO’N’SO of all people!!!…has found someone who is willing to not only put up with but also tap that…THEN the thought hits you–

If SO’N’SO can find someone then what the hell is wrong with ME!!!!!!?

And then your thoughts and self esteem kind of do this:

Your mom is the bird but she doesn’t know it.

But then logic and reason eventually return and let you realize that So’n’So is marrying someone equally strange and it’s nice that most of the time there’s someone for everyone…even the quirky ones, and so there HAS to be someone for you (as if you aren’t quirky at all, right?). And also that you literally do not KNOW anybody and don’t get out of your bubble very much and also you have high standards and you are unique and so it’s going to take someone awesome and unique in a way that compliments you and it’s all going to be okay. You are happy being single. You won’t settle for less than God’s best. You are open and optimistic but also patient and enjoying the time you’ve been given with your friends and the people He’s placed in your life to minister to.

Shut up, Satan! There’s nothing horribly wrong with me. I’m just waiting on God’s timing!

And then you hear that people have been asking if you and your roommate are lesbians.

And then you do a little this:

And then feel John Watson’s pain and inform the messenger:

Because someone is single does not mean they are gay. Because they spend time with their best friend a lot doesn’t mean they are gay. It means they are single and they have a best friend. No one would think a thing about it if I was younger, but because I’m single and nearing thirty…oh I must be gay. Nope. Sorry. I’m interested in men. Women don’t do it for me. Thanks for assuming that about me.

Also, thank you woman who watched me grow up, for not trusting me to drive a van full of students because “Are you old enough to drive a rented van?” “Um, yes. I’m 28 years old and I’ve driven it before, and I’ve never been in a wreck and have been a responsible driver in the 12+ years I’ve been driving.” I bet you anything that if I were married this wouldn’t be in question (I understand I look younger than I am and that that is a good thing, but being treated like I’m irresponsible is really frustrating when 20-year-old married people get more credit than I do).

Married friends, thank you so much for assuming that I’m miserable and worthy of your pity because you are one of the blessed married people while I’m a poor lonely spinster. Thanks for the frequent consolation that he’s out there or that “we’ll find you a guy” when you actually have never set me up with anyone. But, you know, you seem to feel worse about my singleness than I do, so when it comes to your pity, thanks but no thanks.

People assume you are too picky, or you need to get out more. People assume all kinds of things and it’s hard enough sometimes when you are having to fight the lie that there’s something wrong with you that makes you unworthy of love without others speculating and accusing you, too.

That’s not to say that you “Shake It Off” as TSwift would say, because in reality it’s just not that easy. In reality it isn’t bad to question and examine yourself to see where you need to change, where you need to become the person that the person you’re looking for is looking for. But in the end what matters is what God knows about you and what you know about you. You persevere though it feels unjust, trusting that God sees you and truly does have a purpose for the delay. Trusting that you’re life is on the course He set and that is the course that will bring Him the most glory and in the end, you the most joy.

In the end I think “What’s wrong with that person? Why are they still single?” is a harmful way of thinking. Singleness is not actually tied to performance or favor or worthiness. It’s not something that needs fixing. Some single people are walking the path God has laid out for them. Some people are still single because they are doing it absolutely right.

Still here! Still Single, Still Horny, Still…Well, You Know The Rest!

I’ve been asked if I’m abandoning this blog and the answer is a solid no. I realize it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted and I’ve had some reasons for that. Mostly because this has been one of the most chaotic winters/springs I’ve ever had. Usually I get a little reprieve in January/February but this year I hit the ground running with hardly time to catch my breath. I can’t believe it’s already May! Since my last post I’ve been in weddings, gone on mission trips, switched out a roommate with another, moved houses (the most recent development), and dated and stopped dating a guy I met online (I know, I know!). And that’s just my personal life! Work has been busier than ever, too, and so I’ve hardly had time to write anything!

But enough about all that. I’m here to write about singleness, horniness, and walking with the Lord through those things.

So, first things first (drumroll please….)……..Online dating.

Not long after my last post I realized I was over my qualms about online dating and sure why not I’ll give it a shot.

BLECH.

Now, I’m not saying everything has been bad about it but the “BLECH” comes from the experience as a whole. Online dating is work. And it’s the kind of work that makes you feel shallow and discouraged. It’s a LOT of work with what seems like not much payoff.

What I mean is this:

I’m an introvert. When I get to know someone it is a drain on my energy. Who I invest my time in is an important choice. It is truly and INVESTMENT because it takes something out of me and therefore it needs to be worth it. I’m not talking about generally being kind and caring about others. I mean really getting to know someone from scratch to see if I want them in my inner circle. Well, in normal face-to-face life the majority of the time I can tell when I meet someone if I would want to spend more time with them or not. If I am remotely attracted to them or if I can at least have a decent flow of conversation. Online I have to get to know them enough to at least know that they are not serial killers and that they have a genuine relationship with Christ. This is frustrating and draining to me. I feel like I am investing a lot of precious energy and attention on something that, as soon as I meet them, will most likely be an easy “no.” And even saying this makes me feel bad but it’s the truth. I confess it.

Not only the feeling of it being hard work instead of something enjoyable, but also the sheer number of men I pass over makes me feel bad and discouraged. Let’s be honest. So many of them just need some help with how they present themselves.

Here is some advice for men who are online from a Horny Christian Single Girl.

Don’t put up photos of you and a bunch of women. Why do so many men do this? That doesn’t impress me. That makes me think you are a womanizer. If you HAVE to put one then make sure it’s you and your sister and make sure you put a caption letting me know that it is. If it’s a photo of you and an ex (even if you cut her out) just don’t use it. Ask a friend to take some new photos. I’m here to see you. Not you and the competition.

Stop posting pictures of you looking miserable. For the love, smile. No one wants to be with someone who looks angry/depressed/pitiful. A good smolder is fine but also let me know you can enjoy life too. Let’s see that smile!

Have photos without sunglasses. Has anyone ever told you you have nice eyes? Seeing someone’s eyes in a picture is very important, maybe more for women than men. They are the window to the soul and help me know you seem kind and trustworthy. Hiding the eyes makes me assume you are hiding something dark within. Please post pictures without sunglasses.

Don’t crop the top of your head out of a photo. Just own the hair loss. Be confident. A woman worth her salt is not going to pass you up for that reason alone. Also, just a hint …bald is beautiful. If it’s mostly gone then just own it and shave or buzz it. I believe in you. You can rock it. You is smart. You is kind. You is a sexy dang bald man.

Be specific about what you are looking for. If you are a Christian and want to marry a Christian woman than pay attention to your preferences. Those of us who put our relationship with God first check to see if you do too. If you are ok marrying a hindu, spiritual but not religious, muslim, christian then you aren’t the guy for me. That’s a deal-breaker. Also, be specific about what “Christian” you are. Protestant is very different from LDS. Know what you believe and pursue someone on the same page. That’s all I’m asking.

Write positively. Do you realize that bitterness and negativity comes across in what you write on your profile? One guy wrote something like, “I’m fed up with fake women and finally gave in to online dating to see if any of you genuine, God-loving women are actually out there.” Well, I can understand that sentiment but the way you came across was very angry and bitter and yikes I don’t want to go near that attitude. Instead answer the question What do you have to offer? Present yourself in a positive light, blog about your frustrations ;)

And finally,

Why are you here if you are not actually single!? If you are separated and in the middle of a rough divorce, please don’t date. Just don’t. You are only hurting yourself and others by dragging them in. Take time. Heal. Be single for a while.

Now, I realize that all of these things can be applied to women as well but, as a woman looking for a man I haven’t had to deal with the women of the big wide world of online dating. Only myself.

I’ve actually met 4 guys from online dating. Three of them were “no’s” after one date and the fourth…well, the fourth was actually a really nice guy.

We emailed back and forth for a while and he was the same personality type as me (INFP) and so we wrote eerily similar. He told me his dream job would be designing board and card games. I told him about writing and being stuck where I’m at in my novel and jokingly said he should design me a puzzle of a plot diagram and I’d put it together and be inspired to keep writing. The next email he sent me a link to a jigsaw website where he’d made me a puzzle of a plot diagram. It was really cute. And therefore I shall call him Puzzles.

Puzzles and I had a lot in common. We liked to do the same things, read the same things, etc. He was also passionate about God and had this confident way about him as far as knowing who he was. I enjoyed my time with him. He was a gentleman. But it was never any more than that. He was more a quiet type (which honestly I’ve always had a hard time with and never been much drawn to) and conversation didn’t flow naturally. It was like I had to do all the work. Not to the point where it was necessarily awkward because I wouldn’t have gone out with him more if that was the case, but just enough to make the time just okay instead of I-Can’t-Wait-To-See-Him-Again-I-Don’t-Want-This-Date-To-End sort of a thing. I liked him but I didn’t LIKE him. And he was starting to LIKE me and that didn’t feel right. After five very long dates I thought I should have more than just a cool fondness for him. So I called him and told him and he was very nice and we ended things well. After every date Bushbaby and Mom would ask me, “Well?” and after every date my answer was, “I don’t know. Maybe it could happen with time? Maybe because we are both INFP’s it will take longer because our personality types are slow to let people in at first because we feel so deeply about ‘our people.’ Maybe once we get more comfortable with each other.” And I never did.

Maybe things could have been different if he’d won me. There were some factors that might have helped if he’d done differently (one was that he was 15 minutes late to every date, one was that he dressed like a slob on our dates even though it turned out he had nice clothes that he chose not to wear, and one was that at the end of the fourth date he said we should talk about us and how we are feeling more to which I agreed but then he made no effort to initiate that.) but even if those things had been different I still think we didn’t have interpersonal chemistry (good conversation flow and the ability to have fun just being together).

Sometimes I wonder if I’m too picky. I mean…if he and I had been in an arranged marriage I think we could have made it work. But I’m happy being single and I want someone to add to my life the way I want to add to theirs. That’s different than having the ability to make something work. And I honestly have WAY more fun and meaningful conversations with my friends than I did with him and isn’t that wrong? And it’s not fair to him when he deserves someone who’s crazy about him.

There’s another guy, the one that I mentioned a long while back of almost having a thing with that didn’t happen. I’ll call him Dimples. Dimples and I have great interpersonal chemistry and physical chemistry. But, unlike Puzzles, he’s not in a financial or responsible place to date anyone and he’s very much a feeler to the point that I don’t know if I could handle that. He depends on others in a way he should have grown out of by now. I think I might end up being his mom and nope nope nopety nope to that!

Future Hubby, be he in existence according to the will of God, will hopefully be someone I can respect and have things in common with (like Puzzles) but also be someone I have fun just being around and can talk to and flirt with with ease (like Dimples).

I still have one online account that I check from time to time but I’m not actively searching like I was. The experience was bringing me down and it just wasn’t me.

One last thought on the subject that I realized is that to me affection is very precious and something I don’t give freely or lightly. It’s a message. It says, “I love you and want you and care about you.” On our last date Puzzles put his arm around me and I let him but even that small thing didn’t sit well with me because I felt like I was lying to him. I was still trying to figure out if I felt anything more than neutral toward him and until I knew that I really did have romantic feelings for him I didn’t want to send him that message. A casual hug hello or goodbye is for friends. That is fine, but more than that is too much for me unless I know that I like the guy. I don’t ever want to use anyone or lead them on just because it’s nice to be held. I want to be held when I know that it’s because I want HIM to hold me.

I’ve also been challenged to constantly question my motives about everything because I don’t want to act out of fear. When I got my cat I had some panicky issues about commitment. Will I regret getting a cat? What if he’s badly behaved? What if I can’t have as much of a life because I’m tied down to taking care of this creature? Etc. I got over all that anxiety after a week of having him because I fell in love with that fuzzy bundle of awesome and have never regretted getting him.

I’ve been single so long I had to question if I was keeping myself from falling for Puzzles because I was afraid of commitment. For someone who had longed to fall in love and be married as long as I have it sounds wack. But maybe that’s why. Go watch Tangled and listen closely to what Rapunzel says when she’s about to see the lights. (Yes, I did just make a Disney reference). I need to be careful not to act out of that same kind of fear. I prayed about this specifically before I ended things, and I do feel a peace that I did the right thing. But it is something to be aware of.

Thanks for reading and I always appreciate your comments!
Next post’s topic:

– The challenge of assumptions about you because you are a single virgin who rarely dates.

I Want to Want It But I Just Don’t Care

How do I describe the state that I’ve slowly devolved into the past four months?

Is it depression? Maybe in some ways. Apathy? Absolutely.

My personality type is an INFP. I have a deep well of emotion that lies beneath the surface…In my case this well is so deep that even I am out of touch with it. It makes it really hard for me to know what sets off my bad escapist tendencies. Basically I begin to go through the motions without connecting with God, stop working out, then I start watching more and more netflix, get lost in a video game or book, which leads to indulgence both in eating and masturbation, then my finances suffer and next thing I know I’m miserable, broke, and my clothes don’t fit. But miserable mostly because even knowing I’m being stupid and so far from the person I want to be, I still just don’t care. Zero passion. No, less than that. Negative passion. Is there a word for that? Is there such a thing? It’s like I’m just a black hole of passion only a black hole seems too intense because black holes are such passionately crushing things and I have no passion. I feel only little ripply surface emotions. Brief, insubstantial things. I still function, just not well. And I know what to do. Just small adjustments.

Connect with God, even if it’s just going through the motions for a while. Go to the gym. Go a day without refined sugar. So simple and yet I don’t because even though I know I’m being stupid I JUST DON’T CARE.

My heart is atrophying, calcifying…petrifying. Devolving into it’s stone-state. Realizing this I seek to find the root of the problem, the moment my bad habits began to resurface. I can’t. I don’t know. So instead I stop my avoidance tendencies and while at a women’s retreat this past weekend and tell Bushbaby and our friend AwesomeSauce about my rut and my not-caring.

“Yeah, you’ve been in a rut for a while,” says Bushbaby.
“Trust me, I know that I’ve been in a rut.”
“I’ve known it for a long time and have been waiting for you to say something.”
“I knew that you knew.”

It’s so great having friends who know you that well, but sometimes it’s hard because you know that they know you are avoiding and you know that they are letting you avoid and they know that you know and it makes you feel dumber for avoiding…but overall it’s nice.

I try to connect. To truly focus. To feel something. To care. But sometimes it takes more than overlooking a beautiful pasture in the mountains in the fall and trying to make yourself do what you haven’t done in months.

“Why am I like this? You can talk to me, I’m listening.” Just the wind bearing the sound of leaves and insects in the trees. So after trying to be still for a while I put on some music. This was the song I was led to.

These lyrics:

Father, have mercy
I know that I have gone astray
When I saw my reflection
It was a stranger beneath my face

That is truly what I’m experiencing. While in high school God began to really transform me. He melted my heart of stone with His love. I went from not caring to having a soft and loving heart. I went from not feeling much to acutely experiencing emotion. I didn’t become emotional. Not frothy, frittery emotions that come and go. Not the kind of feelings that burn hot and quick, cause you to say or do something in the moment. No. The deep stuff. Love and compassion and righteous anger…the kind of emotions that motivate you to live each moment of your life with purpose. Passion, really. God melted my stone heart with His love and I found that I cared.

And now here I am again with no passion and a heart that is cold and hard as stone. That stone heart isn’t me. It’s not the real me. It’s the old me. A stranger. Running away from the Father like the prodigal has turned me into a stranger. I know I don’t want that. I know that’s not who I am.

I remember my favorite moment of experiencing God and the closeness I felt with Him. It’s a memory that I will treasure forever and always look to when doubt creeps up or I need perspective. A precursor to that instance was someone telling me that Christ wanted me to experience His love in a deeper way. I understood His love as my heavenly Father, as a little girl needs the approval of her daddy. But now He wanted me to experience His love as a grown woman. A deep intimate romance. The word picture this person used was to let Him lead me to the dance-floor. After that I experienced the presence of God like never before in what was the best moment of my life so far.

Now, remembering that, I look down at the Pig Slop in my hands and ask for prayer. I confess my lack of caring to my sisters in Christ. Confess right before I’m about to lead worship that I have no desire to lead worship and that I hate that I don’t want to. I want to care. I want to want God. They surround me and begin to pray. And then one of them says it:

“Jesus. You want to take her to the dance floor.”

And at the mention of His name He is suddenly there. Not the God that I know about in my head, that I’ve read about like a character in a novel. The Jesus that I know like I know Bushbaby. I know Him personally. He’s there in the words of the prayer. In reminding me of the time I felt His presence so strongly. In reminding me of His passionate, personal love for me. And that love is what finally melts through the barrier. And I cry. And then the women take up a song of praise. They praise Him for me, because I had found that I couldn’t. Their gift…God’s gift…melting, soothing, softening and the real me is able to begin to come through.

After that I can sing. After that I want to. I just needed to remember who I’m singing to. Not the God that I know about. The God that I know.

Today I care enough to take the steps I know to take. I spent time with Him. I went to the gym. I ate good food. None of these things are to gain His favor or make myself “right” in any way. I’ve already got His favor. But now that I care I want to keep caring. Keep growing and thriving. I went six or seven months without masturbating. Walking in the freedom He gave me was wonderful. It’s worth fighting for. Now I care to fight anew. Now I care to write again.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8) My verse for the year. A pure heart is a heart of flesh. A heart that beats with the warmth of living. Not some cold, hard, dead thing.

If you are struggling with masturbation, lust, or even simply loneliness and bitterness, please know that change begins in the heart. Jesus cares much more that you have a warm, living heart of flesh than he does that you behave properly. Outward behavior is just a symptom of the state of your heart. Only Christ can truly give our dead hearts life. And he wants to. He holds out His hand and invites you to experience His love for you.

To Love

I’ve never been in love. I’ve longed to be for as long as I can remember. And it isn’t just the desire to be loved, but to love! Sometimes I feel I could burst with the mere potential of love I possess within me. The potential that craves to be realized, to be unleashed upon the one who’s won me. It’s like a wild beast. It’s something that will be kept close and guarded and contained until the right man earns trust and coaxes it from its cage with an offer of freedom. And at last my wild love will allow itself to take flight and will fulfill its purpose.

I think I’m a One Great Love kind of woman. I hope. I pray that that can be the case. I’m the kind to give myself wholly and deeply, but so so rarely. Only once have I even come close to allowing myself to love someone, but it was unrequited. But when another rare instance takes place and finally clicks with the right man, I think even I will be surprised by the depth and wholeness of my love for him.

Cursory Crushes, Date Offers, & Open Wounds

Intensely Passionate 30 Minute Crushes

Yesterday I was in love for about an hour. Maybe 30 minutes or somewhere in between.

On my way home from our church’s Easter service I was convinced that I was in love with one of the guys in my band. Like, why aren’t we together? We should just be together. We’ve probably been in love these 4.5 years of our friendship and we just don’t realize it. So maybe I should just come out with it and he’ll be my boyfriend and we’ll just be together!

Sometimes, as a woman…well…maybe just as a human in general, for no reason you get swept up in these emotions that have nothing to do with logic whatsoever.

See, he is a friend that people have been asking me why I’m not dating for the four and a half years we’ve been friends. He’s sweet and SO MUCH FUN. Well, the most simple answer: I’m not making the first move and he refuses to do so.

So when my 30 minute passionate love for him died down, logic made it’s way back in.

I’d want to change him, he’s too passive, I’d hurt his feelings with my honest nature, he’s not as passionate about God and ministry…etc.

So all in all, even if he DID ask me out, I don’t know that we would have a future. But if he got up the nerve to ask me then I would definitely consider it because it would show growth and I’d want to give us a chance to see if the other things are true. I’d just be scared of the consequences since he’s my friend and we are in the band together.

But as a single, for that brief time I wanted so badly for me to really be in love with him. Because he’s so FUN! And I was mangry.

Let’s be real. Mang-er was the reason for all of it.

 

Turning Down the First Date You’ve Been Offered in 5 Years

I got asked out for the first time in a long time and it was not by someone that I wanted to ask me out. I turned him down as gently as I could (“I don’t really see us”) and he was polite about it. This guy is the king of awkward. A very desperate, needy, insecure type of guy with just a hint of creepy. I’ve given him no reason to think I was remotely interested and yet he still took the chance. So for that I at least give him props for putting himself out there and asking like a man…a gentleman at that.

So why can’t someone like my bandmate or the friend that I was considering last fall, who actually would have a chance, man up and ask a girl out? With a direct, clear question? Why is that too intimidating? My respect for awkward guy went up just because he was brave enough to take a chance. Bandmate’s unwillingness to do so is exactly what makes me hesitate the most about him.

All in all, I still don’t think any real prospects are in my life at the moment. But I’m changing, or trying to. Christ is showing me areas that need more work so that I can thrive as His temple, as His child, and as a single adult. He is showing me how to be a good gift for my future husband, because He only gives good gifts to His children. A LOT of this has to do with my physical health, but more so my spiritual walk with Jesus.

As I said before, there have been stumbles and failures, but more victories and avoiding temptation altogether. This morning I had intense physical desire but prayed, “Holy Spirit, help me! I need you!” and the longing left me. I’m experiencing victory by the power of the Holy Spirit in the moment of crisis! Not only is there great joy in overcoming, but also in knowing that God truly is bigger than our carnal nature! And He’s faithful if you turn to Him!

One last thing.

Encouragement vs. “Helpful” Criticism

I’m trying to make being physically fit a bigger priority and part of my lifestyle. I don’t always have good eating habits and I gain weight far too easily (lame!), but I also loose it fairly easily if I actually do the work and stay away from the fries (O, fries of the french! Why doest thou tempt me with thine deliciousness!?). In the past I’ve gotten down to the size and shape I want to be and feeling so good about it! I love it! But I also love tasty things, and as anyone who has read my blog knows, self-discipline is not my strongest suit! So since Christmas I’ve been carrying around that extra weight, trying to scrape up the motivation to deny my tongue the joys of french fries and ice-cream, and hadn’t been doing so great. This, of course, poured into the rest of my life in not so great ways, I guess.

One day I called Dreamer (the one who is engaged, whose wedding I’m in), not knowing I was about to be blindsided by extremely hurtful words that left me in tears and feeling like I’d been casually stabbed in the chest with a bowie-knife a few-dozen times.

She said she was worried about me, but when you are worried about your friend you should pray about what to say to them and how to say it. She did not. It kind of came out in a big rush of her raw emotions that left a wake of desolation across my unsuspecting being. I’d rather her of just said in summary, “I take issue with…this.”

Here’s what she could have said:

1. Because of some of the things I’ve noticed when hanging out with you and Bushbaby, I think you should pray about whether you’re relationship is too co-dependent. Just examine it because you might overlook opportunities for new adventures or friends because hanging out with her is comfortable. She seems to rely on you a lot and so it would be smart to just check on your boundaries.

2. Consider how you present yourself to people who don’t know you. I know you and love you, but you might not represent your best qualities to new people who meet you. I’ve noticed that you open up more when you are taking pride in your health, so make it a priority again! Your confidence gets an extra boost and you reach your potential. I want to see that again and I know you do too. Also consider that hanging out only with your younger friends (mainly Bushbaby) might reflect immaturity on you so don’t default to them. Don’t be afraid to stand on your own.

3. I’m telling you this because I love you and sometimes worry about you being in a rut and I never want to see that. Do you get where I’m coming from and is anything I say valid?

Here’s what came out:

1. You and Bushbaby have this awful co-dependent thing and I can’t be around it so I’m not going to stay at your house anymore. You act really immature around her and you need to hang out with people your own age to practice being social.

 

(Thanks for dealing out the punishment of never staying at my house again before giving me the chance to explain or fix it or work on it. So gracious of you)

 

2. “Your confidence seems way down.” “You need to consider what kind of man you want to attract because, well…do you want to marry, like…a gamer?” Those and her other comments summed to up say that I’m a loser with no confidence because I play videogames all the time, hang out with people waaay younger than me, and I like anime (all of which are vast exaggerations: I JUST got an xbox so I’ve been talking about it it because it’s new, but have not been playing it to the detriment of my social life. I do have 3 friends who are younger that I spend a good deal of time with but I also regularly hang out with people older than me and my own age. And I like Miyazaki films and Avatar the Last Airbender…WHICH SHE DOES TOO! So thank you for condensing my entire life into an exaggerated image of three tiny parts of it!)

 

Then she said, “I try to think of setting you up with my guy friends and I just don’t think…I just don’t see you being…” (Basically I’m not good enough for any of her friends. I’m not even set-uppable.)

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3. “I’m just worried about you! You just seem really insecure and I see peoples potential. I just want to make sure you don’t get stuck. But thanks for being so easy to talk to” (while I’m sobbing on the phone BTW) “and just take everything I said with a grain of salt.”

 

She did call and apologize the next day but for the “timing” of the conversation. She wasn’t sorry for what she said or how she said it. Only for when she said it, I guess. Just a clue to anyone out there who is thinking of giving their friend some “helpful” criticism. If you are upset/angry/annoyed with them for something, make sure you plan out what you’re going to say and don’t let those emotions drive you to say something harsh and cruel. Even if you think something you don’t need to share it all. Only what is helpful and encouraging.

Also, if you think your friend has low self-esteem, DON’T CRITICIZE THEM FOR IT! I didn’t feel particularly self-conscious until she told me I was an insecure loser. NOW my confidence is low!

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It’s hard enough to fight the lies of condemnation that Satan throws at you. Those whispers that something is wrong with you and that’s why you’re single. And then someone who was JUST in the same boat a year ago goes off on a wild spree and blatantly says those things to you without remorse…someone who you thought was safe. While I’m thankful that she isn’t afraid to confront me on things, I wish she’d shown more tact and grace, encouraging instead of criticizing, belittling, and judging me.

I’m not going husband-hunting. I believe that God can bring Him through the very doors of my church if He wants to, or that He will make it clear when I need to seek something outside my social circle. That’s not good enough for Dreamer. She thinks I need to join a new small group at a different church or get out more…but she didn’t meet her fiance doing that! She met him at a wedding and her friends introduced her. And guess what. I go to weddings. But I guess she won’t be introducing me to her friends because she doesn’t think I’m good enough.

The first list of things she should/could have said are the things that I’ve been trying to focus on because some of it I do need to consider, but it has been tough to drown out the accusing voice. And tough to forgive because I’m still hurt and angry that she said what she did, and was so condescending instead of loving about it all. I hate that during a time when I want to be there for her and celebrating with her this has come up between us…a big fat wall I’ve put up to try to recover. I’m still talking to her, I’ve seen her twice, but I really DON’T want to tell her anything about my life because I don’t feel like I can trust her. It’s hard to know how to go forward with my friendship with her.

I know we’ll work through it. I love her too much to give up our friendship because she was a huge ass to me that time. I want to forgive. Maybe I need to let it go, get over it and move forward. Maybe I need to work through it with her. I don’t know.

Confession: I know that some of what she said is true. I don’t like admitting that. Confessing it. I recognize my immaturity in even writing about it, too, with all my sarcasm and bitterness. But it is part of being a horny Christian single girl…the things people say and the effect words can have. How you handle it or don’t. How even if you’re someone that doesn’t have many feelings rise to the surface like me, certain words can bring as acute a pain as salt in a wound. Please pray for me on this. I’m trying to sort truth from lies and focus on what God wants to teach me, but Satan’s voice keeps trying to pipe in and bring condemnation and discouragement about my self-worth.