Whenever someone hears that it has been six years since I have been on a real date, they are utterly shocked. I mean, I am gorgeous, intelligent, talented, knowledgeable about sports, and, of course, humble. (That was a joke; stay with me). But honestly, I do believe that I am quite the choice catch for the right suitor. I think that all single people should believe that about themselves. If you do not think you will make a great mate, then perhaps, you have no business going out on dates. But, Ms. EV, isn’t dating just for fun? Maybe for you it is, but I want to get married. So, when I date, it has a purpose that goes beyond companionship or the need for a free meal or movie. I have learned, with God’s help, how to have fun with me because if I cannot have fun with me, then how could I expect someone else to? When I date, it is because I see that the person has the potential to be my forever guy. He fits the general mold and I will accept a date with him to find out if he fits the nooks and crannies.
Where am I going with this? Well, it’s not that I have not been asked on a date in six years. Though the requests are few and far between, there have been requests for my company. And, I should clarify that I was in a relationship for two of those six years, and pining for that relationship for at least another year after the break up, so it has really been three years that I have been open to a relationship. So, why not say ‘yes’ to every person that asks to take me out and weed through the good, the bad and the ugly? Again, that might work for other people, but I know myself. When I went on my last first date six years ago, I was attracted to my ex (or I would not have gone out with him), but, at dinner, I did not really see how the relationship could work because he lived in another state and worked in another country for half of the year. But, he seemed to be so into me that I could not help but agree to meet up again before he left town. The only problem is that he didn’t call when he said he would (if you know me, you know that this seriously irks me), so I was confused. When he did call, I should have said what I had told other people for years, “Not calling when you say you are going to call is a deal breaker.” Instead, I took the call, got charmed all over again, and agreed to explore what could develop between us. I cannot tell you how many times in that relationship I did not get a phone call that I was told was coming or a visit that I was promised, which is why we broke up. And, during that time, I had eyes for no other person, so I have no idea how many opportunities I missed to be with someone who could have been my soulmate.
So, now here I am with some opportunities to date or hang out with people that I know do not qualify for marriage according to my standards (which are mine and I am entitled to them, so don’t tell me I am too picky). Why say 'no' when there might be potential there or why not just go for practice, so I know how to date other guys? Here’s why, and this strictly applies to me. I know that if I go out with someone and he treats me well and wants a future with me, I am prone to settling. Sure, I may not be willing to settle on the first date, but as time goes on, I may find the gentleman to be truly endearing and agree to a serious relationship, although not really the person with whom I envision a relationship. Every serious relationship I have been in has followed this pattern, including my marriage. And, I have heard that doing the same thing and expecting different results is what causes insanity. So, now, I have chosen to say ‘no thanks’ when someone has a trait that I know I will not appreciate in the long term (I may even become resentful about the trait--I am a work in progress) to avoid settling and saying ‘yes’ to a relationship with that person later out of the sense or need to be in a relationship.
God knows what I want in a relationship and what I need. Each of us has our own individual journey. You may be capable of going on a date and then cutting that person out of your life if they are not your match (I wish I had that ability), but have some other issue that you need to take to God. Maybe it is not a date you need to say ‘no’ to now to avoid saying ‘yes’ later to something that is not what is best for your life. Maybe you are dealing with a career decision or friendships. Whatever the case may be, we have to know our personal boundaries and limits. We have to work with God to find out what will truly be satisfying for the long term and what will simply fill a temporary ache. I am trusting that when it is time to say ‘yes,’ God through the prompting of the Holy Spirit will give me that wisdom. I look forward to that day, and until then, I will wait for His best. Ms. EV