So as you know, I’m in the dating game – the Christian dating game – and it’s hard out here.
Recently, I decided to head back and try online dating after some encouragement from friends. This resulted in a massive discussion with said friends about which site to join. The consensus was to join one of the main Christian dating sites, but my previous experiences, it has to be said, had left a lot to be desired.
The main problem is, that my profile always seems to foster a breed of ‘super Christian’ men that can’t conduct a normal conversation without appearing to be super holy. But while it is blatantly obvious that there are some who are just looking for a good girl, which is fine, I reserve the right to have an opinion when a guy does not have any idea what the Trinity is.
So I decided join a mainstream site. Now to appease my friends I crafted my new and refreshed profile with keen excitement and full disclosure that I’m a Christian and a follower of Jesus in my main profile. After some non-starters and crude comments, I thought that I had met an interesting guy. So the usual emails fly back and forth, we exchange numbers and have a quick conversation before he goes on holiday.
Then it got weird.
This guy, I’ll call him Paul, checks in and asks me how I am. We exchange some polite chit chat, and then the conversation begins to take a more personal tone. He asks me what I’m looking for. Hoping he wasn’t going to go down THAT route, via text, I text back something funny:
“A drink, it’s Friday night!”
Paul says: “No! I’m talking about the future and stuff.”
My first thoughts were, ok, he wants to do this via text when I have already said that I’m on my way out: how do I keep this light?
I reply: “Oh, the usual stuff a woman my age would want.” Silence.
Then the bombshell reply: “So how long would you wait before you let me get you pregnant?”
By now I’m on the bus and I burst out laughing. Is he joking? Did he really just text that?
So I check: *Emoji with the wide eyes* “Are you joking?”
Well let’s just say things went downhill from there. Trying to see things from his perspective, I respond that it’s great that a guy knows what he wants and that he’s not afraid to go after it, but maybe this was a conversation that we should be having in person, once we have met and shared a coffee. Paul is not happy with this and texts me back to let me know he’s decided that we don’t want the same things. I’m stunned.
The crazy thing is, I do want these things – marriage and babies – eventually. Just with maybe more than a few text messages and coffees behind us.
When I meet my friend I tell her about the exchange and we have a bit of a giggle, but I can’t help but feel annoyed. I’m annoyed because Paul appears to only want a baby-making machine. I’m annoyed because I’m a great person and he has written me off without even meeting me. Of course the majority of my friends say that Paul is a bullet that I have thankfully dodged.
But another friend asked a different question: What button has this pushed? Once I had calmed down and the injustice of the situation had subsided, I realised it was a great question. It occurred to me that online dating has a habit of magnifying all of your insecurities and this guy had got to me. He did not want to know me. Deep down my fear is that no one will want to know me and be with me. That I would be alone. Grow old without anyone to share my adventure of life with while everyone around me is moving forward. That is the real fear.
Yet if I know that God loves me what is the big deal?
The thing is, we all know that we need to know who we are and not care what anyone else thinks. But if you’re not sure of who you are, then it will not take long before someone makes a flyaway comment and you think that the world has come to an end.
I realised that what I needed to understand was it isn’t about me, ultimately. In a situation like this, the person on the other end of the conversation is also trying to get their desire met and is often going about it the best way they know how. I realised that I needed to look beyond my upset and see what was really going on, because once I understood it, I could handle the situation in a better way.
I decided to move on from this episode in my mind and let go. I thanked Paul for this experience and learning something new about myself. I decided that moving forward I should check in with myself before responding to people and making sure that it was not about them but me. Always asking what is really going on with my feelings.
And yes Paul, true to his word, never did get back to me. But being able to release the feelings of injustice and hurt and wish him well, meant that I could get back online without carrying any extra baggage into my next conversations.
As for me, I go on! I have date lined up next week, so stay tuned!