with Anonymous Girl
The post below is a deeply vulnerable and honest response to the five questions. Because it is a little longer, I included an excerpt here with a link to the remaining questions. You won’t want to miss the end!
1) Describe your relationship to/experience with dating/singleness. If it has changed over time, describe the change.In high school, I fell in with the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and “True Love Waits” crowd, of my own volition. I dated a boy for 6 months, but we never kissed. (Years later, he came out as gay, but that wasn’t a shock.) In college, my idea was that I wanted to be friends with a guy before I started dating him. I had serious crushes on a few guys, but they never seemed interested in me, and I wasn’t too concerned about dating. Dating was only for when you were actually interested in getting married and had time to invest in such a relationship, and I knew I wasn’t ready for that in college. Post college, my time opened up dramatically, and I was really mad at God that I wasn’t dating anyone. I thought that was a perfect time to meet someone, date them, and then get married. Nothing else in my life was working, so couldn’t God at least throw me a bone on that front and let me meet my husband?! I went through some serious depression (due to a lot of issues), and eventually started my life moving in a better direction, with more hope. Still no one worth dating came across my path. From time to time, someone VERY interesting to me would appear, reminding me that somewhere out there, there IS someone interesting whom I will meet and marry, at least I hoped so! At 25, I moved to California and developed a huge crush on a new acquaintance. Who two months later started dating my polar-opposite roommate. And two months after that, they were engaged. I was hurt and disillusioned, figuring that I obviously didn’t have a clue what kind of man could ever be interested in me. Since then, my perspective on God, on life, and on love has changed drastically. This helped me to understand better what kind of a man I’m looking for, and that someone who previously I wasn’t interested in could actually fit me well. I tried eHarmony for 4 months and was bitter and angry that none of the men I was interested in messaged me back, and only men I was clearly NOT interested in messaged me. A year and a half later, I tried another 4-month stint on eHarmony with a much more open mind. If the profile interested me at all, I initiated conversation, and anyone who messaged me I replied to, even if I wasn’t the least bit interested in them. I at least got one coffee date out of it, but nothing more. At 28, I had my first kiss with a man who was a friend of mine, and I FREAKED OUT. We remained friends, and 6 months after the kiss, we finally talked about it, and realized that maybe there was something real between us. I dove head first into that relationship, learning a lot about how relationships work (it was my first since high school, barring a few looking-back-that-was-a-date dates). But just a few weeks in, he got a new job in a city 6 hours away and we knew that was a closed door. It was definitely the right decision. I know we could have made a relationship work, but it would have been a LOT of work, and we probably aren’t the best complement to each other. But I learned a lot about myself, and had a lot more confidence in myself that I was actually attractive to someone, and that I could actually be a good girlfriend to someone! And then, 6 months after that, I started dating a very good friend of mine. We had been pseudo-dating for 6 months, spending a lot of 1-on-1 time together, doing somewhat romantic things. Most of the time we were hanging out, I looked around and realized that anyone who was watching us would think we were on a date, but we weren’t. He finally asked me on a “date date”, and I was thrilled. I really liked him, and was excited that something that felt so natural and started with the foundation of a close friendship was actually panning out into a real dating relationship! I was so excited, I told my 20 closest friends. I had a LOT of confidence in the relationship because we already knew each other so well. I knew he was a keeper because it would take us at least to the 6-month mark to learn something about each other or the relationship that we didn’t already know. We even talked about how awesome it was that we started out as such good friends and that was the perfect foundation to build a future together. A few weeks into the relationship, he asked if I wanted us to be a “couple”, which I readily agreed to. One week after that, he said he “wasn’t feeling the romance of the relationship”. I was floored, and we haven’t really spoken since. He was kind about it, but I’m still very confused why, if he wasn’t actually attracted to me romantically, he asked me out to begin with. That was several months ago, and while I miss his friendship and the time we spent hanging out, I don’t really miss him. That’s probably a sign that maybe we weren’t right for each other, anyway, but knowing that doesn’t make me any less lonely. I think the hardest part is that in my life, I have some professional ambition, but the only thing I KNOW I want out of life is to be a wife and mother. When everything else is confusing, it is really easy to focus on that one aspect of my life, and blame God for my being single. I don’t necessarily regret the freedom I’ve had, nor do I want to trade places with my friends who are already mothers. I just wish I were a step or two closer to that being my own reality. I’ve had seasons where I’m very content being single – having the freedom to drop everything and go out of town for the weekend, or extend a business trip for a few days of vacation. But there are other seasons where all I can think about is finding my husband. I scan the pews at church, looking for cute men of an appropriate age, then checking out their left hands and being disappointed that “all the good men have been snatched up!” So I don’t really know what to do about all that, except trying to keep an open mind, a grateful heart, and a full schedule so I don’t sit at home and mope about how lonely I am. 🙂
2) How has that relationship/experience affected the way you think about your body and/or your self-image?I’ve never been an overly girly-girl, probably as a reaction to the fact that I’ve never been the “hot” or “cute” girl, and being 5’9″ and 200 pounds, I’m bigger than average. I’m usually okay with that, I am just acknowledging that it takes a certain kind of man to find someone with my body shape and size attractive. I don’t believe I’m ugly, I’ve just come to terms with the reality that I’m not a stunner, either, and that looks do matter to men, to probably a greater extent than they do to me. (Just about any man in the -2/+10 year range who is 6’3″ or taller is attractive in my book!) I had a season in the post-college stage where I thought my gender was invisible. Read the rest of this entry