June 9, 2017

When Dating a Man... {A Love Life & Lit Post}

The pink sticky note came up tiny in the notification banner on my phone. Just a blip in an ongoing conversation with me and one of my best friends who lived across the state.
I pulled up the photo and zoomed in a little, and it hit me straight in the Freaking Tired of Dating part of my heart:

  1. Does he have a teachable spirit?
  2. How does he respond to getting riled up or embarrassed?
  3. Does he have a tender heart? Is he gentle?
  4. Does he have a steady mind?
  5. Are your souls seeking the same thing?
  6. Does he make you laugh?
The sticky note was copied from the pages of a book by a dear friend—a wonder-woman favorite author. One whose fictional love stories are so filled with ribbons of truth, whispers of reality, and so very much grace, that the way they hit my heart? And those of many of my friends both single, and married?
Nothing short of God-inspired and incredibly special.
Much like what the Ultimate Author is penning for us right now. But there are infinitely more valleys and hills to go through than even the lengthiest of paperbound romances, in real life.

Beyond the simple lesson of Patience whilst being single is the sub-heading of "Not Settling." Oh. My. GOSH is it hard. We were just talking at lunch with some friends about this and hilariously enough the biggest point we drove home over pizza and wings and grilled cheese (because I am a child at heart), was that we cannot try and force it. Now, this applies to not trying to force a relationship with a guy, but it also goes along with (and I dare say even foremost!) not to try and force attraction. No matter how badly you want to feel something other than a flatlining pulse, a weird but good calm, and a breezy, carefree attitude while out with a nice-enough guy.
Out of every guy I've gone out with (suffice it to say I still have fingers to count on after numbering them), I have only genuinely been attracted to one. Everyone else? Zilch. And I felt terrible! Just how my mind works, here, y'all.
Retrospect is 20/20, however.
Looking back? The main reason I wasn't attracted to these nice-enough guys—besides physically not having any type of a reaction/attraction— was that our souls were not seeking the same thing. (Re: point number 5 on list above)
And that same thing must be Jesus.

There comes a point in every romance novel. The Do or Die point. The Dark Moment. Just before the plot begins to coast downhill to the Resolution/Happily Ever After. More often than not, that point in a story is when the Hero and Heroine stop seeing each other for a time. An argument perhaps, or forced apart, or circumstances that carried them physically apart, and they think they cannot go on. That it'd be better to just forget all about Him/Her and move on.
And then a light of revelation begins to pierce through, spurring them onto health, happiness and wondering about that Special Person.
That time apart is necessary for the character's growth, both emotionally and spiritually. And to realize Who must hold their heart first before giving it to another human being.
And so the life-season of singleness is. Sure it's not as tied up pretty in the space of a few chapters before the Happy Ending. But when two souls are seeking the same thing?
That is when there is ample blank pages for God to write the meetcute, the first dates, the hard conversations—and the beginning of an adventure of a lifetime with who He had for us all along.