Online Dating Help for Men…

So, I guess with this post I have to finally admit to more than just a few people that I am online dating… Or rather, I’m “online looking” since I have unfortunately been on very few actual dates.

Let me start by saying, obviously not all men need help… but, from what I have experienced, so. many. do need help. To be clear, I also cannot comment on whether women need similar help (or the same advice) since I am looking at only men’s profiles.

This post is meant to be humorous… However, every. single. point. made. comes from one (or a plethora) of men, and therefore everything below is factual.

Let’s start with, you do need to actually be single.

If you are separated, seeing someone, married or anything of the sort…
Then, hell no, I am not talking to you. No, we are not going to be friends because I won’t be the one helping you to be a cheating husband… Move along.

Safety First.

If you ask me on a date that is  me taking the metro to a far away stop, where you will pick me up for our fabulous date…
Then, I’m left to assume you are the Craigslist killer and I can’t let myself go and get into your car… That’s how people die.

Eyes. Men, eyes are important.

If in every single one of your pictures, you have sunglasses on or they are from behind or far away…
Then, I’m left to assume you have crazy serial killer eyes.

Abs are so great. Face is better.

If you have a plethora of pictures of your fantastically sculpted body, but none of your face…
Then, while I love me some great abs, unfortunately I’m left to assume your face it is horribly disfigured or your compensating. Your face matters.

Please, for the love, take photography lessons.

If your best angle is to put your phone in your lap, thus creating a triple chin and a clear look up your nose…
Then, you are definitely not catching my attention for the good. Maybe google selfie angles.

No one wants to be that close.

If your phone is so close that I can see the pores on your nose and your eyes are slightly crossed…
Then, maybe you have nugget arms or your phone should back up an inch or 15.

Everyone has a type they are attracted to…

If I decline to go out with you…
Then, maybe I’m just not attracted or interested in you, everyone has a type (or types) they find attractive, it’s not personal if you are not that type…

Please don’t make me explain why I’m not interested.

If I declined to go out with you…
Then, I’m probably not interested, don’t ask me why, and make me tell you potentially hurtful things because I won’t lie to you.

Height does matter.

If you get offended by my questions inquiring about your height…
Then, you are probably too short for me to feel comfortable with you… Don’t worry, another woman won’t care like I do. I’m a heightist, it’s a real thing for me I’ve stopped apologizing.

Which one are you?

If every single one of your pictures is a group picture…
Then, I’m hoping you are the attractive one. You are never the attractive one.

You do actually need to have friends though.

If every single one of your pictures was taken from a weird angle in your car, the bathroom, or the gym…
Then, I must assume you have no friends, which makes you either socially awkward or a narcissist. Neither of which am I interested in.

Let’s be clear, just don’t with the stupid confusing opening lines. Just. Don’t.

If your opening line is even remotely similar to (real openers):

“You’re a marvelous chocolate chip pancake in a sea of burnt waffles.”
“Hey, I feel you appear attractive and consequently would like to explore the possibility of exposing you to my awesomeness.”
“I’ve never gone out with a virgin before, but I’d be up for that experience.”
“Boo!”
“Beautiful! And they said I couldn’t find beauty and class online!”
“What is love to you?”

Then, you are certainly not getting any sort of response. Figure your life out.

I didn’t ask for a picture.

If I didn’t ask for a picture of you half-dressed (or less) and your two little chicken nugget abs…
Then, stop embarrassing yourself by sending them. There isn’t going to be a return picture.

You can figure out how to see what I look like currently…

If you ask for an updated picture and I say no..
Then, maybe try asking me on a date to see what I look like currently. I look way better in person than in one of my ridiculous selfies I send to friends… Trust.

But for real, it’s called “online dating”, let’s actually try going on dates.

If you message and text me for days and I’m responding well…
Then, let’s actually try a date, laugh, talk, flirt, and enjoy getting to know someone new. I don’t want a digital pen-pal.

And because I feel like I have done enough directed at the men, I will leave you with this hilarious meme sent to me by a girlfriend. (sorry for the swear word)

(sorry for the swear word, but this is hilariously appropriate for this post)

(sorry for the swear word, but this is hilariously appropriate for this post)

The Single’s FOMO…

I was talking with a couple other girls not long ago, and we were discussing the difficulty in being single in Christian circles…

In many instances, and in many churches, getting married quickly becomes the goal or at least the thing that girls (and guys I suppose) should aim towards. Getting married young is common, and in some cases being married is seen as automatically having more maturity than single counterparts.

Quick side note before I plunge deeper into this thought; I am still firmly in the I think it would be great to find someone one day, but this post is not at all a reflection of feeling lonely or jealous of my married friends.

I know from personal experience, it is pretty frustrating to have someone who got married much younger than I am currently, try to offer encouragement in the form of “just be patient”. And, not so much because what they are saying is not true, but because they have not experienced the additional years of patience, and it can feel like they are entirely missing the feelings of desiring to find someone and being unable.

However, while we were talking the other night, we stumbled upon what I believe is the real (ok, maybe just a huge portion of the) struggle for girls (and maybe guys) as they get older and find themselves still single: The fear of missing out (fomo).

“What if I don’t get married until my mid-thirties and miss so many of the things my friends are getting to do now?”
“What if I am too old to have kids when I get married?”
“… I don’t want to miss the possible ten or more years that we could’ve spent together!”

It can definitely be hard at times to watch so many people get married young and have amazing love stories, being so happy and thankful for the person God has brought into their life… While you are still single, and in some cases single for many more years to come. Watching others have these experiences of building lives together, someone to adventure with, someone to support and encourage, families, children.. and of course someone to help you through difficult times… all while being told to be patient just feels like an insult at times. There is a very real fear of missing out on years of love, laughter, and support…

“IF I end up getting married, will I regret the years we didn’t have together?”
“IF I get married, will we be young enough to also have years and energy to enjoy each other’s company?”
“IF I do get married, will we be young enough to have the number of children I’ve always wanted?”

But, the fear goes deeper than just fear of missing out on being a 20-something with a spouse.. What if, by the time you do end up getting married, you still regret and mourn the lost years that you were single?

I do not know of many pastors or churches that even touch on these fears.

But, the reality is, both faith and hope in not just who God is, but how much He loves us, and how much our singleness (for however long we have it) bring Him glory.

I am by nature a more adventurous person, I enjoy seeing what could happen, traveling to far away places, or just sitting and talking with friends laughing until way too late into the night. And while one day, I would love to find a man, fall in love, and get married, that time is not now, and I do not regret my life so far. There have certainly been difficult seasons, and they would have been easier for sure with a partner, at the same time, I realize there are elements of things that I likely would not have learned… and would not be able to use to help someone else later.

So, in my experience, if you have a “young but older young single” person in your life, be gentle and wise in the way you encourage. For the love, do not quote Jeremiah 29:11 to them, instead take time to wade through the complicated maze that is their heart. Understand where the fears come from, and instead of offering trite quick bits of advice, take the time to share their journey with them… I have discovered that my struggle to traverse my singleness (alone) is much more satisfying when I feel like my situation is understood by someone else, I feel less alone when I am not given a quick “you just need to..” and instead, my heartaches, thoughts, fears, wondering, and desires are listened to and responded to with wisdom and insight.

Being single and fearing the potential loss of years of building a life together are real, but put in the right perspective that our God is a good God, He tenderly loves us, and looking back we will have the satisfaction that even Job experienced at the end of his (much more traumatic) journey.

Single v. Married…

I have been watching an interesting debate discussion lately about the benefits of being Single or being Married.. Or getting married young.. Or staying single longer.. whatever.

It has felt recently as though there are two teams and they are at odds with each other. I think it is a little odd that we seem to be “fighting” or trying to convince others that our current state is the best or correct one.

Here are a few of the articles in the discussion so you can follow along with why I am writing this post:
23 Things to Do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23
The Results of a Closed-Minded 23 Year Old
I Got Married at 23. What Are the Rest of You Waiting For?
Marriage Isn’t For You
Why I Did I Get Married so Young

(There are more, and you possibly have read different ones)

The “conversation” as a whole really just interests me quite a bit. Obviously some of the blog posts are in direct response to one another, whereas others seem to be oblivious to the conversation at large, and are merely adding their thoughts to the world.

I also think it’s interesting that 23 is the number that keeps getting brought up.

Let me start out by saying, I am not loving on or hating on one side of this conversation or the other, merely responding to the conversation as a whole. I think it would be helpful to highlight some things.

Some background on myself so you can be more aware of where I am coming from:
I am a turning 29 years old, still single, never married or engaged woman.
I am not at all against marriage, and not only did I think early on in my life that I would be married by this point in life, I still would like to get married to the right man someday… But, I am content single, actually love aspects of it, and I am willing to wait for the right man because I have seen the destruction of divorce in too many people (of all ages).
I also have done quite a bit of reading of research on Millennials (those born between 1980-2000) because I find people and culture fascinating (especially my own).

Now that my vantage point is known, here is my personal perspective and thoughts on the Single v. Married conversation:

Not everyone who is single loves it.
Not everyone who is married loves it.

Not everyone who is single thinks they have made a better choice than getting married.
Not everyone who is married thinks they have made a better choice than to stay single.

Being single has some major pros and cons.
Being married has some major pros and cons.

Singleness can be hard.
Marriage can be hard.

Selfishness is pervasive among single people.
Selfishness is pervasive among married people.

Some people “do” single better than being married.
Some people “do” married better than being single.

In some cases staying single was the wise choice.
In some cases getting married was the wise choice.

Grace, compassion, and selflessness is common among an astounding number of single people I know.
Grace, compassion, and selflessness is common among an astounding number of married people I know.

Life is an adventure when you are single.
Life is an adventure when you are married.

Staying single is better/healthier than getting divorced.
Getting married is better/healthier than sleeping with someone you’re not married to.

Remaining single “late” into your adult life does not automatically mean you are wiser than a young married couple.
Getting married young does not automatically mean you are unwise or pathetic.

Being single “late” into your adult life does not mean you are against those married young (or older).
Being married young (or older) does not mean you are against those still single “late” into adult life.

Being single does not mean you have purposefully chosen to be so to “get your life together”.
Being married does not mean you have purposefully chosen to be so because you’ve “gotten you life together”.

Etc..etc.. See?

For me, there are days that singleness is just straight up hard, and other times I love the advantages of flying solo. But, from my plethora of friends (married at all ages), there are days that they remind me that being married is just hard too or they love every little bit of the married life…

From where I sit, both have the same qualities, it just depends on the person or couple.

My perspective is that regardless of if you are married or single, you should have goals.. Good goals ones, fun ones, hard ones, solid ones, frivolous ones, and seemingly impossible ones, I think that is how you help yourself grow, and a way to help measure success as a single or married person/couple.

So, please, let’s stop justifying why one is better than the other as if our choice was the right one for everyone… or the perfect decision forever.

If you are single and loving it or wish to be married, that is awesome and good things can and will happen during this season.
If you are married and loving it or wish you had waited, good things can and will happen during this stage of life.

He (Jesus) Loves You!

***I am so thrilled to feature my first ever guest blogger, and it is only fitting that it would be Renee Fisher because back in the fall she asked me to guest post on her site, and it was my first time ever guest posting! Renee has quickly become a great online friend and mentor to me, and I regularly find myself impacted and challenged by the things on her blog site DevotionalDiva.com. Also, be sure to check out her new book Loves Me Not, you will not be disappointed!

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He (Jesus) Loves You
[Guest post by Renee Fisher] 

He (Jesus) loves you. Yeah you.

If there’s one thing you remember from this post it’s that:

You.

 

Are.

 

Loved.

 

Fisher COVER - Loves Me NotI recently wrote a book entitled Loves Me Not, and I’d love for you to read it!

I wanted to focus solely on heartbreak and how to find healing God’s way. If you or anyone you know is currently experiencing a broken relationship or a breakup–I encourage you to pick up the eBook for only $2.99.
Here are a few benefits you will gain from reading this book:

+ Why Guarding Your Heart Isn’t Enough
+ Can Men and Women Be “Just Friends”?
+ Desperate Singles
+ Breaking Up With “The One”
+ Why Changing Your Significant Other Won’t Work
+ The Right Way To Breakup
+ How To Handle A Breakup
+ How To Be Your Own (Single) Person
+ Why Breakups Are Hard
+ He (Jesus) Loves You!

Relationships are very important to me.

God had me wait over twelve years to meet my husband. It’s probably because God knew how long it would take for me to understand how much He loved me. I didn’t need a man to tell me that (although it’s nice). It’s never enough. I wrote in Loves Me Not,

“God loved you first, so you could love others. He never meant for you to experience heartbreak, and He is the only one who can heal us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. 

So what if you meet your dream guy or girl soon?

God wants us to love and obey Him because we want to, not because we have to. If you’ve seen the movie The Break-Up with Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston, that was the point. Jennifer’s character broke up with Vince because he didn’t act like he wanted to be with her. All she wanted was for him to at least try to act like he cared about their relationship.

Maybe your heart says one thing but your actions do another.

Did you know your actions speak your heart? If your heart is not fully with God, the lover of your soul, then something’s missing. God desperately wants you all to Himself. Keep your faith in God and that He will bring you the desires of your heart. Stand strong and do not look to the opposite sex. Do not be hindered by your flesh, for your flesh wants pleasure now. But now is not the time. Not yet. Do not be frustrated; the day is coming. Do not be angry. When the day comes, you will be pleased beyond comprehension.

Wait for your future spouse and do not anxiously search for him or her.

When the time is ripe, you will know because God will show you. When you give this to God, He will give you peace, and when attacks of the flesh come, flee for the peace God has, which comes when you trust in Him and wait for the right timing. The time, when it comes, will be amazing, so please wait for this wonderful gift. Jesus loves you.”

Just re-reading those words gives me the chills.

I can remember how hard it was to hear those words. When I was single I thought married people didn’t know what they were talking about.

Be encouraged my friends! 

Now that I’m married I see what they were talking about. Why? Because God never wastes a step on the journey towards finding our future mate. Since we are made in His image–there’s nothing we can do to make Him love us any less. God’s love remains the same whether we’re single or married–and that my friends is something to celebrate.

You.

 

Are.

 

Loved.

reneefisherRenee Fisher, the Devotional Diva®, is the spirited speaker and author of Faithbook of Jesus, Not Another Dating Book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, and Loves Me Not. A graduate of Biola University, Renee’s mission in life is to “spur others forward” (Hebrews 10:24) using the lessons learned from her own trials to encourage others in their walk with God. She and her husband, Marc, live in California with their dog, Star. Learn more about Renee at www.devotionaldiva.com.

Choosing Vulnerable…

Back in February, I was talking with one of the most amazing people I have ever met, and we were somewhere in the middle of a late night conversation talking about relationships. I was talking through my thought process on a few things, some of my fears, insecurities, and she was listening and giving me the perfect insights into my world.

One of the things she mentioned was that she wanted to challenge me to be vulnerable in a few of the situations. Appropriately so, but instead of trying yet again to control anything, just choose to show all sides of who I am, and not just the areas that are comfortable or that I am secure in.

To say I disliked the thought would be an understatement, and to say the concept did not scare me is laughable. But, I bounced the idea off of a few of my other best friends, and I realized after quite a bit of laughter and straightforward comments, that it was probably a very good idea for me, and my dislike of it was probably an indication of just how good for me it would be.

So, I did… And continue to choose to be vulnerable.

Appropriately so for the person, situation, and relationship I have with whoever I am talking to. And, what I have discovered is a weird mix of fear and security.

I have also found myself in an increasingly frequent number of large group situations where I clearly feel the choice in front of me to be vulnerable, and possibly insecure or choose to shut off a portion of my emotions and convey confidence and my ability to handle what is going on.

Each time I have chosen to be vulnerable.

Each time my heart has freaked out.

I have even allowed myself to cry when my heart was so overwhelmed with how I was feeling… Each time it had to do with Jesus or someone doing an extreme act of kindness. If you know me, you know how huge that simple concept is.

Over the last couple of weeks, I have actively chosen to be vulnerable and allow various people to see my heart. There have certainly been instances where the outcome was not at all what I would have hoped for, and sometimes it was just incredibly painful… Yet, in other instances, I walked away feeling completely safe, secure, and like I was taken care of.

Over the last month or so, I have left conversations with the person I was talking to, and I felt like they saw me. As though they truly saw my heart and cared about how it was doing, and what God was doing in it. I walked away feeling as though they could be trusted, that they would call out things in me I needed to hear, and like I was secure in my vulnerability with them. What a special gift to feel that way, to feel protected and safe even though I had chosen to bare my heart’s contents.

This week, I spoke to a group of senior high teens, and I had prepared an entire message, and while I gave about half of it… I skipped huge portions that I had planned on sharing, and I sat and focused on another part that I had planned on merely skimming through. I felt like God just parked me halfway through and made me sit there and describe what He has done in my life in this one point, and how dramatically it has altered me and who I am.  Thankfully, I feel as though the teens connected, mostly because they did not move, stir, talk, shift or really do anything but make direct eye contact with me the entire 20 minutes I spoke.. I have no idea what connected them to what I was saying, but what I do know is when I was done my heart was totally wrecked and I needed a moment (or few) to compose myself. I have no idea how I made it through without crying because my heart literally hurt, and I was completely overwhelmed with how much God has changed me, and how humbled I am that He moves in my heart so much…

But, mostly I am thankful that I know what it feels like when God is moving my heart. It is a distinct feeling that I only get when He is working in me, it is incredibly painful, but I so love those moments when I feel His presence descend on my heart.

I also was asked (and maybe somewhat coerced) into singing this week.. Which, would be the first time I have sung in front of others in more than a decade. To say I was nervous and insecure would be a gross understatement. Thankfully, the guy who asked me to help him lead worship was very encouraging, and helped relieve some of my nervousness by making fun of the fact that I was so obviously uncomfortable.. Something that he was fairly certain he had never seen from me before… While I am not not at all secure in my singing ability, what I do know is that I worshipped, and I did not mess up horribly at any point.

So, it has been quite the last month or so.. A little on the scary side, and a lot on the uncertainty in being vulnerable side, but entirely worth the risk and the growth that is taking place… It is just not easy.

“Sustain me according to Your word, that I may live;
And do not let me be ashamed of my hope.”

– Psalm 119:116