Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wednesday Ramblings...My Man Fast

Hi Girls-

Happy Wednesday y'all!  How's everybody's week going?  Even though it's a short week, yesterday felt like the longest Tuesday ever.  I'm trying to play catch up with all the work that I've neglected over the past few weeks since I've been traveling so much.  But we are now half way there so let's keep it rollin'. 

If I'm being completely honest, I've written and rewritten this post about 7 times...hesitant to share too much.  But then I figured that you gals have been along this ride with me since the beginning so I thought why stop now, right?!?  I know that over the past few months especially I've written a lot about being single, dating, men, etc but y'all, this is my life.  I'm not a momma or a wife and this is just what I know.  Plus I consider it fun and kind of therapeutic to tell y'all all about the bad dates that I've gone on and relationship fails that I've been a part of.  With all that being said, if you are new here, first welcome, and second, get ready to climb on my crazy train of being single. 

Let me take one small step back if this is your first time visiting my blog.  Here's a brief history on me.  I am a 30 something single gal who has been dating for what feels like forever but most recently navigating through the world of online dating, often feeling completely blind and wondering where in the heck the good, and normal guys, are.  I've given y'all all my thoughts on what not to do on a first date and what not to put on your dating profile.  I've given y'all my thoughts about dating in general.  I've talked about my desire to be in love and often times where I've wondered if God has forgotten about me.  I've talked about rejoining in May and going on what would be the longest track record of first dates in the history of time.  Ok, maybe that's a slight exaggeration but that's certainly what it felt like.  But 15 first dates in about a two month time span is no joke and it really takes a lot out of a girl.

When I decided to get back in dating cyber world, I was excited about the process.  But this excitement turned into my feeling super out of sorts with my emotions. They were at an all time high, which was very unusual for me.  Think of it like having your period every single day!  That's kind of where I was at.  I felt like I almost became addicted to online dating...meaning, I was always on on my computer or the app on my phone.  I was updating my profile, adding new pictures, deleting old pictures, changing the things I like, adding in what I was looking for, etc.  It became almost like a job.  Add in getting to know about 20 or so guys that either I had reached out to or vice versa, telling my story over and over, deciding whether or not I wanted to go on dates with them, researching them to find out more than what they revealed on the site and than commencing on a butt load of first dates, a few seconds and even fewer thirds.  The end result---still single with no potential suitor in sight. 

Which leads me to the title of this post.  Girls, I am taking a break...from men.  And I'm serious about it this time.  Like a real break.  No peeking at, no set up's from girlfriends, no looking for men in the power equipment section at The Home Depot (ok, I never did that but it does sound like a great idea now that I said it) a full on sabbatical.  I'm calling it my Man Fast.  And it's been currently going on it for a little over a month which is why I've written this post over and over so many times because I've had so many thoughts during this time period.  I was paid up on until December but decided that enough was enough and deleted the app and haven't been on the site since the beginning of August.  And just in case I felt the urge to go back on, I saved this last email that I received the weekend prior to deciding that I would step back from dating.  I don't think there's any further explanation needed.

Umm, let me think about it!  Are you kidding me?  Yes, you are a crazy guy and no, I'm not interested in coming over to share a bottle of wine in a herpes infested hot tub with a complete stranger.  You see 'crazy guy', I value my life and although I'm sure the trunk of your care is nice, I'm not interested in seeing if I can figure out a way to get out of it AND the duct tape that my hands and feet are bound with.  And yes girls, I included his Username because if you are on Match, steer clear!  You are welcome girls!
So you may be asking what led to this epiphany that brought me to a decision to put my love life on hold.  Well, here's the church opened up a shop in their resource department selling shirts, bumper stickers, cups, books, etc.  Immediately, I was drawn to a book by Andy Stanley called 'The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating'.  I knew I had to pick it up because let's face it, I am the poster child for this type of literature and I've read a ton of books about all these subjects.  Plus, if my church was endorsing it, I knew it couldn't be all that bad although it would probably entail a lot of things I didn't want to hear. 

“Are you the person the person you are looking for is looking for?"
—Andy Stanley
This statement above pretty much sums up the entire book.  And as I read it and made notes (which is actually pretty fun to do when you are flying and sitting next to a man who is curious because I made no bones about hiding the title), and thought about it and prayed about it, I came to the consensus that no, I wasn't the person the person I am looking for is looking for.  OK, so I'm getting deep here girls but just try to go with me for a minute here.  I have a list...a rather long list of certain qualities that I want to find in a man.  Of course, there are some things on this list that are non-negotiables and there are some things on this list that if I had to compromise I could totally do it.  Well, after taking a good hard look at that list and comparing it to myself, I realized, rather quickly I might add, that there were many of my non-negotiables that I wasn't myself.  There were things that I listed as super important to have in a partner that I, quite frankly, was no where close to being myself.  This, my friends, was a complete gut punch.  I actually had to put the book down and walk away from it for about a week and a half to wrap my brain around it.  As a matter of fact, I had to do that a few times.  I talked to several of my girlfriends about it, not to get their opinion, but to just sound off about what I had just read.  Wow, how about that?  The man that I've been dying to meet is not looking for me because I'm not the girl that possesses all the qualities that he wants in a mate.  The same very qualities that I'm looking for in a man. 
OK, let me pause here for a minute.  Because I know y'all love me, I know that my faithful readers who have been a part of this entire journey are going to comment that I'm a fantastic girl and that I have so many wonderful things going for me and that I'm going to meet a wonderful man and not to give up.  Y'all, I love you!  And I love you for thinking that way about me!  I am not discounting any of that but I am not looking for affirmation of these points.  I know that I am a great catch.  I know that I will make a wonderful mate to someone one day.   My point in this post is to bare my soul and be completely honest about this next journey that I am about to embark on. 

Now un-pause!  Back to the book.  Here's a couple more descriptions so you get a better idea:
In the New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating, Andy Stanley explores the challenges, assumptions and land mines associated with dating in the twenty-first century.  Best of all, he offers the most practical and uncensored advice you will ever hear on this top. 
Not for the faint of heart, The New Rules...challenges singles to step up and set a new standard for this generation. 

Now that I was on board with the principles of the book and praying and making notes and sitting the book down and going back to it and walking away again, I made it to the end...Chapter 10.  Chapter 10 is when it all went downhill for me.  I hate Chapter 10!!!  Here's the deal with Chapter 10.  Chapter 10 tells you to take a break for...wait for it...a year!!!!  Say what?!?  During this time, I am supposed to prepare myself for my future husband--to work on the things on his list that aren't on mine.  I'm 37 years old---are you kidding me?  OK, I'm maybe buying this if I am 24, maybe even 27..heck, possibly even 30.  But let's be serious, taking off a year from pursuing any type of romantic relationship at 37 is just crazy!!!  I can't afford to take a year off. 

I sent this message to one of my mentors, Donna, as soon as I got done reading this Chapter because I was having major heart palpitations about it. 

I met up with my girl Donna, who I love so very much and who I admire in so many ways.  She always seems to know just what to say.  And in this case, she calmed my fears and brought my anxiety level down.  Maybe I didn't need to take a year off but perhaps I needed to not be seeking out a relationship--to truly turn the process over to God and to pray for either him to bring this man into my life or to give me the contentment I need to not be pursuing a dating life.

So that's where we are at girls...I'm on a Man Fast.  I don't have a time frame for how long this will last but I have truly had contentment over the last month in not seeking out a mate.  I've not felt the desire to get back online or to ask girlfriends if they have single friends.  I've been around men that I could potentially have interest in but didn't do my normal, flirty, flip my hair girl thing that I usually do.  For the first time ever, I have turned my love life completely over to Him...which admittedly is a super scary step to take because of all the 'What If's".  But that's ok...and I'm ok.  Because one day it will happen.
If you know what this means...we probably are girlfriend soul mates!

Alright gals, I know that this was a super long post and if you are still reading along, thank you so much!  Again, this is one of those not so funny, not so light conversations but in an effort to being completely transparent, this is me.  And I like me!

That's all I have for y'all today, whew good thing because now I am emotionally drained ;)  I hope y'all have a great day.  Come back tomorrow where I'll be linking up with the lovely Vanessa & Penny for Thinking Out Loud Thursday!