Isolation & Connection

I’ve been in an intense struggle of choosing relationship over isolation, battling loneliness and desperately wanting connection, but feeling frustrated when I can’t connect and thus wanting to shut down and isolate more. Possibly being overly introspective in an inaccurate sort of way which has led me to be exceptionally selfish lately. I’m so focused on wanting to fill my need to connect that I’ve stopped actually caring about the people in my life. It sounds backwards, but it’s true.

One of my closest friends called me out on this last night. I zone out on him way too often. Like…if I don’t deem it “actual connecting” or if it’s something frivolous in my estimation I just stop listening. I don’t mean to…but it’s been happening more and more. So I’m also feeling like an asshole right about now. I used to pride myself on being a good listener. Now I’m having to convince myself I still actually love the people in my life. I’m also struggling to believe that making new friends is even worth it.

Some of this comes from some difficult changes that have happened with Bushbaby over the past year. She’s very different now and our friendship is too. Overall it’s not a bad thing and we are still friends and still love each other, but the process has caused a lot of pain and I think I have trust issues that I never had before. I don’t like being someone who has trust issues.

In May I had a few weeks where I was really struggling with the specific residual wounds of that situation. On top of that I was struggling with feeling isolated whenever I was with my family simply because I’m single and relating to people who all got married and had families young is difficult.

I realized that the isolation you feel because you are the only single person in the group is worse than the fact that you are still single. You can’t contribute to the conversation about child labor or the various joys of childrearing or sex, and those people don’t know what to ask you so they just don’t. That isolation is far worse than the fact that you don’t have a husband yet even though you want one.

And then you ask yourself,”Do I want one? Or do I actually want to go be a hermit in the mountains with a few sheep and my cat?” Because hermithood would be easier than wanting and trying and failing to connect and then you wouldn’t hurt anyone when the process morphs you into a selfish asshole and no one could reject or misunderstand you ever ever again. Just you and Jesus, some sheep and a cat.

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But it would be a waste. And I believe that none of this season, this pain, is a waste. It’s life.

As tempting as it is, hermithood is not true living.

Other contributions of this season:

Falk (while still a fantastic human) is not right for me and I’m longer interested the way I was. The more I spent time with him the more I realized we wouldn’t have the right kind of connection that makes you want to talk and talk forever.

Ironically, the Lord forced me to hang out with Shanks for a few hours so that I’d have to see him as human and stop flat-out disliking him. I had to face why he made me so insecure and got under my skin so damn easily.

First, it’s easier to paint someone as an all around unfeeling, inconsiderate jerk than to be ignored and rejected by a good man.

I also realized that he reminds me of some guys I went to college with who were very cerebral and only cared about people who impressed them with their intellect and wit. Anyone else was rarely acknowledged and definitely not valued. I spent about two semesters in this friend-group and then realized I always felt horrible about myself afterward so I stopped hanging around those people. I attributed the same snobby callousness to Shanks because his treatment of me felt very much the same and I saw his intellectual side come out more than any warmth. As I have said in previous posts, I value warmth and compassion, so when I felt the opposite I immediately assumed he was just like them: snobby, arrogant, and exclusive. I also realized that I’m snobby toward people I view as snobby. Then I realized that just because his intellectual side might show more dominantly, that doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t love people.

At this point I still don’t know much about whether he’s a jerk or a prince charming or what. He could be a nice person and he could be a total snob. But I’ve at least been stripped of my preconceived notions enough that I don’t seethe when I see him, because 90% of my feelings about him were derived from my own issues and only about 10% of it was actually his doing. Who he actually is remains to be seen and I’ve cleaned all my scribbles off his slate at least.

He still intimidates me. I also realized that part of my whole “my man has to love people and see people and be warm” thing might be because I don’t think a guy who was particular would ever give me a chance. Maybe it’s this subconscious belief that it would take a guy who really loves people to notice and have enough grace to pursue me.

Yikes, that is a vulnerable confession. I hate that that level of insecurity is in there.

I was also sick for a few weeks (which was not fun) and my roommates have been busy with trips so I’ve spent a lot of time alone. I’ve watched a lot of TV which hasn’t helped because you are watching shows about connection and seeing characters connect or suffer being disconnected and you long and then relate and then feel like you have no life and you want something to happen because nothing ever happens and somehow you are the hermit already except you are still having to interact with people and still having to try. None of the perks of being a hermit. Only the disadvantages of feeling alone.

Ay-yay-yay what a mess.

I’m a mess.

 

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The Unrequited Love Saga Pt 4

Red has always been a good color on me. I chose it to be festive, of course, also appreciating the way the shirt complimented my figure. It was a Christmas party, after all. One that George would attend, and I had the feeling that tonight might just be a crossroads for him. A chance for him to see that there was another option, another path that was coming into view already as he moved forward. And maybe, just maybe, he would see the opportunity that the new path was and change direction.

That evening, I allowed myself to believe in that possibility. I still knew it was only a maybe, yet I chose to wield the hope of it over doubting thoughts.

It’s all in your head. He’d never choose you over her. She’s got that thing. The thing that Gleam had. He wouldn’t like you.

But my hope responded, why not? There’s a chance. I actually care about other people’s feelings. She’s just using him to get over her ex. He might see that I really care. He might make a better decision. Besides, if he doesn’t, it’s his loss. But I’m not going to pass up the chance that he might.

My hair was straight and I spent a little extra time on my makeup. Lara joined reader and I as I was getting ready for our party and immediately noticed.

“Oh, you’re looking all hot. Dang it, now I’ve got to put on makeup.” She left my room and Reader and I looked at one another, puzzled. Lara hardly ever put much effort into her appearance. She really didn’t have to. She was petite and beautiful, yet unique in her beauty…like something of the Fae in Irish folktales. She had long dark lashes that showed whether she wore mascara or not and she never broke out. So her comment and subsequent sprucing were definitely out of the ordinary.

I got a bad feeling in my gut.

The feeling deepened when, upon receiving some very encouraging attention from George, Lara suddenly began to compete with me.

The party was not fun. Not for me. Reader and Gamer were furious on my behalf, noticing how she fought to silence me and passive-aggressively put me down at any opportunity. She wouldn’t risk that I might be noticed. Even when we were playing games in a group I couldn’t have a turn at something without her loudly inserting her own jokes or diverting his attention in that moment. She blatantly flirted with him. The bad gut feeling quickly turned to hurt and anger that she was acting like that. It was childish and unnecessary. She was a picture of jealousy. The kind of jealousy I never wanted exhibited in our friendship.

I didn’t compete back. I let her have all the attention, which he gladly gave, at last getting the confirmation of what he’d “known” to be true. This was exactly what I had been trying to avoid when I asked her to tell me if her feelings had changed. How many times had she insisted that she didn’t like him? How many times did I assure her that if she would just have a conversation with me then I would be fine if they were together? But after two and a half years of friendship she either still didn’t trust me or she was too selfish to care about my feelings.

He was the last guest to leave the party. After cleaning up I passed her room and uttered a quick goodnight. She was sitting in his lap, their arms around one another, as he showed her something on her computer. They said goodnight, probably seeing on my face the hurt I tried to hide, and I went to my room where I finally let myself shed a few tears.

The next day our other roommates left to go home for break and she avoided me by staying in her room. I called George to see if he needed any help packing, because regardless of who he was with, I was still his friend. Right after, he accidentally sent me a text that was meant for her, explaining the phone call I’d just made to him. He tried to backpedal by lying that it was meant for his mom. Trying to cover for Lara eavesdropping on my phone conversation.

She finally came out that afternoon and I asked her what happened between them. She tried to avoid answering.

“I’m not exactly sure.”

I hate lying. I’d rather someone hurt me with the truth than keep it from me. Not only did she keep her interest in him a secret from me, he’d also lied about his texting mishap, and now she was still trying to avoid telling me anything.

Again I realized she didn’t trust me. What on earth had I done to cause this? She didn’t trust that I actually wanted both of them to be happy, and I loved them both enough that any feelings for him and disappointment for myself would heal. I guess her own wounds made her unable to trust that someone would really be capable of that. I don’t know.

After similar questions and evasive answers, I finally asked, “So, did he leave with the idea that you don’t like him or that you do?”

“That I… do?”

“And do you? Because the last I heard you didn’t.”

“I don’t know. I think I do?”

I felt a pang and my jaw clenched. How could this be happening? How could she use him like this and how could he not see it?

“Why didn’t you just tell me?”

“I didn’t want you to be mad at me.”

“You guys lying to me is the only thing that is really going to make me mad. George lied to me earlier today. I’m not stupid. I just want you to be honest with me. Keeping me in the dark is what hurts me more than anything. Can you just give me that courtesy? That’s all I ask.”

She nodded and I added, “That and…just be sure that you really do care for him. Don’t lead him on. He deserves better than that.”

Though the bulk of the awkwardness between us was sufficiently resolved and she departed for Christmas break, my trust in her was now damaged. Not because she was with the guy I liked, but because of how she’d handled the whole situation.

That evening George called me and asked if we could talk. He came by that night and apologized for lying about the text.

“I’m not an idiot, you know.”

“I know. It was stupid and I’m sorry,” he said from his seat at the kitchen table.

I nodded and leaned against the counter, arms folded. “You know, don’t you?”

“What,” he said, playing dumb.

“Oh, come on. You know.”

I really don’t.”

I sighed, “You know how I feel…about you. I’m sure it’s been obvious.”

“Yeah. I knew,” he said kindly.

“I’ll be fine, I promise. I just want you to be taken care of.”

I’m still proud of myself for not saying a word about the daily selfishness her roommates had to put up with, or her using him or her flakiness about her feelings for him. I wanted to, but I didn’t. I’m pretty sure it’s proof that even in that dark time in my life the Holy Spirit was still doing His work in me.

I recounted the night I did laundry with him from my perspective and he groaned and laughed with me about it. He enjoyed scriptwriting and agreed that it was gold…painful..but gold.

He told me he’d stop by the next day to say goodbye. I think he knew that, though he and Lara would stay in touch after he moved to Chicago, things wouldn’t be the same between me and him.

I began to pack the next day, frustrated when I saw that my roommates had left a sink full of dishes, a fridge full of food, and loads of trash to carry to the dumpster. Seriously, sometimes they were the worst.

He stopped in after his graduation. I gave him a book as a graduation present and then he hugged me. I listened to his heartbeat and fought back tears and we just held each other.

After a long time he said, “You are awesome.”

“So are you.” Then he let me go and I opened the door. He walked through it, turned and said, “Bye,” and gave me that warm, winning smile.

“Bye,” I returned, though, at the moment, I wasn’t capable of smiling quite so big. I watched him get in his car and as he pulled away I shut the door.

I locked the deadbolt and my hand blurred in front of me as sudden sobs overtook me. I sank down the door and sobbed and sobbed.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but I don’t cry often. Perhaps…3 times a year? I might tear-up during a movie, but real crying, from my own emotion and not just theatrical catharsis, is rare.

That December day I cried as I had never cried before and haven’t cried since. Not even when people have died. Like…my grandparents. Parting from George was the only time I can recall being inconsolable.

I wept on the floor in front of the door for a while and then decided I needed to pull myself together and do the dishes. Then, as I was doing the dishes with tears still pouring from my eyes, the fact that I was having to do dishes made me sob all the harder to the point that I couldn’t even do the dishes anymore. So I gave up and went to my room to pack my clothes and somehow ended up curled up on the cold hardwood floor. I wept so hard that I literally (yes I am using the word correctly when I tell you this) cried a puddle of tears on the floor. When I splashed my finger in it I started laughing but then resumed crying all over again.

I don’t know how I managed to finish everything and pack my car, but eventually I was on the road and headed home. I cried the entire two-hour drive. Then I went inside and sat on the couch with my parents and cried more as I told them what had happened.

“I know that God has someone for me and I know I’ll get over this, but for right now this just sucks!” By then my body really couldn’t produce anymore tears and decided instead to start giving me awful rending pains in my chest. I could actually feel something for once. Not just hints of emotion but something strong and real.

“I’m going to milk this emotion while I’ve got it.” I went to my room and wrote a whole song. It’s super depressing and not very good but I still kind of love it to this day. (My fellow INFP’s totally get this paragraph, haha).

I told the woman who’s like a second mom to me about my chest pains.

“You’re broken-hearted, Ace. Emotional pain can be so strong it’s physical. That’s why it’s called ‘heartache.'”

I wondered how long it would take before Lara threw George aside or if he would wake up to her flaws first. But I was wrong.

A few years ago they married and are still married to this day.

It didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t actually want to be with him. And now I’m so glad I’m not and never was. I’m glad I was wrong about her and she didn’t hurt him the way I was so sure she would.

As I write this, reliving these memories has been painful, and not because I regret how things played out in the long-run. It hurts because this experience drove the wound much deeper.

Ace, You’re too intimidating, too reserved, too opinionated, too awkward. You’re not enough. Not charming enough, not mysterious enough, not flirtatious enough, not cool enough, not approachable enough. You don’t have it, whatever that thing is that makes you worthy of pursuit by someone you actually desire. There’s always someone shinier, and it doesn’t matter if you wear a blue sweater or a red shirt, you will still be unseen.

 

 

(To Be Continued…)

“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.

What Are You Gonna Be?…A Sexy Beast!

The title of this post is the pep-talk that Bushbaby and I give one another at the gym.

“What Are you!?”

“A sexy beast!”

“What you gonna feel like when you go shopping!?”

“A sexy beast!”

“When you get married one day your man will find out what he already suspected…”

“That I’m a sexy dang beast!”

I have never really worked out in my life. Exercise was something I never really knew how to fit into my daily schedule.

About a month ago I decided to join Bushbaby at the gym. After a week I signed up. I can do it! I can be healthy! I can eventually be hot! I am a sexy beast!

To be honest, the idea of future-sex (I’m not referring to Justin Timberlake’s album, but actual sex-in-the-future (which sounds like the title of something weird (I actually mean the sex that I hope to have with my future hubby)))….It’s great incentive to get in shape. And being in shape gives energy and makes you happier and all that so it’s all around a good thing that I’m doing it at last.

Working out is not the only thing that has changed recently.

Thanks to some of you who commented on my post “2 Topics” I realized that I really hadn’t asked God about online dating. I’d kind of already made up my mind without actually praying about it. So, earlier this week I set up a profile on a site and browsed without signing up. I asked God to help me know if I should pursue this, pay the money, etc. I wasn’t sure. I talked to Bushbaby about it that afternoon and she suggested setting out a fleece. It was decided that if anyone mentioned online dating in any form before midnight, then I should sign up and do it. If not, then God had another plan and I didn’t have to. We went to bible-study, I talked to Logicat afterwards. 12:00am came and went and no one had breathed a word about online dating.

I deleted my profile and can now legitimately say that I prayed about it and God said no. He made it clear. So that’s nice.

It’s really nice, actually, because I’ve given God the pen, and…well…these are my confessions after all…so here’s the honest truth.

I can’t help but feel that if I’ve waited this long to fall in love, and it is the one thing I’ve ALWAYS desired, and it is the hardest thing I’ve had to surrender and resurrender to God time and time again, and that I am trusting that He knows better than me what my story should be…Well, if all that is true, and He’s the God of the universe who ROSE FROM THE DEAD, then surely He has an AMAZING story for me and My Man that is miraculous and beautiful. And, while I’m sure that God could make something miraculous and beautiful out of online dating, it just doesn’t seem good enough compared to what else He might do. Especially not after I’ve waited this long. I expect an EPIC romance that is worth the wait!

Now, having confessed all that, I know that much of this thinking is wrong. That’s why it’s a confession. Why does everything inside me tell me that I’m deserving of this!? I know I should refute it and tell myself the truths that I know, but there is a stubbornness that digs its heels and clenches its fists. It says, “No! From birth I’ve felt that this is what I was created for! I’ve never been without the wanting of it! Everything within me craves and yearns to love him! Where is he? I must meet him soon and our story must be wonderful!”

I want to bring my case to God, like Job or David, recounting the years I’ve been patient, that I’ve given to the service of the Lord, the times that others compromised and I did not. But I can’t because I know that I am not righteous or deserving, but for the blood of Jesus. Jesus, who doesn’t want my service and acts of righteousness as much as He wants my heart.

Sometimes I don’t know how to reconcile loving God with my whole heart and still asking for what I want so badly. To say, “God, because I am your child and you love me you should give me my romance,” suggests that God’s love hinges on Him doing what I want and not on the all-encompassing love demonstrated on the cross.

Why do I feel like I’m owed this beautiful story of love? I KNOW that Christ’s love is enough and no story will ever be as epic as the way He won me. It’s not just that He would die for me…He DID die for me! That love is eternal! But I FEEL that my story is incomplete without an earthly, tangible romance. It’s ingrained in me to my very depths.

I am not a passionate person. It takes a lot for me to feel strongly about anything. But I am passionate about this. And I don’t know what to do about it.

2 Topics

Topic #1: Online Dating

Am I foolish to reject online dating? My mom and my sister keep pushing it on me but I just can’t bring myself to do it. This is what stops me:

– It feels like man-shopping. It just seems unnatural to me! I don’t know how to explain it other than that…shopping at the man-store.

– I am a story lover. I haven’t waited 25 years for someone to just throw up my hands and say, oh well, I’ll tell my kids I went man-shopping and found their dad. I want a man to pursue me. I want to catch someone’s attention and he decide to get to know me from what he knows. Not because he saw what I put up on a website, but because being in my presence dazzled him in some way. Because he felt a nudge from God in my direction. I want that to be my story.

– I trust God’s timing. A long time ago I told God that I wanted a man in His timing and not my own because I trusted that He could have something way better for me than I could even think of myself. If I really felt that God wanted me to go on a dating site then I would do it, but I don’t. I know that my God is capable of bringing him to my very doorstep. So why would I go hunting?

Now, having said all that, what do you think? Am I stupid for feeling like this? Are my arguments ridiculous?

I’ll admit, man-shopping is very tempting sometimes, especially when certain body-parts are feeling restless about their disuse. Or when I’m just plain lonely. But I just can’t bring myself to do it!

Topic #2: Captain Adorable and Community

Ok, so I thought I’d fill you in on what’s going on because it is affecting me and I need to talk about it. Let’s put it this way: The Honeymoon Phase is long gone. 

While still very handsome, Captain Adorable isn’t so adorable anymore. Poor guy’s got some issues. God has made it clear to Bushbaby and to me while praying with her about it that He has put her in his life for a reason and he is her mission-field right now. I told her that if it weren’t for God’s continual guidance in the relationship, I would have told her to break up with him a long time ago. 

Aside with dealing with communication and emotional issues, probably the biggest issue in their relationship is community. They have different ideas of what that should look like. Like me, she believes that community should be a group of people who care about one another and take care of each other. That includes my brothers-in-christ, though certain healthy boundaries will apply. There is a space between close-friends and acquaintances which is “Friends,” just in the casual sense, and if I were in a relationship then my other brothers-in-christ would fall into this category. Of course I would have boundaries. I’m not going to confide deep and meaningful things in some guy that I’m not with, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care about them and have a casual friendship. 

Captain Adorable is not in the same camp. He thinks that men and women should stay separate. He has his guy-friends, Bushbaby has her girl-friends, and they are to stay separate. He need never pursue any level of relationship with any other girl but her, and she need not with any other guy. 

I cannot tell you how much I disagree with this! I have grown up in a community that supports one another. My parents have really close couple-friends who have been through thick and thin with them. They have supported one another and been Christ to one another. Of course my mom is closer to the woman of the couple than she is to the man, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have some level of friendship and communication with him! There are just safe boundaries. She doesn’t act like he doesn’t exist!

Obviously this has bothered me on a personal level. Captain Adorable thinks its ok to be polite and say hello, but he’s made it clear that he has no intention of getting to know me at all. It’s insulting and hurtful. Because I am a part of her life. A big part. And if he has no intention of giving a rat’s behind about me then how can he really know her?

And what’s more, one day I’d like my man and I to hang out with bushbaby and her man! I want the kind of community that my parents have with their friends! I’d like to know HIM because he’s part of her life! And I really think that he could use some good people in his life. Some community, but fat chance of that happening!

Not only that, but I’m so sorry that I’m single and would like to have some interaction with men my age…but oh no, I guess I’d just better wait until God decides to give me a man to say anything more than, “Hi, how are you.” As if I have nothing to offer any man except a romantic relationship. Well, sucks for me then, that I’m single and can only offer my gifts to other women. No chance that knowing me a little could benefit you. Sorry!

It’s so frustrating. I know that he doesn’t intend it to be personal but it is. Because yet again it feels like being passed over. It feels like, not only does no man want to be with me, but I’m not even worth being friends with or getting to know on a casual level. And that hurts.

Jealous Rage Monster

I’m not a jealous person. 

At least, that’s what I thought until a few weeks ago.

Before then, I can remember only one time I was unreservedly jealous. I was nine years old learning a ribbon dance with my dance team. One baton had blue and yellow ribbons and another had purple and teal.

I don’t know if you’ve experienced being a nine-year-old girl in 1996, but if you didn’t, then let me just tell you. Blue and yellow? Um, no. 

To my extreme disappointment I ended up with the blue and yellow.

“I’m jealous,” I told my best friend, Reader, in my brattiest whine, “I wanted the purple and green one!”

To which Reader, a very pious and biblically knowledgeable nine-year-old, replied, “The Bible says that jealousy rots your bones.”

That shut me up.

My high school friends were my people. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it wasn’t for those girls. We remained close until college and some of them through college.

We, of course, had our predictions of who would be married first.

Charmer, then Me, Dreamer or The Wit (It was a toss-up between these two as to who was next), and last either Hippie or Reader. 

So, you can imagine how strange it was when Reader became the first of us to find and marry her hubby.

She and I had been friends since we were 3, and we always had this kind of competitive thing between us, but despite all that I was able to cope fairly well with the fact that she’d fallen in love before me. It wasn’t the easiest thing, but I didn’t let jealousy have much sway.

I knew the truth. My man was out there somewhere and until he came along I was going to pursue God and become the woman He wanted me to be. Besides, I wanted my relationship to be God-written and God-Centered. Reader’s relationship wasn’t God-centered, and she wanted to write her own life. 

I had always struggled with wanting to be more like Charmer. She just had that elusive “thing” about her that drew guys to her like a magnet. She was warm and inviting and everybody liked her, and I often came across cold to new people though I didn’t mean to.

And yet, though she had multiple exciting relationships all through high school and college while my life droned on much the same as always, I was okay when she married.

Sure I felt sorry for myself a few times but I didn’t let it stick around. I knew the truth.

My man would love me for being me and he’d be perfect for me and I for him. I didn’t need to be like Charmer. I just needed to keep waiting and seeking God. God was preparing him and me for each other. Wherever he was.

Fast forward a couple of years to today. I’m living with my two single roommates, Bushbaby and Logicat. Logicat and I are the same age. Logicat is one of the thinkiest people I’ve ever met (note the moniker I’ve given her), though she’s a great big softy on the inside. Bushbaby is a feeler all the way. She’s five years younger than us. I’m in the middle, but more on the thinker-side. I am drawn to emotive things and am a creative, imaginative type, but usually my actions are based on logic instead of how I feel.

Logicat and I both grew up in Christian homes and began a relationship with Christ at an early age. Bushbaby did not. She’s one of those Christians that had a rough life and now has a crazy testimony of what God has done in her life. She’s super passionate about Jesus and loves other people in a way that inspires me. Bushbaby is my closest friend at this point in my life.

During the summer of 2011, God asked Bushbaby to take a year off of dating. It was a really good thing because she’d always dated and had never been single as a Christian. (Side note: in my opinion it is a good idea for every non-married Christian to be single for a while in order to learn who they are in Christ apart from someone else.)

So she did. From last summer to this summer she stayed away from guys. Then summer 2012 rolled around and suddenly she was free to receive attention from any beaux that might come calling.

Ok, let me just explain something. As I’ve said before I’m a worship pastor. Our church is fairly small. Logicat and I are the only people in our walk of life. Everyone else is younger college or married/in a serious relationship. We mostly hang out with younger people. My part-time job is at Logicat’s full-time job where the vast majority of coworkers are women. There is one guy close to our age, and though he is pretty attractive he does not love Jesus and he also has a girlfriend. No bueno.

Basically my life is a barren wasteland when it comes to eligible bachelors. I live in a social bubble (and by bubble I mean impregnable force field of perpetual singleness).

So, what do you know, as soon as Bushbaby is free to let her huge eyes scope out the possibilities—BOOM! This really cute guy visits our church and makes a point to talk to her. Summer draws to a close. He’s intentional. He’s respectful and mature about pursuing her. The leaves begin to change. He contacts her. He takes opportunities to hang out with her and her friends. He’s strait forward. He get’s to know her. A couple more weeks pass. He asks her to dinner. He sweeps her off her feet. 

Now we are back to the beginning of this post. A few weeks ago Bushbaby went on her first date with Captain Adorable. I was so excited for her! I helped her get ready and stayed up late to hear how it went. It couldn’t have been better. He seemed perfect for her and I was impressed with his character. I went to bed happy that my dearest friend had, for the first time, experienced what it should be like instead of the crap she’d known before.

The next day I awoke. I didn’t know that something accompanied me in my waking. In came Bushbaby, all smiles and glowing from her magical evening of heart to heart conversation where souls were bared and poetry was written in the starry sky above them as fairies serenaded them and unicorns frolicked nearby. I don’t even know what she said to me. Probably something mundane like “Hi” but with that smile and that glow. Suddenly the monster inside me roared to life. RRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE!

As I said before, I’m a logical person. I’m not super in touch with my emotions. I kind of bottle things up without realizing that I’m doing it and then it all comes out in one of my biannual cry sessions. I can count the number of times I’ve been so angry I couldn’t control it on one hand.

So when I found myself wanting suddenly to rip Bushbaby’s head off for being so happy I was a little taken aback. What the heck was wrong with me? Why was I so angry?

“Calm down,” I told myself, “Get a grip, Ace.”

***tries to slow breathing***rage continues to boil blood**

“Oh my gosh. I’m jealous! I’m freaking jealous!”

Even worse than the extreme repulsion I felt toward my roommate/bestie was the realization that I was ragingly jealous and couldn’t get it under control. I mean…wasn’t I way too mature to succumb to such a pathetic weakness as jealousy?

Bushbaby is an affectionate person. I am sometimes. Sometimes. She is ALL THE TIME. So she of course she tried to hug me and sit close to me and all I wanted to do was beat the teeth out of her head.

I don’t know if she realized that anything was wrong. She’s very intuitive so she probably thought something was off. It was all I could do to act like I was simply in a non-sociable mood. Hopefully she didn’t realize how much a HATED her in that moment. I mean, it wasn’t her fault that her joy had unleashed the freaking Hulk. I couldn’t blame her for being happy!

I managed through the day and finally the rage died a little. It was replaced with a self destructive behavior that I’ve never experienced before. I purposely got too little sleep, ate horribly, and made myself late for work. All the while I kept asking, “What the heck is wrong with me!?”

I just wanted to talk to someone. I am a verbal processor. Rage Monster surfaced Saturday and I couldn’t meet with my mentor until Wednesday. For someone who is normally stable and naturally seeks peace, five days is a LONG time to be in emotional turmoil.

So after talking to my mentor, here’s what I realized:

–       I’d never felt jealous to that extent before because I’d never had reason to. Reader was married, but she didn’t have the kind of relationship I wanted. Same with Charmer. She’d married a guy nothing like the kind of man I want. But Bushbaby…she was experiencing EXACTLY what I want for myself. 

Captain Adorable walked into our church, saw her, and decided to pursue her like a man. He is godly and has upstanding character. He’s thoughtful and really good at taking care of her. It’s not that I want him, but in all the little ways that he’s perfect for her I want a good man of character who is perfect for me

How often have I thought of that exact scenario for myself? And then it happens, but not for me. For her after she’s waited a year. I’ve waited for 25.

–       My pride was damaged because I thought I was above jealousy. I needed to get over myself. My flesh is still susceptible to every form of sin. Also, for the past couple of years I’ve been more content in my singleness than ever before. Really and truly happy where I am. Then suddenly she gets a guy and all that is out the window? I was pissed that jealousy had ruined my content-with-my-gift-of-singleness streak. I also needed to get over myself about that.

–       If something was going to change, I wanted it to change for all three of us at once. It made me realize that whoever starts seeing someone next, either me or Logicat, it’s going to really suck for the other. 

–       I didn’t want things to change, period. I couldn’t tell Bushbaby how I was feeling because she’d feel bad and I didn’t want to burst her bubble! It was the first time I couldn’t talk to her about something and that might have been the most upsetting part of it all.

Once I sorted all this out I felt much better though I swear I gained ten pounds during those five days. 

I hate feeling like that…Like I don’t have control of myself. It makes me have more compassion on people who are emotional all the time. But, the upside for them is that they feel joy and excitement more than I do. I’m jealous of them for that.

Maybe not Jealous Rage Monster jealous, but I guess I can be a jealous person after all.